Pajarito Summerfest. 20 breweries. $15. Unlimited tasting. Lift accessed mountain biking. For anyone that’s into bikes and beer, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Pajarito Ski Resort is located up in the mountains near Los Alamos, New Mexico. It’s a community-owned and run resort. It’s mainly used by the local peeps that work at Los Alamos National Laboratory. This city is pretty interesting… there’s security checkpoints, underground labs, and numbered “work sites” all over the place. It’s where the atomic bomb was developed and who knows what else. When you drive past some of the work sites, you feel like you’re on an episode of Lost. The median income for Los Alamos is triple the national average… bottom feeders are cranking in over $100k/ year in the biggest top-secret brain farm / think tank / mega lab in the country.
Anyhoo… the mountains that the lab is built into are beautiful to say the least. The scenery is amazing all around. Pajarito is flanked by Bandalier National Monument and the Valle Caldera. Pretty impressive.
I’ve been meaning to ride the trails at Pajarito for a while. The lifts aren’t open all that often in the Summer. Mainly for special events, and every couple weeks on a Saturday or Sunday. This weekend was Summerfest (which should be called Beerfest) and the perfect opportunity to get some lift accessed singletrack. Angela and Lucy rode the lift up with me and hiked down. While they were hiking, I did a few laps up the lift and slayed most of what the mountain had to offer. Even jumped on some of the black diamonds on the rigid SS and hit some of the Whistler-esque freeride features- it was all super fun! Unfortunately, the Las Conchas fires a couple years ago have affected some of the trails, but most are open, and running well. My favorite XC trails (there aren’t many) were Aspenola, Lower Aspenola Loop, and Aspen for trouble (do you sense a pattern?) If you happen to be in the Los Alamos area, I’d definitely recommend hitting up Pajarito.
After I was done riding, I met up with Angela and Lucy at the festival area, and let the drinking commence. The Monk’s Ale Tripel was super tasty. Also really liked Great Scot Scottish Ale from Taos Mesa Brewery. Also tasted brew from Eske’s in Taos (green chile beer), Second Street Brewery in Santa Fe, Santa Fe Brewery, Marble Brewery (The Abbey was good), Blue Herron, Bosque, and much more. Like I said, if you like beer – this was a great way to taste the best craft beers of New Mexico. Yes, Angela drove – duh. Perk of having a pregnant wife! Although she did have an Irish Car Bomb Cupcake…
Even when the lifts aren’t turning, you can earn your turns and ride up to the top of Pajarito for free. It’s worth it for the views. The Pajarito Grill back in Los Alamos also serves up tasty food as well. The have a great bison burger with peach ketchup and apple smoked duck bacon is pretty good. But the prices are pretty high (the locals can afford it). Until next time..