“This ride starts high up in the alpine zone above Davos; then there is what might be the best descent in the region.”
— Lost Justpastnowhere
Davos is a mountain biking paradise. You'll find an extensive, well-marked trail system (look for the ubiquitous red and yellow signs) through the beautiful high alpine territory and then back down into the valley. Despite this, the trails never felt crowded, especially as you move away from the main valley.
All this is accessible with an excessively organized (otherwise it wouldn't be Swiss!) system of lifts and trains that can greatly reduce the aerobic difficulty of the ride if you are so inclined. The only downsides are that Swiss also means expensive and the riding season is too short because it's high alpine territory.
The Chörbschorn Trail is marked as route #646. The highlight of this ride is the 4.5-mile singletrack descent from the Chörbschhornhütte mountain hut (Chörbschhorn Downhill
). Between Strelapass and Chörbschhornhütte, you'll find a bit more solitude as this segment doesn't seem heavily traveled. And the views from everywhere along this route are tremendous.
Need to Know
If you're staying in Davos your accommodation likely comes with the Davos-Klosters pass which allows you to ride many of the lifts and use the local trains freely (including the Parsennbahn funicular railroad). You'll still have to buy an appropriate ticket for the bike though.
From Davos, make your way to the Parsennbahn funicular railroad valley station which is near the Davos-Dorf train station. Take the Parsennbahn to the uppermost station to near the Weissfluhjoch peak. There is another gondola that goes up to the actual Weissfluhjoch peak, but you can't take bikes there. In any case, the view of Davos, the Davosersee lake, the Landwasser valley, and the mountains beyond when you exit the Parsennbahn upper station is spectacular.
Once you've recovered from the view, take the Parsenn to Strelapass
trail. Follow the gravel road exiting the station around behind the Parsennbahn upper station until you reach a small maintenance building. Then turn back towards the south and follow a singletrack that descends steeply through the scree.
From this singletrack, you'll enjoy a view of a beautiful valley. The singletrack in the valley is part of the worthwhile Durannapass
loop if you're looking for another ride. This scree singletrack joins a path cut into the side of the Schiahorn mountain. The path is fairly wide, but you wouldn't want to fall off the side! Soon after finishing the path that is cut into the side of the mountain, you'll reach the Strelapass where there is a major trail junction as well as a restaurant.
The next Strelapass to Chörbschhorn
segment is an enjoyable singletrack through the alpine zone. Part of this trail follows the ridge, so you'll have breathtaking views to the southeast of Davos and its valley and to the northwest of Arosa and its valley as well as the surrounding mountains. You'll pass a small alpine lake three-quarters of a mile past Strelapass, if it's hot and you need to make a bath. Then you've got a mile and a half of relatively flat riding before you start to climb to the Chörbschhornhütte. The last mile and a half before you reach the hut climbs 150 m (500 ft). There are two climbs in particular that will get your attention as they are 10-20% grade, keeping in mind that the air is already pretty thin at 2400 m (7900 ft).
Do take a break at the Chörbschhornütte to enjoy the panoramic view and because you'll want all your strength and stamina for the 4.5-mile Chörbschhorn Downhill
run. Unfortunately, Chörbschhornhütte is really just a mountain hut and doesn't offer a restaurant, so you'll have to bring your own provisions. Also, take the opportunity to check your brakes if you haven't already and lower your seat if you don't have a dropper post.
The next 4.5 miles is an awesome, 1000 m (3400 ft) singletrack descent to the valley floor with lots of turns, berms, and small jumps. In the second mile, you'll drop over 300 m (1000 ft), an average grade of almost 20%. The path is relatively smooth and although narrow, you won't have large stones, roots, or compulsory jumps to contend with.
Most of the ride is above the tree line, so you can see what's coming. In short, you don't have to be a dedicated freerider or downhiller (or have such a bike) to enjoy this descent even if it is quite steep, and you can leave your armor at home which is probably good because the climb up to Chörbschhornhütte is long and arduous.
Once you reach the end of the ride (after 11 consecutive hairpin turns), turn left one more time (if you aren't dizzy) to head towards the Davos-Frauenkirche station. From there, take the Dammweg (Dam Road)
multi-use trail following the Landwasser River back into Davos to plot your next move.