Now that summer is in full swing, it’s time to get back on the slopes and hurtle downhill as fast as you can. Just forget your board or skis this time of year and be sure to bring thick pads, helmet and a burly mountain bike with you instead. Since the early days of downhill racing on Repack Road in the 70s in Marin County, California, mountain bike technology has come a long way and ski resorts around the world have built up an amazing infrastructure to try to capture this warm-weather adventure market. If you want to see the best trails and latest innovations that ski resorts have to offer, you need to head to one of these 5 mountains immediately!

Whistler Mountain Bike Park in Whistler, British Columbia is renowned for having some of the best trails and most unique features in North America. They have 200km of well-maintained trails for all experience levels so that first-timers can have as much fun as experts, and guides are available too. With a full array of weekly events for all types of riders, plus the annual Crankworx freeride festival for 10 days in August, Whistler continues to lead the industry with an amazing park. Just watch out for black bears on the trails!

Trails are set up throughout the woods at the mountain bike park in Whistler, BC

 

Bike Snowmass has spent the past several years playing catch-up to Whistler, but by continuing to add high-quality new downhill trails they are now the envy of Colorado. Valhalla – their latest and greatest trail built by industry-leading designers Gravity Logic, with 1,400 feet of vertical drop over 2.5 miles – just opened a few weeks ago (see picture) bringing Bike Snowmass to over 50 miles of singletrack, cross-country, freeride and downhill terrain. Beginners can take the Elk Camp Gondola halfway up the mountain and experts can continue to the top on the Elk Camp Chairlift for full vertical droppage. If you want to try everything from table tops, wall rides, and drop zones to fruit bowls and rainbows, then head to Valhalla to help break it in during its first season at Bike Snowmass!

Wooden planks are used to create fun trail elements at Bike Snowmass.

 

Mont-Sainte-Anne, located just outside Quebec City, offers the best mountain biking in eastern Canada. Their cross-country network boasts 125 km of trails and 40 km of downhill trails, not to mention a pumptrack for some fun at the base. The highlight of the summer is when Vélirium 2012 takes over Mont-Sainte-Anne June 20 to July 8 for three weekends of bike action, including the UCI World Cup Downhill and Cross Country and the Canadian Downhill Championships.

 

Mountain biker rides across a narrow bridge at Mont Sainte Anne

 

Angel Fire Bike Park in New Mexico is bursting onto the scene like a real contender this season. They are working to DOUBLE the size of their network from 30 miles 15 months ago to 60 miles by the end of this season, with their newest trails focused on appealing to intermediate and beginner riders. They are jumping to the top tier of bike destinations with all of their building over the past 18 months, and they also boast the longest season in the Rockies with trails open May to October.

 

Mountain biker blazes the trails at Angel Fire in New Mexico

  

Killington Resort in Vermont is not only the East Coast’s largest ski resort, it is also the biggest downhill biking destination in the East. Killington offers 45 miles of trails, a 1,700 foot vertical drop and everything from cross-country single track to steep downhill rides. Best of all their Kona Mountain Bike Park is “Groove Approved.”

Mountain bikers race down the trails at Killington, Vermont.

 

Finally, if you can’t get to one of these premier downhill mountain bike resorts this summer, check your local mountains and bike parks to see what they have to offer: you just might be surprised. From Northstar in California to Plattekill Mountain in the Catskills of New York, resorts are building crazy trails you have to see to believe and targeting bikers to get you up on the mountain long after the snow has melted.

Share this:
http://bit.ly/1aSyqXv
Enjoyed this post?
Sub-Categories Climb / Guides / North America / Summer / Travel
Tags
  • Debaser

    Snowmass? They have trails? Have you even been to Colorado to ride?

  • Xtralrg603

    what about wp stupid

  • Xtralrg603

    REALLY?? no W.P. ??they also host crankworx. probably one of if not the biggest downhill courses in U.S. and you don’t mention them???? F U OTTO

  • AKrider

    Try being constructive with your criticism. You can help the discussion by getting more info out there. What do you like about WP? I ride in Alaska at Alyeska resort. Super steep, rough trails but will be getting better every year. It is only the start of the second season and the place is awesome.

  • Ml242

    loving it.

  • Dcrobinsonpc

    Really, no Park City? Canyons? Deer Valley. The ONLY Gold Medal mountain bike community in the country. What about Moab? Mid Mountain Trail? White Rim? Where do you live?

  • Joshlaura

    No mention of Mammoth either or any California resorts? Mammoth alone has over 80 miles of single track. And with several trails boasting a vertical drop of 3,100 feet starting at an elevation of 11,053 i doubt many people will ever bring their bikes any higher. Angle Fire? maybe when there done building. Be honest you just looking for a representative from each region ’cause this is not really a top five in North America.

  • Trailboss_6

    This isn’t easy to put together except for #1 but I respectfully submit Highland Mountain Bike Park in Northfield, NH. 600′ vert of new school wildness plus crazy dirt jumps, a slopestyle course, and an indoor park with a foam pit. Check ‘em out on your NWD boxset.

  • Blaster

    Snowmass is supersick…Valhalla I am coming!

  • AKBikeski

    Check out Alyeska Resort Bike Park in Girdwood, Alaska!!!

  • dirtcoach

    Snowmass Really? Raced there 2 years ago think there was like 3 trails only 1 was barley DH suitable.

  • ryguyten

    I agree. Very bizarre the pick for CO is Snowmass. I have covered the Downhill spots in CO including Snowmass. I would definitely not put Snowmass at the top, even with the improvements there. Keystone and WP are the top, Keystone being my favorite.

  • your mom

    HIGHLANDS

  • SK Racing

    I have ridden DH at over 58 destinations in N America. I don’t act like I know all…but Whistler and Highland have everyone beat. Honorable mentions would be Jackson Hole, The Canyons in UT, and Mammoth of course.

  • http://www.facebook.com/danya.anderson Danya Anderson

    i dunno what you’re smoking otto but this list is bullshit

  • 970Biking

    As soon as I saw Snowmass in there I knew the article was bunk. A better name would have been, “5 North American Bike Parks I Googled”

  • OutdoorPRDiva

    No mention of Trestle Bike Park in Winter Park. Huge error in my opinion.

  • Joel Alamo

    Wow someone who clearly doesn’t know dick about downhill mountain biking… Snowmass? Really, dude? You must be smoking something. Winter Park is the best resort in Colorado hands down. Jump trails, Best wooden features of any resort on this list, plus the best maintained trails. Plus the sickest slopestyle trail on the planet coming this year. Don’t forget the Colorado Freeride Fest. Snowmass…. ha!

  • Tony

    Trestle should be a shoe in for #2.

  • howiedeze

    Whistler is the DH Mecca, Trestle/Winter Park is the Whistler of Colorado, ’nuff said..!!

  • Jackson420

    You forgot Keystone and Winter Park, and mention Snowmass? You must not actually ride in Colorado. For downhill riding Keystone is hands down the most dedicated in ‘Rado and they have more technical trails and feature lines than any other resort in the state. Saying Snowmass is the “envy of Colorado” isn’t accurate.

  • Trenton

    Right on about Angel Fire, definitely one of the best in the region, but this article not well written, by someone who obviously doesn’t ride much in Colorado, and in the Rockies. Mentioning Snowmass and not Keystone and Winter Park shows the author’s lack of knowledge of the truly dedicated DH parks in Colorado.

  • ATR PHOTOGRAPHY

    Keystone! Everyone who rides in the SW knows this is hands down the best DH resort in the region.

  • muz

    did you get paid by Snowmass? Winter Park and Keystone are so much better

  • Pingback: Successful Family Hiking | Liftopia Blog