Bright blue skies, fiery fall Aspens, perfectly manicured dirt, and loads of vertical- Steamboat Bike Park delivered the goods on a recent autumn trip. Located in beautiful Steamboat Springs Colorado, Steamboat Bike Park has been growing steadily into a downhill destination over the past few years. The bike park shares the same slopes as Steamboat Ski Resort, one of the premier ski destinations in the US. As a result, all necessary infrastructure is already in place to make this one of the easiest riding vacation spots around. There are more lodging and dining options than you can shake a stick at as well as a bustling downtown with a dirt jump park, skatepark, and non-riding entertainment options for whatever floats your boat (including some legendary hot springs).
We started our day on Flying Diamond, the largest excavated jump trail we could find. This beauty is full of berms, tabletops, step-downs, hips, and big or little options so everyone can have a good time. One thing we really liked about this trail’s layout was massive rollers leading into berms. This completely eliminated brake bumps and added more jumps/improved flow all at the same time. Bravo, Steamboat- you nailed it! Brake bumps are annoying and the world needs more jumps, especially leading into overhead berms.
Flying Diamond dumps riders out onto Rawhide, a singletrack DH-style trail full of rock rolls, roots, and natural doubles ripping down through tight woods in between ski runs. This was probably a favorite of the day- the more you ride this trail the faster you go, and more jumps/gaps/roosts you can find on your way. Rawhide is also top-to-bottom and can be ridden from the summit instead of jumping on Flying Diamond if desired- the top section is full of technical natural rocks and drops as it threads through beautiful aspen and pine groves.
After a few hot laps alternating between jumps and DH blasting we headed over to Rustlers Ridge, an intermediate flow trail running the full length of the gondola. This is the first trail you see as you’re heading up for the day stuffed full of berms and rollers just waiting to be sent at high speeds. This trail is amazing- it never seems to end. Just when you think you’ve rounded the last berm before some sort of intersection or stopping point another berm or jump option comes up. There are also lipped-up jump options on the side of most standard jumps, which lets riders blast out into the banks and natural terrain well past most landings- always a good time!
I can’t wait to go back to Steamboat. The park is progressive and has so much potential to keep growing and improving its already stellar trail system. The town is the perfect summer getaway for mountain bikers and anyone interested in various outdoor pursuits like hiking, rafting, camping, and plenty of options I don’t even know about.
Cheers Steamboat, see you soon! For more information check out http://bike.steamboat.com