Well, winter has officially ended. Snow is melting, lifts sit at a standstill, skis and snowboards begin to find the corners of closets. It’s all downhill from here … and in no way is that depressing.
Wait, what? Three words: Keystone Bike Park.
On Friday, June 12, Keystone’s lifts will begin to spin again, providing lift-serviced access to 100 miles of singletrack mountain biking terrain. Sorry powder hounds, but dirt reigns king come summer.
Named the third-best mountain bike park in the Rocky Mountains by the MTBparks.com 2014 riders choice awards, adrenaline seekers know that the Keystone Bike Park is trail-for-trail one of the best around. With 55 downhill trails offering progressive terrain, riders of all ability levels can experience the heart-pumping thrill of charging down Dercum Mountain.
Expert riders come for the rock gardens, drops, high speed features and the Drop Zone, an expert-only terrain park consisting of a series of ridgeline drops transformed into free falls. For non-expert riders (present company included) fear not less, because we’ve got you covered. A variety of clinics and lessons are available and will have you cruising the mountain in no-time, enjoying Keystone’s improved beginner and intermediate terrain.
The Bike 101 First Timers package is the ideal way to learn how to navigate the mountain via two wheels. You’ll ride away having learned the proper mountain biking technique while becoming more familiarized with the equipment and downhill mountain biking protocols. The Bike 201 Bumps and Bends package is the perfect way to further enhance riding skills and become more comfortable with navigating sharp corners and riding on loose dirt. Most importantly, these packages not only include instruction, but also bike rental, protective gear and a bike haul pass. Keystone’s Bike Park staff is friendly, encouraging and intimately familiar with the mountain’s terrain. Plus, they remember being beginners, and lesson programs are designed to grow skill level and confidence.
If you have some family, friends or like-minded people you’re looking to try downhill mountain biking with, a private clinic is the way to go. Accommodating up to four people, our professional mountain biking instructors will provide you with instant feedback and personal attention. Private clinics are available in two-, four- and six-hour intervals and are recommended for a minimum age of 10 years and older.
Ladies, Wednesday is your day! Every Wednesday the Keystone Bike Park offers a Women’s Wednesday Mountain Bike Clinic, where a coach from the VIDA MTB Series leads a guided tour down the mountain and provides a great way for women to shred the mountain together. This clinic includes a bike haul pass, bike rental and protective gear, as well as new like-minded friends that are ready for adventure!
Family, friends, bachelor or bachelorette parties – however you decide to roll, Keystone Bike Park’s clinics and lessons have you covered. And it’s not all rock gardens and gravity-defying features, Keystone Bike Park’s beginner trails consist of open and forested areas with some rocks and roots, while intermediate trails contain some steeper grades, larger rocks and roots and some features.
A recent addition favored by all skill levels is the Keystone Skills Park. Featuring beginner, intermediate and expert jump trail lines, the skills park consists of logs, rocks, rollers and a pump track – a new addition for 2015. This free feature is open to the public with no bike haul pass required, and provides the perfect area to warm up, fine tune, and learn some new skills.
The Keystone Bike Park’s dedicated trail crew – solely responsible for trail maintenance and upgrades, have completed a variety of upgrades and improvements to numerous trails. Riders will find plenty of new berms, jumps and features throughout the Park. A few signature additions include a natural wood log feature to the expert trail Cowboy Up, a wall ride feature to the expert trail Paid In Full, a rhythm section to the intermediate trail Mosquito Coast, and a new flow trail with rollers and berms that is designed for all ages and abilities, built on the beginner trail Girl Scouts. Additionally, even more new builds will be continued throughout the summer, including a planned remodel on the expert trail TNT and the beginning stages of construction for an entirely new trail.
Bike and full downhill gear rentals are conveniently available at Keystone Sports locations in our River Run Village. Keystone Bike Park Season Passes begin at just $159, with a variety of options available including Vail Resort’s FreeRide pass, offering unlimited riding in Colorado, Utah and California. Passes may be purchased by calling (800) 842-8062.
Snow, are you even missing it at this point? Let’s ride!