Snowbasin — Green Pond Loop / Needles

Well, I broke down and bought a summer season pass to Snowbasin. Not bad at $110. The gondola is only open Fri-Sun + different occasions, however, so you’re kind of limited to what you can do up there depending on the day.

Green Pond Loop Trail: On my latest excursion I did the entire Green Pond Loop Trail, this time without deviating. I went counter-clockwise this time instead of clockwise, and after that, I can easily recommend doing it clockwise. Reason being, the climbing feels more gradual, and is almost entirely shaded, and the other way around is exposed & hot for most of the serious climbing. Either way, the loop is 5.3 miles and you climb almost 1,000 ft. This trail is worth riding for some sweet, free flowing singletrack, and a quick ride. I think it took about an hour, maybe a little more to do this.

Needles: This is trail #1 on the Snowbasin map. You descend 2,553 feet & climb 167 ft (not including the gondola ride). The trail is 7.4 miles long & it feels like an eternity to get down the mountain. The upper section is plagued with the same problems of the lower section: the wretchedly designed switchbacks. They’re pretty much designed for novices who ride trails at 3 MPH. The middle section is a blast to ride. The trail flows very well, meaning you don’t need to slam on your brakes every 20 feet to make a sharp turn. There are a few places you can get a little air, but I’m still craving more. As you enter into the lower section you have a wide open path with very few obstacles, so you can fly down at top speed. In the end, it’s a worthwhile ride. I would’ve liked to see a little more climbing throughout — not a lot, but enough to give you more of a workout than downhilling gives you, though combining a couple trails together can easily achieve that.

Once I’ve ridden all the trails up there, I’ll rate which ones I like, best to worst.

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