Biking is a great way to get out of the house and enjoy your surroundings. It’s also a healthier way to get in shape and can be fun for children and adults. Mountain biking is especially popular in the United States because it’s often easier than going on long hikes or running through streams.
Coincidentally, the United States is home to some of the best mountain biking trails in the world. These trails offer riders a wide range of terrain, scenery, and challenges that suit all experience levels. Some trails come with steep climbs, descents and scenic views, while others let you explore the lush forests and waterfalls!
Exploring the Best Mountain Bike Trails in the U.S.
From the rugged terrain of the Rocky Mountains to the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest, the U.S. has endless top mountain bike destinations for biking adventures. So, grab your bike and hit one of the following trails – you won’t be disappointed.
Tahoe Rim Trail, Lake Tahoe
The Tahoe Rim Trail is a 211-mile route that starts in Tahoe City, California and ends at Echo Summit. This trail runs through the Lake Tahoe basin, connecting with many other trails, including the Pacific Crest Trail and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows ski area.
The Tahoe Rim trail is a great mountain biking spot with amazing views and varied terrain. It offers gritty climbs and fast descents with spectacular views of Lake Tahoe and the Nevada desert. It is a great ride, well worth its reputation, and you may spot some wildlife.
McKenzie River Trail, Oregon
The McKenzie River Trail is a long, flat trail that stretches from the McKenzie Pass to the Willamette River. It’s one of the most popular mountain biking trails in Oregon, worth your time if you’re looking for an easy ride.
The trail has many places to camp along its length, making it great for beginners who want to get their feet wet without worrying about getting lost or injured. This trail is an unforgettable experience with its technical sections and old-growth forest.
Kingdom Trails, Vermont
The Kingdom Trails is a network of mountain bike trails in Vermont built by volunteers. Located in the Green Mountain National Forest, you can ride these amazing trails all year long with no season restrictions or fees. There are over 100 miles of singletrack trails to explore here, some of which run along old logging roads while others lead through old-growth forests.
Sedona Mountain Bike Trails, Arizona
Sedona, Arizona, offers some of the best mountain biking trails in the Southwest. From Aerie to Cockscomb Loop Trail to Hiline, for the more experienced bikers, there is something for everyone.
The trails offer breathtaking views of towering hoodoos, rising riffs, colorful flora and fauna, and extreme trails. There are trails for all skill levels, from beginner to professional. So, you’ll find the perfect trail for your skill level.
The trails also offer a variety of terrain, from flat and rolling hills to technical sections and steep descents. You’ll also find trails with beautiful backdrops and scenic views, making your mountain biking experience even more enjoyable.
If you’re looking for a more challenging experience on your next bike trip, check out the Red Rock Trail System in Sedona. This system has over 30 miles of fat-tire dirt roads that can be ridden by yourself or your friends!
Trails in Utah
Utah has a network of trails, including;
· The Gold Level Mountain Center
This is a must-visit destination for mountain bikers. This trail network offers riders a wide range of trails, including beginner-friendly routes and more challenging options for experienced riders. The trails are well-marked and maintained, making it easy for riders to navigate and enjoy the ride.
· Dupont State Forest
Another popular mountain biking trails in Utah are the Dupont State Forest. This beautiful forest is home to a network of trails that offer riders a wide range of terrain and challenges. The trails are well-marked and suitable for riders of all levels.
· White Rim Trail, Utah, Moab
One popular favorite is the White Rim Trail in Utah Moab. This 100-mile loop takes riders through stunning red rock formations with breathtaking views of the Colorado River. The trail has challenging climbs and technical descents, but the reward is well worth it.
· Loop – Moab Slickrock Bike Trail, Utah
Slickrock is a unique type of rock formed by water erosion. It’s very slippery, which makes it great for mountain biking. The Loop trail takes you through Slickrock and into the desert with amazing views!
The Loop trail is open to all skill levels, even for those who’ve never ridden before. If you’re new to biking in Moab (or any other part of Utah), consider taking advantage of free classes offered here by local bike shops like Pedal Power Bike Shop & Fitness Center.
· The Whole Enchilada, Moab South District Utah
The Whole Enchilada is a 29-mile loop popular mountain biking trail in Moab. This exciting trail takes you through rich desert landscapes with stunning views on every side.
The first part of the ride is all downhill with many berms and twisty turns. After that, you’ll start climbing again until you finally reach your destination at Spanish Valley Campground. Remember to carry all your biking gear—this part of the ride can be challenging if you’re unprepared!
Trails in Colorado
Here are the best trails to explore in Colorado
· Grand Mesa
The Grand Mesa is the largest Butte in the United States, located in western Colorado. You’ll find over 300 miles of mountain bike trails at your disposal here. Some sections are steep enough, and only suits advanced riders. Still, there’s something for everyone, even novice riders!
· The Colorado Trail
The Colorado Trail is located in the Rocky Mountains and offers over 200 miles of stunningly scenic and diverse terrain. From high alpine meadows to dense forests and rocky singletrack, this trail is perfect for riders who want to test their endurance and technical skills.
The trail starts in Leadville, Colorado and ends at Durango, Mexico. It’s 220 miles long and crosses 14 counties along its scenic route through central Colorado’s foothills.
· The Kokopelli Trail
This iconic trail stretches 141 miles across the Colorado Plateau, offering riders a unique and challenging route through the Southwest. With its rocky, technical terrain and stunning views of the red rock canyons, the Kokopelli Trail is a must-do for any serious mountain biker.
· East Coast Slickrock
Another fantastic mountain biking trail in Colorado is the East Coast Slickrock. This trail is known for its challenging terrain: Slickrock, sand, and mud. The trail is also surrounded by beautiful scenery, including lush forests and stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Osberg Ridgeline Trail
The trail takes you through a stunning landscape of aspen forests, meadows, and rocky ridges, providing incredible views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Osberg Ridgeline trail is well-marked and maintained, making it easy for riders of all levels.
Downieville is a small town located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and its home to some of the best downhill and cross-country trails in the U.S. The Downieville Classic trail is a must-ride for any avid mountain biker, thanks to the steep descents and technical singletrack.
You’ll ride through 17 miles of steep descents, tight turns, and rocky terrain. The breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and forests make it a truly unforgettable experience. Check out the Yuba River Trail for a less intense ride, which offers beautiful scenery and a more relaxed pace.
Located in the Willamette National Forest, Oakridge is a mountain biker’s dream, with over 400 miles of trails that range from easy to challenging. Try the Alpine Trail if you fancy steep descents and technical obstacles. For a more relaxed ride, check out the Middle Fork Trail, which offers smooth, flowing tracks.
Trails in North Carolina
Popular trails in North Carolina Include:
· Nantahala Gorge
Nantahala Gorge is a ruggedly beautiful section of the Nantahala National Forest that is home to some of the most popular mountain biking destinations in the Southeast. The gorge is 1,000 feet deep, and towering cliffs surround it on either side. It’s marked by several waterfalls, including Fontana Falls and Angel Falls, which are easily accessible by trail or road.
· Pisgah National Forest
The Pisgah National Forest is a mountain biker’s paradise, with over 400 miles of trails. Highlights include the Cedar Rock and Black Mountain trails, which offer stunning views and technical descents.
Turkey Springs Loop, New Mexico
The Turkey Springs Loop is a 12.5-mile trail in the Mountainair area of New Mexico that runs through forests and open meadows, offering riders a variety of landscapes to explore. This trail is rated as easy to moderate.
However, there are challenging sections with some steep climbs and technical descents. These sections are well-marked with signs at each turning point to help mountain bikers navigate around tight turns or sharp drops off cliffs!
Creeper Trail, Virginia
Creeper Trail is a 20.5-mile trail that winds through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It’s located in the George Washington National Forest and is a loop so you can ride it in either direction. The name comes from creeper plants growing along its path and making it look like a giant spider web.
The Green Mountains
The Green Mountains are a haven for mountain bikers of all skill levels in Vermont. The area boasts over 400 miles of trails, including the popular “Long Trail,” which offers riders a diverse range of terrain and stunning views of the Vermont countryside.
Located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Marquette offers some of the most scenic and challenging mountain biking in the country. The Marquette Trail 50 is a 50-mile epic adventure that takes riders through the rugged wilderness of the Huron Mountains. For a shorter ride, check out the South Trail, which offers technical singletrack and beautiful views of Lake Superior.
These Trails in the U.S. Offer a Variety Of Experiences And Landscapes.
- The Pacific Crest Trail is the longest hiking-only trail in the United States. It stretches from Mexico to Canada, crossing over ten western states and ending in Washington at Mt. Rainier National Park.
- The Mid-Atlantic Greenway is a 2,000-mile trail that connects Maryland with Virginia by following seven riverside corridors throughout both states. You can find some great mountain biking trails here too!
- The Great Allegheny Passage – This popular trail stretches 150 miles from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland, offering riders a unique mix of urban and rural landscapes. With its well-maintained trails and scenic views, the Great Allegheny Passage is perfect for riders who want to experience the best of both worlds.
- The Appalachian Trail – Known for its rugged beauty and challenging terrain, this trail is a must-do for any adventurous mountain biker. The trail stretches for 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine, offering riders a unique and challenging route through the heart of the eastern United States.
Overall, the United States is a paradise for mountain bikers, with an abundance of trails that cater to all skill levels and interests. Whether you want to explore the rugged beauty of the Rocky Mountains or the lush forests of the East Coast, there is a trail that is perfect for you.
The best thing about these trails is that they are all different. You can find a trail that suits every need, especially for nature lovers and those seeking a new challenge.
There are so many places in the U.S. where mountain biking is possible, but the above-shared trails give you an idea of what’s available at your disposal! So, grab your bike and hit the trail – the adventure of a lifetime awaits!