6 Things to Know about Deer Valley Resort Mountain Biking

Utah’s Wasatch Range has plenty of mountain biking trails and resorts, but Deer Valley Resort in Park City stands alone. Nowhere else will you find such a range of lift-served downhill trails, from technical singletrack to scenic cross-country and smooth flow trails.

Plus, the trails have ridiculous views: dramatic mountains, seas of wildflowers, alpine meadows, aspen groves and pine forests. It’s reminiscent of the scenery in The Sound of Music—and biking here makes you want to burst into song. Here are six tips on making the most of a mountain bike trip to Deer Valley.

Note on the video above: If you’re on mobile, use the YouTube app to get an immersive 360 experience!

1. Start Your Day at Snow Park

"Nail Driver," a friendly singletrack updated in 2015, is the main artery of Deer Valley's trail network.
“Nail Driver,” a friendly singletrack updated in 2015, is the main artery of Deer Valley’s trail network.

The best place to park is Snow Park Lodge. Parking is free and more plentiful than the resort’s two other lots. Plus you can rent bikes and buy lift tickets and snacks at the lodge. Once you’re on the mountain, a good trail to start is Naildriver. Since so many trails spur off it, you’ll get a good lay of the land. Plus it’s newly refurbished and now has plenty of fun berms.

Snow Park has lots of lodging options as well. Book the Mountain Activities Package and stay two or more nights and get 20% off your entire stay plus a $50 Deer Valley Mountain Activities Card.

2. Bike School and Rentals

The Tidal Wave trail.
The Tidal Wave trail.

Deer Valley’s only true beginner trail is Holy Roller a 4 mile flow trail on Bald Mountain. So if you’re new to downhill mountain biking, take a clinic or lesson before hitting the mountain. You’ll be happier and safer if your first time flying down the mountain is with a professional. In the clinics, beginner and intermediate riders are grouped with up to four other riders of similar ability.

Beginners start at the mountain’s base and learn skills like braking, cornering, and stance before ascending the chairlift. Intermediate riders skip the skills session and head directly to the chairlift. In both clinics, a coach guides riders down the mountain, demonstrating how to cross obstacles and corner tight turns. Private lessons are also available for any level of rider. Sometimes riders who are new to Deer Valley take a lesson not only for skill work, but also for a guide to show them the resort’s best routes.  View these links for details on the bike school and rentals.

3. Twilight Ride and Clinics

Enjoy the mountain a bit later with Deer Valley’s Twilight Ride Series. On Wednesdays, beginning June 20 through August 22, enjoy lift-served mountain biking from 4 to 8 p.m. on Silver Lake Express and Sterling Express chairlifts. All Deer Valley summer operations at both Snow Park and Silver Lake Lodges will remain open for the extended Twilight Rides.

Deer Valley Mountain Bike coaches will share techniques to help you improve your mountain biking skills as well as the knowledge to navigate Deer Valley’s diverse trails. The separate Men’s and Women’s Twilight Clinics each have a maximum of five riders per coach, are for Intermediate level riders and above and for those who are at least 14 years of age.

The Adult Twilight Clinic cost is $72 per person and includes a Twilight Series Pass, which offers access to the Sterling and Silver Lake Express chairlifts from 4 to 8 p.m.

To make reservations, please call 435-645-6648.

4. New and Improved Trails

The Tidal Wave trail offers some amazing views.
The Tidal Wave trail offers some amazing views.

In 2014, Deer Valley began a multi-year overhaul of its mountain biking trails—the most ambitious trail update in the resort’s history, according to Steve Graff, bike patrol manager. The resort hired Gravity Logic, a Whistler-based bike park developer, to add at least 7 miles of new flow trails. Deer Valley also has rebuilt 4 miles of existing trail so far.

Construction is ongoing, but new and improved trails have already opened. The highlight so far is Tidal Wave, a 2.5-mile flow trail for intermediate riders with 58 tabletop jumps and 9-foot berms. “A dirt roller coaster is the best way to describe it,” Graff says. “You get on the top and you’re on these big, banked turns and it’s just a hoot to ride. It’s fun.”

In the summer of 2016, the resort opened Holy Roller, a new flow trail for beginners that descends 1,300 feet over 4 miles.

In the Summer of 2017 Deer Valley opened Tsunami an expert level flow/jump trail.

5. The Chairlifts

The Wasatch Express chairlift. Deer Valley Resort
The Wasatch Express chairlift.
Deer Valley Resort

The wait time at Deer Valley’s three summer chairlifts are rarely longer than a minute or two now that the resort has installed an improved bike-lift system. Attendants help roll bikes onto a tray behind each chair, vastly speeding the waiting lines. The resort has three mountains, each with its own lift, serving a total 70 miles of trail.

Bald Mountain, served by the Sterling Express chairlift, has downhill-only trails for mountain bikers. This is where you’ll find the resort’s signature trails for intermediate riders—Naildriver and Tidal Wave. There’s a handful of other blues here also, including Deer Camp, arguably the resort’s most scenic trail. And on the mountain’s south side, three winding trails for advanced riders—Thieves Forest, Fire Swamp and Aspen Slalom — zigzag through steep sections. Hikers can also access this mountain, but they stick to their own trails. Flagstaff Mountain, served by the Ruby Express, has multi-use trails shared by bikers and hikers. This is where you’ll find a cross-country experience. For example, the TG trail for advanced riders cuts through a thick pine forest, then to alpine meadows, then back again.

Bald Eagle Mountain, served by the Silver Lake Express, has advanced downhill bike trails and multi-use trails for intermediate riders and hikers. These trails finish at Snow Park, a popular parking lot.

6. The Snack Shack

The Snack Shack's famous ice cream sandwich.
The Snack Shack’s famous ice cream sandwich.

For a quick bite close to the trails, try the Snack Shack at Silver Lake Village. It’s close to two chairlifts and easy to access. Bikers often ride up and grab the pre-made wraps, like the turkey BLT or the mediterranean vegetable with homemade cheese. You’ll also find simple fare like turkey chili, pork tacos, and hot dogs, as well as beer and lemonade. And if you really need to replenish your calories, the Snack Shack has the famous Deer Valley ice cream sandwich—chocolate chip cookies with vanilla ice cream and a chocolate fudge sauce. There’s no better way to finish an epic day of riding at Deer Valley.

Originally written by RootsRated for Deer Valley.

4 Responses

  1. Nolan zuniga says:

    Nice af

  2. Jeff Finch says:

    So I’m am planning a trip to park city in August and never ridden chair lift down hills before. How would one go about finding a guide when I get there ?

  3. Deer Valley says:

    Hi Jeff, thank you for reaching out. You can get more information here: http://www.deervalley.com/WhatToDo/Summer/LiftRides You can also call and reserve a hiking guide at 435-645-6648 or by emailing skierservices@deervalley.com 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., daily. Please let us know if we can help with anything else. We hope to see you on the mountain this summer.

  4. Rob Stephenson says:

    Best mountain biking resort in Utah! My five brothers and I have a tradition to ride Deer Valley together every year and it’s never disappointed. My son is now old enough to accompany me and we are looking forward to riding together this year.

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