The Best Summer Getaways: Lift-Accessed Mountain Biking

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Downhill mountain biking    Photo: Marcel Jancovic

With more ski areas embracing the idea of intermediate flow trails, the options keep getting better. A number of mountains have recently expanded their offerings. Colorado’s Winter Park Resort has had chairlift-assisted mountain biking for more than 20 years, but over the past five it has invested close to $1 million in its new Trestle Bike Park. There are now three chairlifts, which shuttle bikers 1,800 vertical feet to the mountain’s 10,800-foot peak. At the top are some 30 trails to choose from. New offerings include the Lower Long Trail, a recently rebuilt 1.5-mile intermediate affair with excavated jumps and smooth wooden ramps. The resort’s bike-rental and demo facility has an impressive fleet, with Specialized, Trek, Giant, Santa Cruz, and Scott rides. Half-day package, including lift ticket, rental, and protective gear, $99; full-day pass, $39.

This June, Stevens Pass in Skykomish, Washington, also unveils a four-trail mountain bike park. A high-speed quad chairlift will carry bikers up 800 vertical feet to the head of the trails, which access moderate to advanced terrain (think lots of jumps and sharp turns). Don’t miss the new two-mile Rock Crusher trail. Rent a Trek bike and grab a coffee at the resort’s new on-site bike shop and café. Rentals from $100; day passes from $30.

North Carolina’s Beech Mountain Resort plans to launch a brand-new program in late July with a high-speed quad chairlift that will access to the mountain’s 5,506-foot summit. From there, pick from a new series of beginner and intermediate trails covering 830 vertical feet and offering rock gardens, jumps, berms, and wooded sections. Check for updates and day-pass prices; Raleigh and Diamond Back rentals, from $25 per day at nearby Cycle 4 Life Bike Shop.

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