Back in the fall of 2019, Bogus Basin began construction on The Basin Gravity Park, a mountain bike park to serve South Western Idahoans. Southern Idaho needed a proper green flow trail, which was our priority in bringing the first lift-served mountain bike park to Idaho’s Treasure Valley.
At the time, builders Morgan Benbough & Kyle Jameson of Alpine Bike Parks had just finished construction on the regionally known J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation Bike Park. Naturally, we formed a partnership for phase one of The Basin Gravity Park.
Boise and the Treasure Valley’s overall public multi-use trail network caters to mid-speed ridgeline/valley riding with minimal corners, and the riding population is largely made up of hobbyist cross-country cyclists. However, thanks to Eagle Bike Park and J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation Bike Park, there is a growing core scene of riders demanding downhill-only, bike-specific trails.
Going into the summer of 2020, we believed that Morgan Benbough & Kyle Jameson had built the perfect new-to-sport green bike trail – Student Rider. After The Basin Gravity Park’s first operating summer, we realized that Student Rider was too advanced for new to-sport and cross-country riders entering into bike park riding.
In hindsight, our attempt to build a novice trail on the alignment of an existing blue cross-country trail was misguided and resulted in only a slight reduction of difficulty for the new-to-sport riders. Years later, Student Rider remains our best dark green/light blue trail that riders progress through in the park.
After spending all of 2020 developing our blue and black jump trails in phase one with Alpine Bike Parks, it was time to revisit our beginner/novice green flow trail offerings. The first order of business was identifying where New To This, our newest green mountain bike trail, would be built and finding terrain that allowed us to elongate the trail while making minimal turns down the mountain.
In building Student Rider, we did not anticipate the impact that descending in-sloped corners would have on the learning experience, nor did we foresee the challenges the riders would face when a trail offered more speed than the valley’s public trail network. We wanted New To This to slowly descended between topographic lines along the side of the mountain rather than ribbon down the face.
To do so, we needed to plan the mountain bike trail path outside the existing footprint of The Basin Gravity Park’s Morning Star Zone and use the alignment of New To This to mark the perimeter of The Basin Gravity Park’s next phase of terrain expansion, The Bitterroot Zone.
Derek Thomson of Apex Trail Construction built the upper and lower section of New To This with two distinct flows. The upper section wraps the southwest boundary of the Bitterroot Zone before connecting to the lower section, which is a cross-country style extension of our famous Around The Mountain cross-country trail. The mix of trail designs introduces new bike park riders to rolling, flowing terrain and corners with minimal elevation change and is designed to guide them through the learning process.
Southern Idaho now has a proper green flow trail. Very quickly, New To This has become the flow trail of choice for over 50% of our rider base, solidifying our decision to invest heavily in beginner and novice terrain while scaling our more difficult offering towards the growing core scene.
Check out a bit more of the storyline and some shots of this industry-leading green flow trail in the above video!
Video Edit: Derek Weimer
Photos: Luke Tokunaga