Mountain biking Massanutten’s Western Slope in Virginia

Photo out over mountain bike handlebars onto rocky singletrack trail on Western Slope network in Massanutten, Virginia

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I first heard about the mountain bike trails on Massanutten’s Western Slope in Virginia when I was putting together my Bike Parks in the US guide. Ever since, for some reason, I’ve been drawn to checking it out. 

Massanutten is a small resort in northern Virginia known for the most vertical drop in the Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland areas. During the winter, it operates as a modest ski hill, and in the summer it transitions to a lift-served bike park. 

But on the other side of the resort – the western slope – is a whole other playground. Massanutten Resort has partnered with the Shenandoah Valley Bike Coalition (SVBC) to build and maintain dozens of miles of singletrack trail that can be accessed by pedaling or via a bus shuttle on the weekends. 

I got to spend one full day riding the Western Slope and I’m SO glad I made it a stop on my way out to Arkansas. The trails are a blast and there’s a little bit of everything for every rider from rocky tech to fast, smooth flow tracks. 

Read on to learn more about the Western Slope trails at Massanutten and start planning your trip!

Bike park at a glance icon

Massanutten Western Slope at a Glance

  • Location: Harrisonburg, VA
  • Lifts: Shuttle truck
  • Miles of trail: 32+ miles
  • # of trails: ~52
  • Elevation high: 2,480 ft
  • Elevation low: 1,529 ft
  • Vertical drop: ~950 ft
  • Skills area?: Yes
  • E-bikes allowed? Yes
  • Rentals? At Massanutten Resort

Massanutten Western Slope Trail Map

Important Things to Know

Mountain biking at Western Slope is awesome, but there are a few things to know before hitting the trails:

  • You need a pass to ride:
  • Shuttle: You can either buy a full-day shuttle pass for $50 or a $10 single-lap pass. You can purchase passes on the Massanutten Resort Website.
  • Pedal: You still need a pass to pedal around the Western Slope. You can purchase a $10 day pass or an annual pass. This money goes back into the trails, so you’re only hurting yourself and your friends if you don’t pay it.
  • E-bikes are allowed: Whether you’re pedaling or shuttling, Class 1 e-bikes are welcome at the Western Slope.
  • Dogs are allowed: Bring your pooch! However, dogs are not allowed on the shuttle, so you’ll need to stick to pedaling.
  • Hikers use these trails: You may encounter hikers on the trails. Please be kind and courteous and say hi when you pass by!

How to get there & where to park

The Western Slope trails aren’t actually really near the Massanutten Resort. Instead, they’re located about a 20-minute drive north and on the other side of the ridge. Don’t make the mistake of driving all the way up to the top of the ridge on the Resort side only to find that there’s a gate at the top. You have to go around.

The drive out there is really windy and feels like you’re heading off into the boonies! It’s beautiful, though, so take your time and enjoy it.

There’s a large parking area at the base of the Western Slope with toilets. There’s also a nice big grassy meadow with a pavilion to hang out at in between shuttles or laps.

>> Directions: Western Slope Parking Area / 4360 Happy Valley Rd, Keezletown, VA 22832

Watch a video of my day at the Western Slope

Shuttle or pedal?

That is always the question, isn’t it? I opted for the $50 all-day shuttle pass and I was really glad that I did. It’s almost a 1,000 ft climb to the top, so if you want to explore all of the Western Slope (or as much as you can), you’ll either need an e-bike or pay for the shuttle.

The shuttle runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from roughly Mid-March through early November depending on conditions.

Hours vary, so be sure to check the Massanutten Website for updated information.

Theoretically, the shuttle runs every hour on the hour, but they try to accommodate riders as best they can. When I rode, there were only two of us shuttling, so we basically were shuttled on-demand, which was awesome.

For pedalers, keep in mind that you still need a pass to ride the Western Slope. Day passes can be purchased here.

Also, be aware that there is no dedicated climbing trail. Uphill traffic stay alert and downhill traffic stay in control.

Truck pulling bike shuttle wagon with one bike loaded onto the rack
You can either pedal or shuttle up the Western Slope. I chose shuttle 🙂

What to expect

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I rolled up to ride. Would the trails be machine-built or natural? Would there be man-made features like drops and jumps? How technical would the ‘advanced’ trails really be?

While I don’t want to spoil all of the surprise, here are a few things to expect at Massanutten’s Western Slope:

  • Rocky and technical up top, smooth and fast down below.
  • The trails on the top third of the mountain are quite rocky and technical in places. 2000K may be a rude awakening for those not familiar with the area. You can always skip 2K and drop in down below.
  • No man-made features & few natural features.
  • If you’re expecting bike-park-like features, you’ll be disappointed. There are no man-made ramps, drops, etc… There are a few natural features, but they are few and far between. (There is a very small skills area that has a few man-made jumps and features).
  • Some pedaling required.
  • Even if you shuttle, expect to still pedal, especially if you head out toward the western side of the mountain. Special K even has a small climb.

The best 4 runs

Here are, in my opinion, the four best trail link-ups on Massanutten’s Western Slope.

1. Special K & More


  • 2000 Hours – A rocky and technical trail that is a bit of a rough start.
  • Special K – Turn left onto Special K and climb for a bit before being rewarded with a fun, fast descent.
  • Red, White, & Blue – Fast, flowy and FUN!
  • Short Track – A short, beautiful trail back to the pavilion.
Trail sign with trail names and arrows at Western Slope Mountain Biking Trail network in Virginia

2. Ravine Traverse


  • 2000 Hours – A rocky and technical trail that is a bit of a rough start. Skip if you want.
  • Ravine – This is a long trail that traverses the Western Slope. There is some climbing, but I promise the descent is worth it!
  • Leighton’s – Your reward for pedaling across the slope of the ridge.
  • Virginia ’54 – SO beautiful. This was one of my favorite trails.
Singletrack mountain bike trail lined with bright green spring grass winding through beautiful forest in Virginia
This route may have you cursing at times, but I promise the descent is worth it!

3. Quarantine


  • Quarantine – Rated a doubleblack on TrailForks, but it’s really not that bad. In my opinion, this is the best trail on the Western Slope.
  • Happy Hour – Link Quarantine into Happy Hour for the best descent on the mountain!
Big bermed dirt turn on trail in Massanutten Western Slope mountain bike trail network in Virginia
Quarantine has some of the best, flowiest trails on the Western Slope

4. Puzzler


  • Peak Ridge – Not a fun trail to ride. You’ll probably walk your bike for stretches… but Puzzler is worth it!
  • Puzzler – A great trail with incredible rock work. Like Quarantine, it’s rated a doubleblack, but it’s worth doing even if you need to walk some parts.
  • Special K – No climbing on this section, it’s all downhill!
  • Red, White, & Blue – Briefly link this into Gravity Monkey.
  • Gravity Monkey – A steep, flow trail.
  • Red, White, & Blue – Finish your run back to the pavilion.
Rocky section of mountain bike trail on Western Slope in Massanutten Virginia
Puzzler is a double black, but worth doing even if you need to walk some sections. The rock work is amazing!


You can actually camp in the parking area at the base of the Western Slope. You need to call Massanutten Resort to get approval.

There are toilets, but no potable water.

Parking area for Massanutten Western Slope trails in Virginia
Camping is allowed in the parking area at the base of the Western Slope. Call Massanutten Resort for approval. Toilets are available, but there is no potable water.

What about the bike park?

You may have heard about the Massanutten Bike Park, which is separate from the Western Slope. Unfortunately, it wasn’t open when I visited and the Resort is doing some trail work this summer (2023) so several of the trails are closed.

It looks like a great family-friendly bike park, though!

Final thoughts

I really enjoyed my day at Massanutten’s Western Slope in Virginia. The two hosts and shuttle driver were awesome and it just had a great, laid-back vibe.

Even if you choose to pedal, you’ll have a lot of terrain to choose from and if you visit in spring (like I did in April), the Eastern Redbud blossoms and wildflowers will make your visit even more memorable!


Looking for more great east coast riding? Check out these awesome destinations:

Have you mountain biked the Western Slope of Massanutten? What did you think? Did you pedal or shuttle? Is this a place you’d like to visit? Leave a comment below!

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