The United States is loaded with mountain biking trails. Consequently, narrowing it down to just ten is no easy feat. Yet, thanks to the help of some veteran riders, locals, and even some hiking experts, we’ve managed to narrow it down to eleven instead! Now, if you’ve been riding for some time, I’m sure you’ll be familiar with a few of the trails listed here.
After all, any rider worth his salt will have heard about these amazing locations. But, we can practically guarantee there’ll be a few paths that will surprise you, on this list. Now, take a minute, sit right there, and read up on eleven of the coolest bike trails that you’ll find in the United States of America!
Twisting and turning through the beautiful Cascade Mountains, the McKenzie River Trail is a grueling marathon of tight turns and sharp curves. You’ll find yourself climbing through a lush forest and zipping past some hot springs pools packed with crystal clear water. After you reach the top, you’ll find yourself going downhill through a river that is lined up with beautiful cascading waterfalls.
This particular trail might sound daunting, but trust me it’s fairly simple enough for newbie riders; while simultaneously being exciting for veterans. The sharp turns and simple single-track trail, along with the beautiful scenery make it quick, fast, and dazzling for mountain bikers out there seeking a fun adventure.
- Single-Track Trail
- 5 Miles
California is huge, and it’s no surprise that it is packed with a plethora of trails and paths for mountain bikers everywhere. One of (if not the) best trail there is definitely Mills Peak. You’ll be ripping through the mountains, past boulders and an endless river of pine trees when you experience the Mills Peak until you noticed that you dropped over 2,500 feet of twist and turns.
Word to the wise though, it’s considered a moderately challenging trail by many experts so you should at least have done a few mountain bike trails prior to tackling this one.
- 8 miles
Lake Tahoe’s Rim Trail is unique in that it encompasses not one, but two states. Packed rich with waterfalls, lush forests and wild peaks, Rim Trail is loaded with adventures just waiting to happen. Now, do keep in mind that Rim Trail is 165 miles long, but only about half of those are open to mountain bikers and their rides. You’ll see a variety of terrain, outstanding views, and twist and turns that will have you screaming for more, but only if you visit the Rim Trail.
This particular trail features numerous trails of varying difficulty. Riders of all levels of experience can come here and test out their mettle.
- 80 Miles total are open to mountain bikers, but the trails themselves vary in length
- Buses take mountain bikers to certain trail starting points
Expert riders should all visit the sandstone trails of the Poison Spider Mesa Trail at least once in their careers. When you visit, you’ll notice quickly that there is very little water available and bringing plenty of it can mean the difference between success and failure. The Poison Spider Mesa Trail is a loop that rises over a thousand feet in altitude. The sharp turns will keep you on your toes, and the fast descents will maintain you at the edge of your seat. Pro tip, sand is extremely harsh to travel through and the sandy areas will have those leg muscles begging for mercy.
I recommend experts tackle this trail. Be prepared to experience a variety of terrain and surfaces that can leave you feeling both scared and excited at the same time. But, be sure to pack plenty of water and supplies as the trail is in a desert area that will quickly leave you dehydrated if you’re unprepared for the paths at hand.
- Trail varies in track space at certain points
- 5 miles
- Bike rentals in the nearby area
A vast network of trails that intersect with one another is a good way to describe Phil’s Trail. Offering riders everywhere over hundreds of miles and twisty turns that will leave you yearning for more, the track is one of the best in the U.S.A. (otherwise it wouldn’t be listed here). The best advice, anyone can hear about this trail is that momentum is everything. Try to keep your flow going during the ascent and continue pushing as you descend through the sharp corners of the mountain.
Phil’s Trail is a variable hike and the path increases in difficulty as you go up. Beginners can tackle the first five miles of the path, but as they go up they’ll need to brush up on their skills. It’s fairly difficult in some parts, but you’ll be able to keep track of your location as the path is marked.
I recommend intermediate and expert level riders tackle this path completely, while beginners increase their skill over time within the first five miles.
- Phil’s Trail is huge and offers a variety of trails and paths that can extend anywhere from 12 miles to a hundred.
New Mexico is loaded with diverse environments and plenty of beautiful scenery. In Taos, the South Boundary Trail is one of the coolest mountain biking trails you can find. You ride through the alpine trees and pass through a number of different terrains that feature rocky shale, aspen groves, and plenty of vistas.
There are also numerous trails and paths you can take when you visit the South Boundary. But, each one varies in difficulty and some are fit for experts, while others are better suited for beginners.
- Single Track
- Trail #164 (the most famous one) is 21.1 miles
If you want some epic scenery and some inspiring vistas, you’ll want to visit the Bangtail Divide. You’ll start out at the Stone Creek trailhead which is located outside of Bozeman. This trail will take you to Grassy Mountain, and then a short climb up the hill. Finally, after you made it to the 18th mile, you’ll start going down the forest and through the hills in a speedy descent. You’ll eventually find yourself at Brackett Creek, but if you continue going you’ll eventually find yourself back at Stone Creek (which is hopefully where you parked your vehicle because otherwise you’d have wasted the additional 8 miles back).
- 31 Mile loop
Mammoth has a well-known Bike Park that is very famous in this area, but no trip to the area is finished without at least trying out the Lower Rock Creek Trail. Packed with plenty of rock gardens and surrounded by canyon walls, you’ll find yourself feeling a rush of adrenaline as you descend for over 1,800 feet. But, if that’s not enough to convince you, then the banked turns and technical areas, and aspen groves certainly will.
The trail is divided into sections that vary in ability requirements, but it’s good for both beginners and intermediate level riders.
- Single Track primarily and Double-Track in a small portion of the trek
- 9 Miles
While Idaho is not often on anyone’s list of places to visit in the United States, and unless you have family in the area, it’s probably not on yours either. However, mountain biking veterans know that Idaho’s Osberg Ridgeline Trail is one of the top sports for fans of the sport. With over four hundred miles of trails and beautiful vistas that will take your breath away, Sun Valley is certainly a hidden gem for mountain bikers everywhere.
But, it’s not until you reach the Osberg Ridgeline Trail that your adventure truly begins. You’ll travel through the backwoods and enjoy a 3,000ft drop back into town, in a trip that is over 10 miles long and suitable for riders of all skill levels.
- 75 miles
A scenic trail with a cool name that lets beginners, intermediate and expert riders test their mettle, the Flying Dog in Park City is awesome. You’ll find yourself enjoying mud trails, and downhill roads that go across river streams and ponds.
One of the best aspects of Flying Dog is the availability of treks that cater to new, experienced, and expert riders with varying lengths.
- 10-Mile for beginners,
- 16-Mile for Intermediate
- 23-Mile for Experts
The Blue Ridge Mountains are host to a variety of trails and Torry Ridge is one of them. You won’t want to miss this trail as it is one of the craziest treks you’ll take as mountain bikers. You’ll literally be climbing for over five miles, and then descend over some rock gardens and scenic spines. Keep in mind that Torry Ridge is extremely technical and features plenty of steep climbs and downhill turns. You’ll be literally surrounded by nature as you’ll push your body to the limit.
This trail is definitely suited for expert riders, and it’s recommended by plenty of experts that riders come prepared.
- 4 Miles
The United States of America is one of the best places to find mountain biking trails around the world. The majority of the trails here will take you across each of the coasts and even to the Midwest to the heartlands.
Guaranteed, you can find something on the list that will suit your level of expertise. But, no matter what your level of knowledge in the sport is, you can always benefit from exploring a trail you’ve never seen before. You just have to stay on the lookout, and plan your next adventure in one of these top 11 mountain biking spots in the U.S.A.