Like many others, mountain biking is one of the favorite ways to enjoy the outdoors and challenge ourselves to reach new physical and mental heights. Most tend to put their bikes away when the temperatures and snowflakes begin to fall, but it doesn’t have to be so. Believe it or not, there are many outdoors men who love to leave tread marks in the snow. Winter mountain biking is actually not that much different than biking during warmer seasons, and today we’ll explore what you need to take on the activity with success and safety. Here are some of the top places to go for mountain biking.
What’s more, the best rides are all easily ridden right from town, with no need to drive anywhere. For relentless challenge and spooky exposure, head for the Highline/Templeton/Baldwin loop or the aptly named Hangover Trail. Intermediate riders will have a ball on the Chuckwagon /Mescal/Aerie network. Even novice riders can get in on the action on the Bell Rock Path and the Big Park Loop. Everyone will be treated to outstanding tread and the grandest scenery in MTB-land. If it gets too hot, you’re just a short drive from Prescott or Flagstaff, both of which offer a great variety of high-altitude rides. Click here to check hotels in sedona, arizona
Crusted butte, Colorado
Crested Butte is famous as one of the two birthplaces of the sport of mountain biking, but if you compare the current mountain bike trail access in Crested Butte, Colorado to that of Marin County, California… well, there just isn’t a comparison. Crested Butte boasts hundreds of miles of the most picturesque high-alpine trails anywhere, all surrounding a quaint western mountain town with great food and beer.
While Crested Butte hasn’t expanded their trail system as much as other destinations on this list over the past three years, their trail network continues to grow, and regardless of how slow the growth may be, the town currently claims to have over 750 miles of trails. It’d take decades for most destinations to even come close to that number! Click here to check hotels in crusted butte, colorado
Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada
Lake Tahoe is an expansive region that includes the towns of South Lake Tahoe, CA; Incline Village, NV; and Tahoe City, CA; which dot the shores of the largest alpine lake in North America, and one of the clearest lakes in the world. This entire region is renowned for its mountain biking and is stitched together into a cohesive destination by the Tahoe Rim Trail.
While Tahoe has long been known as a mountain bike destination, ongoing trail developments, primarily around South Lake Tahoe, have really pushed the region over the top into a truly world-class riding destination. There’s more trail riding than you can shake a stick at, and even if downhilling is your thang, Northstar Resort has you covered.
The restaurants and bike shops in Tahoe never seem to end, and you can find at least six breweries in the region. Click here to check hotels in lake tahoe, california
Park City, Utah
One of Park City’s many claims to fame is being the first-ever IMBA Gold-Level Ride Center. While other gold-level ride centers have joined the ranks over the years, Park City will always be the first. This gold-level status is thanks in part to an absolutely massive network of trails that’s all accessible from downtown. Most of these trails are classic trail riding or endure mountain biking territory, but you can get a lift bump in several different places with a ticket. If it’s true downhill that you desire, the Canyons and Deer Valley resorts have gotcha covered!
On top of the epic network that has existed for quite sometime, Park City continues to expand its network both around town, and with private resorts like Deer Valley also working diligently to build more and more single track. Click here to check hotels in park city, utah
Wydaho, Wyoming and Udaho
The Wydaho region encompasses Jackson, Wyoming; Jackson Hole Resort, Wyoming; Victor, Idaho; Driggs, Idaho; and Grand Targhee Resort, Wyoming. Jackson Hole and the surrounding Teton mountains have long been known as a hotbed for some of the best downhill skiing–especially in the backcountry–in the nation, if not the world. The mountains are massive and steep, and the snow is deep.
Historically, summer tourism in the region has revolved around Jackson’s proximity to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, but in just the last handful of years mountain biking has blown up on the Wydaho scene. While there were always decent big-mountain rides to be had, trail development has taken off closer to the town of Jackson. Historically-illegal trails on Teton Pass were adopted into the trail system, and new trails were built. Jackson Hole has also improved its bike park. But most notably, Grand Targhee Resort has developed an incredible array of downhill mountain bike trails, cross country trails, winter fat biking trails–basically, any sort of two-wheeled singletrack route you can imagine. Add all of this epic singletrack to the incredible views of the Tetons, the abundance of majestic wildlife, and the already-existing restaurant and lodging infrastructure, and not including Wydaho on this list in 2016 would be a massive oversight. Click here to search hotels in Idaho
While Sedona, Arizona may not boast the sheer quantity of trails that some of these other destinations do, whatever Sedona might lack in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality, accessibility, technical challenge, and drop-dead-gorgeous views. Long known for the incredible red rock scenery and the mystical appeal of the vortexes, now Sedona is just as widely known for the incredible single track interlaced around and through the town.
Again, Sedona could just rest secure in the camera-worthy views of towering red rocks but instead, they continue to legalize old social trails and build new single track every single year. Click here to search hotels in Sedona
Brevard, North Carolina
When we set out to rebuild this top 10 list from the ground up, we made a conscious decision not to include any destination because “we need an east coast destination” or “people will be upset if we don’t have a northwest destination.” Instead, we decided to only include locations on this top 10 list that really can go head-to-head with the best of the best mountain bike destinations in the country.
And we firmly believe that Brevard, North Carolina is more than capable of competing with the nine western choices on this list. Take advantage of. The eats are top-notch with a unique southern flair, and the beer is world-class, with bigger breweries like Oskar Blues, Sierra Nevada, and New Belgium having moved into the area, in addition to the numerous local operations.
Brevard is home to hundreds of miles of the most technical backcountry single track anywhere, gorgeous Appalachian Mountain views, and more mountain biking infrastructure (including bike shops, rentals, guiding, races–you name it) than you can even. Click here to search hotels in brevard, north carolina