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  1. #1
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    Dumb Questions about Resort Riding

    I am new to Denver, and just this past weekend rode at Vail. I was not a huge fan of the blue trails at Vail.

    My stupid question is this----are there any resorts where the ride gets you some nice across the mountain up and down rather than just basically down? If not, are there resorts where the off resort riding is better than others? While at Vail I went across 70 and rode some and I also went down my Meadow Mountain (I bailed on it though because my Michigan legs weren't quite ready for a 5 mile climb at that altitude).

    For reference, my favorite trails so far are Buffalo Creek and Lair O the Bear.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Chillaxin 'n Chilcotin!
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    Why are you focused on resorts then? There are dozens (perhaps hundreds) of small towns in Colorado with networks of trails you can ride up and down on vs. the 4 towns with decent downhill resorts. In terms of resorts though, Winter Park (Fraiser Valley) probably has the best network of non-resort trails.

  3. #3
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    Shuttle Monarch Crest; or, as kristian mentioned, head to the Warrior Princess
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  4. #4
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    Not focused per se, but I usually go with wife and kid ----so that takes me to resorts where my wife is spa and shopping happy. I also try not to drive to far to ride from resort so I have more family time.

  5. #5
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    Many ski area that offer lift-accessed mountain biking do favor "trails that go basically down", many of them concentrating on downhill-style trails that can be ridden (or should be ridden) on longer travel "downhill bikes" even. Crazy, I know.

    There are a few "up and down" type trails that are accessible from some of the resorts. At Vail, there's the Grand Traverse trail. At Winter Park (on the ski hill), there's Mountain Goat, Green World, and a few others. SolVista (Gnraby Ranch, Bike Granby Ranch, whatever the hell they're calling it these days) also has a network of rolling trails that can be access from the lift. Crested Butte has insanely good trail riding, both on and off the ski area.

    If you're looking for XC-type trails, as was mentioned before your best bet is to not necessarily concentrate on "resort towns" per say. While some resort towns do have good mountain biking, there's just as good of stuff NOT in resort towns as well. Head to a local bike shop, buy some maps and/or a guidebook, and get out there and explore. Fall in with a group ride here and there, there's TONS on MeetUp.com. Meet other riders, ask questions, get beta.

    As for your Michigan legs, just keep after it and sometime within 10 days to 10 years you'll get there.

    As for recommending trails based on your "favorite trails so far" as well as your family/time constraints: the Fraser Valley trail system near Winter Park is friggin' awesome. Grades are (generally) not that steep, technical features are pretty tame, the trails are generally pretty smooth, and most of them are in the trees. Bonus: they're all really fun and can be ridden in a variety of ways, from the town of WP where your wife and kiddo can do what they do to they're heart's content. Stop in to Totally Wired Bicycles in Fraser and pick up a Valley Trail System Map, say hi to Doug while you're there. Also, grab a cup of Joe at the coffee shop which adjoins it, say thank you to Wade while you're at it. Those two guys build more trail and do more for the mountain bike community up there than anyone else I know (aside form maybe the WP Trail Crew).

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  6. #6
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    wkd----could you be more specific? I am a newbie out here.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by shodan22 View Post
    Not focused per se, but I usually go with wife and kid ----so that takes me to resorts where my wife is spa and shopping happy. I also try not to drive to far to ride from resort so I have more family time.
    If yur headin up with wife and kid, Winter Park would be great. They have lots of kid based activities, jumpy stuff, a zip line, mini-golf, etc. Shopping in WP, I assume is cool.
    and the greens and blues can be handled with any bike and are pedally in nature.

    Also check out Keystone, Same fun stuff at the base for the fam, and the lift can take you up the mountain which connects to lots of XC rides in Summit County (buy a map)

    Monarch Crest is an XC alpine shuttle, but the logistics might be a little tough. They (fam) could ride the sight seeing chair to the top after dropping you off, and maybe hang out at Mt Princeton Hot Springs. Might be a stretch to say they'd have as much fun as they would in WP...
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  8. #8
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    thanks wkd -- -sounds dumb, but I am always looking for more rolling stuff as to opposed to just going up or down. I like to pedal and get a flow going (not so easy to find in the mountains I suppose)

    does winter park have a gondola?

  9. #9
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    Winter Park runs 3 lifts on the weekends, 1 during the weekdays, no enclosed Gondola though. WKD is right, there are a few fun trails that might meet your criteria. Perhaps smooth is what you're after, in which there are many there. Outside of the resort, lots to choose from.
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  10. #10
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    Are there good XC trails which start off at the Winter Park Resort area and, perhaps, head into the back country? If so, do they mark the down hill only trails clearly so XC riders don't accidentally end up on one of those trails?

    Back when I lived in Vail in the late 90's, you were allowed to ride up the resort for free. If you pedaled up, you pretty much could ride any trail on the mountain for free. I'm wondering if I can pick up any good XC trails at WP in the same way which would head into the back country away from the resort perhaps.

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=Back when I lived in Vail in the late 90's, you were allowed to ride up the resort for free. If you pedaled up, you pretty much could ride any trail on the mountain for free. [/QUOTE]

    This is still the case, it's national forest and this is allowed. Just make sure you are not riding up a downhiller only trail. You can hike up before the lifts open and get the fresh stuff also, just beware of avalanches.

  12. #12
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    I'll second WP. I haven't ridden there in several years but I stayed off the lift and rode for a couple of hours in the immediate area. Can't give you actual trail names but just grab a map and tall to the guys at the rental shop. (FYI most, if not all, of those guys don't ride the lift). I just recently came from Breck so I would also give a thumbs up there too. Plenty of stuff for wife and kids as well. Trust me, my kids are 4 & 7 so I know where you're coming from (although my wife isn't a spa queen, thank goodness). Vail Pass = great family ride!
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by shodan22 View Post
    Not focused per se, but I usually go with wife and kid ----so that takes me to resorts where my wife is spa and shopping happy. I also try not to drive to far to ride from resort so I have more family time.
    Fair enough. Don't judge all resorts by you experience at Vail though. Vail has never embrased mountain biking on their mountain and their trail network leaves a lot to be desired. Keystone has one really nice green trail and 2 fun blues that can be ridden on any bike. Or you might play the "you're paying for a massage so I'm going to rent a DH bike" card and enjoy the dark side a little.

    Winter Park has Green World which is also a very fun trail that can be ridden on any bike and some nice blues too.

  14. #14
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    Crested Butte - google 401 Trail, end of thread.

    OK, not enough for you, how about Snowmass, google Government Trail. Now seriously, end of thread.

    OK, ok, how about Steamboat - google Rabbit Ear's Pass to Fish Creek Falls, ok I give up

    Is there a resort town that doesn't have some classic colorado rides really close and really fun?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobGolden View Post
    Is there a resort town that doesn't have some classic colorado rides really close and really fun?
    Estes Park
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR View Post
    Estes Park
    Touche'

    Just got back from a wet weekend in Rocky Mtn National Park, didn't even bring the bikes, as they aren't allowed on any of the trails, what's the point of building the trail, to walk, zzzzzzzz??

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR View Post
    Estes Park
    Crosier seems pretty legit to me...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheelsnotfour View Post
    Are there good XC trails which start off at the Winter Park Resort area and, perhaps, head into the back country? If so, do they mark the down hill only trails clearly so XC riders don't accidentally end up on one of those trails?
    Yes.
    Yes.
    Yes, mostly. I'd say some XC riders don't understand the rating system or they don't think it applies to them. Every now and then you'll get an XC rider out of their element or wadded up in the trees to the side.
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  19. #19
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    Winter Park for sure....They have some super fun blues and greens. I feel you on the rolling terrain. Tough to find in the mountains. Loma exit in Fruita is my favorite rolling terain but you have to wait for it to cool off.

    Winter Park is great for the family too. I bring mine all the time when I go to DH.

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