Santa's Village Skypark, filmed and reviewed by Preston Mason
Review Date: 8/25/2018
Santa's Village Skypark in Lake Arrowhead is a unique kind of bike park because it's much more than just a place to ride your bike. It's the kind of place you can take the whole family to and while you are riding the trails, the wife (or husband) can be entertaining the kids with the various attractions including rock climbing, pedal car racing, zip lines, candy shops or training the future riders on a balance bike pump track. There is even a nice restaurant with a full bar for when you need a break from the trails... or from the kids. The cost is $39 for an adult and that covers all the activities available in the park including the riding. Parking will cost you $10.
As for the bike park itself it's a little different because there are no lifts to take you to the top where the trails start out. You have to ride up a dirt road to get to the top and some of the downhill runs will actually intersect the trail as you are riding up. The good thing is it's not that long of a ride up and is only a little more than a half mile to the top and it's not too steep either. When you get to the top there are several trails you can ride from green to blue to black diamond to double black diamond. A decent full suspension trail bike should do the job and it's not necessary to have a full on downhill bike to ride here. And if you did it would just hurt you on the repeated climb to the top. You might want to wear some lightweight pads too if you plan on getting a little ambitious.
Santa's Village Skypark Video
Santa's Village Skypark Review
Even though you have to put out the effort to ride to the top yourself it's still a very fun place to ride. A decent rider can do 10 runs in a day before the ride up starts to take its toll but if you take some breaks in between you can probably extend that number pretty easily. The food at the pub is very good and they have a decent selection of beers plus a couple of their own on tap. There are 5 trails that start from the top and a few more that you can do further down so for now we will discuss these main 5 trails.
Evergreen - This is a green trail and is pretty much what you would expect for a green trail. It's pretty smooth and not too steep. It has a few whoops type features here and there and actually has some extra features that you can hit off to the side if you are feeling a little more adventurous. It would be a good trail to take the kids down or one for someone getting into mountain biking. It would also make a good trail to warm up on just to get the body going.
Sleigh Ride - This is the only blue trail that starts from the top and it's a pretty fun trail. It mostly consists of whoops that you can ride over or catch a little air if you like. It has some nice berms as well and you can get some speed going down it if you stay off of the brakes. It's still easy enough for the kids assuming they have been riding for a while and also for newbies as well.
Arrow - Arrow is a black diamond trail and probably the best one there to ride. It has some easy jumps and some wooden features to ride but it's all doable for a decent rider. You can also ride around or over everything in case you don't have the nerve to take it on. If you want to practice your jumping skills then this is the trail to do it on.
Comet - Comet is considered a double black diamond most likely because its much steeper than the rest of the trails and not as groomed. There is also some wooden balance features you can ride if you are into that. They are wide enough and close enough to the ground that most people should be ok. There is also a little climbing on this trail and its one of the longer runs. It has a few jumps but is more of a natural trail compared to the manmade feel of the other trails.
Neverland Jump Line - This is another double black diamond trail because it has some bigger jumps and more advanced wooden features. For the most part if you come up short on the jumps you should be ok assuming you have decent suspension and you can ride around some of them if you aren't feeling up to it. For many of the others they are table top type jumps so you can just ride over them and be fine. It also has some nice berms and you can get some pretty good speed which you will need to clear the bigger jumps.
Hopefully in the future Santa's Village Skypark will add some more runs to their lineup to give the riders a few more options but for now you can easily spend all day mastering the runs that they have now. We actually liked it better than riding at Big Bear. The continuous ride up to the top can take its toll on your performance going down the trails but as long as you keep hydrated and make sure to eat for the energy you should be fine. It's not too often you can go to a bike park that can increase your riding endurance!
Santa's Village Skypark Pictures
Directions to Romero Trail
No matter where you are coming from (most likely) you will need to get yourself to the 210 Foothill Freeway and then take exit 76 for CA-18/Waterman Ave. Then stay on the 18 and take it up into the mountains until you get to Santa's Village. You can also connect to the 18 from the 330 if you live up that way.