Single-track downhill mountain bike descents open up the throttles this summer at several resorts across the West. New skills features, flow updates to old trails and steep-pitched downhill rippers should be on your list for must-rides this summer. Lift access makes the uphill part a cinch.
1. Mt. Bachelor, OR
Mt. Bachelor Resort has one of the newest mountain bike parks in the West. Excavated single-track enduro and downhill trails now flank the Oregon volcano with intermediate and expert trails descending from Pine Marten Lift. This summer adds on Sunshine Accelerator Lift to haul families and beginners up to descend on the new 7 percent grade First Timer Line. Mountain bike instruction and camps have been added, too. With expansion continuing this summer, new features are appearing in the skills park, and more trail miles are dishing up new challenges. Coming online in August, the double black diamond Rockfall Trail is sure to draw expert thrillseekers for its 20 percent average slope, lava rock and natural jumps. There’s no skirting the mandatory technical features right under Pine Marten Lift, so pressure will be on to nail the drops.
2. Whistler, BC
Mountain bikers can now ride old mountain biking icons with spruced up lines at Whistler in North America’s biggest mountain bike park. Crank It Up Trail got a thorough freeride resculpting, and A-Line acquired multiple approaches to its black diamond features, which allow riders to up the skills ante. In addition, the new Crank It Up More will give riders a step up to more challenges after mastering the original Crank It Up. With an eye toward aiding newcomers to mountain biking, Bike park guides now hang out at the top of the Fitzsimmons Chair to provide complimentary trail orientation sessions. They can send you down a trail appropriate for your skill level where you won’t unwittingly huck yourself off a monster jump.