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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
have been riding xc i live in Houston no choice ether xc or nada for a few years and every time i ride out side of Houston i love any little down hill sections and want to try a real DH park out that would have rentals. My wife and i are driving from Houston to San Francisco then up to Portland this summer are there any places you would recommend if i wanted to give DH a try while im out there?
 

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I suggest Mammoth as well, although neither one is really on the way. A little Yosemite/Mammoth/Northstar side trip would be worth it though.
 

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Northstar, no questions asked, you will have the most fun there. Mammoth is not as well suited for beginners although much more epic surroundings.
 

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Don't waste your time with Mammoth if you're making a short trip.. head to North Star and get a Giant Glory DH for rent. Reserve one in advanced.
 

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The best drive from Houston to Portland takes you right up hwy 395 and right through Mammoth.

Head out of Texas-through New Mexico-to Flagstaff AZ-to Vegas via the Hoover Dam-ride Bootleg Canyon in the early AM in summer if it's not too hot, but it's usually an inferno by early summer-keep going north on 95-cut over the White Mountains-end up at Mammoth-ride-then get back on 395 and go through eastern Ca and cut over to Portland from Ca or Souther OR.

Mammoth is killer for first time DH park riding. Lots of downhill and the soft pumice soil doesn't punish you too much when you crash.Plus, Mammoth did a ton of trailwork last summer and there is a great jump line, improved features, and many reworked turns and drops.

Mammoth really is great for beginning DH. Looong, loooong, loooong easy/moderate DH runs.
 

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jimi1114 said:
If you are going to be in Portland for a while why not head up to Whistler. Six hour drive from PDX but well worth it.
Totally agree with this - you might as well go to the best bike park in the world for a little extra driving!
 

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not too much experience??

try Blackrock....great place to advance your skills
 

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I also live in Houston. While it has a mixed reputation, I really like Deer Valley, UT especially for an intro to DH. (and not too far out of the way from Houston to San Francisco).

The trails are more natural (lots of roots and rocks) compared to some other resorts. It has a decent mix of intermediate and expert with out too many big drops (really none).

(it would be a good warm up if you kept going and went to Whistler)

For comparison to Houston you could essentially take Memorial or the Anthills point them down and add a few rocks. (but far more fun). Most of the trails do have a lot of switch backs which you don't get much of locally.

Depending on if your wife rides, their is plenty for her to do there as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks for all the info guys will probably check out North star or Mammoth we are taking I-10 from here to LA to see a friend then up to San Fran so i need to make it a place in California. I would love to go to whistler but on a time crunch we have just over 2 weeks to drive to LA see a friend drive up to San Francisco the wife has always wanted to go, then fit in some riding at ether north star or mammoth, make it to the Mountain Bike Oregon weekend then we have a few days to go check out Portland for a possible place to move to then hall ass back to Houston before we lose our jobs LOL
 

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I say downieville for the first time DHing IMO.

The full run is about 14 miles and maybe 10% of that is either flat or pedalable uphill... but mainly all downhill. Its about an hour away from northstar so you can hit up that place once you got your fix.
 

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If you're driving from LA to SF then you can head up 395 to Mammoth and cut across through Yosemite to the bay area. Way bettter drive than I-5, though the 101 along the coast is pretty nice too.

I'm pretty new to DH riding and I think Mammoth has a lot to offer to the intermediate to lower level advanced rider. They've done a lot of work in the last couple of years to improve the trails and build better features and jumps. I live here and learned to ride here so I'm probably a little biased.

Northstar is a super fun park but it feels more punishing to me. Everytime I go there I seem to either wreck my bike or my body. Probably more of a reflection on my skills than Northstar though. :) They have tons of features and one of the best jump lines around though so wherever you go you're going to have fun!
 

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I'm pretty new to DH riding and I think Mammoth has a lot to offer to the intermediate to lower level advanced rider
I agree. As more of a Blue/Single Black trail rider I prefer Mammoth over Northstar. It's also easier to chain together longer runs (10+ miles) in Mammoth IMHO.

Northstar wins on gnar points though, and there is definitely enough non-lethal stuff to keep you entertained.

You will have fun at either.

And really, the drive up 395 is really nice. 5 is a painful drone.
 
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