By Reader Staff
Thanks to ongoing efforts from The Pend Oreille Pedalers (POP) Selkirk Recreation District (SRD), the city of Sandpoint and Schweitzer Mountain Resort, mountain bike enthusiasts now have the opportunity to ride over 4,250 vertical feet of mountain bike trails in and around the resort. A newly completed trail winds its way from the summit and connects with long established trails in the Schweitzer basin, creating 13 miles of inspiring single track leading all the way to the valley floor.
“The newly constructed Highpoint Trail makes it possible to ride from the top of the Great Escape Quad, connect to the Uleda Ridge and follow single track all the way to the the city of Sandpoint and the Selkirk Recreation District trails,” says Kirk Johnson, Schweitzer’s rental shop manager. “The trail will be maintained by the SRD and POP and adheres to International Mountain Bicycling Association standards of less than a 10 percent grade, making it great riding in both directions—uphill or downhill.”
“The sport of mountain biking is growing at a significant pace and is a perfect fit for ski resorts who are looking to find activities to increase their offerings during the summer months,” said Schweitzer sales and marketing director Sean Mirus. “The new trail construction on the mountain has created a ‘must-ride’ trail in the region thanks to its length and vertical drop. We think this is a great addition to an already solid trail system at Schweitzer.”
SRD offers a weekend shuttle service for those who are looking to maximize the vertical experience on the trail. Using the shuttle and the lift to access the summit trails makes it possible for the average rider to enjoy the trail more than once in a day without having to climb.
“By next summer we hope to complete additional trail work that will allow riders to have uphill access to the summit of Schweitzer for the first time ever,” said Johnson.
The planned construction is part of the larger, multi-year Watershed Crest Trail project which will create a 30-mile loop starting at either the Schweitzer Red Barn or Mickinnick Trailhead.
“That trail system would create an incredible option for mountain bikers and hikers in the area. The views and the track would be amazing,” said Mirus. “When completed, this trail will be one of the top trails in the Pacific Northwest, if not the nation.”
For more details on mountain biking at Schweitzer and a full map of the trail system, visit www.schweitzer.com.