Keystone Bike Guide: Green lines at Keysotne Bike Park | SummitDaily.com

Keystone Bike Guide: Green lines at Keysotne Bike Park

Summit Daily staff report
news@summitdaily.com

SUMMIT COUNTY — Ask just about any mountain biker, and chances are they'll agree: descending beats climbing any day. A select few live for the brutal, lung-busting challenge of a steep climb, but after grinding for an hour or two, just 15 minutes of barreling down singletrack is still one hell of a reward.

And then there are downhillers. These daredevils completely skip the torturous grind and, instead, get a rush tackling the sort of features most cross-country riders avoid: massive boulders, 25-foot drops, corkscrew log bridges and berm after berm after berm. They're the downhill skiers of the mountain biking world, and just about anyone who enjoys bombing groomers on a bluebird day will find the same rush on a downhill bike.

There's no official age limit at the bike park, but the trails and features are designed for intermediate and advanced riders only. A downhill bike and gear (full-face helmet, shin guards, knee pads, motocross jersey) are highly recommended for bike park riders. If you stop on a trail, move to the side immediately — the bike park is filled with blind corners and drops.

If you're new to the sport, get an introductory lesson in the base area before heading up top for instructor-led runs on the green line through the Keystone Bike Academy. The revamped program features seven instructors, all trained by the International Mountain Biking Association in the latest MTB skills, techniques and more. Lessons are available on a walk-in basis when the park is open and start at $54 for the lesson only or $120 for the lesson plus equipment rental.

Trail Highlights

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Think of the green line (and all lines) at Keystone Bike Park as ski runs: one trailhead leads to several different connectors, all of which branch across the front side of the mountain before leading back to the River Run base area. All trails are clearly marked, with names and the colored difficulty symbols familiar to skiers.

The trailhead for the first green run, Girl Scouts, is found a few hundred yards from the top of the Summit Express lift. From here, Cockrell suggests following a relatively mellow line: Suz's Cruise, Let It Ride, Celtic Way, Bluegrass, Sleepy Hollow and Easy Street, before ending at the green skills line in the base area.

Every trail boasts different features, but none of the trails have drops or highly technical rock gardens. Expect a mix of dirt berms, log bridges and narrow, whip-fast singletrack through tight pine corridors. The grade is occasionally steep, even for seasoned cross-country riders, but the majority of these descents are short and lead to flat traverses.

Parking

From Interstate 70, take Exit 205 at Silverthorne and turn left (east) onto U.S. Highway 6. Drive 6.2 miles past Lake Dillon to the free Montezuma Lot at River Run Village.

Keystone Bike Park

What: A lift-accessed downhill bike park for riders of all abilities, featuring a lower skills park and 55 miles of trail with berms, drops, rail bridges and more

Where: River Run Village, Keystone Mountain

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends

Season: June 10 to Sept. 5; weekends only until Sept. 18

Cost: Day passes and season passes available

A single-day pass includes unlimited bike haul on the Summit Express lift, located next to the skills park and jump line. All equipment is available from rental shops in the River Run base area. For more info on the bike park, including special events and races, see http://www.keystoneresort.com.

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By the numbers

Distance: 0.25 to 6 miles

Time: 10-45 minutes per trail

Total Trails: 11

Elevation: 2,360 vertical ft.

Type: Singletrack, dirt, downhill only

Season: June to September

Features: Small berms, small boulders, tree roots, mellow grades of 6 percent or less

Rides: Girls Scouts, Let it Ride, Suz’s Cruise, Jackstraw Road (service road with access to other trails)