5 Best Resorts for Mountain Biking in North America
The snow is melting and ski areas throughout the United States are shifting gears. For many resorts, this means shutting down, packing up for the season, and waiting until the snow starts to fall again. The best resorts, however, begin welcoming hordes of mountain bikers to their barren, rocky slopes.
As the sport of mountain biking continues to progress, many of the larger ski resorts are investing more and more time and money into creating stellar bike parks to accommodate the nearly 40 million annual participants in the US alone. With epic parks to push the limits of riders and better bikes coming out each year, the sport becomes more appealing to the masses with each passing season.
One of the most appealing things about mountain biking at a ski resort to most people is access to chairlifts. Everyone hates powering their way back up the hill after an epic descent and chairlifts eliminate that issue, allowing you to focus your energy on bombing down the mountain, flying over rollers, getting technical on North Shore-style trails, and everything in between. With plenty of steep terrain and expertly crafted trails to get your adrenaline pumping, mountain resorts provide riders with unforgettable, extreme downhill mountain biking experiences.
Where are the best mountain bike parks in the US?
1. Whistler Blackcomb Mountain Bike Park at Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
Number of trails: 57
Bike park vertical: 4,946 ft
It is difficult to talk about ski resorts turned mountain bike resorts without mentioning Whistler Blackcomb Mountain Bike Park in British Columbia as it’s one of the best places to mountain bike in Canada.
This resort offers 70 expertly crafted trails spread throughout four distinct mountain zones, making it the most terrain offered by a resort in North America. There’s a total of six chair lifts serving almost 5,000 vertical feet and plenty of features to entertain even the most experienced riders. from all over the world.
While Whistler is home to world-class downhill mountain bike trails, there is also plenty of easy-going routes for those that are just starting out. The Creekside and Fitzsimmons zones both have a wide variety of beginner and intermediate terrain perfect for honing your skills or warming up for a long, fun day in the park.
2. Trestle Mountain Bike Park at Winter Park Ski Resort, Colorado
Number of trails: 31
Bike park vertical: 1,700 ft
The Trestle Bike Park at Winter Park Ski Resort is one of the top summer destinations for downhill mountain bikers from around the world. Winter Park mountain biking consists of more than 40 miles of single track with more being added each year. The resort also offers a great mix of downhill, technical, and cross country mountain biking trails so that you can push every facet of your riding.
There are currently three lifts shuttling bikers to the top, making it really easy to ride until they kick you out. Should you choose to make a trip to the Trestle Bike Park, you’ll want to explore the surrounding area as well. Fraser Valley offers another 600 miles of epic terrain that will test even the best riders. Like everything else in the state, Colorado mountain bike trails offer breathtaking views combined with rugged, adrenaline-pumping fun.
3. Angel Fire Bike Park at Angel Fire Resort, New Mexico
Number of trails: 32
Bike park vertical: 2,077 ft
Although its New Mexico location may have you thinking about arid deserts painted with red sandstone, Angel Fire Resort’s heavily forested setting will quickly change your mind. Located near the resort town of Taos, New Mexico, Angel Fire’s bike park is a must-see for riders who enjoy everything from epic jump lines to North-Shore-style trails.
Though the terrain is served by just one lift, Angel Fire mountain biking is comprised of more than 60 miles of trails descending over 2,000 vertical feet. You’ll also find a great distribution of beginner, intermediate, and expert level trails catering to every type of rider. As the largest bike park in the Rocky Mountains, Angel Fire is consistently ranked as one of the top mountain biking destinations in the USA.
4. Evolution Bike Park at Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Colorado
Number of trails: 29
Bike park vertical: 975 ft
Founded in 2009, Evolution Bike Park at Crested Butte Mountain Resort has grown rapidly ever since. Unlike many other resorts with summertime mountain biking options, mountain biking at Crested Butte is known for its wide variety of downhill and cross-country trails. Many of the trails connect to form a network that can be explored for days without seeing the same turn twice.
Crested Butte mountain bike trails treat riders to perfect singletrack riding accompanied by amazing views of huge mountains and lush aspen groves. Check out the nearby Hartman Rocks trail system for more cross country fun.
5. Killington Bike Park at Killington Resort, Vermont
Number of trails: 35
Bike park vertical: 2,200 ft
Though most of the top mountain biking destinations are scattered throughout the western part of North America, Killington Bike Park at Killington Resort in Vermont is well worth a road trip. With three lifts serving more than 30 miles of trail, Killington has become a favorite destination for many New England and East Coast riders.
The resort is broken up into three sections, each designed with a different skill set in mind:
- Snowshed has beginner to intermediate trails that are designed to help build skills and confidence while still allowing riders to push their limits.
- Ramshead is a playground for intermediate and advanced riders, featuring some of the resort’s best freeride trails sure to get your adrenaline pumping.
- Killington Peak offers some of the best mountain biking in Vermont, quickly becoming a staple of northeast mountain biking. Take a chance on something new by heading to Killington for your next biking adventure, you may just find your new favorite mountain.
As mountain biking continues to grow in popularity, riders can now choose from a number of phenomenal mountain biking destinations. From coast to coast, mountain bike parks are popping up with more and more regularity as resorts try to cash in on the growing sport. Use this list of top mountain bike parks for access to the best mountain biking trails in North America to make your next summer trip one to remember.