Get Out There
(page 4 of 6)
Go with the Flow
New Gravity Trails and a World of Fun at the Bald Mountain Recreation Area
BY SVM STAFF
Gravity. Speed. Dips, turns and loops. Nearly 450 miles of continuous singletrack highlights the incredible mountain bike terrain offered in the Sun Valley area—and Bald Mountain has now joined the party. And in typical Sun Valley Resort fashion, they have joined in a big way, offering all the thrill, excitement and perfection of expertly maintained singletrack combined with the ease of lift-accessed service. Welcome to the party!
“Our goal is to create a ‘ski season for the summertime’ by offering a premier lift-accessed trail network to our summer guests,” said Julian Tyo, mountain projects manager. “Another goal of the new trails is to fill a void in the already amazing Wood River Valley trail network. We have nearly 450 miles of bike-accessible singletrack trails in the Valley, and adding to this network completes the picture of a complete mountain bike destination!”
With 32 miles of trail currently open on Bald Mountain and another 12 miles proposed, the joy of perfect trails within an interconnecting system designed to serve all ability levels has become a reality. Designed in cooperation with IMBA Trail Solutions and in partnership with the BLM and U.S. Forest Services, the new trails have been designed following the Green, Blue and Black marking system—from easiest to most difficult—common on ski trails. This allows riders of all abilities to head out together, comfortably ride the trails of their choice and then gather together for lunch at the historic Roundhouse, and then head back out again to continue the looping.
One ticket purchase covers the entire day of lift-accessed service—from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (longer if you want to pedal up by your own power). And bikers can loop as many times as they like, riding a trail multiple times or heading back up to try a different trail each time around. Trails include the 10-mile singletrack Broadway trail to the Warm Springs perimeter trail, or the nine-mile Broadway trail to the Cold Springs singletrack. Both are moderate/intermediate level and offer a 3,100-foot elevation gain/loss. The 3.5-mile hiking and biking Bald Mountain trail is, however, a one-way uphill-only trail for mountain bikers.
But really, why would you ride uphill when you can get whisked up to the top in less than 12 minutes on the Roundhouse Express gondola? From the Roundhouse, riders (or hikers) can take the short and scenic Christmas Chair to the top. At 9,150 feet, it’s an exhilarating 3,400-foot drop on perfectly maintained trails to the base.
If you want to ease into your descent, bikers can enjoy the brand new four-mile Saddle-Up trail—an amazing one-way, bike-only flow trail designed and implemented in cooperation with IMBA Trail Solutions and Alpine Bike Parks. The trail, which encompasses a 1,300-foot elevation gain for riders of moderate to intermediate ability, features the banked turns and rolling terrain of a classic flow trail. And the 8-9 minute Christmas Lift #3 allows riders to loop the trail over and over if they choose—kind of like a free pass on the Millennium Force roller coaster, but a lot more fun!
To add to the experience, the historic Roundhouse, which will be themed as an Idaho alpine grillhouse, will be serving grilled items, fresh seasonal salads, hearty sandwiches and entrées, as well as beer and wine daily. The stunning panoramic outdoor deck offers the best dining in town. For those not looking for a full gourmet lunch experience, Lookout will serve as a snack shack with hot dogs, trail mix, energy bars, other snacks and ice cream. Contact 208.622.2800 for reservations at the Roundhouse (recommended but not required) and visit www.sunvalley.com for more information on hiking and biking trails or to download trail maps.