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Top 5 Downhill Mountain Bike Resorts in North America

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Liftopia came out with a list of the Top 5 Downhill Mountain Biking Resorts in North America

 

At first I thought maybe this was based on liftopia ticket sales, which would leave out any resort who doestn't sell tickets through liftopia, however there is an editors note at the top of the  article that states ---

 

Editor’s Note: This post was written by Nathalie Couët, one of the writers for Go Girl.

  • Banff
  • Bromont
  • Mammoth and Eastern Sierra
  • Park City
  • Crested Butte

 

Since this is an article written by someone from another site, I'm thinking that this isn't based on ticket sales.  

 

My experience with Downhill riding is fairly limited to Northstar, so I have nothing to comment on this list. 

The one thing that puzzles me is the photo for each resort.  It seems that some of the photos are of XC trails, not Downhill terrain

 

I would love to hear from some of the folks who have been to some of these places. 

post #2 of 23

I have a fair amount of experience with Park City mountain biking. Definitely more of a cross country scene. There is a growing downhill scene at Canyons, DV and Trailside park in town, but cross country is the thing. Really good cross country though. The nice thing about PC is the interconectedness of the trail system. You can stay anywhere from I-80 into OLD Town or DV and access the trails. There are bike paths everywhere and from those you can access many miles of single track. IMBA has named PC as the only Gold level mountain biking destination in the world. I believe it's due to amenities and access to trail system. Highly recommend it for a summer trip if you like mountain biking.  

post #3 of 23

I do not DH bike.

 

but

 

whistler would be number 1. not even close.

 

Park City is not even the main place to ride a lift in Park city that is Deer Valley. Park City(the entire area) has argueablly the best XC/trail riding in the entire USA. 

 

Highland Park in New hampshire and Snowshoe should be in the running as well. 

post #4 of 23

Banff is in a National Park.

There are restrictions in place intended to to keep mountain bikers off most of the trails in the park.

Whistler is very good for DH as is Kicking Horse, both offer huge vertical after just one gondola ride

post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by noncrazycanuck View Post
 

Banff is in a National Park.

There are restrictions in place intended to to keep mountain bikers off most of the trails in the park.

Whistler is very good for DH as is Kicking Horse, both offer huge vertical after just one gondola ride

 

 

are horses allowed in the national park? 

post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post
 

I do not DH bike.

 

but

 

whistler would be number 1. not even close.

 

Park City is not even the main place to ride a lift in Park city that is Deer Valley. Park City(the entire area) has argueablly the best XC/trail riding in the entire USA. 

 

Highland Park in New hampshire and Snowshoe should be in the running as well. 

I an not sure why/how Whistler didn't make the top 5 and as Josh mentioned not number 1. 

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post
 

 

 

are horses allowed in the national park? 


Horses are allowed and so are mtb's.  But there is no "downhill" park..and as 99.999% of downhillers that I know don't ride up, they're more likely to go somewhere that as a lift..  :D 

post #8 of 23

I don't think this list is very good, as stated Banff definitely doesn't have lift access downhill biking.  Whistler should be number 1 and probably Silver Star should be on the list.

It seems that the author was rather confused about the differences between DH and XC biking.

post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott43 View Post
 


Horses are allowed and so are mtb's.  But there is no "downhill" park..and as 99.999% of downhillers that I know don't ride up, they're more likely to go somewhere that as a lift..  :D 

 

 

the english DHer all ride up since they have no lifts in the whole country. 

post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post
 

 

 

the english DHer all ride up since they have no lifts in the whole country. 


Thank god for Scotland!  Alba gu brath!  :D 

 

EDIT:  true story..I rode Mt St Anne in Quebec a few years back.  I rode UP the hill..took me a fair amount of time..probably 45 mins..not ONE person was going up besides me!  Lift was packed... 

post #11 of 23

Any list that doesn't have Whistler in the number 1 spot is broken and not even worth looking at. I'd put Winter Park #2 and Bromont and Highland in the top 5 (or top 10 at the very least). Not sure who else.

post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post
 

 

 

the english DHer all ride up since they have no lifts in the whole country. 

 

No, they use "uplift" usually trucks with trailers - cattle style. I think they have actually installed or are installing a lift in Ae Forest.

post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 

I will admit, this list has me scratching my head, for reasons that others have touched on. 

 

Banff doesn't allow DH

Park City doesn't have DH, more like XC

Whistler didn't make the list?

And nothing from the east coast?  I know there is good DH riding in the east. 

post #14 of 23

Bromont is east coast its in quebec. 

post #15 of 23

Just re read the article. It starts off referencing last years list which had Whistler. For this list, it just said here's 5 more. makes a bit more sense, but still blurrs the line between CC and DH. Not that it makes any difference to anything. 

post #16 of 23

And PC does have some downhill, but nothing compared to Whistler. However, I did read something the other day that Deer Valley is planning some major upgrades to their downhill. What that consists of we shall see.

post #17 of 23

Worldbikeparks.com lists Whistler as #1, Sun Peaks #9, Mammoth #10.

 

The Canadian National DH bike race is being held at Sun Peaks in mid July.

post #18 of 23

Park City (not just PCMR) has 400 miles of XC and DH bike paths, and I think the magazines get confused about this.  See the interactive trail map: http://mountaintrails.org/map/    

 

 

Canyons has a wicked DH facility there:

 

 

 


Edited by quant2325 - 6/17/14 at 11:27pm
post #19 of 23

Agreed about Whistler not being on the list but Crested Butte brings the pain.

post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 

Wow!!^^^^

post #21 of 23

Why isn't whistler there?  Because like most sites and magazines that review;  the reviews are sketchy and influenced by advertising and/or how well the editors/writers were wined and dined on their visits to the resorts.  Di the "reviewer" even go to Whistler?  my guess is whoever comped them is where they "reviewed" Does this magazine even have any cred?  why are we paying attention to it?  Maybe "Southern Living Magazine" will post a review of DH mountains.   :D   BTW- did anyone else look at Go Girl Magazine......  hmmmm

 

EDIT: not all sites/magazines of course but most ;) 


Edited by Finndog - 7/25/14 at 7:45am
post #22 of 23

I also think Angel Fire should be on that list.

post #23 of 23
I'm sure we're not top 5 here, but as the resort Ambassador, I'm sure at some point I need to jump into a topic about which I know nothing, in order to push Whitefish...

======
Kashmir bike trail earns international praise
By MATT BALDWIN Whitefish Pilot | Posted 3 days ago

Whitefish Mountain Resort’s flagship mountain bike flow trail has garnered worldwide recognition. The Kashmir trail was named a 2014 Model Trail by the International Mountain Bicycling Association.

The honor puts Kashmir on the map alongside some of the great downhill trails in the world. The three other flow trails earning the recognition this year are in Austria, Czech Republic and Sun Valley, Idaho.

A flow trail is a relatively new concept in mountain biking. Flow trails feature big berms on switchbacks, jumps and other dirt features that challenge riders. Experts can sometimes ride a flow trail without ever using their brakes.

“A good flow trail uses gravity to your advantage,” explained Whitefish resident and avid freerider Pete Costain. Costain and his company Terraflow Trail Systems helped build many of the freeride trails at Whitefish Mountain Resort’s bike park — including Kashmir. Costain also helped design and build portions of the Whitefish Trail.

Kashmir delivers the all-around experience of a great flow trail, Costain said, with a diverse appeal for intermediate riders to experts.

“It’s smooth, every corner has a berm, and it’s kind of effortless to ride,” he said. “It counters the image of downhilling — it’s a fun experience, not a risk-your-life experience.”

The trail cuts across the top of Ptarmigan Bowl to Upper Good Medicine, then cuts down Swift Creek near Chair 2.

Costain says the vision for the trail was a cooperative effort over many years. Resort recreation manager Josh Knight worked tirelessly with the Forest Service to map out the route, while Costain and Greg Franson used excavators with the help of the resort trail crew to carve out the trail.

“Josh put in some serious walking time with the Forest Service,” Costain said.

Work began in the winter of 2012 and Kashmir opened last July. It quickly became a favorite for freeriders at the resort.

“It’s essentially dirt art,” Costain said. “I’m super psyched to have built a trail like that in our backyard.”

Knight said the award will help Whitefish continue to build on its reputation as a cycling destination.

“Everyone involved in building the trail from our trail crew to Terraflow Trails was very proud of its creation,” Knight said.

Knight will attend the IMBA World Summit this weekend in Steamboat Springs, Colo. to accept the award.
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