We’re still having a hard time believing that ski season is behind us, excepting Arapahoe Basin, of course. But, yes, summer is practically here and the time is right to look forward to it. Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA), as they often do during the winter months, was kind enough to compile a list of improvements at some of its member resorts to look for as you plan your time off and head for the mountains…
Aspen/Snowmass: Bike Snowmass is planning a new full-size beginner park and pump track at the top of the Elk Camp gondola, as well as adding features to re-route to Easy Rider and The Vapor Trail at Bike Snowmass. Also, construction on a new beginner trail at Bike Snowmass is slated to finish in late summer. All new trails are designed by Gravity Logic and pending Forest Service approval. Aspen/Snowmass opens for the summer on June 21 and June 9 for Camp Aspen/Snowmass.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort: Late last summer, Crested Butte’s bike trail crew finished the Crusader trail for riders to enjoy another advanced downhill trail in the Evolution Bike Park. In combination with the other trail improvements, Crested Butte made a total of 40 new man-made features throughout the bike park in 2013. For summer 2014, Crested Butte will begin dirt work on new trails as soon as the snow melts, including a new Downhill Race track, in hopes of being done by the first race June 28-29 for the Central States Cup. Crested Butte will also add an extension to the only double black diamond trail, Psycho Rocks, and a new beginner trail that will be top-to-bottom off the Red Lady Lift. All work should be completed this summer to make a total of 17 trails and 25 miles of trails in the Evolution Bike Park at Crested Butte. Crested Butte opens for the summer on June 14.
Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort: New for 2014, Durango Mountain Resort will open the Base Camp Loop mountain bike trail, which brings the trail system up to 11 trails at the resort. Home of the first World Mountain Bike Championships in 1990, Purgatory has miles of trails for all ability levels accessible from the base area or via chairlift. Purgatory opens for the summer on May 24.
Steamboat Mountain Resort: The Steamboat Bike Park is a new bike park with nearly 2,200 vertical feet of lift-served gravity-fed and downhill flow trails. The trail crew, in conjunction with Gravity Logic, utilized every inch of the natural topography for a thrilling ride that highlights the best of the resort’s natural features including rocks, bridges, rollers, drops, berms, banks and manmade jumps, providing exciting terrain for all ability levels. New this year, a beginner trail called Tenderfoot was completed at the end of the 2013 summer season and will be fully operational for the 2014 riding season. A new jump trail, Flying Diamond, is partially complete and new sections will open periodically throughout the 2014 summer season. The resort will also expand the number of nights it offers Twilight Biking to include Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. The twilight program provides evening access via the gondola from 4-7 p.m. for bikers to enjoy the Steamboat Bike Park. As an added benefit for the 2014 summer, Steamboat Bike Park Pass holders get three free days at both Winter Park and Crested Butte to tackle their bike parks and trails. Steamboat opens for the summer on June 13.
Sunlight Mountain Resort: Sunlight is presently installing a 18-hole disc golf course. The course includes steep hikes, significant elevation changes, and challenging holes that follow the physical contours of the ski trails. Sunlight opens for the summer on May 31.
Winter Park Resort: Winter Park has improved some pre-existing trails and features at Trestle Bike Park, including the Banana Peel trail for experienced riders, the newest premier pro-line Slopestyle mountain bike trail in the U.S., which opened at the very end of last year but this summer will be open from day one. Winter Park opens for the summer on June 14.