Beginner MTB Review: Keystone Bike Park
As someone who is new to mountain biking, having access to beginner trails is key for developing new skills. Last summer, I took a day trip to Keystone to take my first ever true downhill trail. This post is a review of my time at Keystone. Apologies to those who are more intense, but this review will focus on the beginner experience.
Parking at Keystone is incredibly easy. Since the lots are prepared for heavy skier traffic, there are numerous places to park. Since I opted to ride uphill instead of paying for bike haul, I parked in the Mountain House lot. While this area has no open amenities in the summer, the lot is right next to the service road (aka the designated uphill route). The road is well managed with minimal foot and bike traffic. There were a few work trucks that passed by, but they were respectful and friendly. It is a long, yet very mild ascent. The road also features phenomenal views!
I took the green downhill track from top to bottom, and man was it a LONG ride! The trail was busy, but fortunately there were many opportunities to let people pass. This trail crosses back and forth on a wide ski trail, so stoping and taking a break out of the way was easy. I did intersect with many other bike trails, but the signage was good to make sure I didn't head the wrong way or hit oncoming traffic. The trail was clear of debris, rocks were minimal, and there were fortunately no surprises. Keystone's bike patrol passed by often, which was very reassuring as someone who was afraid of failing and getting hurt! Luckily, I made it down without falling. The trail meets the service road at the end, making it super easy to head straight back to the car without having to go uphill again.
Overall, Keystone was a good first downhill experience for me! I was challenged the whole way down, but I never felt unsafe or in over my head. The trail was longer than I would have liked for my first time out, but it gave me time to work on my skills and develop a new level of confidence once I made it to the bottom. I would recommend it for someone looking for a safe beginner experience, though be warned it can be super hectic during peak season.
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