Mountain Biking at Ski Resorts – Snow Skiing

June 8, 2006 by  
Filed under features

Ski resorts are not just for skiers, anymore. Many now provide bicyclists with great summertime fun.

During the last 10 years, this trend has blossomed. According to the IMBA (International Mountain Biking Association), over 170 North American ski resorts now provide mountain-biking options. This number should continue to grow – ski resorts are seeing the opportunity for summer revenue, and many bicyclists now visit these new mountain trails.

Ski resorts are a natural choice for summer biking. They already have road access, gear shops and restaurants. They have beautiful scenery. Their dirt maintenance roads can become easy trails for beginners. Their open ski runs, once free of snow, are perfect terrain for constructing single-track biking trails.

Many ski resorts have gone a step further – for a fee, they whisk bikers and their bikes to the upper slopes, using ski lifts or gondolas. For many bikers, this is far preferable to slowly pedaling uphill on their own. It’s particularly appreciated by beginners, users of heavier full-suspension mountain bikes, and bikers that want to maximize their time spent riding downhill.

These new resorts may also offer bike rentals, lessons, guided tours, color-coded trail maps, easy loops around the flat base areas, and obstacle-strewn “terrain parks”. Some areas, such as Whistler-Blackcomb, British Columbia, also put on biking competitions and festivals.

A sampler of these new bike-resorts includes:

  • Whistler-Blackcomb, British Columbia;
  • Vail, Colorado;
  • Mount Snow, Vermont;
  • Deer Valley, Utah;
  • Mammoth Mountain, California.
  • Crystal Mountain, Washington.