Over the past two weekends many ski resorts have opened their summer mountain biking and hiking trails for use. There’s no better way to beat the summer lowland heat than heading up to the crisp mountain air. A summer vacation to your favorite ski resorts is a great option, especially if you’re looking for a full docket of outdoor activities. One of the most popular summer activities is mountain biking.
Mountain Biking at Ski Resorts
Ski resorts are increasingly building and maintaining lift-accessed mountain biking trails within their boundaries. This is great news for those of us who crave skiing—or the feeling of skiing—year-round, as downhill mountain biking is a very similar experience.
Not sold? Picture this:
- You start the day in a base area bike shop being fitted for a mountain bike and equipment that best accommodates your size and ability level.
- You load yourself and your bike into the gondola or chairlift.
- You step out of the gondola or off the chairlift and grab your bike.
- After adjusting your helmet and gloves you make your way towards the trailhead.
- You decide to warm-up on a blue trail.
- It’s smooth and flowy and takes you through beautiful aspen glades and meadows of wildflowers.
- You catch a bit of speed and feel the cool mountain breeze on your face.
- You take a break mid-way down the trail and take in beautiful mountain views.
- You take the gondola or chairlift back up for several more runs.
- You end the day in the base area village with a cold beer and a smile.
Sounds pretty familiar, right?
If you’re ready to experience mountain biking at ski resorts check out the list below. The featured resorts on our list are among North America’s most popular. Click to see a full list of ski resorts that host lift-accessed mountain biking.
Note: Many of the bikers featured in the videos below are professionals and they are riding black and black-diamond trails. Every bike park on this list has world-class beginner and intermediate mountain biking, too.
Whistler Mountain Bike Park
Whistler is far and away the most popular mountain biking destination in North America. If you’re new to mountain biking don’t let its storied reputation intimidate you. Whistler Mountain Bike Park’s Fitzsimmon’s Zone has plenty of green runs and nearly half of the entire area is designated as intermediate. As a biking mecca, you can bet Whistler has some seriously knowledgeable guides and instructors to teach you the ropes. There’s no better place to learn! Now through September 1, 2014, the Fitzsimmons zone is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., while the more challenging zone, Garbanzo is open until 7 p.m.
Here’s what it’s like to mountain bike off the top of Whistler Mountain.
Trestle Bike Park
Winter Park, CO
Renowned as Colorado’s best downhill mountain biking park, Winter Park is convenient to get to from just about anywhere in world. Winter Park is just 90 miles from Denver International Airport. Winter Park’s Trestle Bike Park has something for everyone, including nine green trails and 13 blue trails and two skills parks, where all abilities can practice. Lessons are available. The Trestle Bike Park chairlifts are open every Friday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. now through Sept. 28, 2014.
Watch the videos below to learn more about Trestle Bike Park.
Vail Mountain Biking
Vail is home to miles of scenic trails, which can be accessed via the Eagle Bahn Gondola or Gondola One. Vail is especially renowned for cross-country mountain biking. Once you’re up on the mountain you can pedal for miles along Vail’s famous Back Bowls. Lessons are available.
Watch the video below to see what you can expect when mountain biking on Vail’s cross-country trails.
Keystone Bike Park
Keystone is another Colorado favorite and also provides convenient access to Denver International Airport. Although the resort has been known to hold professional downhill mountain bike races, most of Keystone’s trails are green. The Keystone Bike Park features 11 green trails, five green trails, seven black trails and seven double-black trails. There is also a handful of service road trails that make for fun, easy mountain biking. Lessons are available. The bike park is open now through Aug. 31, 2014 with additional weekend hours throughout September. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends.
Watch the video below to learn more about the Keystone Bike Park.
Evolution Bike Park
Crested Butte, CO
Known as one of mountain biking’s birthplaces, Crested Butte is nothing if not a world-class biking destination. Whether you’re mountain biking for the first time or 400th, Crested Butte has several choice trails to suit all abilities, including families. The Evolution Bike Park is now open daily through Sept. 7, 2014 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Watch the video below to learn more about how families can enjoy Crested Butte’s Evolution Bike Park.
Snowmass Bike Park
New to the mountain bike park map, Snowmass’ bike park has accomplished a lot in its first couple years, including hosting a professional-level mountain bike race. However, Snowmass offers much more than jumps and wooden features on its renowned Valhalla downhill trail, it provides lift-access to beginner, intermediate and cross-country trails. There’s also a skills park which helps aspiring downhill bikers nail down the basics of turning, braking and rolling over obstacles. Lessons and clinics are available. Mountain biking at Snowmass is offered daily now through Sept. 1, 2014, and weekends through Oct. 5, 2014.
Watch the video below to see how professionals ride Snowmass’ Valhalla downhill trail.
Killington Mountain Bike Park
Nestled in the lush summer mountains of New England is one of the East’s most acclaimed mountain biking resorts. Descending 2,000 feet, the Killington Mountain Bike Park hosts notable professional-level downhill races, but also enjoys a nice variety of trail types. There’s an entire beginner section on the Snowshed Slope. Lessons are available.
Watch the video below for glimpse into mountain biking at Killington.
Northstar Bike Park
Lake Tahoe, CA
Now open through Aug. 29, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Northstar is a great place for both cross-country bikers and gravity enthusiasts. The resort has hosted cross-country races and is the proving ground for Lake Tahoe’s more serious downhill mountain bikers. It’s also a great place to learn. Northstar’s biking instructors provide a comprehensive, two-hour beginner class.
Watch the video below to learn more about Northstar’s Bike 101 class.
Deer Valley Bike Park
Park City, Utah
Deer Valley was one of the first resorts in the country to provide lift-accessed mountain biking. Since its inception in 1992, Deer Valley has been consistently ranked among the nation’s top mountain biking resorts. Cross-country bikers will enjoy the Mid-Mountain Trail, a stunning single-track trail that traverses Deer Valley, Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons. Lessons are available. The Deer Valley Bike Park is open daily now through Sept. 1, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Watch the video below to get an idea of what biking the Mid-Mountain Trail is all about.
Mt. Bachelor Bike Park
Mt. Bachelor, OR
Mt. Bachelor welcomed its first full season of mountain biking on July 1, 2014. The trail team has worked hard to build an incredible bike park which features smooth turns and fun features. The bike park is still under construction, with about seven new trails still being built. Currently there are three blue trails, two black trails and one mixed-service road. We can only imagine this new bike park will be a hoot as the volcanic, natural terrain makes for incredibly fun skiing. Mt. Bachelor is also hosting its premiere season of Gravity Bike Camps, for kids and teens. The Mt. Bachelor Bike Park is open now through Sept. 1, 2014 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. From Sept. 5, 2014 to Oct. 13, 2014 the bike park will be open on the weekends from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Watch the video below to learn about the construction and experience of biking the new Mt. Bachelor Bike Park.
If you’re ready to book a vacation to go mountain biking at ski resorts give us a call, start a chat, or start customizing your vacation details today with our online booking engine. We can help you plan and book everything from flights and lodging to ground transfers, car rentals (with bike racks) and even bike haul lift tickets. And be sure to check out our year-round ski resort deals.