OUTDOORS + RECREATION

Crews still removing snow covering bike trails ahead of summer season

Jun 23, 2023, 7:01 AM | Updated: Oct 19, 2023, 9:38 am

PARK CITY, Utah — Summer is in full swing, but Deer Valley Resort crews are still digging out of the snow covering some mountain bike trails.

Deer Valley Resort’s summer season starts Friday, June 23. All three summer chairlifts, lower Bald Eagle Mountain trails and most of the trails on Bald Mountain will open then. The resort plans to open more trails as the snow melts and conditions for riding improve.

Deer Valley Mountain Biking manager Chris Erkkila said his team is still dealing with leftovers from winter. Team members were busy hand shoveling snow at the beginning of the Holy Roller and Tidal Wave trails at the top of Bald Mountain Thursday.

“There’s the memories that come back from the wintertime of how good the winter was,” he said. “Then you start to grasp the fact that some of this snow is on our bike trails and we’ve got to dig it out, and that’s going to take some time! It’s going to take a lot of effort.”

He said they encountered some spots with 20 or more feet of snow.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen snow depth that deep in these spots,” Erkkila said.

Snow removal teams started the process with machinery.

“We try to dig down with the machines just to leave a foot or so of that bottom layer of ice and snow, and then we dig out the rest of that by hand,” Erkkila said. “The machines will start to sink in that snow and mud concoction…and they’ll just destroy the trail. Too much weight and too big of a machine on soft dirt like that.”

Crews used shovels and their arms to remove the packed-in snow, then they’ll test them to make sure they’re ready for riding.

“There’s always a lot of what we call blowdown, which is trees that have fallen onto the trails all year long,” Erkkila said. “This year with so much snow weight, we’ve seen a lot of trees that are just bowed over.”

He said he expects the snow removal team will be dealing with snowmelt for another week or so.

“They’re seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, but we’re going to be dealing with snow for a little bit longer,” Erkkila said.

Guests can check trail openings and conditions here. 

Related: Good news for the Great Salt Lake, Utah’s snowpack now 201% of normal

 

 

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Crews still removing snow covering bike trails ahead of summer season