A-Basin has long been the access point to a short but gnarly and scenic Forest Service trail called Lenawee that is well-known to Colorado mountain bikers seeking a big-mountain adventure. Now, after years of planning, we are building our own bike trails on the mountain's front side, the first of which was completed in mid-September.
The as-yet-unnamed trail is a one-mile descent built by trail crews from A-Basin and the International Mountain Bicycling Association's (IMBA) Trail Solutions program. It's a preview of what is to come over the next two summers, when trail crews will build out a new mountain biking and hiking singletrack network designed by IMBA master trail designer and long-ago A-Basin employee, Joey Klein.
The newly opened trail is only partially complete. It will eventually allow riders to descend from Black Mountain Lodge at mid-mountain to the base area. In addition to this first step, IMBA and A-Basin trail crews also built a new singletrack access route for the existing Argentine North Fork Trail, bypassing a short section of road and offering a more bike-friendly climbing option.
"No other ski area in Colorado is doing what we're doing here [at A-Basin]. It's a blend of old-school traditional singletrack and that new breed of purpose-built enduro mountain biking. You're going to have to earn your turns to come up here and ride this stuff," - Joey Klein, IMBA Trail Solutions
- Length: 1 mile
- Trail rating: Intermediate / blue
- Access: Climb 1 mile up the summer road or the Argentine North Fork Trail
- Cost: FREE!
- Hiking allowed: No
- E-Bikes allowed: No. A-Basin is on U.S. Forest Service land, which does not allow e-bikes on trails.
- Bike rentals on site: No
- Bike haul on lifts: No
Construction will begin in summer 2020 on a large, cross-country-style mountain biking and hiking loop trail that will eventually create about a 10-mile ride option exploring much of the frontside of the mountain. The future loop trail will ascend from mid-mountain to 12,500 feet at the top of the lift-served terrain, head west traversing the ridge line, descend into The Beavers area, and finish by crossing the top of the Pallavicini terrain before connecting to the new trail for the descent. The system could be described as backcountry--an old-school riding experience on bike-optimized trails. Most of the future trail network will also be open to foot traffic.
There are currently no plans for lift-served riding, though A-Basin will be listening to rider demand. There are also no plans for a "bike park" with large jumps and built features, or for multiple bike-only descents. A-Basin currently intends to run the trails as a "cross-country" system.