After nine years of court battles and delays, a new mountain bike part at Timberline Lodge is finally ready to ride.
“We’re very close,” said Timberline Lodge & Ski Area Director of Marketing and Public Relations John Burton when I spoke to him yesterday. As of now there’s no opening date, but Burton said it’s imminent and likely to be announced any day now.
The new bike park hosted a preview day with industry partners last week. About 80 people showed up to test out the operation. They rode the trails and lifts, bought tickets, and rented bikes. Early reviews are positive.
“The current trails, I would rate as being perfect for beginner and intermediate riders. During my three-hour pre-ride I made 6 runs and for about 20 miles/6,000 of descent,” wrote a rider on Facebook after attending the preview day. “There were multiple trails which allowed for routes options down the mountain. Each run was about 3 to 4 miles in length.”[Stills from Timberline Bike Park promo video embedded below.]
Burton said this first phase of the park will open with about 10 miles of trails and will evolve over time. “We’re working hard to set the right expectations. This is a year-one bike park, and as you know, a bike park is a continual work in progress. It takes years of work and maintenance and building and re-working ride lines, hearing user feedback, soil compactions, seeing how trails fare over winter. This is a multi-year build process.”
Timberline has also made an intentional effort to start with trails that appeal to families and a wide variety of abilities. The freeride and jump-lines aren’t ready yet (“still a few weeks out”) so there won’t be chair-lift access on opening day. Burton says most of the effort has gone into green (easy) lines that are about 4.5 miles from top to bottom; good for a 35-minute ride down the mountain. At five feet wide, the green trails is, “Designed for positive user experiences,” Burton says. “It’s perfect for someone’s first time in a bike park without much experience.”
Phase one also includes blue (intermediate) and black (advanced) trails as well. You can see the trails in the promo video above.
All day tickets are $36 for adults (13 years and over) and $32 for kids. Bikes and safety gear are also available for rent.
The entrance to the new park is in front of Wy’East Lodge right off the main Timberline Ski Area parking lot.
It’s been a very long road for Timberline and mountain bike advocates to reach this point. It was 2010 when we published the first notice of a comment period from the US Forest Service that set the project motion. The USFS approved the permit two years later. In 2013, environmental advocacy groups appealed the permit. Despite having their appeal denied, they took the project to court and caused years of delays. A final lawsuit was dismissed in April 2018.
Reps from Timberline are now focused on marketing the trails. “We want everybody to come up with the right expectations and just have a really good time,” Burton said.
UPDATE, 8/8: Opening day has been announced as this coming Monday August 12th. Read all about it via this email from Timberline Bike Park.
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