Seven Favorite Mountain Bike Trails - KUHL Clothing top downhill trails

Seven of our (Many) Favorite North American Mountain Bike Parks

Cycling
on
May 19, 2019

It didn’t seem like long ago when ski resorts balked at allowing snowboarders on their lifts, let alone welcomed mountain bikers during the summer. But in the past two decades, they’ve certainly caught up. Now, there are dozens of dedicated mountain bike trails and terrain at destination mountain resorts and parks dedicated exclusively to fat tire fun.

These parks feature pro-class trails, but most are beginner-friendly. If fairly new to mountain biking, MTB parks are ideal places to learn. Not only can you rent dual-suspension bikes and, at some parks, protective equipment, but you can take advantage of private or group lessons.

We’ve combined stories from staff, friends, and customers with numerous reviews and ratings. We chose from the best in each general North American region to create this list.

1. Angel Fire Resort Bike Park, Angel Fire, NM

Move over, Moab. New Mexico’s got more than one claim to mountain biking fame. Consistently acclaimed as the top bike park in the Southern Rockies and the entire Southwest, Angel Fire Bike Park is as dedicated to its summer riders as it is to its ski season guests. Remember Stefon from SNL? We’re channeling him now: This place has everything. Chunks, jumps, singletracks, flows. You get the picture.

A community-maintained Greenbelt cross-country trail system and Carson National Forest’s South Boundary Trail offer amazing cross-country rides if you want to enjoy the views of the Sangre de Cristo range at a slower pace.

  • Vertical drop: 2,000′
  • Lift-serviced trails: 60+ miles
  • Must-Go Event: Return of the Burner, June 22, 2019. Back in 2008, Angel Fire Resort co-hosted the Red Bull Burner 12-hour downhill endurance event. This year, it’s back with 11 team and solo categories for everyone from kids to pros.

2. Deer Valley Resort Bike Park, Park City, UT

In years past, Deer Valley Resort Bike Park has been a haven for more experienced and pro-level MTBrs, but that’s changing. Over the last couple years the resort has been busy broadening its appeal by bringing in Gravity Logic to create new novice and intermediate trails. The two-mile-long Tidal Wave is one of them, with table-top jumps, berms, and banked curves.

We don’t think there are any other mountain bike parks with so many accessible trails beyond its borders than Deer Valley which boasts as many as 400 miles of single-track and multi-use bliss. Plan accordingly, and check in with your mom at least once a month while you’re out there.

  • Vertical drop: 2,200′
  • Lift-serviced trails: 70 +/- miles
  • Must-go event: Not an event-heavy park, but they do have their Twilight Series four-hour evening trail sessions on Tuesdays, July 2 through August 27, and a diverse weekend concert lineup at the resort’s amphitheater.

3. Killington Mountain Resort Bike Park, VT

If you’re in the Northeast, you’ve heard of Killington Bike Park. But if you haven’t been since 2017, you definitely need to check out their ongoing expansion, new upgrades, tours, camps, and rental packages. The resort has organized its bike park into three skill-oriented sections with beginner, intermediate, and advanced terrain. If you need to pace yourself, you can rent electric mountain bikes for a bit of a boost. Killington is determined to break the spell of Western U.S. parks and make destination MTBrs head to the Northeast. By tapping into the Gravity Logic team’s trail design ingenuity, it’s entirely possible.

  • Vertical drop: 2,000′
  • Lift-serviced trails: 30 miles and growing
  • Must-go event: Vermont Bike & Brew. Check the resort website for exact dates. The annual family-friendly festival kicks of Killington’s biking season in mid-June.

4. Mammoth Mountain Bike Park, Mammoth CA

This behemoth Alpine bike park – the biggest in the U.S. – hits all the high notes in natural and man-made terrain. Choose from one of two areas: Discovery for beginners, and Adventure for intermediate, advanced, and pro-level MTBrs. This park is the place to go if you want the best instruction at every level, and there are miles of cross-country trails to round out your trip. Mammoth Mountain Bike Park is now open to class 1 pedal-assisted e-bikes. Need more help getting on the mountain? Let this essay and accompanying photos motivate you to plan your trip.

  • Vertical drop: 3,100′
  • Lift-serviced trails: 80 miles
  • Must-go event: Your very first trip down the Skid Marks trail. Sadly, the world-renown, long-running Kamikaze Bike Games retired in 2018.

5. Trestle Bike Park, Winter Park, CO

We’re a little biased toward the Rockies, but you can’t leave Colorado off the list. Trestle Bike Park truly represents the best the state has to offer, and the bar is high. Among the pioneering lift-assisted parks built for MTB sports, Trestle continues to grow and innovate. You’ll find every type of terrain here, including a gut-wrenching slope style run (Banana Peel) set aside for pros or park-qualified amateurs. There’s an extra fee for that run, presumably to cover the cost of professional biohazard cleanup services. For the rest of us, there are guides and instructors to help us level up our skills, and this Live Like Pete blog post for encouragement.

  • Vertical drop: 1,700′
  • Lift-serviced trails: 40+ miles
  • Must-go event: The Colorado Freeride Festival, the largest in the U.S., is sadly another big shindig that’s currently on hiatus, but the end of June and Labor Day weekend two-part Trestle Gravity Series of pro and amateur races will keep you busy until the festival returns. And we sure hope it does.

6. Whistler Mountain Bike Park, Whistler/Blackcomb, BC

We’re proud to be Americans here at KÜHL, but Whistler’s year-round, world class adventure sports attractions have tempted some of us to sneak peeks at Canada’s immigration policies. Whistler Mountain Bike Park is divided into four main zones based on elevation and terrain difficulty. Creekside is the latest, covering almost an entire side from peak to base. We’ll let Whistler’s detailed mountain bike park trail maps speak for themselves.

You’ll find terrain parks and trails covering everything from easy coasts to pants-peeing cliff jumps, so bring extra shorts. You’ve seen the name Gravity Logic once or twice in this post, right? It’s the Whistler bike park build that rocketed them to fame among flow trail designers and developers. Need visuals? Stick this Loam Ranger video in your eye. Watch it and you’ll either be utterly petrified or packing for your trip.

  • Vertical drop: 4,946′
  • Lift-serviced trails: 60+ (Our scout’s last report while conducting our independent recon; we suspect she defected.)
  • Must-Go Event: Crankworx Whistler Festival, August 9-18. This international mountain bike festival circuit was born here in 2004, and it’s still the biggest and best stop on the tour. Multi-discipline competitions for all skill levels, races and interactive programs and races for kids, and plenty of demos.

7. Windrock Bike Park, Oliver Springs, TN

Windrock Bike Park’s sparse website is as mysterious as Tennessee’s foggy Cumberland mountains. Perhaps owner/operator and pro downhill mountain biker Neko Mulalley doesn’t want to spend his time convincing soccer moms that no, Junior shouldn’t break in his budget-brand bike on these highly-technical, hair-raising trails.

Windrock is a year-round practice and qualifying ground for the most elite hardcore competitors. As much as the pros love the exclusive challenge of battling Tennessee’s iconic rocky, wooded terrain, rumor has it that Mulalley and Co. have been working on new trails for riders lacking a death wish.

  • Vertical drop: 2,150′
  • Shuttle/self serviced trails: 9 trails and counting
  • Must-Go Event: Windrock hosts national state and regional races (usually in late winter and early Spring) and Neko may repeat his Birthday Lap Jam in February next year.

What are Your Top  Favorite Bike Parks?

It’s tough to choose, given all the varied geology, topography, and green stuff on our lovely continent. Want to share your faves? Hit us up on Instagram or Facebook. Since we’re busy working on our latest outdoor and adventure clothing, we’ll spend much of our summer living vicariously through you. But the rest of the time? We’ll be busy field-testing our products. Quality control is a tough job, and we take it very, very seriously.

Featured image by Andhika Soreng.

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