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  1. #1
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    Recommendations for Colorado Downhill Trail Riding - Ski Resort

    Hi Everyone,

    I visited Vail Mountain for the first time in 2015 for just a few hours, and returned last year to try downhill biking for the first time. I loved every minute of it, and although it was my first time, I found Vail to be a nice experience. I rented a high end specialized rear suspension bike, and biked for most of the day, gradually moving to more challenging trails throughout the day. I finished the day with a fantastic ride down the "Radio Flyer" trail.

    I'lll be in Denver the weekend of the 22-24, and plan to get on another mountain. I thought of going back to Vail, but then realized I'd like to try something new. I'm thinking of Aspen, Winter Park (Trestle), or Steamboat. I'd love some opinions and thoughts.

    I'll be with my brother, and while neither of us is super experienced, we did pretty well at Vail, and would like to have a similar experience with some easy single tracks, and some flowing banks and hills. We don't want to deal with boulders, logs, rocks, jumps, etc.

    Would love to hear some thoughts and recommendations.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsutton View Post
    Hi Everyone,

    I visited Vail Mountain for the first time in 2015 for just a few hours, and returned last year to try downhill biking for the first time. I loved every minute of it, and although it was my first time, I found Vail to be a nice experience. I rented a high end specialized rear suspension bike, and biked for most of the day, gradually moving to more challenging trails throughout the day. I finished the day with a fantastic ride down the "Radio Flyer" trail.

    I'lll be in Denver the weekend of the 22-24, and plan to get on another mountain. I thought of going back to Vail, but then realized I'd like to try something new. I'm thinking of Aspen, Winter Park (Trestle), or Steamboat. I'd love some opinions and thoughts.

    I'll be with my brother, and while neither of us is super experienced, we did pretty well at Vail, and would like to have a similar experience with some easy single tracks, and some flowing banks and hills. We don't want to deal with boulders, logs, rocks, jumps, etc.

    Would love to hear some thoughts and recommendations.
    So you're at the end of the season, so schedules might be iffy.

    Where are you staying in Denver? I can give you estimated drive times.

    Most folks I know don't mention Vail as a DH destination. More xc lift access I guess.

    Trestle and Granby are supposed to be open (provided it doesn't snow). Trestle is relatively flowy as in the sense you're not Boulder hopping, but it definitely has its share of harder stuff too. Personally I like trestle. Haven't been to Granby yet. Trestles last day for DH this year is October 1 and Granby's is sometime in mid-Oct.

    Keystone is really technical AFAIK, and I haven't been there yet. Personally, it doesn't sound like something I enjoy because it's chunk city except one green (which a few folks have said is closer to a blue).

    Further out is Aspen, Steamboat Springs, Purgatory, etc. I haven't made it to those places yet, mainly because of driving distances and commitments locally.

    Angel Fire, NM is most awesome. I would say that's one of my favorite places to ride. It's about 4-5 hours from Denver and might be closer of a drive than some of the other places.
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  3. #3
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    I LOVE KEYSTONE!!! Vail is good too!


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  4. #4
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    Trestle, Granby, or Keystone are probably your best options. I live in Winter Park and Trestle is still going strong. Granby is a sort of hidden gem in my mind though. They have shorter DH runs that Trestle but their XC is pretty good and the DH trails while short, are some of my favorite in the area. Granby is more sandy and rocky while Trestle is harder packed dirt and more jumps. Both have their fair share of both technical and flow trails.

    Keystone is another option since it should only be about 1.5-2 hours outside of Denver depending on traffic on I-70. I can't tell you how it is since I haven't made it over there yet but from everything I've heard it's catered to the more experienced/extreme rider. But like I said, I haven't been yet so I don't know for sure.

    Steamboat's DH offerings aren't as numerous as Trestle or Keystone but all of the XC trails in the area up there are great. But if you are in Denver then you shouldn't waste your time driving all the way up there. You're way better off coming up to Winter Park/Granby or going to Keystone.

    I should also mention that in Winter Park there are some world class XC trails that go in and out of the resort and into several XC trail systems around town.

    If you have any more questions you can call our bike shop (Beavers Sport Shop next to the Best Western in WP), ask for Zach. I can give you a good deal on rentals as well but most of our bikes are XC and we don't rent full DH bikes.

  5. #5
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    Trestle and Keystone, both I really enjoyed. There's probably more tech at Keystone, but if you're at all competent riding a mountain bike you wouldn't have any problem finding trails for you (when I was there it was snowing/there was ice on many of the wood features but still lots of very ridable trails). I think if you prefer jumping and flow Trestle would be a better choice.

    Steamboat sucks. Even if I lived in the village, I doubt I'd ride there much; driving from Denver? No way. There's no tech, no flow, just miles and miles and miles and miles of brake bumps (it felt like someone had driven a snowmobile or some other tread-vehicle on all the trails). They had a wood feature section near the bottom that looked really fun, but it was closed/being torn out when I was there last year, to make room for a mini golf course or some $hit. 'biketown usa' they advertise...

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies, everyone. Very much appreciated. Can anyone comment on how Trestle compares to Vail? I loved Vail and would be happy to go back there, but as I mentioned in my post, it would be nice to try something new.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsutton View Post
    Thanks for the replies, everyone. Very much appreciated. Can anyone comment on how Trestle compares to Vail? I loved Vail and would be happy to go back there, but as I mentioned in my post, it would be nice to try something new.
    If you want to go back to Vail, go back to Vail. It sounds like you found riding you enjoy, so enjoy it

    Don't take this wrong, but living here in the front range, I have heard zero people talk about mountain biking at Vail for DH riding. Or even xc. Most people talk about breck for xc. So you're kinda losing me and prolly a lot of other people for how it compares. However I could be wrong. Colorado has a ridiculous amount of mountain biking.

    If you want to do lift accessible xc, I know that both breck and trestle offer it. And now Vail.

    If you want to do full on DH where you are riding on DH specific runs, look at trestle, keystone, or Granby. They all have all levels from green to pro lines.

    Trestle has a lot of jump trails and wooden structures. It also has some technical runs like the trestle DH.

    Oh be aware: snow is expected this weekend over 11k feet. That might impact some plans, or maybe not. So keep an eye on the news.
    Guerrilla Gravity BAMF, Colorado Front Range
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