So you’ve got a mountain bike and you’re willing to travel…but where can you get the most riding in? Here are some U.S. towns where you can have a killer time on your bike every day.
Moab tops almost every mountain biker’s list of dream destinations for a good reason: It really is as good as they say it is. The red-rock landscape isn’t found anywhere else on earth and there are so many trails you can use to explore it. Whole Enchilada, Slickrock, and Porcupine Rim are some of the trails you may have heard about before, but don’t miss newer ones like Sovereign, North Klondike, the Brands, and Klonzo, which are an interconnected web of intermediate rides. Moab is also the gateway to two national parks: Arches and Canyonlands. Here, you can see even more spectacular scenery off your bike.
A lot of mountain bikers think of it as a western sport, but it’s actually popular on the East Coast, too. Brevard is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains near the Pisgah National Forest, and many experienced riders consider its trails an insider secret. Word is getting out, though! They host The Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race every year, and in recent years more than 2500 contestants showed up! Ride in the National Forest for mostly technical trails, or venture into the DuPont State Recreational Forest for even more options. Stay in town or just inside the park at the Bike Farm, which features a skills park for more practice!
This tiny town in the Sierra Nevada mountains has a huge heart for mountain biking. Sure, it’s nearly an hour from the nearest interstate and only has 350 fulltime residents, but it offers over 500 miles of trails. If you come as a bike tourist, be sure to hit the Downieville Downhill, even though that isn’t everyone’s favorite local trail. Locals love to ride Mills Peak (for a flowy downhill) or Lakes Basin (for challenging trails with scenic lake views). Book early if you want to come during the Downieville Classic (one of the most famous mountain biking events on the circuit), where you can watch how some of your favorite riders tackle some difficult terrain.
East Burke, VT
East Burke is another hidden gem, especially to riders who have thus far focused on riding in the west. In fact, its trails were once noted as America’s Best by Bike magazine. Getting to the trails is easy, too – in fact, you can ride to most access points in just a few minutes from the center of town. Try out the Kingdom Trails for tried-and-true adventuring, or head to Darling Hill for some soft downhill. Technical trails are common on Burke Mountain, and Burke Mountain Bike Park has descents that will get your adrenaline flowing every time. The town is easy to get to, too, so you won’t spend too much time driving around.
Crested Butte, CO
Crested Butte is pretty much where mountain biking was born, so it makes sense that it’s a mecca for most riders. Everyone from beginners to experts can find trails to ride here and even non-riding companions will love the town’s vibe. Come for the country’s oldest mountain biking festival, Crested Butte Bike Week, and enjoy a new ride (or three!) every day. Trail 401 and Deadman Gulch are classic rides and the Evolution Bike Park offers more adrenaline than most people really need in their lives. Check out the town, too. It’s a combination of kitschy charm and cozy Victorian that actually works!
The beauty in Bend can’t be beat, and the trails aren’t too bad, either. It offers 700 miles of singletrack and at least 300 miles of other interconnected trails, so you won’t get bored anytime soon. The McKenzie River Trail is an Oregon classic, full of technical challenges for all riders. The Phil’s Trail system is fun and flows well, or you can get your heart pumping at Mount Bachelor Bike Park’s gravity-served trails. This “small” town is bigger than most biking towns, but you won’t notice because it’s held onto a certain quaint charm.
Park City, UT
Park City is a “ride center,” as designated by the International Mountain Biking Association. This means that riders of all levels can find trails particularly for them, set in stunning locations with spectacular scenery. Whether you want a lengthy ride, like Wasatch Crest, or you want to ride the gravity trails at Canyons Bike Park, you’ll find a trail to love in Park City. From long, flat cruising trails to breathless downhills, Park City offers something for everyone. The town is even kid-friendly, so you can bring the whole family and have a great time!
So, what are you waiting for? Get packed and get out on the trails in these spectacular towns that seem to be made for mountain biking!