Choosing trails for the best mountain biking in the USA is tough — different riders enjoy varied terrain. While many riders love cross-country trails, others prefer scenic trails.
The best mountain biking trails must, therefore, offer diverse trail experiences that cater to different riding needs.
These trails also have a vibe that appeals to riders while offering biker-friendly amenities like lodging options, restaurants, bars, bike repair shops, shuttle and lift services, etc.
The top mountain bike destinations also have a fantastic climate for riding and a strong community of riders who makes the biking experience infinitely more fun.
This long list of requirements coupled with the fact that trail development — if it ever happens — takes years, makes our top 10 picks below unique.
Read on to discover the best mountain bike trails in the country and plan your next mountain bike trip.
- 1 #1 Moab, Utah
- 2 #2 Sedona, Arizona
- 3 #3 Bentonville, Arkansas
- 4 #4 Bend, Oregon
- 5 #5 Grand Valley, Colorado
- 6 #6 Whistler, British Columbia
- 7 #7 Pisgah, North Carolina
- 8 #8 Crested Butte, Colorado
- 9 #9 Park City, Utah
- 10 #10 Asheville, North Carolina
- 11 Conclusion – Where is the best mountain biking in the USA?
#1 Moab, Utah
Located in eastern Utah, Moab is one of the best mountain bike destinations in the USA. This beautiful city has retained its place at the top of every mountain biker’s list for a long time. That’s why it is the first one on our list, too.
Although it has a harsh desert environment and many challenging trails that make it more suited to intermediate and advanced riders, a trip to Moab is a must for every mountain biker.
This city allows you to try the latest mountain bikes on tough trails, and chill with mountain bikers from all over the world over scrumptious food and beers.
Moab offers diverse trails ranging from a few beginner-friendly ones to flowy trails and technical lines. You can even hit wide-open desert trails and forested, high alpine singletrack trails.
Have you ever wondered, what is the longest mountain biking trail in United States of America?
The Whole Enchilada is definitely one of the contenders. Is is one of the most famous mountain bike trails in the city and even the country, with an impressive elevation gain of over 1,250 feet to 7,800 feet.
This 34-mile loop trail features singletracks, cliff drops, rock rides, ledges, canyons, mesas, and more. It passes through different climate zones that make it all the more interesting.
The high point of the route, Burro Pass, tops out above the treeline in the alpine tundra. It swoops through forests and switches to desert trails by the time you reach the Colorado River.
There are also shuttle services to the top of the Whole Enchilada, which is great for mountain bikers who don’t enjoy a brutal uphill ride.
Moab is surrounded by expansive and pretty public lands. It offers amazing camping and sightseeing options, too. This makes it a dream destination for every rider who loves being outdoors.
Outdoor recreation contributes heavily to the Moab economy. The city is also home to some well-known mountain bike advocates whom you can meet up with for some great guidance and tips on mountain biking.
Moab is also constantly offering new trails for mountain bikers, which makes it a must-ride destination.
#2 Sedona, Arizona
Sedona has been a must-ride mountain biking locale for over a century now.
In 1895, Lou Thomas started a fishing and hunting lodge in the desert town. Slowly and steadily, mountain bikers started heading to the place to enjoy its incredible scenery and fantastic early-season weather.
Today, Sedona is one of the best mountain biking trails in the USA that remains popular among casual and experienced mountain bikers alike.
The Verde Valley Cyclist Coalition has been highly active in developing and maintaining high-quality trails for riding in the area.
The group also volunteers at the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival, which is the unofficial kick-off to the country’s mountain bike season.
The town offers bikers and their families a plethora of amazing accommodation options and restaurants. It is also known for the Hiline Trail, which is a stunning trail with gorgeous red rock formations and challenging riding paths.
The trail features a vantage point high above the valley floor, which offers bikers breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains. The singletrack running along the traverse is exposed in a few spots but is overall non-technical and easy.
As you ride downhill, the landscape starts to change. The singletrack funnels into steep, rocky chutes, rock rolls, and boulder-filled rock gardens.
Once you’ve had your fill of this trail, head to other popular trails in the area like High on the Hog and Hangover for more thrills.
#3 Bentonville, Arkansas
Bentonville and more broadly, Northwest Arkansas has a landscape that lends itself naturally to mountain biking. The recent surge of interest in this sport prompted the city to crown itself the “Mountain Bike Capital of the World.”
Bentonville is fast becoming a leading mountain bike destination that is worth a visit for its varied trail experiences.
You can find different types of mountain biking terrain here, from singletracks and pump tracks to huge jump lines and features.
Some of the amazing trails on offer include Slaughter Pen, Centennial Park, and Coler Mountain Bike Preserve.
The city lacks lift services for bikers. But you will easily find many shuttle operators in the area.
The variety of great trails and biker-friendly services make the city a must-ride destination. Moreover, the trails have been built by reputed trail builders from across the country. So, you can be sure to find a trail that suits your riding needs.
Bentonville does not have alpine riding experiences, but it has plenty of natural beauty that you can explore at leisure.
The downtown part of the city is quaint and boasts cool hangouts where you can grab a beer or cuppa before or after your ride.
Also, more businesses are now catering to mountain bikers, which is helping create a vibrant mountain biking community year-round.
#4 Bend, Oregon
Many mountain bikers may not love Bend’s “moon dust” conditions. But the city is still one of the best trails for mountain biking in the USA.
Bend features hundreds of miles of fun trails and mountain bike infrastructure. New singletracks are also being continually built to add to the city’s diversity of riding experiences.
The recent opening of the Mount Bachelor Bike Park is another top attraction that makes Bend stand out. This lift-served downhill mountain bike park boasts a vast array of trails that serve all experience levels — from beginners to expert dirt jumpers.
You can head to this bike park to explore over a dozen miles of downhill trails. They include machine-built flow trails, jump lines, and technical singletracks that challenge intermediate riders and pro bikers.
#5 Grand Valley, Colorado
If you’ve already added Moab to your list of must-ride mountain bike destinations, add the Grand Valley in western Colorado to the list, too. It is located at close proximity to Moab.
Both these neighbors share similar geo- and topographic features, which makes the Grand Valley a worthy mention among the best mountain bike trails in the USA.
Moreover, local mountain bikers in both Fruita and Grand Junction have taken great efforts to build impressive trails decades ago to vie with those of their neighbors.
Today, the Grand Valley is a top spot for mountain bike rides across expansive desert trails. You can find trails ranging from buff and fast to technical and challenging.
The Colorado Plateau Mountain Bike Trail Association (COPMOBA) has also worked hard to build and maintain trails in the area.
While you’re here, make sure you hit the 18 Road trail system for steep descents down ridges. The newest trail on the block, the Palisade Plunge, is another great riding spot.
This 14.3-mile point-to-point trail with an elevation gain of 1,745 feet offers scenic views of meadows, aspen groves, mountain lakes, and wildflowers that make your trip to the Grand Valley worthwhile.
Grand Junction also offers plenty of amenities for riders heading here. But most mountain bikers usually hit the nearby smaller towns like Fruita and Palisade for rest and refreshments.
Like Moab and Sedona, the Grand Valley is a hotspot for bikers in the early season and early fall.
#6 Whistler, British Columbia
Whistler is a true mountain biking mecca for riders from around the USA. It has a world-class downhill mountain bike park, but you can also discover excellent all-mountain and cross-country singletracks here.
British Columbia has many other locales you can visit for riding. They include Fernie, Squamish, Nelson, Golden, Kamloops, Kelowna, Revelstoke, Vancouver, Vancouver Island, and others.
#7 Pisgah, North Carolina
Like Moab, Pisgah is a popular destination for intermediate and pro bikers who want to ride across tough trails.
But in recent years, new beginner-friendly and family-friendly trails have appeared, too. The new Old Fort Gateway trails east of Asheville are one such trail you must hit.
Pisgah also has pristine forests and miles of singletracks that riders can explore. The trails vary from challenging to flowy and fun. So, you can choose a ride that suits your experience level and riding needs.
Pisgah has trails both in the National Forest and in riding hotspots like Dupont State Forest, Kitsuma Peak Trail, and Bent Creek.
Black Mountain Loop Trail in the National Forest, with its total elevation gain of over 2,000 feet, is a must-ride spot.
This 12.5-mile rugged trail features steep and technical uphills and downhills, rock gardens, rollers, washes, and root rides for avid bikers.
Pisgah also has plenty of lodging and camping options you can choose from. Breweries abound here, too. So, you can head to any or all of them for chilled beers after a long ride around town.
If you don’t wish to pore over maps for hours on your trip, you can visit Pisgah during the annual five-day Pisgah Stage Race. It lets you experience the best trails in the company of mountain bikers from around the globe.
If you’re planning a visit to Pisgah, keep in mind that its temperate climate makes it a great place to visit year-round, although it gets steamy during the peak summer months.
#8 Crested Butte, Colorado
Located halfway between Denver and Grand Junction, Crested Butte, Colorado is a hotspot for mountain bikers.
This Rocky Mountain town near Colorado Springs lets you enjoy a relaxing, scenic bike trip across 700 miles of alpine singletracks. If you’ve been wanting to snap a spectacular Colorado photo forever, this is where you can do it.
Crested Butte is also home to the Chainless World Championships Bike Race, which is one of the oldest mountain bike festivals. The area is also known for its legendary 13,000-foot climb.
If you prefer demanding bike parks, the lift-served Evolution Bike Park features plenty of steep and challenging trails for serious riders.
You can camp on public lands outside of town or stay in resorts in the area. Local restaurants line the small downtown area where you can hang out after a long ride.
You should visit Crested Butte in the summer for the best riding experiences. But we must add that you can find a few opportunities for fat biking in winter.
#9 Park City, Utah
Visiting Park City for a mountain bike trip is akin to staying at an all-inclusive resort.
You don’t have to think much about biking trails, how to get your bike and gear to the trailhead, or where to eat and sleep.
The family-friendly mountain bike town offers everything you need, including hotels, restaurants, and trailheads around every corner.
Park City does not have many technical trails, but it provides beginners and experts with plenty of lift-served terrain options that suit them best.
Wasatch Crest and Mid Mountain are two popular trails in the area where you can click amazing Utah photos.
Visit Park City in the summer months to escape the heat. The high alpine and forested trails will keep you cool with a light breeze as you ride your mountain bike.
#10 Asheville, North Carolina
One ride that you must absolutely not miss on a mountain bike trip around the country is Asheville. This city in Western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains is one of the best mountain biking towns, known for its alpine beauty, vibrant art scene, and historic architecture.
It also has some awesome trails, like the 500,000-acre Pisgah National Forest and the Bailey Mountain Bike Park.
Dupont, Kitsuma, and Tsali are also near Asheville. So, you can head to these popular mountain biking trails, too, if you want more variety and thrills.
Conclusion – Where is the best mountain biking in the USA?
We hope our guide on the 10 best mountain bike trails in the USA helped with picking locations for your upcoming journey across the country. If you enjoyed reading it and wish to read more such articles, explore our other posts on biking.
Last Updated on December 20, 2022 by Matthew Carpenter