Boulder – a Colorado community whose very name connotes adventure and the great outdoors.
Located at the base of the Rocky Mountain foothills, you’d be justified in looking instinctively westward towards the Flatirons in search of the city’s best mountain biking trails. But we’ll let you in on a little secret: to the east, located in the Noble Park neighborhood just south of the municipal airport, there’s a 42-acre plot of land that’s been sculpted into some of the finest off-road riding available in the country.
We’re talking, of course, about Valmont Bike Park.
Opened in 2011, this expansive network of trails, obstacles, and professional jumps was the culmination of 15 years’ worth of planning by city officials and passionate Colorado cyclists. Outside groups like BHA Landscape Architects in Ft. Collins and Alpine Bike Parks in Whistler, BC were called in to help develop a diverse terrain that could withstand the fluctuating climates of the mountain west. To say that the resulting bike park was a success would be an understatement, with an estimated 30,000 riders taking to its trails every year. And the best part: it’s absolutely free.
In terms of features, there’s little that Valmont Bike Park doesn’t offer. The 5-level trail system is ranked from XS to XL, catering to everyone from first timers to touring professionals. There’s a pump park, dual slalom and downhill slopestyle riding, singletrack trails, and obstacles ranging from logs to boulders to ladder bridges.
Like much of Boulder, the park is incredibly family friendly, providing a playground, a dog park, and plenty of space for children to push themselves around on balance bikes. There are even riding clinics and races put on throughout the year. In other words, it somehow manages to simultaneously appeal to cyclists across the entire spectrum of ability and comfort level.
And did we mention the views?
Aside from safety, the most important thing to keep in mind when riding at Valmont Bike Park is the conditions. Maintaining a world-class series of trails means paying particularly close attention to levels of surface moisture, and park operators will occasionally close up shop if it’s determined that riding will cause damage to the terrain. Check their Facebook page daily for updates and other pertinent information, then hop on your rental bike and go experience this incredible slice of Boulder biking for yourself.