Biking the ‘Boat at the Steamboat Bike Park
With a network of trails to impress, Steamboat Bike Park offers nearly 2,200 vertical feet of lift-served, gravity-fed, downhill flow trails. Beyond the Steamboat Bike Park, miles and miles of cross-country trails span across the resort, offering some of the very best single-track in the Yampa Valley.
Steamboat Resort offers two different types of trails: Steamboat Bike Park trails and United States Forest Service (USFS) system trails. As the name implies, bike park trails are indeed located within the Steamboat Bike Park that is located below the top of Thunderhead Lodge. These are downhill-only trails that have been built by Steamboat Resort to encompass the Steamboat Bike Park. To access these trails, you must have a daily ticket, season pass or Pedal Pass. A Pedal Pass, similar to the Uphill Access Pass in the winter, is $50 for the season and allows you to pedal yourself up and enjoy the awesome network of Steamboat Bike Park trails on the way down.
Within the Steamboat Bike Park you will find two different types of land: privately owned land and USFS leased land. The top of Christie Peak is a clear marker denoting these two different types of land. Anything below the top of Christie Peak Express is privately owned by Steamboat Resort, and anything above is leased by the USFS to Steamboat Resort. Despite these two different types of land within the Steamboat Bike Park, these downhill-only trails are maintained and operated by Steamboat Resort. They are monitored and patrolled daily by Steamboat Resort at a level of risk mitigation similar to Ski Patrol in the winters. Always a good number to have, Bike Patrol is the same number as Ski Patrol: 970-871-5911. You can also download the Steamboat App to quickly reach Patrol throughout the year.
Beyond the boundaries of Steamboat Bike Park are miles and miles of stunning cross-country trails that wind through the ski trail meadows and aspen forests of Steamboat Resort. These trails are referred to as forest service system trails and are multiuse, meaning that they are multi-directional and open to hikers and bikers alike. Steamboat Resort maintains these trails that are on USFS-leased land, but they do not open and close them like they do the Steamboat Bike Park. These trails function on a more weather-dependent status, similar to the endless cross-country trails scattered throughout Steamboat Springs. If the trails are too wet and muddy, hikers and bikers should not use them as they will become damaged.
Fully operational for the summer as of June 16, 2023, and for the first time in five years, the Steamboat Bike Park has bikers in Steamboat and beyond excited. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through September 4, the bike park will be running Christie Peak Express and the gondola to get your bike up the hill so you can enjoy riding it down. Of course, if you have the Pedal Pass and choose to earn your gravity-fed turns, biking down within these hours is required. After September 4, the Steamboat Bike Park will remain open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through October 1.
Something to note is that closures may be in place at certain times and in certain locations due to the ongoing construction at Steamboat Resort, all part of the Full Steam Ahead resort development project. Most notably, Steamboat Resort is placing the towers needed for the rest of the Wild Blue Gondola this summer, as well as a pipeline that will allow for snowmaking this winter in the Sunshine area. It is essential that all hikers and bikers abide by closures on park trails and forest service system trails alike as they are in place to ultimately keep you safe. Whether or not Steamboat Resort owns the land or leases it, they do have control over the property and can allow or deny access as needed. For the most current status of trails, please refer to the resort website or the Steamboat App, both of which are updated daily. Construction updates can be found on the Full Steam Ahead Website.
With much excitement in the air as more and more trails are open for biking now that the snow has revealed endless miles of flowy and smooth dirt, Steamboat Bike Park Manager Jon Feiges reminds us all to “have fun, be safe and know Bike Patrol’s phone number (970-871-5911).”
Written by Erin Campbell
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