Big Bear Mountain Bike Park - Opening Day

May 27, 2013
by Dan Severson  
 
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Story by Eric Carter
Photos by Dan Severson

Snow Summit ski resort, located in the San Bernardino Mountains, was the only lift access bike park for all of Southern California. Snow Summit hosted the National Championships, World Cups and was the seminal hot bed for the SoCal racing scene for two decades until friction from federal land managers and a financial decision handed down by the resort's board of directors closed the mountain bike park a number of years back. The loss was a huge one for California's downhillers, because there were almost no alternative trails worth shuttling at the time and no legal ones for sure - and while there are a number of options available today for gravity riders, there has been no lift access for SoCal riders since Snow Summit closed. But that all ended last weekend. Working in secret for over a year, Snow Summit contracted Tom Pro' and Gravity Logic to design a trail network on the resort property. The first trails are in, and the park reopened officially to bikes Friday, May 24, for the Memorial Day Weekend. Eric Carter tells the story: - RC



Opening day 2013
  Chappy Fiene shreds Snow Summit's latest creations. The resort was once the butt of critics for a less than imaginative trail system. All that is changed now. SoCal is finally going to get the bike park it has been starving for.


When I heard that Snow Summit was opening Memorial Day weekend, I actually changed my plans from attending the first round of the Oregon Enduro Series to head up to Big Bear to see what the folks from Gravity Logic laid out and what the Summit build crew came up with. Personally, I know that my cycling career would have been completely different had it not been for the Snow Summit Resort and being able to ride my bike so much, so I felt compelled to support what the the resort is trying to accomplish. A quick call to Richard Cunningham at Pink Bike to line up a story for this weekend and another call to Dan Severson to capture the images and we were off to give this historic MTB Mecca the support it deserves.

Opening day 2013
  Gravity riders in the lift line once again - a welcome sight at Big Bear.


I was able to talk with Chris Riddle, Vice President of marketing at Big Bear Mountain Resorts, and he explained to me that this weekend was a soft opening in relation to the master plan that is in place for the Snow Summit Adventure Park. The project is a five-year plan with the goal of becoming the Southern California Mecca of Mountain Biking. The adventure park will include numerous MTB and hiking trails, as well as a zip line. Currently there are two new trails open on the resort property as well as the pre-existing National Forest trail network that is adjacent to the resort.

Opening day 2013


The marque advanced trail is named “Miracle Mile”. It consist of 33 berms, ten jumps, numerous sweeping s-turns, rollers and three wood features. There is also an easier option down the hill on the west side of the resort called "Cruiser." Both trails have a good mix of man-made features and natural single track and provide great flow, which is always the desired experience of modern day bike parks.

Opening day 2013
  The first thing you want to do when you get there is fill out your waiver to ride. Everything is electronic now, so once you are in the system you are ready to purchase your lift ticket, and won't have to fill anything out on your next visit.


Opening day 2013
  The park is family friendly and has brand new fleet of Intense and Trek rentals if you aren't able to bring your own bike, or just want to try out something new.


Opening day 2013
  The new trails have plenty of groomed features, mixed with singletrack and natural terrain.


Opening day 2013
  Lift access provides companies and riders the perfect location to test out new products before they hit the market. Eric Carter loads up his new Hyper prototype to get in some laps.


Opening day 2013
  A nice change in scenery for those visiting from lower elevations. Can't beat the fresh mountain air. Nature!


bigquotesThe crew at Gravity Logic did an amazing job on the first of many new trails. We can't wait to see how things progress over the summer and next couple years. It's safe to say that this redesigned bike park will continue to grow and reclaim it's spot as the biggest mountain bike mecca in California.


Opening day 2013
Opening day 2013
  One of the first features on Miracle Mile is this step-up (which can also be rolled). Chappy Fiene applies a little moto style and scrubs up the lip.


Opening day 2013
  Unlimited laps with your buddies never hurt.


Opening day 2013

Opening day 2013
  John Hall takes a break from wrenching on bikes to sample the goods.


Opening day 2013
Opening day 2013
  E.C. was stoked on the mix of man-made and natural terrain.


Opening day 2013
  No shortage of perfect berms here.


Opening day 2013
  Apparently, it's been a while since Leigh Donovan has been on a full DH rig, but by her riding you would never know. Stylish on any terrain or bike.


Opening day 2013
  Chappy Fiene was getting steezy on just about every turn.


Opening day 2013

Opening day 2013

Opening day 2013

Opening day 2013

bigquotesI'm excited to see what the future holds up at Snow Summit and to encourage everyone to show support for the resort. Since the day Snow Summit closed, everyone talked about how awesome it would be if Snow Summit would build a bike park and how many people would ride it. The ball is now in our court. The folks at Snow Summit are doing their part, and it's up to us as a cycling community to support it. Judging by this weekend's turnout, I think we did our part as well. - EC

For more information and park hours, please visit: Big Bear Mountain Resorts

Find out what Tom Pro' is up to next with Gravity Logic
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95 Comments

  • + 33
 I was givin a stack of old decline magszines and was reading about it closing lol. Weird.

My local mt just shutdown to biking.
This gives me hope. Smile

Support your local mt. People. tup
  • + 8
 fckn washy, just when they where starting to put a bit of effort into the park, they shut it down..
  • + 22
 we should build dirt jumps on baseball fields and football fields
  • + 3
 or just baseball fields...
  • + 3
 are you saying then put effort into mt washington? i've been riding there since 2001 and every year it got worse.
  • + 2
 In 2001 there was only the blue chair. So i would say it got better , with addition of the other chair.
Then got worse for a few years.
Then got a little better till back in black first open. ( possible the peak of mt wash).
Then it all just went downhill from there. Smile
  • + 1
 when i meant just, i literally meant "just" as in the last few weeks they where open last season, re-did timewarp, built up the final stretch of big bro, and got the 4x groomed... they where also starting to attempt ar re-opening the top of helter skelter, and all of evil eye for the 2013 season, but as we all know..... it aint happening.
  • + 1
 monster mile back in 2001 was still better then most the trails last year and year before that. Big thing they did wrong was chance the path of the trail everytime someone got hurt. in 01 monster mile was great, one section someone got hurt, the next year they closed that part and so forth. In 03 i broke my femur on monster mile, low and behold the next year when i went back up, that section was closed and rerouted.
  • + 1
 ya i agree they should of made more trails instead of re-routing them each year. fuck em forbidden is still good and i guess a mt. menzie trip is in order soon.
  • + 1
 i never got the chance to ride the whole menzie trail yet. only did a lower section.
[Reply]
  • + 18
 Needs to be more bike parks in SoCal.
[Reply]
  • + 11
 Thank you Snow Summit for getting back in the game, I had a blast riding Miracle Mile on Saturday and loved seeing my team riders be able to cut loose and just have a blast doing what they do best. I'm looking forward to seeing the resort take shape over the course of the summer and seasons to come. Hope you have a plan for a DH race course in mind, damn I'd love to be able to race there. Seems only logical that racing is a part of the future plans for Snow Summit. I can see a "World Cup" event happening in the future in Big Bear. Thanks again, you guys rock!
[Reply]
  • + 8
 rode it on Sunday and I'm still picking dust out of all of my orifices. Saw Gwin there too, towards the end of the day. I used to ride there back in the day and a lot of the lines and features are the same as back then, the step up through the trees at the beginning for example.nice to see them adding some woodwork. Wish they would bring back the line over the big rock garden by the top of the lift. I thought it would be really crowded but wasn't bad at all. I'm really happy that they're bringing it back and doing it right. There's still some of the same people from over 10 years ago loading bikes on the lift, love it!
  • + 3
 This is where I fell in love with Downhill, glad to see it back. Too bad I am reading this now, I was in San Bernardino on 5/24, really wish I would have known.
[Reply]
  • + 9
 Thanks snowsummit , I had a sweet time Saturday and Sunday . See you next weekend
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Big Bear definitely has no shortage of cycling celebs. On any given Sunday you can still say hi to Tinker Juarez (not "Huarez") out here while training on the super D course - you cannot miss this skinny man's iconic hairdo. EC is obviously still killin it. Leigh Donovan shredding forever. Gwin partaking in the local scene. All very down to earth folks i might add. Never too cool to talk to anyone.
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Went up for opening day, got the season pass!?! Will definitely be going up a ton! The riding was awesome, I just hope they add more features like some bigger tables. The berms are awesome though! Nice work so far guys, keep it up!
  • + 7
 mas jumps por favor!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 I used to ride here every summer when it was only the forest service trails. I've moved away and now it is turning into an actual bike park, so bummed i think i'm going to go cry now, enjoy So Cal Riders, you lucky bastards.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Pretty sure I was on the only 29er out there... managed ok for first time on a "Gravity" trail. Had a blast, trails were epic, great design. Thanks to all the trail builders up there for your hard work. Will definitely be back.
  • + 1
 Hahaha nope I was out there on my enduro 29, soo much fun
[Reply]
  • + 4
 So nice to be back in Big Bear!! Opening day was awesome! First time they have run two lifts = short lines. Great job Snow Summit and Gravity Logic.
[Reply]
  • + 6
 This park is sick as fuck! had so much fun riding today!!!
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  • + 2
 Opening day was perfect! Beautiful weather and great riding. It was nice to see staff on the mountain watering the turns down. As this trail gets more and more traffic and they keep up the maintenance on it, everything will pack down nicely and should make for a great summer. I think me and buddies got in 10 runs total with riding some of the trails off property. So excited to have the lifts back in action with trails on property! Cruiser to Miracle Mile was my favorite. The flow on cruiser was perfect.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 So many pod worthy shots in this
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Thank you snow summit I was on the edge this past year of selling my bike. Not anymore!!! Saw u guys tinkering on the slopes when I was on the fawn skin fire and I had my hunches Lol. Oh hope u bring NORBA back. I remember watching Lopes shred NORBA races.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 This is awesome. I grew up in southern California and started road racing at 12 because DH racing came to an abrupt halt when Snow Summit closed. I finally started DH racing 15 years later AFTER I moved to the Pacific Northwest.

Lawsuits have destroyed way too many things for the masses because of the greed of a few(and their lawyers). The number of good ideas that will never see the light of day are 10x greater than those that have been shut down. Let's be honest: we participate in a pretty dangerous sport and our realization of that is evident in the thousands of dollars that we invest in it. Apparently, a few didn't see it that way.

There has never been any shame or shunning for people who have the balls to pursue crazy-ass lawsuits, and they are not going to end. Not many of us know the names of people who sue parks and bike companies because they "didn't tell us it was dangerous to ride at night without lights"(RIP Nishiki). I don't know about you guys, but I'd like to change that and give folks something to be scared about before they call their lawyers to cash in at the expense of others. I'm glad Big Bear is back and I hope it stays this time(for those of us with more than 5"of travel, too, or whatever the hell that stupid rule was.)
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Doing an XC race there this Sunday. Looks like I gotta find some room for my enduro bike in my car and hit up the lifts now!! So stoked!!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Ya rode today it was so rad! It's really cool to see your pictures on the home page, good job man, always amazing photos.
[Reply]
  • + 4
 So much fun opening day up there! And it will only get better
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Looks sick! I'll be there next weekend
[Reply]
  • + 4
 More noobs staying off the local rider built trails.
  • + 1
 thats exactly what i was thinking. its a win win. less on upper and lower fall line and the super d course too. as well as the other hush hush west side ones.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I rode up there today. The videos don't do the trails justice. You can do them on an AM bike, but they definitely warrant a DH bike. Super sick, can't wait to see what's next. I'm buying a season pass.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Thank you snow summit and gravity logic.. I got my DH start here in 98/99 and am super stoked not only for me to have a place to ride but stoked for the kids .. Keep up the good work.
[Reply]
  • + 5
 SEASON PASS CHECK! Smile
  • - 4
 Id wait at least a year or two till they actually get some runs built, before you go and buy a season pass.. But mammoth season pass, CHECK!!!
[Reply]
  • + 4
 Just rode the bike park on Sunday... Going up there a lot more now haha
[Reply]
  • + 5
 Chappy seems happy!
[Reply]
  • + 3
 Fun trail but dh bike is overkill.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 hell yeah ,had a blast ..thanks to all the trail crew and gravity logic..looking like its going to be a sick bike park,the few black runs are fun! tup Salute
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Glad to see summit back open ! will be driving back to cali here pretty soon, ill have to check it out!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Love to see so many single crown full suspension bikes, and not 8" dh in every photo.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 I went opening day and the new trails are awesome!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Like the pictures. They bring back the summer into my mind. Nice work and nice bike park.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Just watch out for Tito Ortiz up there training for the Kumite. Heard he goes on jack n' coke rapages on mtbers.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 In the 8th photo the bike hanging from the lift chair looks like it's got a pretty dodgy perch haha.
  • + 3
 It's just a hook but it is firmly attached. I never doubted hanging my bike from it. They are trying to get trays like whistler, but it's up to us the local riders to support our local bike park and make sure it's here for years to come!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Had a good time! Thanks Snow Summit!!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Sick park SIIIIIICK INTENSE fully LOADED!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Nice! Finally a pic of my Bike lol!
  • + 2
 the moment i saw the bike,i knew it was urs cary!
  • + 1
 I know huh!!!!
[Reply]
  • + 2
 Can t wait my rig to sherd it Smile thank so cal
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Wow I really need to get up there, looks super fun
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Sweeeeet, Looks like Steam Boat... Gravity Logic kicks ass.......
[Reply]
  • + 1
 I see myself in the 2nd pic!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Are they still enforcing the no bikes over 45lbs rule?
  • + 1
 Yup, that's the only rule though. Kinda whack if your bike is over that weight
  • + 9
 That's a rule we should be enforcing on ourselves! Not owning bikes over 45lbs
  • + 3
 Ay man some of us have older bikes and cant afford new space age carbon dh rigs.
  • + 2
 yeah my 09 giant glory dh might be over 45lbs. damn. but i agree with dynamatt - that should be a rule we should be enforcing on ourselves, for sure...
  • + 2
 It doesn't have to be "new or carbon" to be under 45, that's a pretty reasonable bike weight. If ur dh bike is much heavier than that then your probably better off on a 6 inch or smaller bike anyways.
  • + 1
 you are forgetting the over-built mess that is the 08 09 giant glory dh. with saint parts and boxxer wc its still tipping 40lbs
  • + 2
 My 09' Yeti is about 42 right now and that's with a 40, heavy steal beaded tires and DH tubes. But the thing is as long as it doesn't weigh an obviously massive amount the guy isn't going to notice, no one ever asked or hinted at issues regarding weight the other day. Not saying they won't be more strict in the future but for now they seem to just be letting us ride Big Grin
  • + 1
 Were you there on Sunday n3rd5? I saw a double railed, 303 with an old 40 on it at the BBQ tent at the bottom of the lift
  • + 1
 Naw I went Saturday and my 303 is single railed.
[Reply]
  • + 2
 sick park, nice area!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Anyone know what brand stem is on Eric Carter's Hyper?
  • + 2
 that's an ODI flight control stem.
[Reply]
  • + 1
 Great experience, A small taste of a pro's life style. Thanks LIKE!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 So excited that summit is accepting us DHers again. Cant wait to head up!
[Reply]
  • + 1
 nice red M9 combo!
  • + 1
 im pretty sure you meant the 951!
[Reply]
  • + 0
 just wait for mt. waterman guys!
  • + 1
 Where is that?
  • + 4
 We don't have to wait anymore!...Thats why this is on Pink BIke in the first place....We have been hearing about bike parks in So Cal (One that I was involved with included) since day 1 of the Snow Summit closure. I'm not holding my breath for any place else. We don't need to, Snow Summit has a master Plan in place and approved... Forestry is working with them and it's actually happening, they are not talking about it anymore....They are doing it.

IMO, of all the local resorts, Big Bear is by far the best option when you consider all the variables of lodging, location, employee infrastructure and funding.
[Reply]
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