Table of Contents
- How to Select Best Mountain Bike Trails
- Top 7 Most Adventurous Mountain Biking Trails in the US
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thought
Mountain biking isn’t just a hobby; it’s a lifestyle.
The United States has a lot of mountain bike trails; we all know that. But out of them, there are some trail rides that offer us the most thrilling and unforgettable experience. These trails are the reason why we love mountain biking.
And in this article, we have handpicked some of the top mountain biking trails all across the USA. These biking trails will surely help you connect with nature and experience a great sense of adventure.
So, take your bike and let’s hit the road.
How to Select Best Mountain Bike Trails
Not all trails are suitable for everyone. There are some extremely rough trails that you should avoid. There are some easy trails as well that won’t give you any excitement.
So before we get to the main topic, there are some criteria for selecting the top mountain biking trails. Check them out, and it will help you choose which destinations to go for.
1. Scenery: The trail should be set in a beautiful and scenic location for us nature lovers. It should consist of mountains, forests, lakes, etc. to lift our mood.
2. Terrain: The trail should offer a range of terrain. It should include different technical terrains that will make the ride more enjoyable.
For example, your journey will automatically get more exciting when you are going through easy rolling terrain and all of a sudden find yourself in an aggressive terrain. So, a variety of trails make the journey more exciting.
3. Accessibility: There should be access roads to the trail all across the city. Also, there should be enough bike park, and sufficient transport facilities should also remain there.
4. Safety: The trail should have safety measures in place, such as:
- Clear signage
- Warning signs
And the roads should not be too dangerous for beginners.
5. Amenities: A biking trail cannot make it to the top of the list without offering proper amenities. There should be rest areas, bike rental facilities, and washrooms available at certain locations.
Top 7 Most Adventurous Mountain Biking Trails in the US
Not all biking trails are suitable for everyone. While some of us want new and relaxing trails. Many of us just want challenging and exciting trails. However, the following trails come with everything you need.
Whether you are an advanced rider or an intermediate rider, you will definitely enjoy these heart-pumping trails’ natural beauty, challenges, and other offerings. So, check out these detailed reviews and thank us later.
1. Hermosa Creek Trail, Durango, Colorado
On the top of our list, we have Hermosa Creek. It is personally my most favorite trail.
It is located near Durango, Colorado. As a matter of fact, it is known to be one of the most popular mountain biking trails in all of Colorado. The trail is around 20 miles long, and it is full of beauty.
What I really love about this trail is that it’s suitable for riders of all levels.
So whether you are an easy-going or aggressive rider, you get to enjoy this trail no matter what.
When you start riding through it, you will find a descent down the Hermosa Creek drainage. It is a fast and exhilarating ride that will get your heart pumping.
You can experience the San Juan Mountains and the wildlife (if you’re lucky).
Also, Hermosa Creek is a multi-use trail. So it’s open to different outdoor activities like hiking and horseback riding.
So, if you ever find yourself in Durango, Colorado, Make sure to absolutely check out Hermosa Creek. Trust me, you will love it.
2. Phil’s World: Cortez, Colorado
Next up, we have another Colorado trail. Well, you must be thinking I’m biased towards Colorado, huh? Well, I actually do love the place.
Phil’s World is located in Cortez, which is a small town in southwestern Colorado. It’s a place that’s become a really popular trail among riders in the area.
The terrain is incredible out there, believe me. You will feel like it was especially created for mountain bikers. So, make sure to take a quality mountain bike there.
Where is it located? This more than 20-mile loop trail is situated east of Cortez, on the northside of Highway 160.
You will find a popular trail called the Rib Cage. It is for advanced riders. It includes some challenging features, so I suggest you not go there if you are an intermediate rider.
The forest and the fields give us a stunning view. However, this popular trail can get very busy over the weekends. But still, there is enough space.
So, try to get there on weekdays for outdoor recreation.
3. Rim Trail, Lake Tahoe, California, and Nevada
The Rim Trail at Lake Tahoe is one of the most stunning mountain biking trails in the country. Some of our group members wanted me to put this one at the top of the list.
Why? Well, read below.
The trail is huge, spanning both California and Nevada. And who doesn’t like a trip to California?
The trail itself is around 165 miles long. But most people opt to ride a shorter section of it, such as the 22-mile section from Tahoe City to Spooner Summit.
That’s why, if you think it’s going to be a difficult mountain trail, take the shorter route.
Whoever visits there gets to ride through dense forests and sparkling alpine lakes. The rail is a part of the Tahoe National Forest.
And there’s a national trail loop that takes you through some of the most scenic sections of the forest.
One of my friends was worried about trespassing the last time we went there. As it is a legal trail, you don’t have to worry about any trespassing issues.
For all these reasons, this trail has made Lake Tahoe more popular as well.
Our experience of the Rim Trail at Lake Tahoe has never been bad. We hope you won’t experience something like that either.
4. Flying Dog, Park City, Utah
We couldn’t complete the list without putting this one on.
Flying Dog is a 16.6-mile technical trail that offers a challenging and exciting ride for experienced riders. It is located in the huge range of mountains surrounding Park City, Utah.
So, anyone can get to the trailhead by taking a short drive from downtown Park City.
You will find a lot of rocky sections and technical switchbacks. So you can consider it a difficult mountain biking trail if it does not suit your riding style.
However, there are other sections of the trail that are more beginner-friendly. Anyone can experience it if they want to.
This one is also considered a loop trail. So, you get to start and finish at the same place.
What makes this Park City trail a must-try is the scenery. You get to see the mountains, valleys, a mixture of aspen and pine trees, and wildflowers if you try this one out.
We know that Park City has a lot of trails. But the flying dog should be at the top of your list if you ever go there.
5. The Whole Enchilada – Moab, Utah
The Whole Enchilada in Moab, Utah, is an epic loop trail that should be on every rider’s bucket list.
Let me start by sharing an interesting fact. The trail is named after the famous Mexican dish, the enchilada. Try it out if you can.
The trail is approximately 26 miles long and has around 7,000 vertical feet of downhill. Amazing, huh?
Well, that’s not it. One of the most challenging sections of the trail is the upper section, known as Burro Pass. It starts at an elevation of over 11,000 feet.
You shouldn’t try it if you do not have enough experience. It has steep climbs and technical terrain that make it difficult for most of the riders. It also includes several technical climbs along the way, including a section known as the Notch.
You can also experience desert riding here.
What about the other sections?
The mid-section of the trail is known as Hazard County. It has fast and flowy miles of singletrack. I always find the surrounding mountains really beautiful.
Now that you have an idea about the upper section and middle section, let’s get to the lower section.
The lower section of the trail is known as Porcupine Rim. It is a flow trail that winds its way along the edge of a cliff. We get to enjoy the stunning views of the Moab valley below.
Overall, the Whole Enchilada is a trail that is loved by all of us. Also, as it is in Utah, you can see various other places too, like the Great Salt Lake and Zion National Park.
6. Galbraith Mountain Biking Trail
Galbraith Mountain Biking Trail should be on the bucket list of every mountain rider.
It is situated in Bellingham, Washington. So, if you ever have to visit the capital, don’t miss your chance.
It is known for its extensive network of trails that cater to riders of all skill levels. From rough terrain for advanced riders to smoother flow trails for beginners, the mountain has something for everyone. If you want to use your aggressive trail bike, this is just the place.
Also, on your way, you must visit Whatcom Falls Park. It has several waterfalls, hiking trails, and picnic areas. Our group never misses it.
Oh, and one more thing. A versatile trail bike is the perfect choice for Galbraith Mountain. It will give you the chance to tackle every kind of situation. Try to take one.
I hope you will enjoy this trail.
7. Forest of Nisene Marks and Soquel Demonstration Forest, Santa Cruz
If you are from California, I know that there is no shortage of legal trails there.
Among them, the Forest of Nisene Marks and the Soquel Demonstration Forest are two of the most popular ones situated in Santa Cruz.
Let’s start with the first one. This forest trail loop is known mainly for its advanced trails and stunning scenery.
There are smooth-flowing trails. But at the same time, it contains a lush forest of redwood trees with narrow paths. There are a lot of technical climbs, descents, and rocky sections available too.
We mainly hike at Maple Falls via the Bridge Creek Trail and Aptos Creek Road whenever we go there. It seems to be the best place for us. Also have a look at the Nisene Marks State Park, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and the Santa Cruz Wharf.
Now it’s time to move on to the second one.
The Soquel Demonstration Forest is another popular mountain biking destination in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is another mixture of challenging terrain and beautiful scenery.
If you are in California, you can enjoy additional riding experiences in Downieville, Wilder Ranch State Park, and Mount Tamalpais.
We took a 3-day guide to check out all these famous places.
In short, these two offers some of the best mountain biking in the Santa Cruz area.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the longest mountain biking trail in the world?
Answer: The Orogenesis is known to be the longest mountain biking trail in the world.
Q. What is the mountain biking capital of the world?
Answer: Bentonville, Arkansas is known as The MTB Capital of the World.
Q. Do I need full suspension for trail riding?
Answer: When you are riding in a trial that is challenging you should use the help of full suspension. It is great for downhill tracks and bike parks.
Q. Are maps good for mountain biking?
Answer: Well, I personally find it useful. Using google maps and Hand-Curated Trail Maps have certainly helped me in MTB. If you find it difficult, you can always take help from a ride guide.
Q. How far can you ride on an electric mountain bike?
Answer: 20-100 miles on average.
Q. What size MTB wheel is best for trail riding?
Answer: According to most experts, 29-inch wheels are known to be the best for trail riding.
However, 27.5 inch wheels are also great for trail riding. The 27.5 inch rear wheel is suitable for shorter riders and it gives quicker acceleration. On the contrary, the 29-inch front wheel is perfect for taller riders and everyday trail riding.
So, you can try 29 or 27.5-inch wheels whichever seems personally suitable to you.
I hope you liked these mountain biking trails. These trails will certainly give you the opportunity to enjoy nature, overcome challenges, and improve your overall health.
Choose the trails according to your skill level and experience. Also, always check for safety before you head out riding.
Till then, safe riding!