Summertime mountain biking has taken hold at most ski and snowboard resorts in the West, including a trio of northern New Mexico mountains whose MTB trail maps cover more than 100 miles in riding routes.
At all these resorts, base elevations are 8,000 feet or more above sea level. Flatlanders should allow a day or so to get acclimated before taking on strenuous rides. Drink plenty of water and carry more with you. Thunderstorms regulary roll through the southern Sangre de Cristos, so pack rain gear and warm clothing.
At Angel Fire, mountain biking has put down deep roots. Host to pro MTB competitions in the past, the resort has built an enviable bike park. A web of trails feeds off of the high-speed Chili Express, and the park's 60-mile trail systems consumes most of the front side of the mountain. Plenty of downhill for freeride and technical MTB-ers -- 2,000 vertical drop -- and miles of easy beginner routes, too.
The northern New Mexico resort boasts a base skills park, a dual slalom course, a long uphill-only trail and upper mountain hiking offshoot. Resort quote: " ... the best skinnies, jump lines, manicured flow and super chunk trails the United States has to offer."
Over the ridge, Taos Ski Valley is in the nascent stages of bike-park bulding. The resort has carved out its MTB trail system on its backside. Lift 4 out of the Phoenix base delivers riders to the head of Kachina Basin, right below 12,481-foot Kachina Peak.
Once there, two choices await: a 4-mile green run that winds back and forth down the hill, and a 1.5-mile blue run that is more directly downhill. On the front side there area a couple of beginner flows and steep-steeps, but no lift access this summer.
Down the Rio Grande, Pajarito Mountain spreads across 280 acres below a ridge above Los Alamos. Volunteer-built and raw in nature, the Pajarito Bike Park begins on the Aspen and Mother chairlifts that run up the middle of the trail map. Topping out at more than 10,000 feet, some 48 trails total 39 miles in length, and tend toward the higher skill levels on both downhill and technical routes.
The lifts run on Saturdays and Sundays only, and tickets must be bought at the hill. The park is part of the Mountain Bike Power Pass system that includes all-summer season access to Brian Head in southern Utah, Purgatory in southwest Colorado, and Spider Mountain Bike Park in Austin, Texas.
Work resumed this month at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area to complete the remainder of Wheels Up, the ski area’s new downhill mountain biking trail.
Gary Tennenbaum remembers the first time he first spoke with the new owners of a long-dormant coal mine up the Crystal River Valley, near Redstone. It was a few years ago and the owners, grandsons of Walmart founder Sam Walton, offered a plan unlike any other to the longtime director of Pitkin County Open Space and Trails had seen before.
When the snow melts and all that’s left of Colorado’s ski resorts are the seemingly endless trails, rushing mountain water, bright green aspen glades and wildflower-covered meadows, what is there to possibly do?
It’s summer, but that doesn’t mean heading to the ski hill is out of the question. Eleven of Idaho’s ski areas offer lift-served mountain biking and North Idaho’s resorts offer plenty of options.
Last year, mountain resorts were overrun by travelers in search of space and fresh air. The visitors are expected back, but now the towns have expanded activities and plans in place to deal with the crowds.
Vermont’s Killington Resort, the largest mountain resort in Eastern North America and a POWDR company, is enjoying a summer-long celebration of the Killington Bike Park‘s 30th season, and a host of summer events and activities.
For a Northeast Kingdom hamlet with just 1,700 residents and two stores, East Burke is a busy place these days. Burke's small ski area, Burke Mountain Resort, has welcomed visitors for half a century. But now the town's Kingdom Trails bike trail network is gaining renown; it attracted about 135,000 visitors in 2019. The rural area has drawn more newcomers than usual during the pandemic.
Mt. Bachelor ski resort is moving forward with plans to build a new 5.5-mile hiking and mountain biking trail that will loop from the mountain’s base to the summit.
Soldier Mountain opened its new mountain bike park this past Friday, after a raging wildfire last summer prevented the park’s 2020 grand opening.
The snowpack is quickly dwindling, bike trails are drying out, and the long adventurous days of summer are top of mind. It’s hard to say goodbye to ski season when your favorite resort finally stops spinning lifts, but let’s be real—your aching feet could probably use a break from the harsh reality of being crammed in ski boots all winter.
The snow is still falling and the slopes just closed at Winter Park Resort, but the resort is preparing for warmer weather and summertime mountain adventure. Winter Park Resort is anticipating opening its summer activities, including its famed Trestle Bike Park, on Saturday, June 19, 2021.
Aspen Snowmass will open for the summer season Memorial Day Weekend, May 29-31, at Buttermilk. This marks the first time Buttermilk will be open to the public in the summer. Guests can sightsee, hike, play disc golf and enjoy food and beverage options from the Cliffhouse restaurant, all accessed by the Summit Express chairlift. Summer operations at Buttermilk will continue weekends, Friday through Sunday, until June 20.
Since it opened in 2007, Revelstoke Mountain Resort has held a reputation for its monster vertical (at 5,620 feet of lift-accessed terrain, it’s the longest descent in North America), alpine bowls, rainforest glades, record snowfall and near-ridiculous scenery. But where most resorts also boast thriving summer operations to complement winter skiing, RMR had largely stayed relatively quiet on the summer front, with most warm-season activities centralized on the bottom of the mountain.
After ski and snowboard season was cut short due to COVID-19, Powderhorn Mountain Resort became one of the first ski resorts in the state to reopen for summer activities on June 12, and now biking and hiking trails are busier than ever.
Rolling-downhill adventure seekers looking for an adrenaline high have another outlet with the opening today of a new lift-serviced bike park in North Conway.
Following state and county guidelines, Winter Park Resort plans to open its summer access including the Trestle Bike Park on June 27.