Rhett Jones launches into the highest and farthest jump at the new Station Mountain Bike Park near Marble Falls. Jones designed the park with big air in mind. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey
High schooler Rhett Jones spent the past 10 months turning his dream of opening a world-class mountain biking park in Central Texas into a reality. At 18 years old, he is the proud founder and owner of Station Mountain Bike Park, a gnarly hillside in rugged ranchland that has been carved into a mountain biking mecca just west and north of Marble Falls at 1101 Crider Road.
A native of Austin, Jones began work on Station Mountain in January 2023 during his junior year of high school. It took him four months to develop a professional pitch for his plan and acquire $350,000 from 19 investors. He spent another three months scouring the Texas Hill Country for a suitable piece of land and then an additional three months sculpting a web of trails studded with enough jumps to wear out a grasshopper.
“My goal is for every single mountain biker in Texas to see this spot as a place they’ve got to hit at least once while they’re here,” Jones said.
Station Mountain is expected to open on Nov. 3, making it the third mountain biking park in Burnet County and setting up the area as the heart of the Texas mountain biking scene. What differentiates Station Mountain from nearby Spider Mountain and Reveille Peak Ranch, which are formidable spots in their own rights, is a big emphasis on big air.
“This land works out because it has a lot of elevation, 370 feet top to bottom, and a huge variety of dirt, which is perfect for building ramps,” Jones said. “It’s a beautiful property for trail building. It’s perfect for Texas.”
Because of the topography, Jones was able to install more jumps on more lines (designated mountain biking routes) than other Texas parks, which usually peak at 10. Station Mountain features multiple trails with 75 jumps each, ranging from speed bumps on beginner trails to pro lines that launch riders 40 feet into the air.
Jones modeled his bike park after the “big mountain” parks out west, such as Angel Fire Bike Park in New Mexico and I Street Bike Park in Utah. Like those parks, Station Mountain offers a shuttle service to take riders from the bottom of the mountain to the top, where they can choose which route to take back down.
“Even though the trails we have here (in Texas) are super, super sick, I’m very appreciative of those (out-of-state) trails,” he said. “I just saw a lack of full, top-to-bottom jump lines (here). We have a few hand-cut, tech trails (with lots of tight turns) here, but about 80 percent are jump lines (trails with lots of jumps).”
Jones got into mountain biking when he was about 14 years old — which is not that long ago — and he really got into it, leaving rock climbing and football behind.
“When I found mountain biking, I just took off with it,” he said. “I quit all my other sports and became a die-hard mountain biker. I’ve ridden six days a week since.”
Station Mountain is not the first bike park on his résumè. He helped create another, smaller park in Lakeway called Rough Hollow. In just a few years, he has established himself as a fixture in the Texas mountain biking community.
He attributes his early success to his family and specialized schooling. His father and uncle are both successful entrepreneurs who encouraged him to work hard and follow his passions.
He attends Alpha Austin, a private high school built around open-space learning and developing creative problem-solving skills applicable to the business world. He said many of his classmates also have their own projects.
“My whole life, I kind of had plans to do the whole thing where I go to college, wait a few years, then start a business that I would be passionate about,” he said. “Then, I realized I could make that passion-based business now, as a high schooler.”
According to Jones, he spent a collective 300 hours developing his pitch deck and contacting investors across the country. He leveraged his status as a young, ambitious entrepreneur, asking for advice on how to improve his business plan and pitch and eventually trimming it down into a two-minute spiel that garnered the money he needed to get rolling.
Next up: acquiring land. Jones reached out to 123 ranch owners in the Hill Country who had acreage with at least a 300-foot elevation gain. All 123 ranchers hit him with a hard “No.” He spent months in limbo, holding on to hundreds of thousands of dollars but unable to spend it.
“I almost gave up,” he said.
Jones decided on a different route. He got an investor to purchase the land and lease it to him in exchange for equity in his company and monthly payments. He can operate Station Mountain in perpetuity as long as he meets the conditions of the lease.
Jones didn’t create his dream mountain bike park alone. He is surrounded by experienced trail builders and a dedicated project manager all working together to make Station Mountain a premier mountain biking destination in Texas. He dreams up the trails and jumps and his crew makes them a reality.
The park is designed with the rider in mind. According to Jones, a good trail needs “flow,” the perfect ratio of speed, distance, and jumps, so a biker can shred without having to peddle or stutter on their descent.
“If you nail the flow, then that’s your dream line,” he said.
Jones admitted to some doubts as the ups and downs of the process played out, but he kept his eye on the end of the line.
“I’m not doing this for me. I’m not doing this for money,” he said. “I’m doing this because the mountain bikers of Texas really want a new spot, they really love riding, and they really want some sick jumps. That’s been the plan since the front end.”
Station Mountain Bike Park, 1101 Crider Road near Marble Falls, is open from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Shuttle services run from 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Visit stationmountain.com for details on pricing and memberships. Contact the park at 512-653-9872 or email@example.com.