Rumour has it that Winter Park’s ‘Trestle Bike Park’ is the best of the best in Colorado and even the US for that matter, and second only in North America to Whistler’s Bike Park. These are hefty claims that Backcountry Skiing Canada was more than happy to try and validate. With access to over 40 miles of trails via three chair lifts (Gemini, Eskimo Express and Olympia Chairs) Trestle Bike Park is big—really big! And there are plans to make it even larger with new trails in the works and the completion of Winter Park’s new 10 person Zepher gondola in early 2019. The total ridable vertical works out to be 552m / 1,810ft with the base village sitting at an impressive 2,743m / 9,000ft. The trails breakdown with 32 Freeride Trails (3 Easiest, 13 More Difficult, 12 Most Difficult, 3 Extremely Difficult and 1 Pro Line trail which has restricted access; 15 Technical Trails (5 Easiest, 5 More Difficult and 5 Most Difficult) and 14 Cross Country Trails (6 Easiest, 4 More Difficult and 4 Most Difficult). With plenty of flow trails and over 200 features scattered throughout the trail network, there is literally something for everyone at Trestle Bike Park.
Flow, jumps, berms, selection and vert. Trestle Bike Park at Winter Park Ski Resort has it all.
Trestle Bike Park is open seven days week from early June until the end of September with a bonus weekend the first weekend of October. The lifts start turning at 9:30am and run until 5:00pm daily, except for Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, when you can ride until 7:00pm (June 22 - Sept 1 2018). Located only 67 miles from Denver, Winter Park is easily accessible and can having you slaying brown pow at Trestle all day and still have you home in time for dinner. At $46US a day the smile factor is huge for the cash outlay. If you need a downhill bike and protective gear then you’re looking more at $150-$190/day but this includes your lift ticket, a downhill bike, full face helmet, Fox Titan Sport Jacket or Fox elbow and knee/shin pads and gloves. The selection of bikes in the rental shop is pretty impressive and you’ll have your choice of rides from Intense, Specialized, Giant, Rossignol, Pivot, Santa Cruz, Transition and Norco. I’d have to highly recommend the Specialized Demo 8 and the Santa Cruz V10, both are sweet rides built to tackle the Trestle terrain.
If you only have one day to ride Trestle (which would be a sorry mistake) be sure to hit some of my favourite trails such as Rainmaker / Lower Rainmaker, Shy Ann, Double Jeopardy, Jury Duty, Boot Camp and Space Force—which just opened Aug 31st. Trestle Bike Park really deserves at least two days to get acquainted and you also shouldn’t leave Winter Park without sampling the town’s XC trails.
The rundown of our days at Winter Park went as follows:
After a mid-day arrival and check in at the Fraser Crossing/Founders Pointe Condos we headed on over to the rental shop where the friendly and knowledgeable staff outfitted us with everything we’d need to ride for the day. A quick lift up the Gemini chair gained us access to the Eskimo Express which took us almost to the top of Winter Park’s bike terrain. To get to the very tippy top we needed to ride Shy Ann and Green World over to the Olympia Chair but first, we opted to descend Rainmaker and Lower Rainmaker back to the Eskimo Chair where we sampled a few more trails before moving onto those found off of the Olympia Chair.
After a big introductory day shredding Trestle Bike Park some more mellow cross country riding was in order. I was also intrigued to see what Winter Park had for those less vertically inclined riders. At 9:00 am, we met Keith Sanders, the owner of Beavers Sports and in my opinion the cross country bike guru of Winter Park. Keith is a long time resident of Winter Park and actively involved in promoting and growing the XC scene in the area. What better guide for a half day of XC riding? Check out our route here on Garmin Connect.
On our final day, we decided to hit up Trestle Bike Park to re-ride some of our favourites and find some new ones. With the timely opening of ‘Space Force’ (a trail named after President Trump’s preposterous defence initiative), we had no choice but to hit it first. With a longer than needed cross-country approach Space Force delivered the flow to make you smile. After this, we re-rode our faves which included Rainmaker / Lower Rainmaker and of course Shy Ann. Another full day of riding had us pretty satisfied and beat so we called it a little early and saved some energy for the drive home.
It’s hard to say anything bad about Trestle Bike Park, with over 60 marked trails it’s rumoured to be the largest bike park outside of Whistler so what’s not to love? Having ridden bike parks in BC, Utah and Idaho—I can say with confidence that Trestle is the most well rounded of them all. In my opinion, it offers up the largest selection of trails for intermediate and advanced riders as well as the largest selection of Cross Country trails in the nearby town of Winter Park. There’s not much more you could do to improve things with this bike park. The rental fleet was top notch with plenty of selection, friendly staff all over the place, challenging trails and comfy accommodation right across the street at the Fraser Crossing/Founders Pointe Condos. There’s nothing better after a full day of riding than a hot tub and BBQ with views of the mountains and Winter Park Village and this is exactly what Fraser Crossing/Founders Pointe Condos provides.
Only an hour and a half from Denver or Boulder, Trestle Bike Park is well within reach for weekend warriors but you’d never know that there were almost a million people that close by given how quiet the trails and lifts were. We rode mid-week so we seldom saw other riders but I hear things get busier on weekends which is only natural. On the Friday of the Labour Day weekend, things were still pretty quiet but I guess the word has not gotten out about Trestle quite yet.
With the completion of the new 10 person gondola by early winter 2018, things will be a whole lot different next spring when Trestle opens up for another season. You’ll no longer have to take both the Gemini and Eskimo Express to reach the top of the trails. This will both increase capacity and simplify traffic flow. A good thing is about to get even better, so put Trestle on your ‘to do’ list.
Cost: $46/day lift pass. Downhill bike rental $150-$190/day (Includes Full face helmet, Fox Titan Sport Jacket or Fox Elbow and Knee/Shin Pads and gloves)
Location: 67 miles from Denver up I-70 and Hwy 40
Hours: Open seven days week until September 30th, 9:30-5:00 daily. June 22 - Sept 1 open to 7:00pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays
Bonus weekend Oct 5-7th
Base Elevation: 2,743m / 9,000ft
Vertical: 552m / 1,810ft
Features: Over 200
Lifts: Gemini, Eskimo Express and Olympia Chairs (New 10 person Gondola will be in operation next season).
Trails: 64km / 40 miles
Trail Network: 32 Freeride Trails: 3 Easiest, 13 More Difficult, 12 Most Difficult, Three Extremely Difficult and One Pro Line (restricted access)
15 Technical Trails: 5 Easiest, 5 More Difficult and 5 Most Difficult
14 XC Trails: 6 Easiest, 4 More Difficult and 4 Most Difficult
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