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?
Mountain biking, of course.
Seven Colorado ski resorts open their lifts for the summer to avid mountain bikers, offering a downhill alpine thrill accompanied by a warm breeze and thriving wildlife. Wind around a single track, maneuver a rocky technical, hop over tree roots and “eat dirt,” as they say, right in the backyards of Vail, Aspen, Crested Butte and others.
Whether you’re a beginner, looking to improve or are a double-black-diamond expert, discover these world-renowned ski resorts on bike and miles of action-packed, Rocky Mountain trails.
Winter Park’s Trestle Bike Park
Home to the 2021 USA Cycling Mountain Biking National Championships, Winter Park’s Trestle Bike Park boasts 40 miles of purpose-built, gravity-fed trails. The world-class bike park includes both freeride and technical trails with classifications similar to ski runs. Green trails are the easiest, blue more advanced and black are expert-level.
The park also features cross-country and downhill trails. The gondola is open for hauling mountain bikers and bikes up the mountain, which is included when you purchase a day or season pass. Day tickets start at $59 and season passes are $369. This year, Trestle Bike Park opened June 19 and is expected to close on Oct. 3. Go here for a map of the Trestle Bike Park trail system. Visit winterpark.com or call 970-726-5514. 85 Parsenn Road, Parshall
Vail Mountain Resort
With more than 340 miles of trails through alpine meadows, Vail is a top destination not only for skiing but also mountain biking. Ride the Eagle Bahn Gondola (Lionshead Base) or Gondola One (Vail Village) up to the summit for a day spent exploring the Back Bowls, Vail’s seven infamous basins, that expand 6 miles across the Rockies.
A standard day pass (which does not include a bike rental) is $65 for adults, $45 for children and $52 for seniors and military. This pass is ideal for riders who have their own mountain bike and gear. Four-hour bike rentals, plus a trail day pass, are $107.88 for adults, $122.6 for adult freeride and $73.16 for children. Other packages include bike haul and lunch, eight-hour rentals, a seven-day pass and a season pass for $349. Here is a map of Vail’s mountain biking trail system. Visit vail.com or call 970-754-8245. 699 I-70 Frontage Road, Vail
Known for its slopes and quaint ski town full of shops, restaurants and breweries, Breckenridge Ski Resort transforms from a snowy, alpine town to a summer biking paradise around mid-July (conditions vary). Load your mountain bike onto the Colorado SuperChair at Lift 8, kick back and enjoy the views on your way to the top before heading back down the trail. Standard downhill bike rentals are available at Breck Sports for $81 per day, which includes a helmet. Additional protective gear is also available for rent. One-day bike haul tickets for all ages are $42.
Breckenridge is home to one green trail, eight blue trails and three black trails. Check out this detailed trail map for more about the mountain biking trail system. 1599 Ski Hill Road, Breckenridge, 970-453-5000. breckenridge.com
A mountain biker descends off of a wooden bridge on the trail at Copper Mountain. (Provided by Copper Mountain)
New this summer, Copper Mountain is hauling riders up the mountain via the American Eagle lift located in Center Village, in addition to its Woodward Express lift in West Village. Copper Mountain’s trails are excellent for beginners and intermediate riders. Access the Fawn-Tastic trail from the Woodward Express and enjoy a casual descent of 1.3 miles on a wide single-track. For more advanced riders, consider Elk Alley or Red Trail before making your way to the most difficult trail, Two Bucks.
Prefer to skip the lift and pedal your way up? Take the service A-road and enjoy the hard-earned views over 12,000 feet above sea level. A one-day unlimited bike haul and lift ticket is $49, or upgrade your Summer Pass or bike rental with a $35 bike haul and lift pass. Mountain biking at Copper Mountain will run through Sept. 6 and lifts are open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Bike rentals also are available. Check out Copper Mountain’s summer trail map, which includes eight exclusive mountain biking routes. Visit coppercolorado.com. 209 Ten Mile Circle, Copper Mountain 866-841-2481
A mountain biker gets airborne on a jump at Keystone Bike Park. (Katie Young, Keystone Resort)
Keystone Bike Park
A downhill enthusiast’s dream, Keystone offers a diverse range of progression-focused mountain biking terrain with a 2,300-foot vertical drop. From rock gardens and wooden bridges to the newly updated Suz’s Cruise, this bike park is great for all skill levels. The trails are open Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Full- and half-day bike rentals are available at Keystone Sports in River Run Village. Full-day rentals are $144 and half-day rentals are $109. All-day bike haul tickets are $60 for adults and $30 for kids. An unlimited bike park pass is also available for $349. With 10 green trails, three blue and 12 black trails to choose from, Keystone’s trail system is as welcoming as it is diverse. Here is a detailed trail map. For the lift schedule and hours of operation, go here. 100 Dercum Square, Keystone, 800-354-4386
A downhill mountain biker on an aspen-lined trail in Crested Butte. (Kurt Schmidt, Crested Butte Mountain Resort)
Crested Butte Mountain Bike Park
Crested Butte boasts over 30 miles of lift-served, single-track mountain biking trails. Ride the Red Lady Express to the top where both single-track and cross-country trails await. Single-bike hauls are $24, and day passes range from $39 to $55. Multi-day passes also are available as well as bike guides and lessons. Lessons range from $75 to $309 and take place at the Crested Butte Rental and Demo Center. The Red Lady Express operates as a bike haul from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Sept. 6. Crested Butte offers three green, five blue, six black diamond and two double black diamond trails. There is also one uphill bike trail for those looking to get in a good workout. Check out this detailed trail map for more information or visit the Crested Butte Mountain Biking Association. 11 Snowmass Road, Crested Butte, 877-547-5143
A mountain biker leaves a trail of dust behind as he descends down one of the Aspen Snowmass bike trails. (Lindsy Fortier, Aspen Snowmass)
Aspen Snowmass Bike Park
During the summer, Aspen Snowmass opens its Elk Camp Gondola, Elk Camp Chair and Meadows lift to haul mountain bikers up to 25 miles of purpose-built trails. The Roaring Fork Valley, where Snowmass is located, is the only designated International Mountain Biking Association Gold-Level Ride Center in Colorado.
The Snowmass Bike Park is family-friendly and also offers bike clinics and camps for beginners and experienced riders alike. Clinics and camps range from $99 to $224. Bike Park tickets are $59 per day and $129 for three days. Park tickets plus bike rental packages start at $144 for a half-day and $169 for a full day.
The Snowmass Bike Park is open through Sept. 6. The Elk Camp Gondola runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the Elk Camp Chair lift runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bonus Bike Nights start at 3 p.m. on Tuesdays and will run through Aug. 10. Some weekends will be open through October. Over 3,000 vertical feet above Snowmass Base Village, you’ll find a variety of trails ranging from green (easy) to black (advanced). Here is a map of the Snowmass trail system. For more information, go to aspensnowmass.com. 76 Boomerang Road, Aspen, 877-318-9233
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