Arolla-Evolene

Arolla-Evolene

Overall Rating

Arolla-Evolene

Arolla-Evolene3.5/51
Arolla-Evolene3.5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Up Guides Maurienne Tours

Nearby Ski Resort

4 Vallees
Grimentz Zinal
Nax Mont Noble
Nendaz Veysonnaz Thyon

Arolla-Evolene Maps & Stats

     Espace Dent-Blanche Ski Trail Map
  • Espace Dent-Blanche Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    Espace Dent-Blanche
    1,255m - 3,000m (1,605m)

    Arolla
    2,000m - 3,000m (1,000m)

    Evolene
    1,400m - 2,680m (1,280m)

    La Forclaz
    1,730m - 2,200m (470m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    Unknown
  • Lifts (16)
    1 Chair
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Arolla
    Early December to late April
    8:30am to 4:00pm

    Evolene
    Mid-late December to late March
    9:00am to 4:30pm

    La Forclaz
    Mid-late December to late March
    9:15am to 4:15pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 104km
    Longest run - 5km
    Advanced - 14%
    Intermediate - 57%
    Beginner - 29%
  • Ski Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 23/24
    Espace Dent-Blanche
    Arolla, Evolene & La Forclaz
    Adult (21-64yr): CHF46
    Seniors (>64): CHF36
    Youth (16-20yr): CHF36
    Child (6-15yr): CHF30
    Child u/6yr: Free

    La Forclaz only
    Adult - CHF28
    Child - CHF19
    Child u/6yr - Free
     Arolla Ski Trail Map
  • Arolla Ski Trail Map
     Evolene Ski Trail Map
  • Evolene Ski Trail Map
     La Forclaz Ski Trail Map
  • La Forclaz Ski Trail Map
    Arolla Ski Touring Map
  • Arolla Ski Touring Map

Arolla-Evolene - Reviews

Arolla-Evolene - Reviews

Swiss Alps Treasure

11/10/2023

POWDERHOUNDS EUROPE

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador

POWDERHOUNDS EUROPE

Powderhounds Ambassador
Powderhounds Ambassador
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Telemarker
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    51-70
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    5

Swiss Alps Treasure

11/10/2023

Skiing at Arolla-Evolène is like stepping back in time, but in the best possible way. The remote* Val d'Hérens in which they reside is gloriously serene (*remote by Swiss standards). The glacier draped mountains are sublime. The village of Evolène, & to a lesser degree, Les Haudères, are worthy of any nomination for the 'most beautiful villages' in Switzerland award. Arolla is in a stupendous mountain location, has super ski terrain and is closest to the local ski lifts.

Visiting the area in late January, I was hoping to ski all 3 sectors of Espace Dent-Blanche (or in English ‘White Tooth Space’), however time & weather was against me. I only briefly skied Evolène. It was a day where seeing one’s hand in front of ones face was difficult, so only got decent photos of from the village on my day of departure. I skied Arolla on glorious, cold & sunny day, perfect for an exploration of this fascinating ‘old school’ ski area. I never got to ski the more family friendly La Forclaz, but that’s ok, I’m coming back here!

Arolla is one of those ski areas that embraces all that I love about ski resorts. Very few people, amazing mountain landscape, lovely huts, big off-piste terrain, cheap lift pass price (free if like me you have a Magic Pass), decent snow & beautiful villages with tasty local cuisine.

The ski lifts are simple. Effectively 2 surface tows (the Fontanesses 1 & 3) get you all the way to the top at 3,000m. from there the world is your oyster. Long top to bottom 1,000m vertical groomers seemingly under the seracs od the decaying Glacier de Tsijiore Nouve are divine. The off-piste options are broad from the Noire du Col run at the top of the ski lifts. I happily ended up popping out at the La Chotte hut, before continuing on my way. Further skier’s left at the top and one ends up above the main Arolla village. And so it goes. With a bit of skinning there is loads more to be skied. The snow was variable off-piste when I was there. Generally, tracked, sun affected in spots, powder in the shade, crud down low, but it was still lots of fun. Was only one other person skiing off piste, but clearly the number of tracks show a few more freeriders roll up here after a snowfall!

If the sun is out, sitting out front of La Chotte hut is magnificent. Mountains, tunes, refreshments, company = fabulous. Higher up at the Buvette 3000 hut, the views get better, and you can order a delicious hand-crafted sandwich made of local ingredients to accompany a beverage as you ponder life’s mysteries and the grandeur of the mountains. At the end of the day as the bottom of the ski area disappears in shadow, La Yurt is a haven for home-cooked food and beverages before you head back to your hotel, or whilst waiting for the bus (like I was doing!).

Evolène is a beautiful village and has a perfect mix of tradition and modern services. Sited just off the main road to avoid any through traffic, its original timber clad buildings perfectly frame the surrounding mountains. An excellent range of restaurants, bars and accommodations line the central part of the village. At the top of town, Gaudin Sports provides professional ski servicing, rental & retail gear. We can recommend them for ski repairs - they did a beautiful fix and wax on a ‘core-shot’ I received at 4 Vallèes.

I stayed at the unpretentious Hotel Eden and enjoyed the simple, affordable rooms & great food. Included on the dinner menu were many locally sourced items that were fabulous. Its convivial bar served well for pre-dinner drinks, and the hotel’s host was fantastic.

Another lodging option is Pension d'Evolène. Whilst I didn’t spend a night there, dinner in the restaurant is absolute wonderful. It is worth a visit for that alone.

Arolla lacks the village ambiance of the others in Val d’Herens. It has a more a disparate selection of interesting hotels, and newer apartments. I checked out the Grand Hotel and at a pinch it is one of the few ski-in, ski-out lodgings in the region, but you gotta know where to go. It looks as Grand as its name and has the best bar in Arolla. I enjoyed sweet crepes at Hotel du Pigne whilst taking in the valley view up to the glacier-topped Mont Collon. The hotel’s rooms & restaurant look to be both comfortable and affordable. It is also at the bus terminus, which is handy, but is a walk down to the ski lifts, which is not!

I travelled to Evolène on the bus from Nendaz. The journey is seamless via Sion. I had a short stint in the warm waiting room at Sion train station, where I could charge my phone and access free Wi-Fi, before getting the next bus to Evolène. From my base at Evolène, buses took me where I needed to go to the ski lifts at Arolla or just down the road for Evolène. My next destination after the Val d’Herens was Zurich airport, and again, the journey was seamless. Bus to Sion, then 2 trains to the airport via Brig. Gotta love the Swiss public transport system.

Coming to this valley after staying in Nendaz highlights the stark reality of skiing in Switzerland. You can easily ski a modern mega resort one day, then an old-school treasure like Arolla the next. That’s what is so great about skiing the Swiss Alps. Such contrasts between the new & old, the progressive and the traditional. I’ll be back here next season. So should you.

Read more about the pros & cons of this ski resort on the Arolla-Evolene overview page.


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