Singletrack over slickrock or trails through forest terrain, there are some mountain biking trails in the US that hold iconic status, and if you haven’t ridden them already, you should. Most experienced mountain bikers regard the following trails as essential to any bucket list of must-ride mountain bike trails in the US:
Moab may not have been the birthplace, but it is the Mother Goddess of modern mountain biking. Although trails here have been in use for fifty years or more, Moab still adds about 30 miles of new bike-permitted trails a year. The Whole Enchilada combines four trails into one ride, either as a 32.6-mile adventure descending from 11,500 to 8,000 feet or a grueling 62-mile loop. Though it is mostly downhill, you can’t go on autopilot through its changing terrain, which includes forest, dirt road, slickrock, and stream crossings. The truly hard-core ride the loop, 62 miles of climb and descent, but local bike shops offer shuttles to the top if you’d rather start at the halfway. It’s also one of the very few places that a modern 2x drivetrain is almost a must.
Duh. Underneath the slopes of winter are the trails of summer, and there’s really no question that Crested Butte is among the must-ride mountain bike trails in the US. The 401 trail offers everything that’s great about mountain biking, packed into an 8.6-mile loop. Climbs, descents, forests, meadows, wildflowers, and postcard views of nearby peaks, plus the exhilarating physical challenge of an ascent at altitude, a rewarding descent, and a final couple of climbs to top it off.
Halfway between Bend and Eugene lies this twisty 26.5 miles of singletrack in Willamette National Forest. Featuring shady woods, lava fields, waterfalls, and intensely blue lakes, the heights of the McKenzie River Trail can be snowy well into spring. Plan ahead, check the weather, and be ready to overload your Instagram with this one. You might go viral with a photo of you reviving sore muscles in the hot springs along the way. ;-)
You can ride your bike instead of a bus to the trailhead and enjoy the challenge of a steady ascent with switchbacks, interrupted by a bit of smooth singletrack and another climb. On the downhill, enjoy piney woods and finish up with a road ride back to town.
Experts love this lesser-known trail, which features a grueling climb and a dangerous descent on a rocky ridge, proving that full-suspension mountain bike was worth every penny. Go in the fall for foliage and enjoy the challenge and the views.
Serious mountain bike riders can argue for days on end about which trails are the best, the toughest, the most beautiful, or the must-rides, but they all agree a great bike is where you start. Explore our handpicked selection of the finest road, gravel, and mountain bikes, and experience our outstanding customer service when choosing or upgrading your bike.
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