Bike Parks in Western US with best weather and culture- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Bike Parks in Western US with best weather and culture

    Planning a summer long tour of bike parks in the western US next year. Spouse --who will be riding significantly less --is mostly interested staying in spots with great weather and culture ...go figure. We will likely be staying the as-of-yet-unpurchased van ...if that plays into your recommendations.

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    You might find this site useful... https://mtbparks.com/
    You didn't quit riding because you're old, you're old because you quit riding.

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    Nat
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    Bike parks in “areas with culture” seems incongruent. Most parks are in ski areas, which during summer tend to be semi-abandoned. Even during ski season when they're full of people I wouldn't call them cultural hubs. They have more of a "manufactured playground for rich white folks" vibe.

    I suppose you’ll want to find parks near cities for stuff to do, so off the top of my head I’m thinking of Grand Targhee (near Jackson, WY) and Deer Valley (above Park City, UT). Not really cultural hot spots but at least there are things to see and do.

    As for “great weather” the weather in the mountains can change rapidly. In the Rockies you should anticipate afternoon rainstorms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Bike parks in “areas with culture” seems incongruent. Most parks are in ski areas, which during summer tend to be semi-abandoned. Even during ski season when they're full of people I wouldn't call them cultural hubs. They have more of a "manufactured playground for rich white folks" vibe.

    I suppose you’ll want to find parks near cities for stuff to do, so off the top of my head I’m thinking of Grand Targhee (near Jackson, WY) and Deer Valley (above Park City, UT). Not really cultural hot spots but at least there are things to see and do.

    As for “great weather” the weather in the mountains can change rapidly. In the Rockies you should anticipate afternoon rainstorms.
    Yeah, I know I'm asking a lot. Did a trip to AngleFire and the riding was great, but spouse found the place somewhat boring and it rained every day .

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    Quote Originally Posted by fredcook View Post
    You might find this site useful... https://mtbparks.com/
    Yes, very interesting and discounts too! Thanks, man!

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    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlazedHam View Post
    Yeah, I know I'm asking a lot. Did a trip to AngleFire and the riding was great, but spouse found the place somewhat boring and it rained every day .
    Ooof. Time for separate vacations?

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    Well, it's not in the US of course but NO PLACE is better than Whistler...and there's TONS of off mountain activities and great restaurants. Every year we I've been, I ride the lifts with people that come every year from Europe and spend every day riding in the park. I guess if you wanted to, you could drive into Vancouver for some culture. Winter Park (Trestle) is great as well but the dirt is nowhere near as good as Whistler. Denver is 90 minutes away. If you get all the way to SoCal, the parks aren't stellar but worthy...Snow Summit and Skypark in the Big Bear area. LA is nearby but I wouldn't go in there for any reason.
    Carpe Diem!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    Well, it's not in the US of course but NO PLACE is better than Whistler...and there's TONS of off mountain activities and great restaurants. Every year we I've been, I ride the lifts with people that come every year from Europe and spend every day riding in the park. I guess if you wanted to, you could drive into Vancouver for some culture. Winter Park (Trestle) is great as well but the dirt is nowhere near as good as Whistler. Denver is 90 minutes away. If you get all the way to SoCal, the parks aren't stellar but worthy...Snow Summit and Skypark in the Big Bear area. LA is nearby but I wouldn't go in there for any reason.
    I have never been to Whistler ...I guess that would have to be an all summer deal for me.

  9. #9
    Nat
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    Whistler is everything everyone says it is. It's the benchmark bike park. I hope the border opens this summer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Most parks are in ski areas, which during summer tend to be semi-abandoned.
    I'm not sure where you go in the summer, but I can't think of many ski towns that are quiet or semi-abandoned.

    CO would be a good way to cover a handful of bike parks within a close drive, and all have plenty for your wife to do:

    Crested Butte
    Winter Park & Granby
    Keystone
    Vail

    I'm curious about Purgatory as well, since the guy behind the Angel Fire park (Hogan) was hired away about 18 months ago by the company that runs Purgatory and a couple other small areas.

  11. #11
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    I'm not sure where you go in the summer, but I can't think of many ski towns that are quiet or semi-abandoned.
    Compared to ski season they're pretty quiet. Condos are mostly empty. Resort bases have a bunch of people shopping for souvenirs. Except for Whistler. That place was just as busy in the summer as it was when I went there in the winter.

    Crested Butte
    Winter Park & Granby
    Keystone
    Vail

    I like all of those places but the OP's wife wants culture. Granby is not Philly or Chicago, lol. Personally I'd take any of those small towns over a big city but buying fudge and looking at cheesy t-shirts in gift shops isn't really a cultural experience. Well, it's one culture I suppose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    I like all of those places but the OP's wife wants culture. Granby is not Philly or Chicago, lol. Personally I'd take any of those small towns over a big city but buying fudge and looking at cheesy t-shirts in gift shops isn't really a cultural experience. Well, it's one culture I suppose.
    100% agree there... ski towns in the US don't have anything close to resembling "culture". But there are definitely some cool towns to visit. If the OP's wife really wants culture, then they should consider hitting EU for a summer of bike park trips. But not this year, of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    100% agree there... ski towns in the US don't have anything close to resembling "culture". But there are definitely some cool towns to visit. If the OP's wife really wants culture, then they should consider hitting EU for a summer of bike park trips. But not this year, of course.
    ...or maybe he could take a Chasing Epic tour and you can put on a burlesque show in the back of the van. That would be some "culture".
    Carpe Diem!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Whistler is everything everyone says it is. It's the benchmark bike park. I hope the border opens this summer.
    We were scheduled to be there July 16/17-25 after leaving SoCal on the 11th and hitting a few spots in OR/WA on the way. Just pulled the plug when they extended the border closure the July 21st...at a minimum. The bike park is now scheduled/hoping/targeted to open on June 29th. We'll re-schedule for late September.
    Carpe Diem!!

  15. #15
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    A bunch of us had planned to be in Whistler this week. Boooo.

    Going to Silver Mountain instead. The weather should be what I’d call great. Finding culture in Kellogg though? Not sure what to say about that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    100% agree there... ski towns in the US don't have anything close to resembling "culture". But there are definitely some cool towns to visit. If the OP's wife really wants culture, then they should consider hitting EU for a summer of bike park trips. But not this year, of course.
    Yeah, I hear ya ...not looking for Opera on Tuesday nights or anything ...just a groovy vibe. We actually used to do a bunch of those all-inclusive tours --both in the US and EU --25 years ago and that was a lot of fun, but now it's just me that does most of the riding and I need to keep the wife happy while doing so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    A bunch of us had planned to be in Whistler this week. Boooo.

    Going to Silver Mountain instead. The weather should be what I’d call great. Finding culture in Kellogg though? Not sure what to say about that.
    Culture ranges from white to off-white. Radio Brewing is about it. Decent beer and food, though. And the trails are awesome.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    Culture ranges from white to off-white. Radio Brewing is about it. Decent beer and food, though. And the trails are awesome.
    $1 pizza slices at the base is nice. Mexican restaurant isn’t bad. Avoid that Chinese restaurant at all costs.

    You ever noticed how virtually every town in the USA has a Chinese restaurant? I have a thing where I try the Mongolian Beef at each place I visit as a barometer. Sometimes I find a hidden gem (like outside of Fruita). Most of the time I strike out but I respect the fact that there are Chinese people who move to Bumblebutt, USA and open a business while totally separating from their homes and family. A lot of times they barely speak the language yet they move to some place with population 1000. That takes bravery and gumption.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    Culture ranges from white to off-white. Radio Brewing is about it. Decent beer and food, though. And the trails are awesome.
    Lol culture in Kellogg

    It is some good biking! First time out there we did 7 gondola runs top to bottom (on a hardtail fatty) I was wrecked.

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    Most of my friends make a point of going to the Mexican restaurant in Kellogg, but I think that’s because we live in Helena and our Mexican options are worse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    $1 pizza slices at the base is nice. Mexican restaurant isn’t bad. Avoid that Chinese restaurant at all costs.

    You ever noticed how virtually every town in the USA has a Chinese restaurant? I have a thing where I try the Mongolian Beef at each place I visit as a barometer. Sometimes I find a hidden gem (like outside of Fruita). Most of the time I strike out but I respect the fact that there are Chinese people who move to Bumblebutt, USA and open a business while totally separating from their homes and family. A lot of times they barely speak the language yet they move to some place with population 1000. That takes bravery and gumption.
    People rave about that Chinese place in Oakridge. I've never had it myself. I'm currently visiting family 20 miles East of Durango (Bayfield...pop 2705) and my in laws love the Chinese food here so we tried it. I played it safe with a chicken dish but it was very good.
    Carpe Diem!!

  22. #22
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    People rave about that Chinese place in Oakridge. I've never had it myself. I'm currently visiting family 20 miles East of Durango (Bayfield...pop 2705) and my in laws love the Chinese food here so we tried it. I played it safe with a chicken dish but it was very good.
    I don't think I've ever eaten at a restaurant in Oakridge. The times I've ridden there we brought our own food but I may have to check out the Chinese place at some point.

  23. #23
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by evasive View Post
    Most of my friends make a point of going to the Mexican restaurant in Kellogg, but I think that’s because we live in Helena and our Mexican options are worse.
    It was an easy walk from our guest house and they had a patio so we ended up going twice in three days. I've had worse. I think being exhausted after riding all day and having some cervezas with your homies makes just about anything taste good.

    I really enjoyed pedaling up to this ridge. That's MT to the right side of the ridge and ID to the left:

    Bike Parks in Western US with best weather and culture-idaho-montana-ridge.jpg

  24. #24
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by smmokan View Post
    I'm not sure where you go in the summer, but I can't think of many ski towns that are quiet or semi-abandoned.
    If you’re looking for a good bike park without the crowds then Silver Mountain is what you want. There’s not a whole lot going on after hours though. I do see a museum for a culture fix, lol.

    https://www.silvermt.com/index.php/mountain/bike-park

    Gondola that takes you to joy
    Bike Parks in Western US with best weather and culture-02584f76-f319-4cda-829f-327572968992.jpeg

    Downtown crowds at 5pm
    Bike Parks in Western US with best weather and culture-3ec41ee6-7926-4fce-a9fe-d1ea73740734.jpeg

    Culture
    Bike Parks in Western US with best weather and culture-a354ba82-c96e-4377-aa51-29728a40a42e.jpeg

    Restaurant scene
    Bike Parks in Western US with best weather and culture-f466c3b6-9d2c-4c2c-91cb-d4f3d4752b7b.jpeg
    Last edited by Nat; 06-28-2020 at 06:55 AM.

  25. #25
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    How are the trails right now? Been meaning to get out for a day.

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  26. #26
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    Trails are pretty good! They’re a little dry at the bottom but not terrible. A few braking bumps but I’ve ridden on worse. Gorgeous day today!

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