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  1. #1
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    Basic Resort Riding Info

    I don't want this to sound like one of those vague "I'm new/visiting, tell me where to ride" threads… However, I am relatively new to the area and am curious about the riding available at the resorts. I'm not looking for anything real specific, just general info about what the different places offer. Which are all about DH? Do some have good XC/AM trails? Any places that really are or aren't worth the cost/drive?

    Sorry if this is a repeat, but I've searched around and really only found questions about one place vs. another, where to take a wife/kid, etc. I haven't found anything more comprehensive. If this has already been done set me straight with a link to the appropriate thread.

    Thanks for any info!

  2. #2
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    Resort Towns

    Well where are you staying Denver ?

    That places you about 90 miles from Keystone,Winter Park about 100 from Copper Mtn 110from Vail.

    Both Keystone and Winterpark more xc and trails at WP also Sol Vista is close.

    Prices are in the high $30's for a day pass. a over a $100 for a bike and gear.

    With the family unit wife and rugrats you will enjoy WP more more simple rides trails and other activities in the area Lake Grandby, Rocky Mountain NP.

    Thanks for visiting and leep asking questions.

  3. #3
    boxcar
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    My opinion on the major resorts is: Keystone and Vail tend to be steep, rough, more tech, with more of a big mountain feel. They both have a good combination of steeper trails, jumps and drops. Winter Park has a ton of flow by and large, smoother more maintained trails and a ton of jumps and features, but find it more "pedally" than the others, especially with linking trails. Sol Vista has smooth rippers, chunky trail, and good jumps, and you can do a ton of runs in a day as it is a smaller mountain.

    This is a loose description of how I view the different resorts. I am stoked to be at any of them on any given day. I am content with the prices.

  4. #4
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    How's about narrowing the scope of your question down a bit? You're asking us to describe ALL aspects of each resort town, or at least highlight the most prominent aspect of each resort offering riding? That's a lot of typing!

    Edit: Okay...I'm lazy

    I'm a WP/Trestle rat. It's an hour from Golden, if you're going up at 5 over and aren't a pvssy on the hairpins of the pass. I like mid to high spd flow where you can get a season out of one set of brake pads. Pick and choose where you take breaks, pump and carry your speed, and you can reduce your pedaling. You don't need an 8" bike, but I refer you back to carrying your speed and 8" being better than 6 at this. Scale of 1-10 on techy, Trestle is 6, but only because of the man-made features and if you want to run them clean. But any intermediate rider can roll everything minus 2 trails.

    And keep an eye on this thread: Winter Park XC
    Last edited by Pau11y; 07-18-2011 at 08:15 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bouncy_rig View Post
    Well where are you staying Denver ?

    I live in Boulder (yeah yeah....) so this query was really more curiosity to know what all is out there, rather than planning a trip to meet some specific parameters. Which is why previous threads about things like "which resort would be good for my non-biking wife?" weren't as useful to me. Especially since I don't have a wife to worry about at all just yet

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    You're asking us to describe ALL aspects of each resort town, or at least highlight the most prominent aspect of each resort offering riding? That's a lot of typing!
    Not at all!! Just generalities about the riding at any of the resorts you know about, just like you did (thanks btw!). I certainly don't expect people to type out a Chamber of Commerce worthy report on the towns themselves. I'm just looking for basic stuff like mtn.skratch and bouncy_rig said. You can only glean so much from the trail maps on their websites.

  7. #7
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    Winter Park is a blast! Its definitely my favorite park to hit up. Trestle is a pretty solid full on DH track and the rest of the trails have something to offer in their own, be it jumps, fun corners, drops, high speed... This is Joel Alamo and I riding Rainmaker and No Quarter http://www.pinkbike.com/video/206455/
    Transition, Shimano, DT Swiss, deity, Maxxis, Dakine, Demon Dirt, MRP, Oakley, VP, Honey Stinger, Grassroots Cycles

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by COTarHeel View Post
    I'm just looking for basic stuff like mtn.skratch and bouncy_rig said.
    Here's my take.

    Winter Park: Best beginner DH mountain. The trails there are mostly machine built and have great flow. They are really set up for learning--the jumps and drops are all built so you can't screw them up too badly, and there is good progression from really easy to moderately difficult. My only knock is their lack of expert terrain, although hopefully they will continue to expand here. Trestle DH is a good start--they just need 3 more trails like that.

    Keystone: Best freeride and "old school" DH in CO. Keystone has a lot more advanced terrain than WP. It's rockier, rootier and steeper, plus they have the most wooden bridges/drops/corkscrews etc in the state. You don't need a full on DH bike to ride there, but you will appreciate having it here more than you would at WP. The green and blue trails at Keystone are more like trail riding than the downhill/jump progression builders at WP, but they are still a blast to ride. Keystone gets knocked on the interweb because of their bumpy trails, but that's a plus in my book. What I don't like is their lack of dedicated bike tray chairs on the lifts like WP and SV--it makes loading more time consuming.

    Sol Vista: Best racer's mountain and best variety. I like the flow trails there (Silky Johnson and Tron) more than Shyanne at WP. The blacks are really good downhill trails (rocky and steep) but they also have good progression from the greens/blues (Moga Mile and Cheeze It) to help you get a feel for riding real (old school) DH if you're not experienced. Sol Vista is short (750 feet by my GPS) so you can ride the same trails a few times in a row. This is great because you can really dail in the trails. I've done more days at SV in the last few years than the other resorts and I never get bored despite the shorter mountain. Sol Vista has the best expert level jumps in the state, although I don't hit any of them so take that with a grain of salt. Edit: Hit Sol Vista on a day when there is a big DH race somewhere else--you'll have the trails to yourself.

    Angelfire NM: The best mountain in the Rockies. The trails there are the most aggressive out of all the other resorts and it is SO worth the drive down there. Supreme is like riding a pirate DH trail--scary steep and fast. World Cup is the only World Cup level DH trail in the rockies that is open to the public--it's a little of everything that's good in DH spread out over 2k feet of descending. Boogie/Pepper Spray is a tech rider's dream come true--it's the chunkiest trail I've ever seen. Candyland is their jump area and it has the biggest jumps of any resort, but unlike SV, they aren't gap jumps so you can come up short.

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    Thanks a lot kristian and everyone else for the info! All very helpful.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kristian View Post
    Here's my take.

    Winter Park: Best beginner DH mountain. The trails there are mostly machine built and have great flow. They are really set up for learning--the jumps and drops are all built so you can't screw them up too badly, and there is good progression from really easy to moderately difficult. My only knock is their lack of expert terrain, although hopefully they will continue to expand here. Trestle DH is a good start--they just need 3 more trails like that.

    Keystone: Best freeride and "old school" DH in CO. Keystone has a lot more advanced terrain than WP. It's rockier, rootier and steeper, plus they have the most wooden bridges/drops/corkscrews etc in the state. You don't need a full on DH bike to ride there, but you will appreciate having it here more than you would at WP. The green and blue trails at Keystone are more like trail riding than the downhill/jump progression builders at WP, but they are still a blast to ride. Keystone gets knocked on the interweb because of their bumpy trails, but that's a plus in my book. What I don't like is their lack of dedicated bike tray chairs on the lifts like WP and SV--it makes loading more time consuming.

    Sol Vista: Best racer's mountain and best variety. I like the flow trails there (Silky Johnson and Tron) more than Shyanne at WP. The blacks are really good downhill trails (rocky and steep) but they also have good progression from the greens/blues (Moga Mile and Cheeze It) to help you get a feel for riding real (old school) DH if you're not experienced. Sol Vista is short (750 feet by my GPS) so you can ride the same trails a few times in a row. This is great because you can really dail in the trails. I've done more days at SV in the last few years than the other resorts and I never get bored despite the shorter mountain. Sol Vista has the best expert level jumps in the state, although I don't hit any of them so take that with a grain of salt. Edit: Hit Sol Vista on a day when there is a big DH race somewhere else--you'll have the trails to yourself.

    Angelfire NM: The best mountain in the Rockies. The trails there are the most aggressive out of all the other resorts and it is SO worth the drive down there. Supreme is like riding a pirate DH trail--scary steep and fast. World Cup is the only World Cup level DH trail in the rockies that is open to the public--it's a little of everything that's good in DH spread out over 2k feet of descending. Boogie/Pepper Spray is a tech rider's dream come true--it's the chunkiest trail I've ever seen. Candyland is their jump area and it has the biggest jumps of any resort, but unlike SV, they aren't gap jumps so you can come up short.
    Heading out next month to ride Keystone for the first time...hoping all the Double Black and Drop Zone trails are open.
    any recommendations on NON-resort DH trails nearby? Staying in Dillon...have truck... will drive (within reason). Technical... flowy... jumps... etc.

    Thanks

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtn.skratch View Post
    My opinion on the major resorts is: Keystone and Vail tend to be steep, rough, more tech, with more of a big mountain feel. They both have a good combination of steeper trails, jumps and drops. Winter Park has a ton of flow by and large, smoother more maintained trails and a ton of jumps and features, but find it more "pedally" than the others, especially with linking trails. Sol Vista has smooth rippers, chunky trail, and good jumps, and you can do a ton of runs in a day as it is a smaller mountain.

    This is a loose description of how I view the different resorts. I am stoked to be at any of them on any given day. I am content with the prices.
    Have any more tips on Vail or Sol Vista? Heading to Keystone next month.

  12. #12
    boxcar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shuttle-Run View Post
    Have any more tips on Vail or Sol Vista? Heading to Keystone next month.
    You will like Keystone. Great dh'n! Easy to stay there for days too, dirtbaggin' it cuz there are so many nooks to crash out in. I usually stay in the lot and sleep in the truck...ride all day...repeat. Similar vibe in Granby(Sol Vista). Sol Vista has a ton to ride and you can do laps quick, great variety on a short mountain. Sol Vista has a sweet rental/demo fleet too if ya wanted to try out a different rig.

    Rad trails in Vail, but less options overall IMO and harder to find easy camping. (Camping for me is crashin' out in the vehicle as close as possible to the lift).

    Hope this helps and enjoy the ridin'

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtn.skratch View Post
    You will like Keystone. Great dh'n! Easy to stay there for days too, dirtbaggin' it cuz there are so many nooks to crash out in. I usually stay in the lot and sleep in the truck...ride all day...repeat. Similar vibe in Granby(Sol Vista). Sol Vista has a ton to ride and you can do laps quick, great variety on a short mountain. Sol Vista has a sweet rental/demo fleet too if ya wanted to try out a different rig.

    Rad trails in Vail, but less options overall IMO and harder to find easy camping. (Camping for me is crashin' out in the vehicle as close as possible to the lift).

    Hope this helps and enjoy the ridin'
    usually sleep in my van too... but steppin it up this trip - Super 8 in Dillon. going hi-class. great info. any pics or vids you wanna share. keystone double blacks and drop zone sound killer.. what trails were you riding?

    anywayz awesome reply.. thx
    dave

  14. #14
    boxcar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shuttle-Run View Post
    usually sleep in my van too... but steppin it up this trip - Super 8 in Dillon. going hi-class. great info. any pics or vids you wanna share. keystone double blacks and drop zone sound killer.. what trails were you riding?

    anywayz awesome reply.. thx
    dave
    Nice! Super 8. A lot can be said for a shower and bed after beetin' yourself up!

    My favorite is milky way/jam rock combo. even flow at the bottom is great! and ya can't go wrong with helter/skelter cowboy up off the top is a sweet, fast ripper to change it up from milky way, and from there can option into motorhead...lots of options so be sure to explore! eye of the tiger is a rad, fun trail deep in trees, and fast, and puts you on mosquito coast. The blue and green trails are sweet for gettin the flow on and there are some cool hidden hits so watch for them.

    i haven't taken the plunge into a gopro and am not in the habit of taking pictures so don't have anything to offer for stokage unfortunately.

    have a good time!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtn.skratch View Post
    Nice! Super 8. A lot can be said for a shower and bed after beetin' yourself up!

    My favorite is milky way/jam rock combo. even flow at the bottom is great! and ya can't go wrong with helter/skelter cowboy up off the top is a sweet, fast ripper to change it up from milky way, and from there can option into motorhead...lots of options so be sure to explore! eye of the tiger is a rad, fun trail deep in trees, and fast, and puts you on mosquito coast. The blue and green trails are sweet for gettin the flow on and there are some cool hidden hits so watch for them.

    i haven't taken the plunge into a gopro and am not in the habit of taking pictures so don't have anything to offer for stokage unfortunately.

    have a good time!
    thanks! looks like the weather forecast isn't going in our favor. rain and thunderstorms predicted for the rest of this week. intended to head out 8/1... don't know if need to cancel... drive 15 hours to ride in the rain? dunno...

    thanks for the tips! hope we get to use them

  16. #16
    boxcar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shuttle-Run View Post
    thanks! looks like the weather forecast isn't going in our favor. rain and thunderstorms predicted for the rest of this week. intended to head out 8/1... don't know if need to cancel... drive 15 hours to ride in the rain? dunno...

    thanks for the tips! hope we get to use them
    I hear ya' and can definitely respect the skepticism with the weather. It's been burly this year and while you may get rained on I'm certain you will get plenty of good riding in. 15hours is far to drive, but I decided a long time ago, as a mountain biker in colorado, I don't make/change plans based on a weather report. Pack a jacket and go. If it is raining locally(keystone) you could boogie down the road to another resort. They are all pretty close to each other. Generally the showers just tacky up the trails making for great trail conditions.

    Stick with your plan shuttle run!!

  17. #17
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    Yeah, there is a 99% chance that it will rain at some point while you are here, but daytime storms generally only last an hour and then you get tacky goodness on the trails. Plan to be on the first chair every day so you get maximum time in before the afternoon storm and bring extra clothes so you can ride "dry" after the storm has passed.

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