The Five Best U.S. Bike ParksA little lift-access riding is good for legs weary from a long season of pedaling. And autumn, with its stretches of high pressure and changing foliage, is one of the best times of year to hit the bike park—though you’ll have to hurry as most mountains switch to winter operations in early to mid-October. Here are our five favorite spots.
5. Killington Bike Park, Killington, VermontThere are few bigger and better parks on the east coast than Killington, which has 45 miles of trail stretched over five mountains. Runs are rocky, rooted, and often slippery affairs relative to the riding out West. The park is open Friday through Sunday during September, then daily from October 4 until season close ten days later on the 14th.
4. Bootleg Canyon, Boulder City, NevadaTruck shuttles stand in for chairlifts at this decidedly low-key venue 30 minutes from Las Vegas. And while that might sound downbeat, the trails are anything but underwhelming. Miles of chunky XC singletrack stretch over the peak to the north and west, while precipitous, craggy chutes cut the mountain’s sheer eastern flank. And unlike most of the parks in North America, Bootleg is open year-round, with the best riding fall through winter.
3. Trestle Bike Park, Winter Park, ColoradoConstructed by Gravity Logic, the same trail-building crew responsible for the world’s best park, Whistler Bike Park, Trestle has some of the premier purpose-built trails in the country. From flow-style blue cruisers to tons of wood ramps and bridges, the resort continues to add dozens of miles of trail each year. The only real drawback is the short season, dictated by the 9,000-foot elevation, which runs from mid-June through mid- to late September.
2. Angel Fire Bike Park, Angel Fire, New MexicoThis northern New Mexico resort has offered lift-serve riding for over a decade, and, as such, it has adapted older fire roads and trails to the cause. There’s still lots of purpose-built riding, including some flow trails and some wood features, but a large portion of the trails are tighter, more natural lines with rocky stretches and techy lines. There are over 60 miles of trail and 2,000 feet of vertical, with expansion taking place every season, which makes Angel Fire the largest park in the Rocky Mountains. And thanks to the southwest setting, the snow often falls later and riding can stay open through October.
1. Mammoth Mountain Bike Park, Mammoth, CaliforniaThis behemoth resort on the eastern flank of the Sierra lives up to its name, with some 80 miles of trail and 2,800 feet of vertical drop. It’s almost exclusively purpose-built trails, with lots of berms, racecourses (with timed events weekly), wood features, and a terrain park. Not only does DH world champ Aaron Gwin train here, but the mountain is home to one of the longest-running downhill events in the country, the Kamikaze Games. The season runs till the end of September.
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