If theres one thing that makes mountain biking such a special sport, its the opportunity to experience the complete breadth of ecosystems and landscapes the world over from such an intimate perspective. If youre anything like me, traveling to different destinations ignites your passion for life and makes you feel like a giddy kid on Christmas morning!
Choosing the top 10 mountain bike destinations in North America was no easy feat. To start with, we decided that this was to be a list of true destinations: not residential areas with good mountain bike trail access, but rather destinations that you could plan your entire years worth of vacation time around. While one could argue that the people who actually live in these places are truly doing it right, we realize that not everybody can make that happen, so stay tuned for our top 10 list of mountain bike towns, coming soon.
When we sat down to make these careful choices, we called on the expertise of the entire Singletracks blog team. Narrowing the list down to just 10 places was a very difficult, controversial process. There was quite a bit of disagreement, even internally, about which towns should make the list, and which ones werent deserving. Regardless, each of the 10 locales listed below is more than worthy of dedicating a week (or a month) of your vacation time to exploring on the back of your mountain bike.
Whistler, British Columbia
Whistler is the true mecca of all things mountain biking. While Whistler is perhaps best-known for its world-class downhill mountain bike park, the surrounding area is covered in excellent cross country and all mountain singletrack trails, such as Comfortably Numb, that arent served by the lifts.
We admit: British Columbia itself could arguably envelope this entire top 10 destinations list with such fantastic locales as Squamish, Fernie, Nelson, Golden, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Revelstoke, and many more. Consider Whistler our nod towards everything BC.-mtbgreg1
With a mix of old classics and new purpose-built trails spanning a wide range of environments from high-alpine singletrack to desert rock and sand, Moab is no slouch in the trail department. And, with the completion of The Whole Enchilada route, you can experience all of those environments in one epic ride. However, as many municipalities have learned, trails alone do not a destination make. So what makes Moab the mecca that it is?
In addition to all the great riding, Moab is also home to two national parks, a signature state park, and more open BLM land than you could ever explore in a lifetime. Wrap all this up with plentiful lodging, affordable eats, several microbreweries, excellent bike shops, and plenty of camping options, and youve got yourself a bona fide mountain biking destination! -maddslacker
Park City, Utah
From fast, swooping in-town singletrack to alpine riding spanning three vast ski resorts, Park City, IMBAs only gold-level ride center, has something for every mountain biker. Downhill rides abound both on and off the resorts, but those looking for steep climbs will find plenty of aerobic rides, too. Epic length tours like Mid-Mountain and the Wasatch Crest are easily accessible and, if you need one, so are guides. Inexpensive condo rentals and great benefits like free concerts and local beer make Park City an excellent choice for your next mountain bike vacation. Who wouldnt want a chance to explore over 400 miles of singletrack?! -mtbikerchick