Tips for Mountain Biking at Northstar

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Recently a few buddies and I headed up to Lake Tahoe, CA to do some riding at Northstar. We had a great experience. The trails were kept in excellent condition and super fun to ride. The lines for the chairlifts were really short; we barely waited in any line. It was a couple days of continuous riding.

group shot at northstar

We want you to go to Northstar and have an awesome time so we came up with a list of tips to make sure that you get the most out of your N* trip.

  • Stay at the Northstar resort – either in the Northstar villiage or the condos right next to the resort.  Being close is great because in the mornings you can get up just before the lifts open and head up the hill. It is also great to be close because lunch at the resort is expensive; having a place to go back and make a sandwich is awesome.
  • Look for “Stay and Ride Free” packages – These are available throughout most of the season and are a great way to save a lot of money.  This is a great deal; for $300, we got two nights in a condo and two lift tickets ($84 value). Taking out the lift tickets, you are looking at about $110 per night. All you have to do is put a few guys in there and it’s dirt cheap.
  • Come midweek – We rode on a Friday and Saturday; Friday the place wasn’t too crowded. Saturday, the place was busy. If you come up mid week, you will have the place to your self. This picture was from Friday morning.Northstar Resort is empty
  • Bring Protection – You will find ways to challenge yourself and push your limits. Bring all the gear you got so that you can commit and not worry about what happens if you crash. Spend more time riding and less in the ER.
  • Drink lots of water – It can get REALLY hot on the mountain and you are at elevation. Bring a CamelBak. Fill it up multiple times each day.
  • Get a rental bike from the resort – If you don’t have a big travel bike, it would probably be a good idea to rent a bike – unless you are looking to avoid the chairlifts and pedal up the hill. The advantage of renting from NorthStar resort (and getting the insurance!) is that if you blow out a tire or break something, just get yourself to the bottom of the hill and they will take care of it for you.
  • Bring Tools/Back up equipment – You are going to be pushing yourself and your equipment, bring back up parts and tools to replace them.  Even bring parts that you wouldn’t normally think to bring, like pedals (yes I cracked my pedal and rode on half a pedal for the rest of the day) and parts up there aren’t exactly cheap.This is another time when staying really close to the hill comes in handy.  Make sure to bring a repair stand too.Northstar broken pedal

That’s it. Keep these tips in mind when you are planning your trip and you should have an awesome time!

If you have some extra time, we would also highly recommend that you head over to Downieville and catch a shuttle or two there. Riding the Downieville Downhill trail is 17 miles and 5,000 vertical feet of awesomeness!

Scott at Downieville

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