Before the mountain biking season starts up again, it’s a good idea to consider which mountain biking destinations you want to head to this year.
You might already be imagining yourself riding through scenic trails, feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin, and a light breeze cooling down your sweat. However, before you pull your bike out of storage and dust it off, spend a few moments thinking about where you’re going to go for this year’s mountain bike trips.
Top mountain biking destinations in North America
Here’s where to go for some of the best mountain biking in the US and Canada.
1. Moab, Utah
Moab is the place to go for all US mountain bikers. Bikers come from miles around to experience the truly unique red rock destination in southeastern Utah. If you’re aiming to hit multiple hot spots in one road trip, Moab is easily accessible from Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico.
You’ll find plenty of historic mountain biking trails in Moab, such as the popular Whole Enchilada. But what makes this location different is that the trails are always changing and expanding. On average, 30 miles of new trails are created each year. Two of the most recent are North Klondike and Klonzo.
2. Sedona, Arizona
The best mountain bike rides in Sedona are all within a short ride of the town, so you won’t need to stress about driving anywhere. If you’re looking for a proper challenge, head for the Highline/Templeton/Baldwin loop of the aptly named Hangover Trail.
Intermediate riders will undoubtedly enjoy the Chuckwagon/Mescal/Aerie network. While beginners can get in on the action on the Big Park Loop and the Bell Rock Path.
3. Bend, Oregon
Bend’s classic “moon dust” conditions don’t suit everyone, however, that doesn’t stop it from being one of the top US mountain biking destinations. Singletracks are continually being added to Bend’s hundreds of miles of trails and mountain bike infrastructure.
Another attraction that makes Bend stand out is the recent opening of the Mount Bachelor downhill mountain bike park, which already boasts a wide array of trails.
4. Whistler, British Columbia
Whistler is a true mecca for all things mountain biking. It’s best known for its world-class downhill mountain bike park, but the area is covered in excellent cross country and all-mountain singletrack trails.
There are countless other locales in British Columbia, such as Squamish, Fernie, Nelson, Golden, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Revelstoke, and many more.
5. Crested Butte, Colorado
Crested Butte is a Rocky Mountain town for skiers and mountain bikers alike. Located midway between Denver and Grand Junction, it is even closer to Colorado Springs. You’ll have no problems enjoying a relaxing and scenic road trip from either of these major cities.
When you get there, you’ll find over 700 miles of alpine singletrack trails. Not only is Crested Butte home to one of the oldest mountain bike festivals, it also features a legendary 13,000-foot climb and is one of the destinations that started the mountain biking craze back in the 1970s.
6. Downieville, California
Downieville is another location that’s tucked away in the Sierra Nevada mountains. You have to travel over an hour up into the mountains on winding two-lane highways but once you’re there, you get to experience the Downieville Downhill, a marquee ride that everyone’s heard of. Surrounding the town is a gigantic network of 500 or more miles of mountain bike trails.
7. Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada
Lake Tahoe is one of the clearest lakes in the world. It lies in the Sierra Nevada Mountains on the border of California and Nevada. If you’re flying in, Sacramento or Reno are your best options.
For many mountain bikers, The Tahoe Rim Trail is a bucket list adventure but you should also consider adding Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Flume Trail to your list. The newest trails are in the Southlake area, while the best downhill trailers are in the Northstar Resort. For the best views, you’ll need to head higher up.
8. Wydaho, Wyoming and Idaho
The Wydaho region covers Jackson, Jackson Hole Resort, Victor, Idaho, Driggs, and Grand Targhee Resort. Mountain biking has really blown up in Wydaho over the last few years. There has been significant trail development close to the town of Jackson. Historically-illegal trails on Teton Pass have also been adopted into the trail system.
Jackson Hole has improved its bike park, but the most notable improvements have been at the Grand Targhee Resort. There is now an incredible array of downhill mountain bike trails, cross country trails, winter fat biking trails, and other two-wheeled singletrack routes.
9. Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is in Western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and it’s a city known for its mountain beauty, historic architecture, and vibrant art scene.
Asheville is surrounded by some awesome trails, including the Bailey Mountain Bike Park and the 500,000-acre Pisgain National Forest. Kisuma, Dupont, and Tsali are also close to Asheville and offer more of North Carolina’s most treasured mountain biking trails.
10. East Burke, Vermont
Close to the Canadian border, East Burke is a secluded mountain town that is challenging to get to, but well worth the effort. If you live on the East Coast, East Burke is a three-hour drive from Boston and an hour and a half from Burlington.
East Burke is a great place to ride your mountain bike. It includes The Kingdom Trails network which has something for all ability levels. There are well-groomed doubletracks for beginners and tight, fast, flowing singletracks for more experienced cyclists.
Other areas you want to check out include Burke Mountain, Dead Moose Alley, and Darling Hill. The area is best experienced between May and October.