Best Mountain Biking Destinations in North America

Before the mountain biking season starts up again, it’s a good idea to consider which mountain biking destinations you want to head to this year. 

You might already be imagining yourself riding through scenic trails, feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin, and a light breeze cooling down your sweat. However, before you pull your bike out of storage and dust it off, spend a few moments thinking about where you’re going to go for this year’s mountain bike trips

If you’re feeling spoiled for choice, check out our top choices for mountain biking destinations around the USA and Canada

Top mountain biking destinations in North America

Here’s where to go for some of the best mountain biking in the US and Canada.

1. Moab, Utah

Moab is the place to go for all US mountain bikers. Bikers come from miles around to experience the truly unique red rock destination in southeastern Utah. If you’re aiming to hit multiple hot spots in one road trip, Moab is easily accessible from Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. 

You’ll find plenty of historic mountain biking trails in Moab, such as the popular Whole Enchilada. But what makes this location different is that the trails are always changing and expanding. On average, 30 miles of new trails are created each year. Two of the most recent are North Klondike and Klonzo. 

Arches National Park in Moab Utah USA
Arches National Park in Moab Utah USA –

2. Sedona, Arizona

The best mountain bike rides in Sedona are all within a short ride of the town, so you won’t need to stress about driving anywhere. If you’re looking for a proper challenge, head for the Highline/Templeton/Baldwin loop of the aptly named Hangover Trail.

Intermediate riders will undoubtedly enjoy the Chuckwagon/Mescal/Aerie network. While beginners can get in on the action on the Big Park Loop and the Bell Rock Path. 

3. Bend, Oregon

Bend’s classic “moon dust” conditions don’t suit everyone, however, that doesn’t stop it from being one of the top US mountain biking destinations. Singletracks are continually being added to Bend’s hundreds of miles of trails and mountain bike infrastructure.

Another attraction that makes Bend stand out is the recent opening of the Mount Bachelor downhill mountain bike park, which already boasts a wide array of trails. 

4. Whistler, British Columbia

Whistler is a true mecca for all things mountain biking. It’s best known for its world-class downhill mountain bike park, but the area is covered in excellent cross country and all-mountain singletrack trails.

There are countless other locales in British Columbia, such as Squamish, Fernie, Nelson, Golden, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Revelstoke, and many more. 

See also: Whistler Village Hotels: The Westin Whistler Resort and Spa

Mountain Bike riders in Whistler mountains, British Columbia
Mountain Bike riders in Whistler mountains, British Columbia –

5. Crested Butte, Colorado

Crested Butte is a Rocky Mountain town for skiers and mountain bikers alike. Located midway between Denver and Grand Junction, it is even closer to Colorado Springs. You’ll have no problems enjoying a relaxing and scenic road trip from either of these major cities.

When you get there, you’ll find over 700 miles of alpine singletrack trails. Not only is Crested Butte home to one of the oldest mountain bike festivals, it also features a legendary 13,000-foot climb and is one of the destinations that started the mountain biking craze back in the 1970s.

6.  Downieville, California

Downieville is another location that’s tucked away in the Sierra Nevada mountains. You have to travel over an hour up into the mountains on winding two-lane highways but once you’re there, you get to experience the Downieville Downhill, a marquee ride that everyone’s heard of. Surrounding the town is a gigantic network of 500 or more miles of mountain bike trails. 

7. Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada

Lake Tahoe is one of the clearest lakes in the world. It lies in the Sierra Nevada Mountains on the border of California and Nevada. If you’re flying in, Sacramento or Reno are your best options. 

For many mountain bikers, The Tahoe Rim Trail is a bucket list adventure but you should also consider adding Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Flume Trail to your list. The newest trails are in the Southlake area, while the best downhill trailers are in the Northstar Resort. For the best views, you’ll need to head higher up.  

Mountain biking destinations - Lake Tahoe
Tahoe Rim Trail signage –

8. Wydaho, Wyoming and Idaho

The Wydaho region covers Jackson, Jackson Hole Resort, Victor, Idaho, Driggs, and Grand Targhee Resort. Mountain biking has really blown up in Wydaho over the last few years. There has been significant trail development close to the town of Jackson. Historically-illegal trails on Teton Pass have also been adopted into the trail system. 

Jackson Hole has improved its bike park, but the most notable improvements have been at the Grand Targhee Resort. There is now an incredible array of downhill mountain bike trails, cross country trails, winter fat biking trails, and other two-wheeled singletrack routes. 

9. Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville is in Western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains and it’s a city known for its mountain beauty, historic architecture, and vibrant art scene.

Asheville is surrounded by some awesome trails, including the Bailey Mountain Bike Park and the 500,000-acre Pisgain National Forest. Kisuma, Dupont, and Tsali are also close to Asheville and offer more of North Carolina’s most treasured mountain biking trails. 

10. East Burke, Vermont

Close to the Canadian border, East Burke is a secluded mountain town that is challenging to get to, but well worth the effort. If you live on the East Coast, East Burke is a three-hour drive from Boston and an hour and a half from Burlington. 

East Burke is a great place to ride your mountain bike. It includes The Kingdom Trails network which has something for all ability levels. There are well-groomed doubletracks for beginners and tight, fast, flowing singletracks for more experienced cyclists. 

Other areas you want to check out include Burke Mountain, Dead Moose Alley, and Darling Hill. The area is best experienced between May and October.

Biking Through the Vineyards of Chianti, Italy

If you are looking for a way to see the vineyards of Chianti, taste some delicious wine and get out of Florence for a few hours, check out Tuscany Bike Tours.

While in Florence last summer, my friends and I went on their tour. Included was transportation to and from Florence to the countryside, tour of a castle, wine tasting, lunch, water break and a bike tour. It is worth every penny.

Here’s our experience of cycling through the vineyards of Chianti in Italy – from visiting a medieval castle to eating delicious local foods.

Cycling through the vineyards of Chianti
Cycling through the vineyards of Chianti

Biking through the vineyards of Chianti

Upon arriving at the Chianti castle, we got a tour of the castle and saw the wine and olive oil production sites. The tour included a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside, where we would later bike. The wine was delicious and the olive oil was amazing. All of the products are available for sale at the end of the tour.

The guides helped everyone get a bike and helmet that fit them. They made sure that everyone’s helmet fit correctly and that the bike was adjusted to their height. The number one concern was safety, as we bike on roads used by cars for the entire trip, and they made sure that everyone knew that if their biking skills were not up to par-they would be pulled off and ride in the van. This warning was serious. Two of my friends didn’t bike the entire time because they were poor bikers, they admitted to having a blast in the van though.

The bike ride was absolutely breathtaking and about 12 miles long. The rolling green hills were on both sides of the road. We passed countless vineyards and olive groves, some that are used to make the very wine and olive oil we tasted at the castle. The first half of the ride was hilly but mainly downhill.

You can go at your own pace, although if you’re too slow or unsteady, your guide will put you in the van. Lunch was a giant spread of bread, pasta, salad, dessert and more wine. It was great to meet more of the people on the tour-since you don’t really talk much when you’re biking.

The second half of the bike tour started out with 3 miles of flat roads. Then came a steep hill, with an 11-17% grade. Most people walked up the hill or rode in the van, the brave biked it. My tour guide said it was hard for him-so I opted out so that I could enjoy the end of the tour on rolling hills. There was a water break at the top before riding back to the castle. Not only was it a beautiful ride, but it was also relaxing and a great work out.

It’s worth every penny and a different experience than anything else that I encountered in my travels. I would recommend it to anyone that is in shape, is comfortable on a bike and loves wine.

Book a similar Tuscany bike tour here.