What to know about Lee Canyon’s new mountain bike trail

Photo courtesy of Patrick Donnelly / Center for Biological Diversity

By Aleza Freeman

August 21, 2023

You no longer have to be an expert biker to experience the downhill mountain bike park at Lee Canyon.

The ski resort, located 35 miles northwest of Las Vegas in Mount Charleston’s Lee Canyon, opened its family-friendly green trail in the park earlier this month. The design caters to newer mountain bikers with 2.2 miles of terrain—perfect for new riders or those with different ability levels.

Open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the downhill mountain bike park currently has three trails with varying levels of difficulty open to the public: green, blue, and black.

Lee Canyon expects additional trail openings before summer’s end, with about 13 miles of downhill mountain bike trails at full build-out.

Mt. Charleston blue butterfly

The Lee Canyon bike park has been years in the making, all because of a rare butterfly.

When the ski resort expansion was approved in 2020, the nonprofit conservation group, the Center for Biological Diversity, sued the US Forest Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service citing concerns about the Mount Charleston blue butterfly.

Protected under the Endangered Species Act in 2013, the blue butterfly is native to the Spring Mountains. Its last remaining habitat is in a handful of alpine meadows on Mount Charleston, including the ski runs at the Lee Canyon Ski Area.

Lee Canyon ultimately worked with scientists, local conservation groups, and University of Nevada, Las Vegas professor Dan Thompson Ph.D. (a local authority on the blue butterfly) to ensure minimal harm to the environment and to protect current (and future) butterfly populations.

Additionally, Lee Canyon agreed to provide $250,000 in funding to UNLV to research the butterfly’s biology, habitat, and conservation.

Experience Downhill package

In honor of the new green trail opening, Lee Canyon has a new Experience Downhill all-inclusive package for all its trails.

The package includes two hours in a group setting with a mountain bike guide and rental gear, including a mountain bike, helmet, and protective elbow and knee pads.

The cost is $69 on weekdays and $89 on weekends.

Feel Good Fridays

Lee Canyon recently rolled out its new Feel Good Fridays program to benefit the Reno-based nonprofit High Fives Foundation.

On Fridays, full-day passes for Lee Canyon’s downhill mountain bike park are available to riders for only $25. Lee Canyon will donate $5 from every pass purchased to the foundation.

Guests can enjoy live music on the Hillside Lodge Bristlecone Bar and Sky Deck from 1 to 5 p.m. on Fridays.

Lee Canyon is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit the Lee Canyon website.

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  • Aleza Freeman

    Aleza Freeman is a Las Vegas native and award-winning journalist with two decades of experience writing and editing lifestyle, travel, entertainment, and human interest stories in Nevada. Her work has appeared in AARP magazine, Haute Living and Nevada Magazine.

CATEGORIES: COMMUNITY | NATURE

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