Visitors to Vail can trade in their two skis for two wheels in the summertime for another fun way to go downhill on Vail Mountain. Never attempted a downhill ride without skis? Vail has the perfect solution for bikers of all abilities -guided mountain biking tours. Experience the beauty of Vail Mountain beyond the scenic gondola rides with the comfort of having a knowledgeable and experienced guide leading the way.
Guided tours begin with a lesson in the basics such as checking gear, the fundamentals of mountain biking and understanding of the terrain. Mountain bike guides specialize in navigating the best route for every person’s ability and they keep a close eye on everyone to make sure everyone is comfortable and in control. From a soft dirt pack road to tree courses and pump tracks, guided mountain bike tours showcase the many options for biking on Vail Mountain.
The summer of 2012 is the inaugural year for guided mountain bike tours and guests have reacted positively to the experience.
“We’ve found that our guests feel safer with someone to show them the way down,” said Jeff Althage, general manager of Adventure Ridge. “The tours have given guests a chance to really enjoy the views and experience more without the concern of navigation or even having any prior mountain biking experience.”
Guided tours meet at the base of Lionshead near the ticket office before going up the mountain on the Eagle Bahn Gondola (#19) to Eagle’s Nest and riding down the Liondown and Gitalong Road trails. Bike tours are offered daily at 10:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. and can accommodate up to 12 people. Each guided tour takes two laps down the mountain.
Another option is to take the entire family on a private guided mountain bike tour for a more tailored downhill ride. A private tour includes two guides per group of eight, taking the group on two rides down Liondown, Gitalong and sections of Big Mamba (per discretion of the guides).
Ready to ride but need gear? Rent bikes, helmets, and other gear from many local shops, at the base in Lionshead and throughout Vail. Bike haul tickets are available at the Lionshead ticket office for taking a bike to the top of the mountain on the gondola.
Cost is $40 for guide only, $55 for a guide and lift ticket and $90 for a guide, bike rental and lift ticket. Private guided tours are $200 for up to eight people. Packages including lunch and guided tour are also available. For more information about guided mountain bike tours visit http://www.vail.com/summer/activities/mountain-biking