Because there is no ski area with a chairlift in Copper Harbor, the KAC shuttle is the next best way to get you and your mountain bike to the top of the mountain without having to pedal! An activity that is most commonly associated with ski resorts out west, mountain bikers enjoy bombing down Copper Harbor’s sustained vertical descents along the miles of sweet singletrack that connect the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, Brockway Mountain and the village, nearly 600′ vertical and up to 3 miles below.
On the Sunday of the Ride the Keweenaw weekend, the shuttle was busy. They put up chains in front of the shop to provide some first-come, first-served structure to the riders waiting to get taken to the top. Once everyone piles inside the 14-passenger van, the driver (either Sam or one of his two trusty bike mechanics Jeff Squires or Jerry Smith) yells out “Where to?”
A consensus quickly emerges as the choice is simple: either the parking lot at Keweenaw Mountain Lodge or the top of Brockway Mountain, both about a mile from town. If you miss the shuttle, it’s no biggie. It can make a round trip in 15-20 minutes. And Sam’s getting another 14-passenger this summer to speed things up even further.
The shuttle currently runs noon-5:00pm on weekends and 5:30-9:30pm on Tuesdays. If you want to ride the trails at other times, team up with someone else for a DIY shuttle service with two vehicles like I did with IMBA’s Midwest Regional Director Hansi Johnson and his snazzy Subaru Outback. Of course, you can also pedal to the top. Hansi said that riding up the Stairway to Heaven trail (that’s a link to a recent YouTube video) is the easiest route to the top. Nearly all trails at Copper are two-way, and riders going up have priority over riders going down, although I mainly experienced the opposite.