Digging into Mountain Biking Dirt Camp for Kids at Keystone!

My 12 year old daughter is fearless.  She loves any sport that involves going fast and defies gravity.  Her favorite sport is rock climbing and she can do that at a gym any day of the year, but when the weather is nice, she is a mountain bike girl all day long. She mastered the uphill skills near our home in Golden, but was not super confident on the downhill sections.  Last summer, we noticed that Keystone was offering ‘Dirt Camp’ for kids ages 9 – 13 and she begged to get in on the action. She loved every minute of it and learned some great bike skills. All winter she waited for the 2019 dates to be announced and made sure we blocked the dates off until she could register.  

 

The first session of 2019 Keystone ‘Dirt Camp’ started on June 24.  She walked into the bike school building and noticed her favorite bike coaches from last year were back.  They all greeted her by name and after a round of fist bumps, checked over her bike for mechanical issues. We walked over to Keystone Sports to get her outfitted with downhill gear, with her coach in charge of making sure everything fit properly.  

Summer Mountain Bike Dirt Camp for Kids at Keystone CO

Coaches spent the first day helping the kids practice the skills they would need on the mountain.  Track stands, wheelies, slow speed turns, cornering, etc.. Torrey felt like she mastered the techniques by the end of the day.  When she returned to our condo at the Springs building, she was beaming with pride that she had gotten ‘camper of the day!’ She spent the evening in the pool telling her friends that they should go to the next camp session.

 

The next day, the campers hit the mountain to practice their newly acquired skills. Torrey reported that they couldn’t do some of their favorite trails, like “Girl Scout” because of snow at the top.  They were able to do “River Run” and she felt like she was working beyond her comfort zone. By day 3, she said she was really trying to push herself and maybe went too far. She took a hard fall, but was glad that she had a full face helmet and compression jacket.  Her instructor let me know that they looked her over thoroughly and felt she could finish the day. At the end of day 4, Torrey was sore and tired. She had backed off on her speed and felt safer, but she was working hard to master the tough terrain of blue trails. Though she was tired, she was so excited to get to class on day 5.  As I dropped her off, she asked if she could register for the next session, happening in a few weeks on July 15 -19.

 

If you have a child interested in developing their mountain bike skills, I highly recommend Keystone Dirt Camp! The instructors are fantastic.  In fact, they are considering hosting a similar camp for women that I just might look into for myself and a group of friends. After all, I need to keep up with Torrey! Each camp entry includes one on one instruction, Dirt Camp swag, daily bike, equipment & storage during the camp, a daily bike haul ticket and trail access. 

Mountain Biking Highlight: Keystone Gulch to Soda Creek Loop

This is a longer loop of about 15 and a half miles at Keystone Resort that starts with a big climb, but ends with a fun downhill and wide open meadow vistas and incredible views throughout. This trail has it all including summer time views of the ski resort and lifts, tons of wildflowers, riding alongside streams, open meadows and lots of fun singletrack.  This is a must-do ride for riders who can handle the challenging climb of just over 2,000 vertical feet at altitude.

Keystone Gulch Trailhead
Starting the climb on Keystone Gulch Road

 

Keystone Gulch Biking
Views from the climb, nearing the top of the ridge

 

If you are staying in the West Keystone area, such as Keystone Gulch Townhomes, Northstar or Wild Irishman, you can just start the ride right from your vacation rental and leave the car parked!  The ‘trail’ starts at the Keystone Gulch Trailhead, going up the dirt road, following along side the stream. After about 3 miles of a gradual climb on the road, you will pass by two ski lifts in the Keystone Outback ski area. A little further at 3.4 miles you will be turning right on CO Rd 176.  This is where the real climbing begins for another 3 miles.  You’ll be going up several switchbacks, with some short steep sections and longer mellow climbs.  You will catch some awesome glimpses of the ski runs as you continue to get closer to the top.  Look for the singletrack trail off to the left as you turn up onto the final switchback and you’ll soon be at the Colorado Trail – turn right at the T and start your descent.

 

Biking in Keystone Gulch Soda Creek Ridge
Enjoying the wide open views

 

 

Fun Descent at Keystone Gulch Trail
The descent (and the fun) begins!

 

You’ll take in some great views of the hills, wildflowers and trees on this fun singletrack.  Watch out, as this is a popular trail with other bikers and hikers so keep your finger on the brake.  You’ll come to a signed intersection at Red Trail, where you will turn right.  Head through the meadows and forest until you reach the Soda Ridge Trail.  Continue to ride this trail as it flows up and down through the Keystone Ranch area and various neighborhoods.  This section has a great fast flow and is lots of fun!  Eventually you will come to the Keystone Aqueduct Trail intersection, where you will again turn right. This trail has views over the Keystone Valley and River Golf Course. You will run into the exposed pipe and you may choose to walk this section. You’re nearing the end of your ride, totaling about 15.5 miles.  Look for the bridge that will take you back to the road towards the starting point and give yourself a pat on the back – job well done!

Mountain Bike Trails at Keystone Resort CO
Going through some recent logging operations

 

To celebrate, you’ll likely want to grab a cold one!  Continue the ride and go right on Soda Ridge Road from the Keystone Gulch Trailhead parking area and then left on West Keystone Road.  You’ll meet up with the bike path shortly – turn right on the path and head towards the Keystone Lake, going left at the shore.  Park your bike here and head to happy hour at the Bighorn Bistro inside the Keystone Lodge and Spa- you’ve earned it!

Biking or Hiking the Aqueduct Trail at Keystone Resort

The Keystone Aqueduct was built to bring much needed water from Keystone Gulch to Keystone Ranch.  The Aqueduct is still in use today to fill up the Keystone Ranch Reservoir to water the two golf courses at Keystone, The Ranch and The River.  One really great and fairly easy ride or afternoon hike is the Aqueduct trail in Keystone which is fully open to the public.  You can begin this trail from the parking lot of Keystone Gulch Road and Soda Ridge Road.  The trail begins right at the gate of the road and sneaks off into the woods.  Soon after you go into the woods, you will come across a small wooden bridge crossing over the creek which is easy to ride across, but you might just want to take some pictures of the creek…it’s a great view!  Start climbing next to the creek and you will see a really steep turnoff to the right.  Keep going straight and avoid the extremely steep climb to the aqueduct.  When you get to a clearing, take a hard right to head West on the Aqueduct trail.  The Aqueduct trail is pretty wide, but you will come across a narrow area with sturdy boards covering the pipe.  It is best to walk your bike in this area as is can get slippery especially when wet.  After the boardwalk area, the trail really opens up and it’s an easy flat ride.  Be careful in this section, however….the Keystone Stables run their horse ride tours in this area and you may come upon a crew of trail riders.  Always stop and pull far over and communicate with the people on the horses so the horses do not get spooked and injure the rider.  You will eventually come to Keystone Ranch Road.  From here you can cross the road and enter the Soda Ridge Trail System or continue into Keystone Ranch for some incredible views, especially in the early morning or evening just before sunset.  This trail is also spectacular for viewing the fall colors over the Keystone valley.

 

 

Continue on the Aqueduct through the open fields.  You will come to a fork and you may take either the “high road” or the “low road”.  The high road will bypass the neighborhood, but it is a steep initial climb.  Both trails converge again into the Keystone Ranch.  Going through the neighborhood is a fun ride and you go between property lines of some really nice homes!

 

Once the trail converge, you have a special treat ahead with some great single track and some ups and downs.  The final descent spills you about 1/4 mile into Keystone Ranch and easy access to the Colorado Trail just 2 miles away.  At this point, you can turn around and go back, or you can ride the dirt road back.  The dirt road turns to pavement and you can follow that all the way back to the top of Soda Ridge road and take the Aqueduct trail back to Keystone Gulch again.

 

This is a good ride for beginner mountain bikers.  The first part is a little challenging, but it is short.  Book a condo at Keystone Gulch Townhomes, Wild Irishman, Flying Dutchman or Soda Springs Condos and you’ll have this trail out your doorstep!  Have fun, be safe, and happy trails in keystone Colorado!

 

Women’s Wednesday Bike Clinics at Keystone!

If you ladies out there have been looking to get into the sport of downhill mountain biking, or you have already tried it and just want to progress your skills, you may want to sign up for a session of the Women’s Wednesday Bike Clinics while you are here visiting Keystone.

Women’s Wednesday Bike Clinics, photo credit Keystone Resort

Just $30 will get you an afternoon bike haul ticket, a top of the line downhill rental bike, pads, helmet and gear as well as guided instruction from one of the pros.  Learn with other ladies of all skill levels as you work the skills park and then take a few laps down the mountain together.  This is a great and inexpensive way to try out the sport or just get better and learn some new techniques to gain confidence on your bike.  Meet other women with the same interests as you and make some riding buddies while you have some fun at Keystone!

The women’s bike clinics run from 3:30 – 5 pm, beginning at Keystone Sports. Call 970-496-4fun for more information or to reserve your spot!  Watch a video about the Women’s Wednesday Bike Clinics here.  Clinics take place Wednesday Afternoons all summer long starting on June 17 through August 26, 2015.

Written By: Alyssa Hubbard

#2 Enduro All-Mountain Bike Race Taking Place This Evening in Keystone, CO

Mountain Bikes Races at Keystone Resort CO

The Keystone Enduro Series consists of three races on Thursdays throughout the summer. Enduro mountain biking refers to a competitive side of the sport, and is a true test of a well rounded ‘all-mountain’ rider.  Bikers start the race at the top of the Peru chair lift,  running to their bikes and from there- any trail is fair game.  Any route they choose- whoever gets to the bottom first wins!  Adrenaline junkies are sure to love the Keystone Enduro Races!  Tonight’s race is the second in a series of three, with the third and final race of the year on Thursday, August 16. All races start at 6pm, after the bike park is closed for the day.  Check out the information below for all of the details!

DATES: Thursday, June 21: Enduro #1 / Thursday, July 19: Enduro #2 / Thursday, August 16: Enduro #3

FEE: As this is our first year hosting such events internally, we are not asking for a participation fee. Our goal is to take this season to make this a great event before we roll it out completely to the public. We are asking for feedback and willingness to help us shape the event to becoming a race that YOU enjoy participating in and therefore, want to spread the word and help our series grow.

DISCOUNTED BIKE HAUL: Lift tickets are required to access the start of all races. A competitor rate lift ticket will be available the day of the event at the River Run Ticket Window. Your numbered Bike Plate (distributed at Check In) must be show at time of purchase to receive the Competitor Rate. Competitor Rate: $16 for a Single Haul Ticket / $20 for an All Day Haul Ticket

If you would like to take advantage of the All Day Haul Discounted ticket the day of the race, please call Jessica Butcher at 970.496.1493 to make arrangements to pick up your bike plate prior to purchasing your All Day Haul Ticket. This will be available to anyone participating in the race. Arrangements to pick up bike plates the day of the race can be made as early as 8:30AM.

RACE START TIME: All races start at 6:00PM MST, participants must be at the starting line no later than 6:00pm. All participants must sign a competition waiver and have a valid bike plate number.

CHECK IN / REGISTRATION: All participants of the 2012 Enduro Race Series must check in the day of the race from 4:30PM to 5:30PM at the Check in Table located in River Run Village. At check in, participants will receive a numbered bike plate as well as be required to sign a competition waiver.

START STYLE: Mass/Neutral Start until Trail Begins

RACE COURSE: The Mass Start will take place on at the top of the Peru Chair (please reference a Keystone Trail Map for directions). From there, participants will be required to climb (via bike) up the Mosquito Coast Trail. Once they have achieved the climb, a judge will mark the climb completed as the participant moves on to descend the mountain on a course of their choosing. All participants must stay to a maintained Keystone Resort Trail as they descend. The Race finish line is indicated with signage and a chalk line at the base of River Run Face, adjacent to the Summit Express Lift and at the South end of the Pedestrian Bridge.

WHAT IS ENDURO? Enduro is a relatively new format which appears to have taken some inspiration from both car rally and motorbike enduro racing. Mountain bike enduro is essentially the competitive side of the mountain biking format often referred to today as “All-Mountain”. Due to this eclectic combination of attributes, enduro racing is increasingly recognised as the truest test of the all-round mountain biker. The sport has taken root in mostly in the Northwest of United States, a location known for its miles of winding single-track trails alongside old growth forest and bubbling creeks.

RACE CATEGORIES: Men and Women. The Top 3 racers in each category will be recognized. We will also recognize the Top 3 Overall Men and Top 3 Overall Women.

PRIZING: Men: 1st ($75), 2nd ($50), 3rd ($35), Series Winner: $200 / Women: 1st ($75), 2nd ($50), 3rd ($35), Series Winner: $200

MINIMUM AGE: Minimum age is 14. Riders under the age of 18 will need to have a waiver signed by a parent/guardian. DIRECTIONS: From I-70 take Highway 6 East toward Keystone. Take the Montezuma Road exit off Highway 6.Take a right on Hunki Dori Court and then another right into the East Gondola Parking Lot. (You may also park in the main River Run Parking Lot). Registration Opens at 4:00 so there will be time for practice runs on the race course!! Registration will be set up next to the white timing trailer in the parking lot.

Soak Up the Sun on Lake Dillon This Summer!

Why not spend a part of your Keystone summer vacation fishing or cruising a lake? Take a warm day on Lake Dillon for sailing lessons or rent a motor boat for trout fishing along 26 miles of shoreline.   Pack a family picnic to enjoy by the lake and lounge in the sunshine.

Lake Dillon is the largest lake in the Keystone area, and it offers spectacular scenic views and an abundance of activities to complete the perfect mountain vacation. With easy access to the Town of Dillon, shopping, lodging, there is sure to be something for everyone here.  The Dillon Marina hosts exciting weekend sailing regattas and other boating events that you can’t miss.

The recreational choices in the area are endless.  Miles of paved bike paths can be accessed near the marina. The surrounding National Forest also provides mountain-biking, rafting, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and camping. Jeep tours on old mountain roads will take you to nearby historical mining towns. Hit the links at  any of Summit County’s four championship golf courses.

The Dillon Marina offers boat rentals, sailing instruction, racing regattas and is home to the Dillon Yacht Club.   At Frisco Bay Marina, you can rent a canoe, or kayak or hop aboard the water taxi.  There is sure to be plenty of fun to be had for your entire crew at Lake Dillon this summer!

 

 

Enjoy Memorial Day Weekend in Keystone!

 

 

Memorial Day is just around the corner, and Keystone is the perfect place to spend your holiday weekend.   Keystone will host the annual Summer Remix to celebrate the warmer months the right way.  The Remix is the perfect excuse for the whole family to venture to Summit County.

From May 27-30th, there will be plenty of mountain activities to please the entire family.  Snow cones, free face painting, and live music for kids begin at 10 am on Saturday and Sunday, the 28th-29th.  Younger children can be registered for the Keystone Strider Race in River Run Village.  Registration is free, and starts at 10am on Saturday the 28th.  Geared towards kids under 6, strider bikes have no pedals and two wheels so that kids can use their feet to glide.  Visit www.stridersports.com for more information.

Older children and adults can take advantage of other Summer Remix activities like snow tubing, mountain biking and a rail park with 20 features, and yes, you can have a snow cone too!  Golfers can finally hit the links at the Keystone River Course.

The Summer Remix at Keystone Resort offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy all that the mountains have to offer.  The Remix is the perfect kick off to many wonderful summer activities in Keystone and Summit County.  Stay the weekend for a memorable trip with your friends and family!