Two-wheel adventure on Vail Mountain
Dierk R. and Andrew M., residents of Castle Pines taking in a day on the mountain
Article and photo by Julie Montoya
Where I-70 and the town of Lionshead meet is a well-known mountain called Vail Mountain. Sure, most have heard of it and many have skied it, but have you ever had the opportunity to see it from the seat of a bicycle?
Starting June 20, Vail Mountain opened for its 2013 summer season, and downhill mountain biking is one of the main events. Many people discount the idea of conquering Vail Mountain, thinking the paths are dangerous and designed for only advanced riders, but the fact is Vail Mountain is great for all levels of experience.
With fifteen green, blue and black trails to choose from, conquering Vail Mountain is easier (and safer) than one might think. Trails are designed and maintained all summer long, allowing riders to choose from winding mellow paths through the aspen trees (green trails), to more vertical switchback courses full of boulders and logs for experienced riders (black trails).
From Lionshead, riders board Eagle Bahn Gondola to hit the trails. The gondola employees make it very easy to transport bikes by loading them on one gondola, while the riders casually board a second gondola. When riders get to the top of the mountain, their bikes have already been taken off the gondola, and placed in bike racks right there for riders to “pick-up” when they exit. Once at the top of the mountain, riders will find a large map of the separate trails for biking, walking and hiking.
On your way down Vail Mountain, don’t forget to take frequent breaks… not only to drink water, but to take in the spectacular solitude and views. Like skiing, being up high on the mountain affords an incredible sense of peace and calm, and many riders venture off their trail to enjoy a picnic in one of the many aspen groves.
Vail Mountain summer season runs June 20 – September 2. Tickets for the mountain are $31 for adults and $10 for children and are one day passes with full access to the mountain and the gondolas.
Visit www.vail.com for more information, or check with the ticket offices or Mountain Information Center at 970-SKI VAIL or 970-754-8245 for daily operations.
A map of the current 2013 Vail Summer Mountain schedule. Shown are all activities including hiking, biking, downhill biking, and walking trails.