It’s the time of year when lifts are running again and mountain resort trails are in heavy use. But of course, in summer, it’s not about snow.
While the excellent mountain biking available in Park City isn’t exactly a secret, a lot more folks should know about and enjoy the lift-served variety. All three world class resorts in PC offer this treat, and it’s a lot easier to ride your fat-tired bike all day when you don’t have to worry about pumping your pedals uphill. In fact, PC is now the first mountain bike area ever given a Gold rating by the International Mountain Bicycling Association.
There’s a wide variety of terrain from which to choose. Test your daring on single track; which are trails where there’s usually only room for one rider at a time on these trails. Take a tough downhill. Or, if you’re a novice, take one of the easy trails that are also great for families. If it’s a hot day, select a shady trail that goes through the trees. You can pull off the trail anywhere to sit and enjoy the bucolic surroundings of nature, which many folks miss out on during the high speed snowriding of winter.
Park City Mountain Resort was the first to open, with both PayDay and Town Life now ready for riders. Crescent Lift will open June 21, giving PCMR three lifts for bikers (or hikers). PCMR certainly is stepping up the competition between the three resorts, with more trails available every season.
A single lift ride at PCMR is $12, an all day lift pass is $21, and a season pass is just $70. For more information, check out their web site: http://www.parkcitymountain.com/site/summer/activities/mountain-biking-and-hiking
Canyons opens for mountain biking June 12. The resort has added yet another trail to its extensive Bike Park, which allows all riders, including both beginners and experts, to test their skills on a plethora of easy-to-expert BMX-style features, including wooden berms and bridges, small jumps and drop offs for beginners and big jumps with gaps for experts.
A full day lift pass is $32, which includes access to Red Pine Gondola, High Meadow and Short Cut lifts. A season pass is $269, and is also good at four other resorts: Keystone, Kirkwood, Northstar California and Vail.
For hours and other information, go to: http://www.canyonsresort.com/gravitybikepark.html
Deer Valley has been famous for its lift-served biking for decades, and as always, DV is known for the service it offers customers. Even if you’re dusty from the ride, the resort’s excellent restaurants will make you welcome and feed you well. DV opens for mountain biking on June 13.
The resort will offer three lifts for mountain biking; Silver Lake Express, Sterling Express and Ruby Express. DV’s trails also offer access to the wide network of other mountain biking trails in Park City—a total of 400 miles of trails!
If you or a member of your party gets tired, DV will allow you to download and take the lift to the base area. A single adult lift ride costs $29, a full day pass is $40, and a summer season pass is $400.
To find out more, go to: http://www.deervalley.com/WhatToDo/Summer/MountainBiking
Don’t have your own bike, or don’t have it with you? Not to worry, all three resorts offer a great selection of rentals. In fact, if your own bike is more than 10 years old, you might think about getting a new one, because mountain bikes have improved their technology.
Previously, mountain bikes came with 26-inch wheels, but the relatively new 29-inch wheel is growing in popularity. The 29″ wheel has a wider rim, and the extra rubber makes it heavier, but the bigger wheels are more secure when riding over obstacles because they have a bigger road ‘grip’ area.
The 29-er is a good choice for taller riders because of its extra stability. However, you can’t just stick one of these larger wheels on a 26-inch frame. Both bike frames and suspension systems are designed for a specific wheel size, so it’s good to try a demo ride to check out one with a larger wheel and full suspension (The resorts will let you change your bike rental if wished).
In fact, planning a summer day of lift-served riding on the same mountains you snow ride in winter is a great way to check out new bike technology and improve your trail skills at the same time.