Editors Note: Pivot riders Madison Pitts and Jarrod Adcock are local experts when it comes to riding at Winter Park, Colorado’s Trestle Bike Park. They partnered with Pivot Premier dealer Sports Garage in the shop’s “Rides We Love” series to produce this insider’s guide to the mountain. Madison, Jarrod, and Trestle Bike Park were all featured in the 2020 launch of the Mach 6, in the video “All Play, No Work”. Words by Madison Pitts and Jarrod Adcock, originally published by Sports Garage.
Nestled in a small valley on the west side of the Continental Divide lies the town of Winter Park, home to Colorado’s most favored bike park.
With over 2,000 feet of vertical rise, Trestle Bike Park contains the largest variety of lift-access mountain bike trails. The resort offers mountain bike enthusiasts forty miles of descending terrain via three lifts, accessing 63 trails in total. The trail variety at the bike park, hours of operation and being located nearest to Denver, makes this lift access bike park beloved by the Front Range locals and visitors alike.
Arriving at the resort you will notice that there are plenty of parking lots; all lots are free-of-charge.
The locals know that you will want to arrive early to secure a spot in the parking garage. The garage is nearest to the resort base and offers you, your vehicle, and any fur-babies you bring relief from Colorado’s unpredictable weather patterns. Keep in mind if adverse weather does occur, and lift service is paused for 70 consecutive minutes you can stop by the ticket office and receive a rain check for your lift pass and/or bike rental. Throughout the day, expect mountain bikers to be hanging out, snacking, and having a refreshing beverage in the garage between party laps! Sorry van-lifers, you cannot park in the garage. If you still want to join the party, tall vehicles can park on the roof of the garage or in other lots throughout the resort property. Self contained vehicles are permitted for overnight parking in the G Lot for a maximum of three (3) days.
While you are waiting for the lifts to start running, head over to Goody’s Mountain Creperie where you can kickstart your day with a warm brew of coffee and indulge in a sweet or savory crêpe. Goody’s is known for its baked goods, but our go-to order is the breakfast burrito with the gravy on the side. This fairly priced breakfast burrito is large enough to sustain two hungry mountain bikers for hours.
10 am and it’s time to hit the slopes! Visiting Trestle Bike Park with a group of friends? No problem!
The Gondola at the resort base fits three people with bikes. A quick ride up Winter Park Mountain and you will not only find yourself at the start of most of the bike park’s trails, but you will be at 10,700 feet in elevation surrounded by panoramic views of the continental divide and the rocky mountains. Take note of the Sunspot Lodge as it is perfect for a quick lunch stop serving everything from grab-n-go salads to nachos and CLIF Energy Bars. If mom and dad tag along for your mountain bike adventure, the Sunspot also offers a full bar with outdoor seating and family activities. Let it be known that this lodge has typical resort prices, and you can save yourself a few bucks by shopping at the convenience store at the resort base. The Trails End Mercantile offers groceries, souvenirs, gifts and is easily accessible as it’s located a few steps away from the Gondola.
At the top of Winter Park Mountain, you will be faced with a plethora of trail options.
Many riders choose to explore Green World Trail as their first lap on the mountain. Green World is a flowy green trail that spans from the top of Winter Park Mountain to the base of the resort and offers access to all lifts serving the Trestle Bike Park. If Green World Trail is too mellow for you, Shy Ann is also accessible from the Sunspot Lodge. This blue trail is extremely fun, offering a variety of terrain originating as a speedy jump line and flows into sections of steep, technical terrain into Five Points. For the intermediate rider, Long Trail and Free Speech are continuations of Shy Ann from Five Points to the base of the mountain giving you a stepping stone into Trestle Bike Park’s black diamond trails.
If you are an expert-level mountain biker with a need for speed, Rainmaker is a black diamond jump trail and is perfect to get warmed up on or host party trains with your friends.
Rainmaker Trail provides a beltway to a majority of Trestle Bike Park trails. At different points, you will pass beneath the Olympia lift, descend into Five Points, and get dropped off at the Eskimo lift. On Rainmaker, you will continue to flow down the mountain to the intersection of multiple trails known as Five Points. Five Points serves as a meet-up point for friends and provides a spot for a quick bike tune, water, or access to emergency services. Rainmaker has jumps ranging from 5-20’ in length (give or take a few feet) and it will lead you directly to the Eskimo Express, Trestle’s third trail serving lift. Here’s where you make the hardest decision: continue on Jury Duty to Boot Camp and ultimately to the base or hop on the Eskimo lift which takes you back up to the Sun Spot Lodge?
Unfortunately, the only way out of the backside of the mountain is up Olympia lift.
This lift line can often become long, but we assure you that Happier Camper/ Paper Boy is always worth the wait. Before descending these trails you will want to make sure the lift is actively running. You must have enough time to make it back as this lift closes 30 minutes before all other lifts. Once you make it to the top of Olympia, you have the choice of Green World or 36th Chamber, Trestles largest (and always windiest) jump-line. Both Green World and 36th Chamber will intersect trails on the front side of the mountain.
Cruel and Unusual should be on every rider’s must-do list as it tests your ability to maintain speed through tight wooden berms, and other technical jumps and wooden features. Approach with caution, as this trail has a fair amount of ladder drops and gaps! If you do find yourself stopping to eye up or walk around any obstacles at the park be aware of oncoming riders.
Most of the technical trails at Trestle Bike Park are located on the eastern facing slope.
Here is where you can find trails raced on during well-known events such as Big Mountain Enduro Series and USA Cycling’s National Championships. Trestle DH, Search and Seizure, and Boulevard are fan favorites. These steep, technical trails are fast-paced and full of rock gardens. Riders will cruise through the subalpine country while rapidly descending in altitude. You must choose your lines wisely as these trails will challenge the most experienced of riders. One of our most favored trails is a connecting trail to the base called Space Ape. This trail has a lot of roots, unforgiving rock gardens, and even a creek gap. A perfect run through Space Ape will leave you with a feeling of accomplishment.
Hidden away in the trees is a pro-line trail that runs parallel to Space Ape known as Banana Peel.
This trail is full of gravity-defying obstacles that will intimidate any rider. Banana Peel has 10 main features. These features will test a rider’s ability to ride shark fins, whale tales, jumps with large gaps, big drops, and more. This line is well built as it offers a rider to tackle each obstacle one by one, building skills and confidence upon their journey to conquering the line. Be aware; this trail does require a pro line pass available to any rider above the age of 14. You will be required to sign a waiver and view a safety video. Anybody caught riding without the pass will have their bike park pass taken away.
Don’t think you are ready for Trestle Bike Park’s Pro-line? Beeall UCanB offers advanced riders the chance to showcase their skills on less intimidating drops and gaps. Have your riding buddy camera ready for the last drop on this line. Viewable from the base, the “Trestle Drop” is a picturesque feature you will be excited to show your friend through social media.
Stoked on the days riding and need to refuel? Meet up with your friends at The Pizza Pedal’r and grab their happy hour special of “Mega Cheese Slice and a cold one” for $7 between the hours of 3 pm-5 pm.
Story From: Sports Garage