Are you sick of sitting behind that desk and working a 9-5 every damn day? The answer might be yes, and we know because many of us have been in that situation at one point or another. But what really makes you happy? Riding a bike, of course! Taking some of that vacation time you have been saving up, you decide to go on a road trip with the boys or the family for a little 2 wheeled therapy, but you don’t know where to go. You don’t want to spend a bunch of time pedaling. You can do that anywhere. No, you want some lift assisted downhill shredding. You want to relive that feeling you experienced in your youth jumping your bike off a curb for the first time. You want to hit some jumps and berms molded to perfection by the hard working trail builders who want nothing more than to roost the same corners as you. YEP! WE ARE GOING TO SOME BIKE PARKS!
Fortunately, I was able to embark on the road trip of a lifetime that resulted in myself and some friends visiting some of the best bike parks in the continent of North America. From California to Canada and all the way to New Jersey we rode just about everything we could, given the small amount of time we had.
A Friend of mine mentioned something about getting the MTBParks Pass and I had never heard of it before. Looking into it, I knew it was something we had to invest in. They offered discounts that went up to as much as 50% off a lift ticket and you could even get a full day of free riding at any of the 40 bike parks they work with. For only $249, it was a no-brainer considering the amount of park riding we were about to enjoy.
The MTBParks Pass is the ultimate bike park pass for mountain bikers. The idea is to give all riders the opportunity to shred some of the best parks in North America for one low price of $249. This is an extremely unique approach at spreading the stoke. As most of us know, going to a park can be quite expensive as some parks range in price from $40-$60 a lift ticket per day. MTBParks Pass gives you one free lift ticket at each of the participating parks and other discounts if you come back. If you are planning on visiting multiple parks throughout the year then it will quickly pay for itself! I won’t go into it and list every resort they work with, but you can click here to see.
To start off the trip, we didn’t exactly hit the road but we did fly up to the mecca of all mountain biking, Whistler in British Columbia, Canada. This is the OG bike park, and they continue to do everything right. It was a dream come true to ride such an iconic resort! We spent three days at the resort, riding from the second the lifts opened until they closed. Fortunately, I am still young enough to go all day and not stop. Whistler is a great place to visit whether you are riding or not because you have so many things to do. There are so many trails for so many skill levels that it is almost overwhelming. You can really tell that Whistler invests fully in their bike park. The diversity of trails here is unlike anywhere else, and they are all built so well that you will be riding trails and hitting jumps that are bigger than you would ever have thought possible. With multiple lifts running for riders, you can pretty much ride all of Whistler's massive elevation instead of being limited to just one zone. It feels like you have practically the same access that skiers do in the winter time. There are not a lot of resorts that can say that about their bike park. We went up and worked a little as there was a PinkBike Conference we were attending but that was only for about 3 hours in the morning each day. The rest of the day was left to shredding and there was no shortage of stoke the entire time we were there. Check out these two videos to see how much fun we had!
From here we flew back to Los Angeles and then embarked on our road trip to Colorado. We hadn't planned anything besides some trail riding in Golden and Grand Junction. Luckily my friend mentioned checking out the parks on the MTBParks Pass we had purchased before the trip.
Fortunately, there were quite a few parks on the way to our destination in Boulder, so we decided to stop at a few. We got to spend some time riding in Steamboat Springs. Tons of elevation. The runs here are long, some of which are almost four miles and dropping over 2000 ft. They have a super fun flow trail and a jump trail that seem to go on forever, but also a few steep, old school downhill trails. This resort is at a bit lower elevation for Colorado, so they tend to be one of the first open and last to close.
We also visited Trestle Bike Park and Keystone Bike Park. Boy did those YouTube videos not do these parks any justice! There was some serious riding going down and if you are driving through Colorado, I definitely recommend checking out these two parks in particular. After a few days, we parked the car at a friend’s house and took flight once more but this time to Keystone Bike Park in beautiful Pennsylvania. Somehow we managed to not take any pictures but here is a cool feature at Keystone. The picture was taken from their site!
In Pennsylvania we stayed in Reading, at Hotel Mulally (not a real hotel) and Logan was no stranger to any of the parks on the East coast. We ended up visiting Blue Mountain Bike Park since it was fairly close to where we were staying. The downhill race course here is amazing. Fast and super rough with rocks everywhere, and a long, Fort Bill-esque motorway at the end. They have put a lot of work in this year to get some smooth and flowy trails in the mix, which has been difficult with the nature of the topsoil in this area. Ewok Village also provides some nice, poppy jumps to throw the back end out on.
A few days later we went off to ride Mountain Creek in New Jersey. Probably the best-known bike park in the East. There is a ton of history here and it shows in the number of trails they have. The land is littered with large rock slabs, many of which are broken and jagged, resulting in some great rock gardens. The trail crew does a great job of changing up the downhill course to make it so there is always a challenge, even for the top riders. The jumps on Dominion are huge and super fun to roll through with friends. Like most bike parks, they have done quite a bit in the last few years to make their park more beginner friendly.
Photo by Zach Faulkner, Rider: Logan Mulally
From there we ventured down to Snowshoe, West Virginia. Being the home to the U.S. National Mountain Bike Championships, you bet the riding was good! This place is technical. The terrain is among some of the toughest I have ridden with steep grades and slimy rocks and roots everywhere. If you are an expert rider, this is the place to go if you want to move to the next level. They have recently built blue and green level trails so that newer riders can get introduced to the bike park here. Just a week after our visit, Neko, Logan’s brother, ended up taking the win at Nationals and becoming our new National Champ! Congrats Neko!
Towards the end of the trip, we ended up visiting Neko’s home park, Windrock Bike Park. Neko has been putting in a bunch of work getting that place dialed and there truly is no other place like it. There is a reason all those companies have been using Windrock as a testing ground for their new products. Windrock keeps you on your toes and there is a unique and raw feeling about the whole park which is not felt while attending other parks. It is therapeutic as you really feel like you and the bike are one. Fast and technical downhill terrain, fast and flowy jump trails, and even "pedally" enduro trails. The bike park here is a great option in the winter when riders are getting cabin fever and ready to get back on their big bikes. A must for anyone cruising down the East coast! I didn’t manage to get any pictures or videos while riding but our friend Jack Berg from whatspickle.com has some pretty sweet videos showing off the park. Check out these videos to see for yourself.
After all that, we headed home. Now I am back at my desk working the same old 9-5 wishing I could be riding these sweet parks again! I wouldn't change anything about the trip and I am really happy to have learned about the MTBParks Pass before going on this trip. The only thing I do regret is not having enough time to go to more parks. Looking through the list, each and every park is unique in its own way and I truly believe that they are worth a visit or two. Maybe I will be able to make it out to a few more before the season is over. Most parks are open until October so you still have plenty of time to ride and take advantage of the pass!
I was able to save more money than what the pass is worth on this trip! The total cost of tickets for just this trip would have cost $319, meaning I've already put $70 back into my pocket with this pass. To save $50 right now just click here or click the link down below and the discount will automatically apply to your cart during checkout. This offer will end on the 30th of September. Now get out there and ride!
Blue Mountain: October 28th, occasionally have bonus weekends if the weather cooperates
Steamboat: October 14th
Whistler: October 8th (Fitzsimmons Express)
Mountain Creek: November 4th
Snowshoe: October 14th
Windrock: Open Year Round!