Trails: Mountain Biking the Cresta Pump Track

The new bike park delivers fun for beginners and advanced riders. Here’s what you need to know to ride one of Colorado Springs’ newest mountain bike trails.

If you’re looking for a fun place to ride and build your mountain biking skills, you’re going to love the Cresta Pump Track. The new bike park (opened August 2022) has quickly become a popular spot and an excellent addition to the extensive network of Colorado Springs mountain biking trails.

 

The Cresta Pump Track is located in southwest Colorado Springs, on the east side of the 35-acre Cresta Open Space, between Cheyenne Mountain High School and Skyway Park Elementary School. It is easily accessible from local bike trails with connections to Stratton Open Space and Bear Creek Park, as well as neighborhood streets in Skyway and Ivywild. Because of limited parking, it’s recommended to ride your bike to the track. But there are a few parking places just south of Skyway Elementary on Vista Drive. Look for the Cresta Bike Park sign and dirt driveway beside the chain-link fence. Note that parking is not allowed at Skyway Elementary or the Little Dipper Pool.

The vibe here is friendly and welcoming. Riders span all ages, from toddlers on balance bikes to seasoned adults. That’s no surprise since the track was built as a collaboration between Kids on Bikes, Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates, the Cheyenne Mountain Cycling Team and the City of Colorado Springs. The goal was to create a trail where kids and riders of all ages can develop bike skills and expand trails for a wider range of riding. Its location at the foot of Stratton Open Space and Cheyenne Cañon make the Cresta Pump Track a perfect gateway to access those more advanced trails after building skills in the bike park — or to cruise through for some fun laps after a higher elevation ride.

“As everyone knows, we’ve got one of the best mountain biking networks in the world, and it’s such a pleasure for us to be able to open the Cresta Bike Park,” said Cory Sutela, executive director of Medicine Wheel Trail Advocates, at the grand opening.

When it comes to riding, the Cresta bike park has two parts: the upper pump track and the lower skills trail.

Cresta Pump Track
The pump track at the Cresta Bike Park. Photo by Jeremy Jones.

You’ll drop into the pump track from the elevated starting pad at the northwest corner of the park and onto a straight series of rolling berms. The goal is to flow through the trail without pedaling. Instead, pump through the course with a rowing-like motion over the rollers, using your body to take advantage of the terrain and to maximize momentum. The course is laid out in a figure eight of two adjoining loops with high, banked turns on the ends of each loop. Riders can choose a short loop, a long loop or a figure eight version of both.

Riding the pump track incorporates your entire body and helps to improve body positioning and movement to better control your bike. Advanced riders can make it look easy and smooth, even carrying enough momentum to jump some of the rollers.

A young rider jumps a mountain bike at the Cresta Pump Track and Skills Trail
A young rider launches one of the rock jumps at the Cresta Bike Park. Photo by Jeremy Jones.

The lower skills trail also begins at the start pad and switchbacks its way downhill. This trail is filled with features including dirt rollers, rock rollovers, skinny balance beams, log drops, jumps, berms and banked corners. The trail map at the start pad lists features from extra-small for beginners to extra-large for advanced riders. The trail itself is smooth for beginners, and alternate lines allow you to choose your challenge or bypass difficult features. But as your confidence grows, you can balance over elevated logs, launch off log platforms, pop off of jumps and roll over and down the biggest feature: a rock line that includes a massive boulder. At the end of the features, the skills trails winds back uphill to the pump track and start pad, so you can make the 0.5-mile loop over and over again.

The Cresta Bike Park is one of several new skill-building trails in the Springs, including pump tracks at the El Pomar Bike Park at Memorial Park, the asphalt pump track at Metcalfe Park in Fountain, and the newly renovated Panorama Park.


Cresta Pump Track Details

Where to Find It: Cresta Open Space

Distance: Approximately 0.75 miles

Elevation Gain: Approximately 30 feet

Difficulty: Beginner to Advanced

Know Before You Go: There are no restrooms on-site. Parking is limited. This trail works best as a ride-to destination. Stay off the sides of features to avoid crumbling and erosion.


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Jeremy Jones
Jeremy Jones is Springs’ co-founder, editorial director and chief outdoor officer. He loves building community by telling stories about all the people, places and culture that make Colorado Springs an amazing place to live. And he’s especially stoked when exploring new places in the Springs, Colorado and beyond. Watch for him hiking, running or mountain biking the local trails with his wife and kids.

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