During a typical June on Big Mountain, trail crews spend their days clearing snow for mountain bikers, shoveling eight-foot troughs through the dregs of winter to make way for summer fun.
Not so this year as Whitefish Mountain Resort prepares to open all 30 miles of trails June 20, a full day before the official start of summer, which this year arrived early.
“This time of year we’re usually shoveling snow so people can go ride trails. We haven’t shoveled a single shovelful of snow to clear the bike trails,” Josh Knight, events and recreation manager at Whitefish Mountain Resort, said.
Knight leads the bike park crew on Big Mountain, and they’ve been taking advantage of the driest spring on record by investing 700 hours of trail work and maintenance.
“Some people think that all we do is install signs,” Knight said. “That’s a definite misconception.”
The park offers 13 lift-served trails and eight cross country mountain bike trails and is now open daily through Labor Day and Friday through Sunday in September. Lift access is available 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
“After last summer, our most successful yet, word is getting out that the Whitefish Bike Park is one of the top in the Northwest. Word of mouth, along with [the International Mountain Biking Association] recognizing Kashmir as one of four Model Flow Trails in the world we expect to see more new riders seeking us out,” Knight said. “Our trail crew has been hard at work making improvements to trails based on feedback from local and visiting riders and we are pleased about the difference it’s made. Returning riders will be stoked.”
The newest addition is completion of the progressive drop park, a series of drops ranging from one to 10 feet long on the Overflow Trail. The progressive park features elements that riders of all levels can enjoy, Knight said.
A season pass to the Whitefish Bike Park is $195 for adults, while junior or senior season passes cost $110. From now until June 30, 2014/15 Winter Season Pass holders can purchase an adult Bike Pass at just $175 and $99 for juniors and seniors. Single-day lift access to the Whitefish Bike Park for adults is $35 for a full day or $25 for two hours. Junior and seniors are $25 for full day and $20 for two hours.
The Whitefish Bike Park will also offer three clinics on June 27, July 25 and August 22 from 1-4 p.m. June’s clinic “Intro to riding the Bike Park” will introduce beginner to intermediate riders to the Bike Park.
The Whitefish Bike Park will also host competitions this summer including a stop on Montana’s Enduro Series and the weekly Thursday Night Race League. The seven-week race series is fun for all ages and skill levels. The weekly series begins July 9 and ends August 20.
For more information, visit Whitefish Mountain Resort online at www.skiwhitefish.org and follow the Bike Park on Instagram at @bikewhitefish.