Snowmass bike trail fills void for rookie riders |

Snowmass bike trail fills void for rookie riders

A new mountain-biking trail opened last week at Snowmass Ski Area, and it is the first time Aspen Skiing Co. has what it would consider a true beginner ride on the lift-served terrain there.

The lower section of Verde is open to riders now while work continues on the upper portions. The full trail, which will begin close to the top of the Elk Camp Gondola and end in Base Village, should be complete in a couple of weeks, said Snowmass Mountain Manager Steve Sewell.

“One thing we’ve been missing is a true beginner trail,” Sewell said. “Quite often what ends up happening is [beginners] end up on Valhalla. … Having a mix of skill levels out there is not the greatest.”

Valhalla, which Skico calls its “signature trail,” is ideal for intermediate to advanced riders, Skico’s website says.

With the addition of Verde, there will be about 56 miles of lift-served mountain-biking trails on Snowmass, Sewell said. This summer, Skico is also rebuilding portions of Easy Rider to make it a more intermediate experience and then some sections of Vapor Trail.

The company hopes to lay out the routes for a few more trails next summer. It has a master plan, created by trail-building company Gravity Logic, to build 15 total downhill mountain-biking trails, mostly in the Elk Camp area, Sewell said.

Skico offers a package deal that includes a lift ticket, a half-day bike rental and a one-hour downhill bike clinic with a Skico instructor. For more information, visit

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