Single-track downhill mountain bike descents open up the throttles this summer at several resorts across the West. New skills features, flow updates to old trails and steep-pitched downhill rippers should be on your list for must-rides this summer. Lift access makes the uphill part a cinch.
1. Mt. Bachelor, Oregon
Mt. Bachelor Resort is Oregon’s premiere lift-served mountain bike park with trails for all ability levels. Excavated single-track enduro and downhill trails flank the Oregon volcano with intermediate and expert trails descending from Pine Marten Lift. The Sunshine Accelerator Lift takes families and beginners up to descend on the 7 percent grade First Timer Line. Mountain bike instruction and camps are available. New features appear in the skills park, and more trail miles each year are dishing up new challenges. The double black diamond Rockfall Trail draws expert thrill-seekers for its 20 percent average slope, lava rock and natural jumps. There’s no skirting the mandatory technical features right under Pine Marten Lift, so pressure will be on to nail the drops.
2. Whistler, British Columbia
The latest news in the on-going development of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park begins with the opening of the Creekside Gondola for bikers. It’s recommended for advanced and experts only as it provides access to the Fitz and Garnanzo Zones via Expressway, Lower Freight Train and No Joke. Riders can now upload from Creekside Village and connect into the bike park at the Raven’s Nest. Trails allow riders to exit back out to “the creek” for another lap. Or, “apres-bike” at Dusty’s. Ride old mountain biking icons with spruced up lines at Whistler in North America’s biggest mountain bike park. Crank It Up Trail has been freeride resculpted, and A-Line acquired multiple approaches to its black diamond features, which allow riders to up the skills ante. In addition, the new Crank It Up More will give riders a step up to more challenges after mastering the original Crank It Up. With an eye toward aiding newcomers to mountain biking, Bike park guides hang out at the top of the Fitzsimmons Chair to provide complimentary trail orientation sessions. They can send you down a trail appropriate for your skill level where you won’t unwittingly huck yourself off a monster jump.
3. Grand Targhee, WY
Grand Targhee already has an established reputation among downhill mountain bikers stretching beyond Jackson Hole locals, and added an eighth downhill trail several years ago. The two-mile-long, machine-built Rock Garden accessed from Dreamcatcher Chairlift descends a technical 1,809 feet, making it the most demanding and steepest black diamond trail at the resort. Women’s mountain bike camps get riders going to the next level with confidence in several two-day sessions in July and August. The summer includes the Grand Teton Dirt Classic combined with the Wydaho Rendezvous Teton Mountain Bike Fest.
4. Snow Summit, California
In So Cal, Worm’s World, a new pump track, is attracting mountain bikers for laps at Snow Summit, a favorite resort high above Los Angeles at Big Bear Lake. The hand-built track in the Skill Builder Park is only the prelude to three side-by-side progressive jump lines. Tweaking on lift-accessed routes adds new features for testing your mettle. Party Wave sports a 23-foot-high jump and diving board, and Westridge has a wall ride. For beginner riders and families, Small Wonder is a new lift-accessed trail with a 6 percent grade. A trail called Going Green is the longest downhill trail at the resort. There are a variety of lift passes available including the Lift and Lunch package, providing access to the park and lunch.
5. Deer Valley, Utah
Deer Valley has several new trails now boast updated lines. Naildriver, for one, has been reworked for better rideability. Fast machine cutting on the new intermediate flow trail already has mountain bikers hitting two of the three stages. The four-foot-wide trail known as Tidal Wave stretches from Bald Mountain to Silver Lake. The Mid-Mountain Trail has added two new miles that make the connection between Silver Lake and the Deer Crest Trail.
6. Crested Butte, Colorado
The Evolution Bike Park at Crested Butte has seen beefed up work beefed up work on the trail system. More descents include a blue intermediate trail, a technical expert route cut through big rock features and a connector link from the Westside Trail to Upper Loop Forest Service trail to town. The resort is a favorite stop for a number of specialty races including the Powerade Mountain Race Series for beginners to experts.
7. Lookout Mountain, Montana
Lookout Mt. on the Idaho-Montana border began it’s lift-served mountain biking in the summer of 2021. That means, in addition to riding the popular Route of the Hiawatha scenic trail, riders and hikes can now take advantage of chairlift rides to Lookout’s family friendly trails. The park appeals to a wide range of riders as there are no wooden features or jumps to scare off the wary. There are both single track and wider mountain access roads to explore. The views? impressive overlooking the sub-alpine mountain terrain of the St. Regis basin.
8. Stratton Mt., Vermont
The second phase of Stratton Mountain’s Bike Park (there are three builds planned) in summer 2021 with black diamond and blue square trails. That’s in addition to the existing park that serves all ability levels. The black diamond adventure is being built as a race trail that is technical to ride. The intermediate trail is next to Styles Brook and should be considered a step up for new riders. The total now is 9 downhill trails and 1 uphill climbing trail. Check out the Bike and Stay package including lodging and admission tickets that start as low as $70 per night.
9. Killington, Vermont
Killington is affectionately known to skiers and riders as “The Beast of the East” and for three decades it has been growing it Bike Park until today it offers more than 30 miles of trails served by three high-speed lifts. Trails are designed for beginners to experts, including Gravity Logic’s flow trails. Three areas make up the “gravity-fueled” bike park including beginner train at Snowshed; progress ve intermediate trails at Ramshead and Killington Peak with its classic New England terrain with plenty of rocks and roots to navigate.