A cyclist rides the lift to the top of Spider Mountain on Feb. 9, 2019. Pam LeBlanc photo

It’s been nearly two years since the chairlift started turning at Spider Mountain near Burnet, where mountain bikers get a ride up the hill so they can focus on the fun part – going down.

This week the park announced expanded holiday hours. My verdict? Get out there as fast as you can.

I’ve visited the park a couple of times, and love how it’s divided into beginner, intermediate and advanced trails. I stick to the easy routes, but more skilled riders can tackle one called Tarantula, with wooden ramps and curves, plus daunting obstacles suitable for launching yourself skyward.

They all deliver a jolt of adrenalin.

In addition to its usual Friday through Sunday hours, the park will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Dec. 18-21 and Dec. 26-31. It will also be open noon to 4:30 on Jan. 1, and 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 2-4.

A cyclist rounds a bend on the Tarantula Trail at Spider Mountain near Burnet. Photo courtesy Spider Mountain

Guests must wear masks except while they are riding.

A bit of trivia: The very same lift that now carries bikes up a Central Texas hill once carried skiers to the top of Al’s Run at Taos Ski Resort. (And I’ve ridden that lift when it was in New Mexico!) One-time Austin resident and overgrown-kid-in-disguise James Coleman, managing partner of Mountain Capital Partners, which owns six ski resorts around the country, purchased the lift, had it disassembled and trucked to Central Texas, where it’s now doing duty at the only lift-served bike park in Texas (and only year-round lift-served bike park in the country.)

The park is located at 200 Greenwood Hills Trail outside Burnet. For more information go to SpiderMountain.com.

Cyclists tear down a trail at Spider Mountain. Pam LeBlanc photo





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