Haron Biggs Waller 2017-09-05 01:37:53
Colorful, sweeping views and adventurous terrain make mountain biking excursions at Montage Laguna Beach and Montage Deer Valley a highlight of the fall season. Hitting the trails to discover new vistas, mountains and adventures is one of the joys of mountain biking, an activity for all ages and experiences. Luckily, Montage Deer Valley and Montage Laguna Beach have some of the finest mountain biking opportunities in the country. But to ensure an enjoyable and safe experience it’s important to know all the essentials. “These include hydration, sunscreen, sunglasses, appropriate clothing, [a] trail phone app, multi-tool tube and air, just in case you have a mechanical [problem],” says Andy Damman, corporate director of recreation at Montage International. “We highly recommend going out with an experienced guide who knows the trails,” he says. “Our guides at Compass Sports have the passion and skillset to teach you new techniques and will help you understand unfamiliar trails.” THE PERFECT RIDE Laguna Beach is the jewel in California’s mountain biking crown with more than 40 miles of trails on 7,000 acres inside the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, luring champion riders here such as Hans “No Way” Rey and Richie Schley. Montage Laguna Beach’s Compass Sports lead, Jennifer Pryor-Rode, points mountain bike enthusiasts to two of the best-known riding areas: Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park and San Clemente Beach Trail. “One of the more interesting and challenging trails at [Aliso and Wood Canyons] is known as Car Wreck,” Pryor-Rode says. “There is a mysterious sight of an actual auto accident that has a 1946 Dodge coupe literally buried nose down right by the trail. Many theories abound as to how it got there, but none [are] verified for certain,” she says. “Many enthusiasts enjoy biking down Car Wreck, taking photos of themselves inside the car and around the scene and then biking up to Top of the World via Mathis Canyon Trail, or for the hearty biker, through the canyon, back up Cholla [Trail] and over the West Ridge Trail,” Pryor-Rode notes. Montage Laguna Beach offers bike rentals for guests, with transportation to the trailheads if needed for an additional charge. All biking rentals include water, sunscreen, a light snack, dry towels, and damp, chilled cloths. ELEVATED ADVENTURES Montage Deer Valley’s location atop Empire Pass sets the resort high in the mountains at 8,300 feet and provides many mountain biking trails with exquisite views of fall foliage within its backyard. Park City was the first International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) gold-level ride center, which recognizes areas for large-scale mountain bike activities for all levels of rider. This season, the resort partnered with Scott Sports to incorporate the brand’s newest mountain bike, the 2017 Scott Genius 700 Plus. Enhancing the Genius 700 are its 27.5-inch or larger wheels and tire options, which allow for more stability and better traction. One of the best trails near Montage Deer Valley is the Mid Mountain Trail, which spans 21.8 miles and features climbing, descending and ridge-top riding through aspen trees. This trail sits above the resort, offers beautiful views and is ideal for intermediate riders. Gravity Logic flow trail offers both beginners and advanced bikers flowy, exciting downhill rides. For intermediate to advanced riders, Damman says the mountain biking community has been talking a lot lately about the Wasatch Over Wasatch (WOW) area, on the backside of Deer Valley in Wasatch Mountain State Park. “Novice riders can venture out with one of the Compass experts to the Round Valley area, which offers 30 different trails to learn new techniques and become comfortable on the bike,” Damman says. “Compass Sports also offers shuttles to the local trailheads.” But no matter your level of expertise, mountain biking in the fall at Montage Laguna Beach or Montage Deer Valley is truly the experience of a lifetime. HIGH-ELEVATION TRAINING AT MONTAGE DEER VALLEY Elevation can be a factor with many mountain sports, therefore guests and sports teams often choose Deer Valley and Montage for high elevation training due to the benefits it provides them, such as the production of increased red blood cells. “The changes in physiology allow for athletes to outperform themselves and competitors once at sea level or lower altitudes,” says Andy Damman, corporate director of recreation at Montage International. Montage Deer Valley not only has optimum outdoor terrain surrounding the resort that can be used for various cross-training, but there is also a 35,000-square-foot spa that includes a wellness center and movement studio for indoor strength training. FURTHER FALL ADVENTURES The cool sea breezes and bright blue skies of fall make hiking with Montage Laguna Beach pure bliss. The resort’s hiking professionals provide transportation and water, sunscreen, a light snack and towels. Hikes are planned according to ages of children, adults, ability and experience levels. “During the hiking experience, we share information about local history and identification of local plant life,” says Montage Laguna Beach’s Compass Sports lead, Jennifer Pryor-Rode. Meanwhile, at Montage Deer Valley, fall is “one of our favorite seasons in the mountains,” says Andy Damman, corporate director of recreation at Montage International. “The aspen trees turn a bright yellow and mix with the reds and oranges providing some of the best foliage viewing in the country.” Guests can choose from biking, hiking, hot air ballooning or renting one of Montage Deer Valley’s Mercedes GLs to take a scenic drive throughout the mountains. Montage Expeditions also offers a one-day private flight excursion to the beautiful red rocks of the Utah National Parks. Since the desert can become quite hot in the summertime, Damman recommends visiting in the fall when the temperatures are cooler and guests can view some of the changing colors.
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