Mountain Creek Bike Park – Vernon, NJ

Helmet Camera
Embedded above is a compilation of helmet camera footage we captured at Diablo Mountain Creek Bike Park. It shows most of what the place has to offer feature wise. Helmet cameras can be deceptive in showing scale, difficulty, and trail details so take it with a grain of salt.

Alpine wallride (click to enlarge)

Alpine wallride (click to enlarge)

Website: http://mountaincreekbikepark.com/

Gallery: Mountain Creek Bike Park

Location:

Mountain Creek
200 Route 94
Vernon, NJ 07462

Riding:

Diablo features a relatively large array trails (45 total named trails, 10 start at the top of the lift) ranging from full gnar downhill to more jump oriented fun trails. The mountain has 900+ft of elevation which doesn’t make it a overly large hill but the trail builders have used the elevation to its highest potential. The mountain is serviced by a detachable high speed gondola that makes getting up and down the mountain a breeze. It’s easy to turn in far more runs at this park than many others.

The terrain itself at Diablo is moderately rocky throughout the park. It tends to drain fairly well and only the less technical trails seem to hold any water. Overall the park is catered to the advanced to expert rider with only about 2 technically easy trails. We’ve found that a 6” travel bike can work decent on the mountain with select trails, but a full on downhill bike is really what you want to ride for the best experience.

While there are buff trails at Diablo, there are also man-made features to keep things interesting and fun as well as more technical trails that will keep your blood pumping. Dominion is one of the more heavily trafficked trails that features ample amounts of hang time. There are a few routes off of Dominion that take you to special features like the Cannon jump, Pipeline, and Covenant drop. Dominion itself features many large well built table top jumps.

Dominion (click to enlarge)

Dominion (click to enlarge)

Alpine is another flowy jump oriented trail that resides beneath the lift. This trail features large berms, wall rides, and jumps finishing at the bottom of the hill. No trip is complete at Diablo without a good rip down Dominion to Alpine with a Phantom drop finisher.

Alpine (click to enlarge)

Alpine (click to enlarge)

Alpine (click to enlarge)

Alpine (click to enlarge)

Phantom drop (click to enlarge)

Phantom drop (click to enlarge)

Diablo’s harder trails are usually not talked about but they certainly have them!  Slayer, Evil Bob, Stalker, Utah, Stigmata, and others are there for those of you looking to find the harder trails.  They are immensely fun for advanced riders, but take care if you haven’t been down them before.

If you’re just getting into the sport or haven’t progressed to the more advanced level you can still have fun at Diablo. Their Greenhorn trail was created for less experienced riders to progress on. We’ve found that Greenhorn linked up to some of the blue trails like Ego Trip and Deviant make for a great starter run. Lesser skilled riders can also check out the Indy Cross course which is designed to be a single person slalom course. It features numerous berms and jumps all perfectly manicured for maximum shredding.

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

Future Developments:

Currently, we are in the middle of planning for 2010 so details are limited at this point in time. I’ll attempt to share as much information as possible.

Here are some quick bullet points that may help shed some light.

  • In 2010, we will continue to improve our Diablo Mountain Sports retail store. This season we relocated our retail store / ticket center to a larger building with the goal of providing our guests with a very strong offering of high-end apparel, components, protective gear and service. This latest retail venture has helped us to increase our retail revenue by nearly 65% vs. 2008.
  • For the 2010 season, we will continue our strong partnership with Jamis Bikes and we once again purchase an entirely new fleet of rental bikes, primarily 2010 JAMIS DAKAR BAM 2′s. In 2009, we have been extremely pleased with our rental operation and our success so far this year has allowed us to recognize a 45% increase in the number of bike rentals versus 2008. The success of the rental program is directly attributed to our strong partnership with Jamis Bikes as well as Shimano.
  • We have not yet finalized our overall trail improvement campaign for 2010, however, at this time we intend to add new trails and features for each specific skillset. Each season over the past several years we invest a significant amount of resources to further develop our trail network into a system of trails that provide a great experience for all types of riders. Every season we strategically add certain features and trails that are geared to attract newer riders, and on the flipside we continue to provide more and more advanced features to entertain the core, expert riders.  The newer riders are the lifeline of our sport and I feel we have done an excellent job to foster the growth of the sport in our area, as well us on the east coast.  Our attendance is booming and one attributing factor for this success has definitely been our ability to attract new riders to the sport offering high-end, affordable rental bikes, as well as a diverse trail network that is fun to ride.

Some additional things we are working on for 2010:

  • New trails and features for both “novice” and “expert” level riders
  • Restructured season pass program offering more benefits and huge
  • Discounts on race entrance fees
  • Entirely new rental fleet consisting of 30 Jamis DAKAR BAM II rental
  • Bikes and all-new Fox protective gear
  • Trail network re-routes on the lower mountain to improve flow, add variety

-Shawn Orecchio
General Manager / Event Director
Diablo Freeride Park / U.S. Open of Mountain Biking

Other notable travel info:

Diablo is located in a relatively less populated are of New Jersey. If you’re planning on staying overnight at Diablo we suggest getting a room at Mountain Creek or renting a place in Black Creek. The hotel (Days Inn) down the road isn’t the most clean hotel we’ve stayed in but they are remodeling so this may change after their construction. Camping is an option but it isn’t as close as we’d like. We suggest checking out the Vernon Inn for dinner as they have a very wide selection of food and it is all very good. If you’re looking for the bar scene head down to the local tavern (George Inn) It’s always a good time.

Diablo does hold their own race series and the U.S. Open each year so there is plenty of racing to be found at Diablo. If you’re looking for nearby riding Plattekill, Windham, and Catamount are all about the same distance to the north or you can check out Blue Mountain to the west in Pennsylvania.

Rentals are available at Diablo. They stock Jamis bikes offering DH, FR, and park/slopestyle models. You can also rent Fox protection gear or check out a myriad of other goods they have for sale in their full service bike shop.

bike shop (click to enlarge)

bike shop (click to enlarge)

To find out about more east coast courses check out our e.thirteen East Coast Chronicles.