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The 4 Best Ski Areas for Mountain Biking, Plus Opening Dates

Don't stop going to your favorite ski area just because the snow melted. These are four great ski areas for mountain biking.

Do you love mountain biking? You’ll love Beta MTB, SKI’s sister title. Love skiing and mountain biking? Join Active Pass to get the best of both.

Just because the snow is gone doesn’t mean the fun stops in the mountains. Ski areas across the country are installing world-class mountain bike trails and keeping the lifts spinning all summer long, meaning you can get your gravity fix on two wheels instead of two planks.

Also, mountain biking can improve cardio, strengthen leg muscles, and hone quick-thinking maneuvers in tight spaces, all of which translates nicely into skiing when the snow does start flying again. These are some of our favorites and some of the best spots to spend time waiting for winter.

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Utah: Deer Valley

Deer Valley Resort mountain biking
File photo

The ski area that’s known for its impeccable grooming is also known for nearly 70 miles of incredibly well-manicured mountain bike trails. With discounted evening hours on Wednesdays and weekend lift service expected to continue until late September, Deer Valley is a downhill mountain biking paradise. When lift service stops, get up the mountain under your own power and ride the resort’s 70 miles of trails, or link up with Park City’s dirt for even more options.

2021 Summer Operations Dates at Deer Valley

  • Daily: June 18 through Sept. 6
  • Friday through Sunday: Sept. 10-26
  • More Info: DeerValley.com
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Vermont: Killington

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Killington Resort

The Beast of the East brought in the renowned trail designers at Gravity Logic a few years ago, and together they have built one of the finest trail networks in New England. Killington Bike Park offers over 30 miles of trails and offers lift service to the summit via the K1 Gondola plus additional trails off Ramshead until mid-October. When the lifts stop spinning, you can keep riding on the nearby Green Mountain Trails to keep your rear in gear for ski season and enjoy the fall colors at the same time.

Killington Bike Park Summer Operating Schedule for 2021

  • May 29 – Oct. 31 (Note: Dates and lift availability for mountain biking vary throughout the summer)

Related: Proof That All You Need to Extend Your Ski Season is a Bike (And a Volcano)

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California: Big Bear

Big Bear Mountain Resort
Courtesy of Big Bear Mountain Resort

Not many ski areas in California can boast that their mountain bike system matches their skiing experience, but Big Bear might an exception. The Snow Summit Bike Park offers a plentiful amount of downhill trails for every ability, but riders can really test their mettle on the 60+ miles of cross country trails that spider-web the mountain. With a season that’s likely to carry on through October, there’s still plenty of time to get up a mountain on your bike to prep for ski season.

Big Bear Summit Bike Park 2021 Summer Operating Schedule

  • Daily Operations: June 11 through Sept. 6
    • Season Passholders-only on June 10
  • Weekend Operations: Sept. 10 through Oct. 10
  • Up-to-Date info: BigBearMountainResort.com

7 Mountain Bike Tips for Beginners

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Colorado: Winter Park

Winter Park Resort, Colo.
Courtesy of Winter Park Resort

Over the last ten years, Colorado’s Winter Park has gone from a sleeper biking town to a mountain bike mecca that rivals Crested Butte for the unofficial “Best Mountain Bike Town in Colorado” title. Trestle Bike Park in particular has seen an unreal amount of trail building for downhill and slopestyle riding, and it remains a weekend hotspot well into the autumn. When the lifts close for the season in early October, or if you just want to avoid “the scene” at the bike park, there are trails scattered throughout the forested valley between Winter Park and Granby that would take years to ride. You might as well start now.

Winter Park’s Trestle Bike Park 2021 Summer Schedule

  • Opening Day: June 19
  • Closing Day: TBA
    • Note: Reservations are required at least 48 hours in advance for all summer activities at Winter Park this summer
  • More Details: WinterParkResort.com

Take your riding to the next level with SKI’s sister title Beta MTB. Best of all, you can join Active Pass access to exclusive content from both magazines.