Up Here Bikes Ride the Gondie Too
● By Christina Freeman
Mountain biking at the ski area is fun for the whole family. Photo by Aryeh Copa.
Mountain Biking at the Ski Area
More than 50 miles of mountain bike trails crisscross the Steamboat Ski Area. For those who don’t relish the uphill climb from the base, the gondola presents an attractive alternative; bikes can ride too.
The ski area’s bike network includes trails for varying ability levels. Duster, which goes from the upper gondola terminal to Rendezvous Saddle along dirt roads, is suitable for beginners. With minimal elevation gain, Duster offers spectacular views of the valley and passes by some of the best wildflower meadows on the mountain.
Intermediate riders have a choice of several trails: Elkhead Loop, Cathy’s Cutoff, Sunshine, Yoo Hoo and Zig Zag. The most popular trail on the mountain, Zig Zag, descends 4.7 miles from the top of the gondola on single/double track, including challenging downhill sections.
National, Olympic, World and Tour de France champions have taken on the technical aspects, elevation and mountain environment of Mount Werner. Creekside, Storm Peak Challenge and Pete’s Wicked Trail are among the most challenging trails on the mountain.
A bike access ticket is required to ride the gondola and may be purchased at the ticket office. Mountain bike and cruiser rentals are available at the Steamboat Bike Shop in the Sheraton at the edge of the gondola at the ski area base. Bike patrollers are on duty, and guides are available throughout summer. www.steamboat.com