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Best Mountain Biking

posted: 02/04/2005

Dirt Devils
Make tracks to these resorts for the top lift-served trails.

Mammoth Mountain, Calif.
Its 80 miles and 3,100 vertical feet of trails include expert-only pursuits like Velocity and Chain Smoke (think logs and cliff-drops), as well as groomed rides like Paper Route and Beach Cruiser. Not sure where you belong? Try the X Zones, technical detours off the mellower trails. One-day pass, $31; 800-626-6684;

Mount Snow, Vt.
Novices be warned: Ride the lift up and you'll be walking your bike down. The 45 miles of trails call for downhill bikes and expert skills. (With names like Slick Rock and Pucker Alley, what did you expect?) Beginners and intermediates: Look for 100 acres of friendly, rolling terrain at Crosstown, a short drive from the base area. One-day pass, $30; 802-464-4043;

Whistler, B.C.
With its camps, lessons, tours and self-guided green, blue and double-black skills centers (biking's equivalent of a practice green), Whistler has everyone covered. New this season: Advanced riders will find three trails and 2,200 added vertical off the Garbanzo Express. One-day pass, $30; 866-218-9690;

Snowshoe, W.Va.
Most resorts give a cursory nod to newbies, focusing instead on the hard-charging, bruised-shins gang. Snowshoe plays to the masses. Their signature ride, the Greenbrier River Trail, is a rail-to-trail conversion wending for 75 miles at no greater than a 3 percent grade. Experts: Detour to the trail's abandoned logging roads or the new bike park. One-day pass, $20; 877-441-4386;

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