A thrilling and fun approach to taking advantage of the numerous health advantages of regular fitness and cardiovascular exercise is mountain biking. Additionally, physical activity, particularly outdoor exercise, is becoming more important for everyone especially as public health concerns like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes are on the rise.
Fortunately, mountain biking has remained a well-liked outdoor pastime over the past few decades. And the Outdoor Industry Foundation estimates that approximately 40 million Americans ride mountain bikes annually.
There’s certainly no shortage of mountain biking trails across the United States, and narrowing the best down to a short list is close to impossible. So we’ve picked the most amazing trails and routes there are here in the US. From easy scenic trails to the more physically challenging climbs, these trails offer the best that any MTB rider would love.
Poison Spider Mesa Trail
Distance: 8.4 miles
Elevation gain: 1368 ft
Difficulty Rating: Moderately challenging. Physically demanding with a difficult climb.
One of Moab's most well-liked trails, Poison Spider Mesa is frequently combined with golden spike and gold bar rim. Poison Spider Mesa is a thrilling mix of difficult obstacles and breathtaking scenery. Don't miss the spectacular Little Arch, which is close to a cliff edge and offers amazing views of the Moab.
The Whole Enchilada
Distance: 26.8 miles
Elevation gain: 1273 ft
Difficulty Rating: Rated with a black diamond with extreme physical demand.
The Whole Enchilada is possibly one of the best mountain bike rides in the world. This journey is lengthy and rather difficult. Make sure you pack plenty of water and extra inner tubes. It is a feat to complete this route with no one in your group having at least one flat tire, and even if you are running tubeless, don't be shocked if everyone gets at least one flat. The scenery is breathtaking with a fantastic ride to finish down at the Colorado River.
401 Trail Loop
Crested Butte, Colorado
Distance: 14.1 miles
Elevation gain: 2,398 ft
Difficulty Rating: Rated blue square with moderate physical demand.
The 401 trail is probably one of the first trails that come to mind when you think about mountain biking in Crested Butte, and with good reason. The high alpine trail offers a breathtaking descent over knee-high flowers and offers breathtaking views of Mount Crested Butte and the Gothic Valley. The circle takes cyclists through aspen groves, alpine lakes, and shoulder-high skunk cabbage while offering never-ending views of Colorado's beautiful Elk range. This ride is regarded as one of the best in the region and among the best of its kind.
McKenzie River Trail
Distance: 24.1 miles
Elevation gain: 1633.9 ft
Difficulty Rating: Rated black diamond difficulty but given a blue square by riders.
One of the top mountain biking trails in North America is the McKenzie River Trail. The stats for the path, which is about 25 miles long and slightly downhill (when taken as a shuttle), are a little deceiving. Due to the steep upper path and several opportunities for stunning photo breaks, most riders will need at least 4 or 5 hours to finish the journey.
Downieville Mountain Biking Trails
Total distance: 244 miles
Total elevation gain: 6187.6 ft
Difficulty Rating: Blue square and black diamond trails with many access roads.
The small community of Downieville, which is situated in the Sierra Nevada Mountains' foothills, has certainly benefited from mountain bike tourism over the years. Lakes Basin and Mills Peak are close providing additional routes and a few quick descents for downhill enthusiasts.
Downieville's trails range from easy to technical, and every style in between, which is what makes it such a treat. Because of this, the regular weekend ride is enjoyable for both novices and experienced riders. The Downieville Classic, a two-day summer event with a 15-mile drop of 5,000 feet, is held here as well.
Photo by: Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship
South Boundary Trail
Taos, New Mexico
Distance: 6.5 miles
Elevation gain: 666 ft
Difficulty Rating: Black diamond with a blue diamond rated climb.
There are a few popular rides and several burly loops that incorporate the South Boundary Trail. It's typically ridden from east to west, starting at either the Forest Road 76 trailhead near Angel Fire or the Garcia Park trailhead near Valle Escondido. Typically these start points are accessed via a shuttle. Riding east to west makes the climbs more manageable, and downhills more enjoyable.
Photo by: santafesingletrack.com
The Kingdom Trails
East Burke, Vermont
Total distance: 154.7 miles
Total elevation gain: 2477 ft
Difficulty Rating: Have trails rated from green circle to double black diamond.
The Kingdom Trail network exists on 100 private landowners' properties. These generous landowners let the Kingdom Trail Association to oversee and manage trails on their private properties for the benefit of the neighborhood as a whole.
The Kingdom Trails is a 100-mile network of mountain bike trails in the pastoral and wild nature of the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.
Photo by: Massachusetts Office Of Travel & Tourism
The Hangover Trail
Distance: 3.23 miles
Elevation gain: 807 ft
Difficulty Rating: Rated double black diamond.
The most unique biking experience in Sedona. The trail ascends to a saddle that divides two enormous red rock formations emerging from the canyon, and from there it contours along the side of the rock at a height of 200 feet above the canyon floor.
Despite being short, this trail is highly difficult. Riders should have complete faith in their skill and physical preparedness, and they should feel at ease at heights.
The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR)
Distance: 2706.74 miles
Elevation gain: 61804.46 ft
Difficulty Rating: Black diamond
The most recognized and prominent off-pavement cycling route in the United States, if not the entire world, is the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR). The route crosses the Continental Divide from north to south, beginning in Banff, Alberta, Canada, and concluding at the US/Mexico border in Antelope Wells, New Mexico.
The GDMBR is composed primarily of unpaved roads and trails, thus basic off-pavement riding skills are necessary to complete it. The unpaved sections of the route include everything from excellent dirt or gravel roads to a few brief stretches of poorly maintained trails that most riders might not be able to ride on at all.
Photo by: Mats Skölving