It’s a common debate amongst avid mountain bikers: what’s the best place for mountain biking in the country? To help give you some idea of the greatest trails in the United States, we’ve compiled our list of the top 14 mountain biking trails in America.
You might not see your favorite trail on this list, and that’s because mountain biking is very subjective. Some people like mountain biking for the thrills, others for the unique method of exploring the wild.
We’ve compiled this list of best mountain biking trails based on their beautiful natural scenery, accessibility, popularity, and diversity. Whatever your personal preference, we believe you can still experience the best of America’s wilderness by trying some of these trails out yourself.
Wasatch Crest Trail, Park City, Utah
Utah is home to many legendary mountain biking trails, but the Wasatch Crest Trail still stands out amongst them. Park City, where this trail is located, was the very first IMBA (International Mountain Biking Association) Gold-Level Ride Center. That means that a group of pro mountain bikers has designated this place as the absolute pinnacle of mountain biking experiences.
Wasatch Crest Trail is one of the many beautiful trails in Park City. It’s challenging, taking approximately 8 hours to complete on foot, and it’s filled with stunning views the whole way through. There’s a reason this treasure is the first on our list.
McKenzie River Trail, Blue River, Oregon
You’re spoiled for choice if you’re able to go mountain biking in Oregon. If you’re a mountain biking enthusiast, you’re sure to have heard about the McKenzie River Trail.
This trail is not far outside Bend, and it offers jaw-dropping scenery as well as a decent challenge for mountain bikers. The 26-mile long trail goes through incredible old growth forests, old lava fields, awestriking waterfalls, and lakes. It’s something you won’t want to miss out on if you’re mountain biking through the West.
Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park, Seattle, Washington
Duthie Hill is popular among locals and travelers alike. It’s not far from Seattle, making it a popular destination for day trippers and mountain biking enthusiasts.
There’s plenty of variety at this park for all skill levels. There are two miles of wonderful freeride trails that range from beginner to expert, and there are some incredible XC trails that have a buff, contoured singletrack with bermed turns.
This park has the biggest concentration of freeride trails and features in the state of Washington, according to its website. What’s more, you’ll be surrounded by gorgeous pine forest the whole way.
Downieville Downhill, California
California is regarded as the birthplace of mountain biking, so it serves that it would have some of the best trails. And if you’re an avid mountain biker, you’ve surely heard of the famous Downieville Classic. This 16 mile behemoth of a track is divided into several sections, the most wild of which is “Butcher,” a fast and rocky path that’s certainly not for beginners.
If you’re in Downieville, don’t neglect the other famous mountain bike trails, either: Mills Peak is renowned for its 3,000 feet drop through forest with exhilarating bermed turns. Some people say this is even better than the Classic, so don’t forget to try it!
Monarch Crest Trail, Colorado
If you’re after breathtaking alpine views, you will love the Monarch Crest Trail. Situated on the Continental Divide, you can enjoy a network of about 40 miles of mountain biking trails for intermediate to advanced riders.
You’ll never have a shortage of beautiful views on these trails, and you’ll also get a lot of great track variety. This area has single track, double track, rocky trails, loose trails, and fire roads, all of it at about 12,000 feet. Don’t be daunted: if you have a high-quality mountain bike suited for the adventure, you’re guaranteed to have a fantastic time.
Tahoe Flume Trail, Lake Tahoe
Any list of top mountain bike destinations would be incomplete without mentioning the Tahoe Flume Trail. Just one look at the views you’ll see on this trail and you’ll be sold. You’ll even get to see some hidden gems besides Lake Tahoe itself, including Marlette Lake.
The trail itself is described as intermediate or moderately difficult, measuring about 14 miles one way. It’s gorgeous in spring and summer, and it also explodes with color during fall. It’s not for beginners, as some steep sections can be intimidating. It’s an adventure that’s not to be missed if you’re mountain biking in America. For many, this trail tops the list of scenic mountain biking hikes.
Greenhorn Gulch/Imperial Gulch Trails, Sun Valley, Idaho
If you thought 40 miles of trails in one area was a lot, you might be astonished to hear that the greater Sun Valley area has almost 700 miles of single track trails for mountain bikes. Out of all of these, Greenhorn Gulch and Imperial Gulch stand out as some of the best tracks in the country.
You’ll enjoy gorgeous wildlife here on these trails, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the great tourism infrastructure Sun Valley has to offer, as it’s also a big downhill skiing destination. You’re looking at a serious mountain biking mega-vacation in Idaho.
Torry Ridge, Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
We can’t neglect the East Coast when it comes to mountain biking trails, especially not the Blue Ridge Mountains. Torry Ridge isn’t the most famous amongst these other trails, but it’s definitely one of the most rewarding. It has extremely intense rocky ridgeline single tracks that challenge even the most elite of riders. It’s scenic, challenging, and everything a mountain biker could want out of a trail.
The Whole Enchilada, Moab, Utah
If you saw Utah on our list earlier and you were surprised not to see Moab, we won’t disappoint. How could we not include The Whole Enchilada on our list of top trails in America? After all, this is not just considered one of the best trails in the country, it’s considered one of the best in the world.
This epic 34 mile-long adventure is a toughie. It includes technical downhill sections, jumpable gaps, and a big (optional) uphill climb at the start. Moab mountain biking doesn’t get any better than this, so if you’re confident in your skills, don’t miss out.
Maxwell Falls Lower Trail, Arapaho National Forest, Colorado
You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to mountain biking trails in Colorado. This 4.5 mile loop is moderately challenging and takes a couple hours to complete. The Maxwell Falls trail is packed with steep, rocky technical climbs and can be combined with other trails like the Cub Creek Trail for extra distance. This popular area is usually packed with hikers, horseback riders, electric bikers, and mountain bikers, so you’ll be in good company.
Kingdom Trails, East Burke, Vermont
Many people call the Kingdom Trails the “best trail network in North America.” Vermont isn’t big, but it’s a nature lover’s paradise, and the over 150 miles of Kingdom Trails take you through nature’s majesty while challenging even the most professional riders.
Up for a challenge? Make sure you check out Tap n’ Die, an incredibly fast downhill section that’s known as “just plain fun.” It’s got berms, small jumps, gullies, and pretty much everything a thrill seeker could ask for in a mountain bike trail.
Dry Hill Trails, Port Angeles, Washington
Port Angeles is where they host the Northwest Cup Series, one of the best mountain bike racing series in the US, so it’s only fitting they’d be decked out with stellar trails!
The Dry Hills Trails are good for a wide range of skill levels and demonstrate the best of Pacific Northwest mountain biking. If you love super technical downhills, you’ll love the Olympic Adventure Trails found here. Catch a pro race while you’re at it!
Bear Creek Trail and Pinhoti Trail, Ellija, Georgia
Ellija is the undisputed mountain biking capital of Georgia. With trails like Bear Creek and the Pinhoti, it’s not hard to see why.
The Pinhoti is an epic display of variety and excitement that’s like a playground for mountain bike lovers, rewarding you with a scenic overlook at the end of a grueling climb. The Bear Creek Trail is very popular, also featuring a six-mile uphill stretch, stream crossings, and a stunning overlook.
Brim Mountain Bike Trail at Powder Mountain, Eden, Utah
Last but not least, the Brim Mountain Bike Trail takes the cake as one of the best trails in the country. Utah’s Powder Mountain is famous for skiing, but it also hosts some of the most fantastic mountain biking that riders have ever seen. You can catch wildflower blooms in spring and enjoy highs of 70 degrees even at the height of summer, making it the ideal climate for biking.
Get Out There And Explore The Best Of American Biking!
You have our recommendations: now get out there and enjoy the best mountain biking this country has to offer!