Big Sky Bike Park Opens in Time for Summer

Bikers of all ages can finally enjoy Bend’s new biking facility.

After years of funding hiccups and bureaucratic roadblocks, Bend is finally pedaling its way into joy with a new mountain bike park at the Big Sky sports complex. Located off of Hamby Road, on Bend’s east side, the new park was created with fun in mind — no matter the ability level.

The features currently open include: a concrete pump track, an obstacle course, a skills area with man-made features akin to obstacles encountered on natural trails, and a learning area that has beginner-friendly versions of the prior features. These features are only the first phase of construction for the park, per Bend Park and Recreation District. 

The unveiling of phase one officially came at the start of June. But according to the BPRD Communications Manager Julie Brown, before it had officially opened, the park had been so popular that, “we had to encourage people to wait for it to be finished because they wanted to ride it before it was completed.”

Initially put before the Deschutes Board of County Commissioners in 2018, the park met some pushback. Concerns about land-use zoning, loud noise and lights generated from planned events that delayed the approval process. This coupled with what Brown called, “other funding priorities for [upkeeping existing] parks and trails in the community,” also delayed the construction process. 

Despite this, Brown added, “BPRD applied for and was awarded a grant through Visit Bend’s Bend Sustainability Fund. That led to the first phase being completed and open for public use at least a few years earlier than originally planned.”

Since its opening, the first phase is already a hit with riders of all ages, said Brown. 

No date has been announced for the construction or completion of phase two. According to the BPRD website, phase two will open up a slopestyle zone which will include a starting tower and sessions zone. Meaning, large jumps, turns and drops with an elevated starting platform to generate the necessary speed.

From the initial design of the bike park, a few of Bend’s world-famous professional bikers, including Carson Storch and Cam McCaul, have advocated for, and helped design a slopestyle area. Their hopes were to put Bend on the map of a larger slopestyle circuit, given its current status as a bike haven in other disciplines of biking. Bend has long been known for its trail riding and downhill biking, but the new jumps open up new opportunities for slopestyle riding, when previous areas for jumps were bootleg, not professionally managed. 

“I really like the Big Sky bike park, andI’ll like it even more with the expected slopestyle zone,” said Caldera junior, Jon Degraff, who is an avid biker. Degraff added that he has “no doubt others my age would flock to it too.”