On Tuesday mudhunny and I drove out to Winter Park, CO to ride the lift-serviced mountain bike trails and we had an incredible time. Admittedly we’re both cross-country riders and although we had ridden trails at Keystone and Northstar, the trails at Winter Park’s Trestle Mountain Bike Park gave us a whole new appreciation for the thrill of downhill mountain biking.
We arrived at the resort around 9am and were one of the first groups through the rental shop that morning. The Trestle Bike Park Shop has an incredible fleet of downhill rental bikes where it looked like most of the bikes were brand new for the season. Riders can choose from a standard rental package featuring Kona Stinky and Minxy bikes or the demo package which includes Scott Gambler and Voltage bikes, Specialized Demo 8 IIs, Kona Coilair Deluxes, and even bikes from Norco, Yeti, and Cove. Mudhunny went with a women’s specific model from Norco while I chose the Specialized Demo 8 II which came highly recommended. The cool thing about the demo package is that you can swap bikes between runs to see which one you like best!
The Trestle Bike Park Shop also rents out helmet cameras (VHoldR Contours if you’re curious) and they can even set you up with gloves and goggles if you need them. Just be sure to check out your bike before you leave the shop – I’m 6’3″ and somehow I ended up with a medium frame that felt a bit uncomfortable. Also ask the bike techs to check sag for you and get instruction on suspension settings if you’re unfamiliar.
By far the best deal on the mountain is to start out with the Trestle 101 DH Biking package, even if you *think* you know what you’re doing. Mudhunny and I have been mountain biking for about 15 years and have ridden lift-serviced terrain before but we ended up learning a TON through the 101 course. For $69 (weekdays) you get a rental bike, a lift ticket, full body armor, and a 2.5 hour lesson from one of the bike park guides. The level of instruction is amazing and I highly recommend the Trestle 101 package for anyone who doesn’t own a true DH bike already. Anyway, more on the class itself in an upcoming post…
The Trails @ Winter Park
Trestle Mountain Bike Park features 33 miles of lift-serviced downhill trails and there are another 600+ miles of cross-country bike trails in the area (yep, that’s not a typo). On Tuesday all the DH trails were officially open and the ones we rode were in great shape – dry, hard packed, and fast! Like most bike parks, Trestle rates DH trails from beginner to advanced and there is literally something for every skill level. Jumps, berms, wooden features, ramps, rocks – you name it, they have it. At the end of July the Crankworx festival is hitting Winter Park and just seeing some of the sick jumps that will be set up for the pros got my heart racing.
The weather was beautiful on Tuesday with highs in the lower 70s and Colorado blue skies. We never had to wait in line for a lift to the top and on the mountain we typically had the trail to ourselves (thanks to the miles and miles of trail to choose from). By the end of the day I felt confident enough to hit The Boulevard, a black diamond rated DH track that featured big, sloping bermed turns and medium sized ramps and jumps. I got some decent video footage on the trail as well – check back for an update with vids early next week.
At the base of the mountain the facilities are top-notch with plenty to do for the family. Parking is free and there are several restaurants and snack stands to choose from in the village area.
If you’re anywhere near Colorado this summer, Winter Park is definitely the place to go for downhill mountain biking, no matter if you’re a beginner or a pro. With festivals like Crankworx on tap and a popular summer race series, you’ll always find good times and good company at Trestle Bike Park. Mudhunny and I had such a good time we think they should change the name from Winter Park to Summer Park!
Thanks to the folks at Winter Park and Trestle Bike Park for showing us such a great time and teaching us the ins and outs of DH mountain biking.