As much fun as it is to rail your home trails where you know every nuance, turn, and drop off, there’s nothing like checking out dirt that’s new to you. It ups your riding game and just being in a new place motivates you to charge even harder. And those trails and new towns give back, recharging you as well. Luckily, you’re just a short flight from a bunch of fun and new places to Strava.
The most well-known spot in American mountain biking is super fun for newcomers and those who know it well. The old standbys like Porcupine Rim and Slick Rock are great. And Whole Enchilada and Captain Ahab are two of the best trails in the US. If you time it right–we’re thinking April–you can ride a day or two and get some spring skiing in at Snowbird. Hit the Moab Brewery for a post-ride beverage and snack. Or choose between a grass-fed buffalo, natural raised beef, organic chicken or veggie burger at The Atomic Cafe.
With 239 miles of bike trails, there’s something for all riders in nearby Sedona. But, we’d suggest full-suspension because many trails have sections that all but require it. Check out HiLine, Hangover, and the Broken Arrow Trail System. And for the adventurous, Sedona is also one of those places where you can play trailhead roulette–just pedal out to something that sounds fun. Replace a bunch of calories in a hurry with a comfort food heavy brunch at Red Rock Cafe or grab a steak and some cactus fries at the Cowboy Club.
Mammoth Lakes, California
Pretty much the birthplace of downhill mountain biking, Mammoth has some great pedaling out of town at Rock Creek. In town? Check out the Mammoth Rock Trail. Or hit the ski resort for some gravity filled laps. The mountain runs the gondola and Chair 11 daily (the latter is great for newbs). Chair 2 and Chair 16 spins during busy times. Head to Mammoth Brewing Company for beers and snacks when you’re done.
Whistler, British Columbia
Think of Whistler as the Canadian ying to Moab’s yang. One of the top mtb destinations in the world, the dirt is often so tacky that it’s like you’re cheating. And the forests are green and lush. The 1,200 vertical feet A-Line lives up to its reputation of one of the best park trails on the planet. Definitely bring your body armor. The 5,000′ of vertical dubbed “Top of the World” is next level, but you’ll want to set aside a couple of hours for that one. This being Whistler, the food’s as good as the pedaling, so it’s tough to do wrong, but we love Grill & Wine.
Park City, Utah
With 400+ miles of trail that sprawl across three connected mountains–Deer Valley and the newly named Park City that combines the former Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons–there’s riding for all levels of riders. You can’t go wrong with laps off of the top of Deer Valley–there’s everything for XC fun to flow trails to some crazy steeps. And like plenty of trails, John’s Trail, is surrounded by Aspens. If the altitude or uphills don’t take your breath away, the arbors sure will. Park City has an abundance of great dining options, but we’re fans of the Saloon at the High West Distillery.
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