The downhill thrill
Powderhorn trails give mountain bikers another place to ride
Mountain biking at ski resorts has long been a destination for those looking for high-speed thrills.
As summer approaches, Powderhorn Mountain Resort is set to join the list of ski resorts that have mountain bike trails.
“The Grand Valley has always been a major mountain biking and tourism destination, so this will be really good for Powderhorn and the community,” said Powderhorn General Manager Sam Williams.
Now that the snow has disappeared and the dirt had hardened, Powderhorn will welcome mountain bikers looking for the thrill of downhill singletrack speed. The official lift opening for mountain biking is set for June 24. A mountain biking kick-off party is July 2-3 at the resort.
Williams said the resort will have mountain bike racks that fit on the back of the lift chairs to transport riders and their bikes to the top of the mountain.
To start, Powderhorn will have three trails — a service road plus two singletrack trails.
“We will start with those and then we’ll see what the demand is and keep going from there,” Williams said.
The thought is to continue to build up the activities at the resort to make it a coveted Western Slope summertime destination.
“Obviously, it’s going to give us another activity in the summertime,” Williams said. “We will start with mountain biking, then continue to move forward with additional summer activities.”
Powderhorn contracted with Singletrack Trails, a company that specializes in building mountain bike trails.
The three trails will average about 4 miles in length with a total of 12 miles.
Williams said the trails are downhill specific and will be 6 to 8 feet wide. He said it was important to contract with a company that knew how to build quality downhill trails.
“To create the experience of gravity downhill mountain biking is a different game,” he said.
The two singletrack trails are machine built and will have a number of features, including berms and jumps.
Even though the trails will offer a downhill experience for mountain bikers, Williams said one of the attractions of the mountain will be Grand Mesa and the opportunity to experience more riding.
“The great thing we have here at Powderhorn is that we top out on Grand Mesa and you can ride out and connect with additional trails (from the top),” he said.
After the Dec. 19, 2015 ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Flat Top Flyer high-speed chair lift, Ken Gart, one of Powderhorn’s owners, was already looking forward to the resort finishing the mountain bike trails.
“(Powderhorn) really has the potential to be one of the top (mountain biking) destinations in the country,” he said.
An all-day lift ticket will be $25, with a single ride ticket costing $17, according to Powderhorn.com. Summer season lift tickets are also available for $179 for adults and $129 for youth (12 and under).
According to Powderhorn.com, there will be a four-race downhill series hosted by Backcountry Biker.
Each race will have an entry fee of $30. Competitors who sign up for all four races at the beginning pay only $100. Racers will also have to pay for a $20 competitor’s lift ticket. Registration will be on race days.
There are a number of different categories for abilities and ages.
Race days are July 24, Aug. 7 and 21, and Sept. 18.
The resort will also have a Gears and Beers event on Saturday, July 30.