The best mountain bike destinations in North America, the sad fact is that most of us will only ever get to visit those places and we have to live somewhere else to pay the bills. So if you can’t spend 365 days per year riding in a world class mtb destination, your local trails should at least be respectable.
Choosing the top most mountain bike destinations in North America was no easy feat. To start with, we decided that this was to be a list of true destinations: not residential areas with good mountain bike trail access, but rather destinations that you could plan your entire year’s worth of vacation spots time around.
The Phoenix metro complex is one of the largest in the nation. The great valley that hosts this giant city just happens to be surrounded by exceptional mountain biking destination in the great Sonoran Desert. The great South Mountain beckons to technical masochists. On the East side, the Gold Canyon serves up a variety of singletrack along with jaw dropping scenery. To the Northeast, McDowell Mountain Park provides dozens of miles of quality trail, some of it purpose built for biking destination, and to the Northwest, you will find seemingly-endless miles of cross country delight on the Black Canyon trail.
Downieville embodies the true definition of “destination.” Located over an hour up into the mountains biking on winding two-lane highways from the closest interstate, Downieville isn’t a town that you pass through on the way to somewhere else. If you drive into Downieville, you’re there for a purpose and that purpose is probably mountain biking destination.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City mountain biking destination than the Wasatch Crest Trail. While that ride is a classic one, there are others, like the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, that can be accessed right from downtown SLC. The most popular section of the trail starts at Hogle Zoo and goes all the way to City Creek Canyon.
Chattanooga squeaks in at 99 on the top 100 MSA list. If you’re looking for a city with a small town feel plus trails to shred and a decent nightlife, Chattanooga is a great place to call home. In fact, with a cost of living that’s below the US average, being a professional dirtbag mountain biker isn’t out of the question in Chattanooga.
The Colorado River nearby? Absolutely. Paint the rocks just a little redder and squint a little when you’re in Fruita, and you’d think you’re in you-know-where. The town interrupts the Book Cliffs Range on Colorado’s Western Slope, outside of Grand Junction.Singletrack trails like Chutes and Ladders, and Zippity Doo Da within the 18 Road Trails system are American classics. Read more adventure travel.