Over the next three weeks many ski resorts will open their summer mountain biking and hiking trails. 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.
Why skiers love mountain biking
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! From May 18–October 8, Whistler Bike Park is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours until 8 p.m. May 18 to September 3.
Here’s what it’s like to mountain bike off the top of Whistler Mountain.
Where to stay: For the most convenient access to the Whistler Mountain biking trails, you’ll want to stay in the Westin Resort and Spa. You’re just a pedal or two away from the bike-haul lifts.
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 Friday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 16 to mid October.
Watch the videos below to learn more about Trestle Bike Park.
Where to stay: When it comes to the best Winter Park biking access, nothing can touch the bike in bike out Zephyr Mountain Lodge.
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. Vail is open for biking daily from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., early to mid June to early September and Friday through Sunday throughout September and into early October.
Watch the video below to see what you can expect when mountain biking on Vail’s cross-country trails.
Where to stay: For Vail’s ultimate trailside access, you’re going to want to book your stay in Lion Square Lodge. From the onsite bar patio, you can watch fellow peddlers descend into the Lionshead base village.
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. Keystone Bike Park is open June 8 to early September from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends. From early to mid September there are weekend operations only.
Watch the video below to learn more about the Keystone Bike Park.
Where to stay: If you’re looking for unbeatable access to the trails and relaxing post-pedaling amenities, like an outdoor pool and hot tub, make Keystone Lodge & Spa your biking basecamp.
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. Evolution Bike Park is open June 9 through Labor Day from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., then Friday through Sunday through early October.
Watch the video below to learn more about how families can enjoy Crested Butte’s Evolution Bike Park.
Where to stay: After a big day on the dusty trail, take a soak in the Elevation Hotel and Spa’s outdoor hot tubs.
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 mid-to-late June to early September, and weekends through early Oct.
Watch the video below to see how professionals ride Snowmass’ Valhalla downhill trail.
Where to stay: From the Crestwood Condominiums, you can roll right out onto the trail and hop on the Elk Camp Gondola.
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. Killington Mountain Bike Park is open daily mid June to early September, then Friday through Sunday through early-to-mid Oct.
Watch the video below for glimpse into mountain biking at Killington.
Where to stay: For the biker who wants to be within a couple hundred yards from the River Run Gondola and in the heart of the base village, River Run Condominiums are a top-of-mind lodging choice.
Northstar bike park
Lake Tahoe, CA
Northstar summer bike haul operations are daily from June 22 to August 31 and then Friday through Sunday until September 30. 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. Opening day 2017 for the Northstar Bike Park is TBA. Check back soon.
Watch the video below to learn more about Northstar’s Bike 101 class.
Where to stay: For ultra convenient access to the biking trails and a host of world-class services and amenities, keep One Village Place in mind.
Deer Valley bike park
Park City, UT
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. The Mid-Mountain Trail is undergoing an extension, due to be completed mid-summer. Also new this summer summer is a wide intermediate downhill flow trail from the top of Bald Mountain to Silver Lake. The Deer Valley Bike Park is open June 15 to September 3. Lessons are available.
Watch the video below to get an idea of what biking the Mid-Mountain Trail is all about.
Where to stay: For access to the most biking trails and award-winning accommodations, you’ll want to stay at famed Stein Eriksen Lodge in the Silver Lake Village.
Mt. Bachelor Bike Park
Mt. Bachelor, OR
Mt. Bachelor welcomed is welcoming its second full season of biking with a new fleet of Norco all-mountain and downhill rental bikes. 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 hours of operation is June 16 to September 3.
Watch the video below to learn about the construction and experience of biking the new Mt. Bachelor Bike Park.
Where to stay: Enjoy a central location in between Bend and Mt. Bachelor at the Sunriver Resort.
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.
More ski resorts with mountain biking
Originally from the icy trails of New Jersey, I moved West to pursue powder and a career in writing and editing. Now in Aspen, Colo. and working for Ski.com managing the website and blog content, I couldn't be happier. You'll find me skiing at Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands in the winter and mountain biking at Snowmass in the summer.