10 Spectacular Mountain Biking Destinations in North America
Mountain bikers in North America have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to beautiful environments and striking trails to explore. We've gathered 10 of them for you to take a look at.
As long as there isn’t too much ice on the trail, you can head out and go mountain biking all year round. Well, four feet of snow might slow you down, but mounds of white not withstanding, North America offers up some pretty spectacular mountain biking destinations. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a specific single-track location or an entire area brimming over with biking opportunities, you're bound to find something to your liking on this great big continent.
If you love speed, mud, vertical climbs, steep descents, jumping off rocks and a variety of wild terrain, this list is definitely for you. So, grab your biking gear and your best friends, pile into your car or truck, and get out there for a great time, regardless of rain or shine.
Doctor Park Mountain Bike Trail, Colorado
If you dig single-track mountain biking trails, you’ll be thrilled by Doctor Park Mountain Bike Trail, near Spring Creek, Colorado. Yeah, you might need a doctor after you tackle this grueling bit of terra firma. It’s a hard cross-country trail, with almost 3,000 feet of elevation gain. You’ll pedal across streams, green hills and through patches of woodlands. If you only want to tackle the downhill stretches of Doctor Park, you can opt for shuttle bus that will take you to the top of trail, but of course if you do so you’ll lose some bragging rights about how hardcore you actually are.
Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina
Pisgah National Forest is full of wonderful biking trails. With more than 500,000 acres of terrain to challenge your endurance and skill, you won’t be disappointed by this stretch of North Carolina. Rivers, forests, steep grades and lots of rocks to pop your mountain bike off (in case you’re a bit of a showoff) abound in the Pisgah National Forest. For those cyclist who don’t need to roam about at breakneck speed, there are some leisurely biking opportunities here as well, with less risk of an out of control crash and burn
If you like rolling across red rocks, sandy track and past desert scrub, you just can’t beat Moab. This patch of Utah desert is a mountain biker's paradise. Narrow and broad canyons, expansive mesas, single-track and wide open routes await you in Moab, all cradled in by some of the most astounding scenery you’ll ever have the pleasure of riding through. While there are some pretty tough trails here to test your ability, there are some gentle rides as well, for the less experienced among your group. Moab really does have it all.
Buffalo Creek Mountain Bike Trail, Colorado
Colorado’s Buffalo Creek Mountain Bike Trail is a 14 miles long singe-track that will get your heart pounding. This ride starts out with a fairly simple climb, followed by a heck of a lot of downhill biking. And one of the best things about Buffalo Creek, besides the great mountain vistas and challenging twists and turns, is the fact that you’re just west of Denver. After a hard day of biking, you can grab a bite to eat and a drink in the big city with your friends, and relive your cycling adventures and mishaps.
Whistler/Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada
British Columbia, located on Canada’s west coast, is home to some amazing mountain biking spots. One of the best destinations is Whistler and Blackcomb, just a short drive north of the city of Vancouver, along the Sea to Ski Highway. You’ll find tons of trails here that will take you across ridges, up and down steep grades, and through some lush forestlands. Expert tracks as well as routes for beginners are spread out all over this biking mecca, making this a wonderful destination for every kind of rider.
Bangtail Divide Trail, Montana Bozeman
When you’re in Montana, you’ve just got to check out the awesome riding options open to mountain bikers along Bangtail Divide Trail, located near the city of Bozeman. While this trail isn’t too technical, it’s fairly long. You should be in pretty good shape before you decide to tackle this stretch of Montana biking dirt. With plenty of switchbacks, more than 20 miles of beautiful track, views of the surrounding mountains as well as grassy meadows and sparse forests to pass through, you simply can’t go wrong with a trip to this remarkable single-track destination.
Monarch Crest Trail Mountain Bike Trail, Colorado
Colorado is no stranger to superb mountain biking areas. Monarch Crest Trail Mountain Bike Trail, in Salida, Colorado, is no exception to this rule. If you decide to give this track a go, you’ll be treated to 32 miles of advanced riding. So, it goes without saying that novice mountain bikers or anyone who is out of shape should probably give this trail a miss. If you are in shape, you can take a shuttle bus up to the top of the trail, and then charge down and across 6,000 feet of overall descent. Some parts are easier than others, but with forest roads, steep climbs and uneven patches of trail along the way, you’ll find plenty of obstacles to keep you busy.
In Sedona, Arizona, you’ll get to experience some truly spectacular mountain bike riding terrain. You’ll be able to ride across massive red rocks, across buttes, along urban and singe-track trails, all the while surrounded by amazing rock formations. With miles upon miles of tracks to choose from, you can easily spend a day, or a week, tearing up the sands and racing across the desert in Sedona. The scenery here is simply sublime.
Porcupine Rim Mountain Bike Trail, Utah
Utah is another one of those states that never seems to run out of astounding mountain bike trails. Porcupine Rim Mountain Bike Trail, situated near Moab, is a ‘shuttle car’ ride that will give even the best mountain bikers a hearty skills test. You’ll encounter plenty of steep climbs, as well as hard descents along this length of high altitude desert. The vistas are outstanding, but the trail can be rough at times, so you might need to stop now and again to take in the view. A bike with lots of shock support is also a good idea before you take on the challenges of Porcupine Rim.
Henry Coe State Park, California
Henry Coe State Park offers 86,000 acres of mountain biking paradise, and more than 200 miles of trails for you to peddle along. The forested hills are gentle, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have to work your legs to regain some elevation after a long descent. The routes range from beginner to intermediate, which means this is an excellent mountain biking destination for a family with members at different skill levels. And for those diehard bikers out there, don’t fret, you’ll find enough hardcore climbs and rugged drops to keep you happy all day long.