Best Mountain Bike Trails [A Rad Guide]

Best Mountain Bike Trails [A Rad Guide]

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Mountain biking is a thrilling way to explore nature and get an adrenaline rush of excitement. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced rider, having the right trails can make all the difference in your mountain biking experience. In this guide, we'll detail some of the best mountain bike trails across the US for riders of all levels. With well-maintained paths and terrain ranging from easy to challenging, these trails are sure to provide fun and adventure along the way.

24 best mountain bike trails

1. Cumberland Trail, TN – 29 miles of scenic trails for adventurous bikers. This challenging trail is located in the rugged Cherokee National Forest and offers breathtaking views along the way. Offering both easy and technical rides, this trail has something for every level of rider. The wide-open terrain provides plenty of room to explore at your own pace as you traverse over rocks, logs, and roots with challenges to test even the most experienced riders. With a variety of landscapes from rolling hillsides to lush woodlands, you can expect an exciting ride that will take your breath away.

2. Crested Butte Classic Loop, CO – This classic loop takes riders on an epic journey through some of Colorado’s finest mountain biking terrain. With a combination of sweeping singletrack and technical descents, this ride offers something for everyone. The trail loops around the small town of Crested Butte, offering plenty of opportunities to explore the local area in between rides. Be sure to take some time to stop and smell the wildflowers along the way.

3. Gallatin Crest Trail, MT – This is one of Montana’s premier mountain bike trails. Stretching over 35 miles across vast meadows and high alpine passes, riders can expect a unique experience that combines technical sections with long runs through open meadows and tight wooded sections. Along the way, you’ll find panoramic views of Montana’s stunning mountain ranges and an array of wildlife. This trail is not for the faint of heart, but it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience.

4. Tsali Trail System, NC – Located in North Carolina’s Nantahala National Forest, the Tsali Trail System offers over 40 miles of technical single track trails that weave through lush hardwood forests. With plenty of challenging sections and stunning scenery, this trail system will challenge even the most experienced riders. Be sure to take time to explore some of the local points of interest along the way such as Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest and Fontana Lake. And don't forget your camera - you'll want to capture all of these incredible views. With its variety of terrain, the Tsali Trail System is a must-ride for any mountain biker.

5. Turkey Run Trail, Indiana - Located in Brown County, Indiana, the Turkey Run Trail is a 6-mile loop that can be ridden in either direction and features some of the most challenging terrain around. The trail offers a mix of fast flowy singletrack, rocky sections, and technical climbs as it meanders through hardwood forests and limestone-lined creek beds. With over 1,100 feet of elevation gain, this trail is sure to test even the most experienced riders. Be sure to bring plenty of water for your ride.

6. White Clay Creek, Delaware - This 7-mile loop located near Newark, Delaware offers both beginner and expert riders the chance to explore its winding trails and wide open meadows. With a few technical sections and plenty of rolling terrain, this trail is great for those looking to test their skills while enjoying the natural beauty of White Clay Creek State Park. Be sure to take advantage of the fun features like bridges, switchbacks, and wooden stunts along the way.

7. Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina - The Pisgah National Forest in western North Carolina has some of the best mountain bike trails in the Southeast. From tight single track to fast-flowing downhills and steep climbs, there's something for everyone in this vast network of trails. One highlight is Kitsuma Trail which offers up a mix of rocky descents, high-speed berms, and plenty of challenging terrain. Be sure to bring a map and plenty of water as you explore this gorgeous national forest.

8. Downing Mountain, Montana - This 10-mile loop near Bigfork, Montana is the perfect place for advanced riders looking for some serious technical challenges. As you make your way up the mountain, expect plenty of steep climbs, rocky sections, and tight switchbacks. Be warned that this trail is not for the faint of heart—but if you’re up for the challenge, it promises an unforgettable ride.

9. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado - The trails in Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park offer some of the best riding around. From high alpine meadows to rugged single track through old-growth forests, there's bound to be something for everyone. One of the most popular routes is the 10-mile trail from Bear Lake to Pool Table on Trail Ridge Road. It offers stunning views and plenty of technical terrain, so bring your camera and start exploring.

10. Moab, Utah - Moab is a mountain biker’s paradise, with over 1,800 miles of trails offering up everything from easy cruises through scenic canyons to challenging climbs up steep switchbacks. Some of the best rides are found on Porcupine Rim and Klondike Bluffs where you can experience breathtaking views and thrilling descents. Be sure to wear appropriate clothing as temperatures in this area can vary wildly from day to night.

11. San Juan Huts, Colorado - Located in the San Juan Mountains near Telluride, this network of six interconnected huts is perfect for experienced mountain bikers looking for a multi-day adventure. The trails feature spectacular views of the surrounding peaks and plenty of technical terrain to challenge even the best riders. Plus, you can stay overnight in one of the huts and enjoy some unique backcountry camping. Just be sure to bring your own food, water, and gear as amenities are sparse.

12. Hanging Rock Trail, North Carolina - This 13-mile trail offers a challenging ride for advanced mountain bikers with plenty of rock and root obstacles through the North Carolina wilderness. The single track trail has several switchbacks that require careful maneuvering and skillful navigation, as well as occasional climbs over rocks and roots. Riders should also be mindful of their speed to navigate tight turns safely. It's a great trail to hone your technical skills before attempting harder trails in the area.

13. Downieville Trail System, California - A classic mountain biking route run along both sides of the Yuba River in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. This incredible system contains two distinct trails: the renowned 17-mile downhill “Downieville Downhill” and the incredibly challenging 9-mile “Upper Loop.” The steep terrain on the Downieville Downhill will test your skill level, but riders of all levels can enjoy a more leisurely ride around the Upper Loop. Both trails offer stunning views of the Yuba River canyon and provide riders with plenty of obstacles to navigate.

14. Westridge Trail, California - This seven-mile trail is great for beginner to intermediate mountain bikers who want to get some practice navigating technical terrain. The trail features several sharp switchbacks and short climbs over rocks that require good balance and control to traverse safely. Views of the San Gabriel Mountains make this a beautiful choice for an afternoon ride in Southern California.

15. Moab Brand Trails, Utah - This trail system is perfect for intermediate to advanced mountain bikers who are looking for a challenge. The rocky terrain features plenty of ledges and drops that require skillful maneuvering, as well as lots of technical rock gardens. Advanced riders can also test their skills on the “Uh-Oh” trail, which has been rated one of the most difficult trails in the area. With endless miles of trails to explore, Moab Brand Trails is a must-visit destination for any serious mountain biker.

16. Sedona Trail System, Arizona - The Sedona Trail System offers an array of options for both novice and experienced riders alike. There are over 200 miles of trails to explore, so you can take your time and enjoy the scenery while getting some practice on technical terrain. The views of Sedona’s red rocks make this an unforgettable ride that you won’t soon forget.

17. Dyfi Valley Trail, United Kingdom - This iconic trail is located in the stunning Dyfi Valley area of mid-Wales and offers a variety of terrain for mountain biking adventures. The route covers over 40 miles and features everything from fast flowing single tracks to rocky climbs. Along the way, riders will be rewarded with breathtaking views of Snowdonia National Park and rolling hillsides along the Welsh coast. It's definitely a must-do for any serious mountain biker looking to tackle something truly epic.

18. Lake Tahoe Rim Trail, California - This 165-mile loop trail offers some of the best mountain biking that California has to offer. The route takes riders from one side of Lake Tahoe to the other and features stunning views of the Sierra Nevada mountains. With plenty of challenging terrain, it’s perfect for advanced riders who are looking for an extended adventure in the great outdoors.

19. Northstar Bike Park, California - Located at Northstar ski resort in Truckee, this bike park is a favorite spot among serious mountain bikers. The park boasts over 25 miles of trails with plenty of jumps, drops, and berms to test your skills and get your adrenaline pumping. It’s also a great spot to practice your technique and hone your skills on the park’s dedicated pump track. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, there’s something for everyone at Northstar Bike Park.

20. Downhill Trail of Monte Tamaro, Switzerland - This 11-mile downhill trail offers some of the most spectacular views in all of Switzerland. It takes riders from the top of Monte Tamaro down to the town of Rivera, with several steep switchbacks along the way. While it's technically suited for advanced mountain bikers who are comfortable taking on technical terrain, it can be enjoyed by any level rider looking for an exciting day out exploring one of Switzerland's best trails.

21. Tippet Ride Trail, Idaho - This 10-mile trail is great for riders of all skill levels who are looking for a challenge. The route features fast descents, technical climbs, and lots of rocks and roots to navigate along the way. The views of the Sawtooth Mountains make this an unforgettable ride and a must-do for anyone looking to explore some of Idaho's best trails.

22. White Rim Trail, Utah - This 100-mile loop trail follows the rim of Canyonlands National Park in southeastern Utah. It’s considered one of the most challenging mountain biking routes in the world and is appropriate only for experienced riders with advanced technical skills. Along with breathtaking vistas and steep drops, the White Rim Trail also features some of the most picturesque views of Utah’s canyon country.

23. Mountain Bike Park, New Zealand - The Mountain Bike Park in Queenstown is a favorite spot among serious mountain bikers. With over 30 trails to choose from, there’s something for every type of rider. Whether you’re looking for an easy ride or something more challenging, you can find it at this park. And with stunning views of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range, it’s definitely worth visiting if you're in the area.

24. Kingdom Trails, Vermont - This world-renowned trail system offers riders over 100 miles of single track that winds through the Green Mountain National Forest. With its varied terrain and stunning panoramic views, it’s a must-visit destination for any serious mountain biker. There are plenty of technical climbs and descents to keep you on your toes, as well as some of the best views in all of Vermont.

Safety for mountain bike trails

When riding on a mountain bike trail, safety should always be the number one priority. It is important to wear the proper safety gear such as a helmet, elbow and knee pads, and gloves in order to reduce the chances of injury if an accident should occur. In addition, it is important to stay alert for potential hazards such as rocks, roots, or other obstacles that can cause a crash.

It is also important to plan ahead when venturing out onto a mountain bike trail by checking the local weather forecast before leaving and being prepared for any type of weather conditions you may encounter. Additionally, it is highly recommended that you ride with at least one other person who has similar experience level and skillset in order to help each other out should an emergency occur. Finally, it is important to know the rules and regulations of your local mountain biking trails in order to protect both yourself and the environment. By following these safety tips, you can ensure that you have a fun and safe experience while out on the trails.

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The opinions and views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Stoked Ride Shop. The author makes no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this work and specifically disclaims any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. The author shall not be liable for any damages, including, but not limited to, direct, indirect, incidental, punitive, special, consequential, or exemplary damages, even if Stoked Ride Shop has been advised of the possibility of such damages. Ride at your own risk and within your own limits.

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