L'Alpe d'Huez is more than just packed piste skiing. If you like the mountains but are looking for a different way to appreciate the winter wonderland, this resort offers several non-ski activities that go beyond just sipping hot chocolate at the lodge, including ski-joering and a dog sled rides.
Ski-joering, where the skier is pulled by a horse, is Scandinavian in origin. No need to be an expert horseman to appreciate the feeling of freedom and the brute strength of the horse - you just need to feel comfortable on a pair of skis. At Alpe d'Huez, a horse will lead you around the Poutran loop where the vast white landscapes will really make you feel like you're in Scandinavia. Reservations necessary.
For another change of scenery in complete harmony with nature, you could opt for a dog sled ride. Go straight to the heart of your own Nordic adventure with a pack of huskies along the Rif Nil. You can choose either the Brandes or Poutran loop, but don't forget to reserve at least 48 hours ahead of time.
If you are curious to see what goes on behind the snow curtain, it's possible to visit a snow factory or the lifts. The Plat des Marmottes snow factory, with its 4,000 kilowatts of energy is one the biggest and most powerful installations in Europe. Visits are every Thursday from 2 p.m. and require reservations. The lift visit, which invites visitors to learn how Marmottes I + II + III lifts work, are every Wednesday at 2 p.m. and also require reservations.
L'Alpe d'Huez offers several other activities such as groomer rides, visits to a sculpted ice cave, and snow shoe hikes. And you thought l'Alpe d'Huez was just for skiing...