Piep van Heuven

Sneak Peek: Mountain bike park opening this month at Ruby Hill

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Denver Parks and Recreation is about to unveil one of the largest public mountain bike parks in North America, and it’s a gem! I set out last Monday with a few others for a “sneak peak” just a few weeks prior to the opening and was wowed by the scale of the park (and the jumps!), the planning stories and some incredible views.

Denver Bike Parks Operations Supervisor Deak Brown gave us the inside-the-fence tour while crews were putting the finishing touches on irrigation, landscaping and jumps. There is no doubt about it, this park is going to be a game-changer for Denver and a real feather in the cap for Denver Parks and Recreation. Save the date for the grand opening, July 23, and check out what the park will look like in action here.

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The park features some "named" jumps like The Whale's Tail.
The park features some “named” jumps like The Whale’s Tail.

What’s the fuss all about?

The Ruby Hill Mountain Bike Park in southwest Denver will be a 7.5-acre bike park for mountain and BMX bikes that includes a skills park, three drop zones with different difficulty levels, four slopeside lines, dirt jumps and a pump track. Plus there’s a nearly two-mile loop trail that wraps around the 80-acre Ruby Hill Park.

The park compares favorably to Boulder’s Valmont Bike Park, which has four miles of trails and wooden jumps, and it will dwarf Denver’s first bike park, the three-acre Trestle Bike Skills Park at Barnum Park North. The park is the result of a partnership between the City of Denver and the Walton Family Foundation.

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Deak Brown, Operations Supervisor for Denver Bike Parks

Activating a city park

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Jason Gardner of Jinji Cycles likes what he sees

Ruby Hill’s reimagination as an active park will be a far cry from its past. This sleepy, sunny 80-acre park has amazing city skyline views and has been underutilized in recent years, but a 1.8 million second phase of the Park’s master plan is bringing the hip and funky to what was a dumping ground in the 40’s and 50’s.

Other improvements at the park include volleyball and basketball courts, a playground and a community garden. Phase three of the park plan will bring the Levitt Pavilion online to produce 50 free outdoor concerts a year. All of these improvements are going to build on the success of the Ruby Hill Rail Yard that became an instant national model when it was introduced in 2007 as the first free ski and snowboard urban terrain park.

How to find it and use it

Ruby Hill Park is located between West Florida and West Jewell Avenues overlooking the South Platte river. The park will be open during daylight hours and will not be staffed. The park may be closed at times after severe weather or for maintenance work.

About construction

The park was designed by Progressive Trail Designs, based in Arkansas with an office in Louisville, Colorado, and was constructed by Goodland Construction with sub-contractor Alpine Bike Parks out of Whistler, British Columbia. Planning began in 2014, and the bike park will open this month, July 2016.

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Communications Manager Katie Bonomo thinks this one is too high!

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Katie and I are seeing are a bright future for Ruby Hill!

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Piep van Heuven

About the Author: Piep van Heuven

Piep heads up the effort to make Denver a top city for safe bicycling and active transportation. She connects with partners and city leaders to develop leading policies, practices and infrastructure that can serve as a model for the state. Her interests include skiing, cyclocross, acapela and volunteering for Safe Harbor Lab Rescue.

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