It's Just Like Riding a Bike (on Snow)

By Yeti \ February 26 2015

Article by Jeremy Pugh, associate editor of the Ski Utah magazine who's always looking for the newest thing on snow. 

It’s that time of year when you look longingly at your quiver of bikes and happily at your stack of skis and wonder to yourself “Can I cram both ski and cycle mounts onto my roof rack?” It’s an age-old dilemma here in Utah. There’s plenty of snow on the mountain with more certain to come but clear roads and trails down in the valley have you positively bi-polar: two wheels beneath your butt or two skis under your boots?

Thankfully, the folks at Powder Mountain have the perfect solution to your conundrum.

How’s about a little of both?

Pow Mow recently opened a new multi-use winter trail loop off of its Hidden Lake Lodge area. The 6.5-mile trail is groomed and designed for cross-country skis, skate skis, snowshoes and bikes. Yes bikes, well, fat bikes, AKA snow bikes. These two-wheeled moon-rover, dune buggy-ish multi-terrain cycles were originally concocted for trail riding on the frozen tundra of sub-arctic Alaska (sled dogs are so last century) but have since travelled into Canada and the lower 48 and caught on among the can’t-sit-still crowd.

Fat Bike Fun

As if you needed another way to play on the snow.

“If you can ride a bike, you can ride a snow bike, says Pow Mow General Manager Mark Schroetel. “With their big, plush tires and our groomed trails it’s easier than mountain biking.”

And more forgiving. Consider laying down a mountain bike on a rocky single-track trail vs. tipping over onto a snowy trail. Yeah, forgiving.

To break in the new trail, Pow Mow hosted the Frosty’s Fat Bike Race Series on Feb. 7 and USA Cycling’s Fat Bike Championships over Valentine’s Day weekend.

Tail Whips are Easier on Snow

And now it’s ready for you.

With a 350-foot elevation change around the loop, it’s a decent work out and the folks at Powder Mountain have left many of the burmed turns and jumps they laid out for the pro-racers in place for you to kick it up a notch.

To give it a try, pick up a $10 pass at any Powder Mountain ticket window and head up to the Hidden Lake Lodge parking area. Sign in at the trailhead at the Ski Patrol shack (and sign out when you’re back). At this point, Powder Mountain doesn’t have any of the big-tired bikes for rent, but Schroetel says plans are underway to offer the service in seasons to come. In the mean time The Bike Shoppe in Ogden rents fat bikes to take the trail and your new winter sport for a test drive. Visit their web site

Oh and don’t forget the trail is friendly for your Nordic skiing fix as well. Groomed no less.

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