The Top 8 Mountain Bike Destinations in North America
Mountain biking is a popular activity all over the world, and with the U.S. being blessed with countless mountain trails. Here are some of the best mountain biking destinations in America.
Mountain bike riding is one of the most fulfilling, easiest, and healthiest hobbies you can cultivate. Cycling is, of course, one of the best exercises to do on a regular basis, and mountain biking adds that little bit of extra strain to help you become stronger and more resilient. Mountain biking gets you in touch with nature, since you are cycling outdoors instead of in the smoke-filled grind of the city, and allows you to replenish and restore your vitality thanks to the clean, fresh air, and stunning views.
The U.S. has a large number of popular and challenging mountain bike trails. Many of these are old trails that were formed as paths for people on foot and on horseback, but some have been formed specifically for pedaling, not walking.
Mountain biking vacations are common among those passionate about their bikes, and it is precisely for these enthusiastic and adventurous practitioners that we have this list. Here are the top American mountain biking destinations. All these destinations have accommodation options either right in the city or nearby, but the major cities close to the destinations may have better accommodation across a wider price range.
Sedona, which rose to fame as a hotbed of spirituality, was always a place of stunning geology, incredible rock structures, and amazing nature trails―all of which combines to make it one of the most popular mountain biking destinations in America. It is a very versatile biking hub, with the relatively easy Bell Rock Path and Big Park Loop complemented by the thrilling Hangover and Highline trails.
Situated in the golden region around the American Rockies, Fruita is one of the very best mountain biking spots in the whole country. Its 18 road trails, such as the Zippity Doo Dah and the Kessel Run, are perfect for amateurs or intermediate riders, and the Kokopelli Trails around it are ideal for experts.
Whistler, British Columbia
Whistler is the true mecca of all things mountain biking. While Whistler is perhaps best-known for its world-class downhill mountain bike park, the surrounding area is covered in excellent cross country and all mountain singletrack trails, such as Comfortably Numb, that aren’t served by the lifts.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
The capital of the Land of Enchantment is home to some very enchanting mountain biking. You will find miles of delightful singletrack in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico. The local rail trail makes for an easy out-and-back or you can rack up the miles by taking it all the way out to the Galiesteo Preserve, riding the loops there, and then heading back. The La Tierra Torture race course is home to nice high desert cruising, and the Dale Ball Trails make for great juniper dodging. If you want a brutal climb, head for Atayala Mountain, and if you’re looking for an epic downhill, shuttle the Winsor Trail.
Park City, Utah
Park City is, thus far, the only city named as a Gold Level Ride Center by the International Mountain Bicycling Association. This certification not only commends its trails, but also includes the bicycle-friendly and touristy infrastructure. Tours such as Mid-Mountain and the Wasatch Crest, among the best in America, are quite close. The city also has wide cycle tracks on the city roads, and bicycle parks for recreational cycling. It is also home to three ski resorts. More information about Park City’s trails can be found at Mountaintrails.
Fisher Creek, Sun Valley, Idaho
The Ketchum-Hailey-Sun Valley area boasts more than 400 miles of singletrack, most of it some of the smoothest, buffest riding in the country. The area’s most famous mountain bike ride is the Fisher Creek loop, which rips one of the world’s great cross-country descents, Williams Creek. This 17-mile trail has no shortage of spectacular views, but the singletrack that winds through the burn area (from a 2005 fire) is some of the most unique. Try to time it with wildflower season.
One of the premier vacation destinations in the U.S., Lake Tahoe is home to several avenues of recreation, mountain biking being one of the nascent but popular ones. The region around South Lake Tahoe, especially, is home to several excellent trails. These consist of beginner-level trails, such as the Coral Loops and Angora Lakes, as well as difficult, advanced trails such as the Armstrong Pass. Advanced trails in this region are known to be extremely difficult, but rewarding when persevered with.
Rim Trail, California and Nevada
The Tahoe Rim Trail passes through two states (California and Nevada), six counties, one state park, three National Forests and three wilderness areas. Of the 165 miles of singletrack that encircle the largest alpine lake in North America, more than 80 miles are open to mountain bikes. The views are vast, the terrain varied and it’s one of those rides that can be enjoyed by bikers of all abilities. Many local bike shops provide shuttles for the point-to-point rides within the Rim Trail.