The Southwest United States is home to some of the most coveted landscapes of our Nation, and with that comes some world class mountain biking trails! We've bumped heads together at the Warehouse and hand picked our top 5 picks for the best mountain biking in the Southwest. We're here to break down the who, what, where, why, and how. Then it's up to you to choose when!>
Don't forget to protect yourself out on the trails.
- Elevation: 4,026'
- Settled: 1878
- Population: 5,253 (2017)
Moab, Utah boasts some of the planets most coveted mountain biking trails. The variety spans the realm of beginner to professional and the scenic canyons and mesa top loops are sure to excite bikers of all skills and styles. The terrain in Moab is considered technical, with a high concentration of slab rock.
A well known trail in the are is the Slickrock Bike Trail, a highly technical 9.6 mile test of mountain bike fortitude. This trail beckons riders from all over the world to come push their limits. Don't let this discourage the more mellow riders, Moab has an assortment of easier trails sure to crack a smile on any riders face.
Popular routes include the Bar-M Loop which offers entry-level technical terrain and views of Arches National Park during the ride! Head to Moab this winter for an epic adventure on two wheels the crew is sure not to forget.
- Surface Elevation: 6,225'
- Area: 191.6 sq miles
- Location: The Sierra Nevada, along state line of California & Nevada
- Max Depth: 1,645 ft (501m)
Lake Tahoe offers world class mountain biking both around the Lake and in the surrounding area including Truckee. North, west, and south shore are popular areas to hit trail with difficulty levels ranging from beginner - intermediate - advanced. With a huge local cycling community the support from the surrounding area is immense, and it shows in the trail maintenance and etiquette.
The Tahoe Rim Trail is a famous 165-mile loop that circles the ridges high above the Lake. The trail is open to mountain bikes for half of the 165-mile stretch due to the trail crossing the Pacific Crest Trail as well as sensitive wilderness zones. Some of the most popular trails in the area include The Flume Trail, Mr. Toads Wild Ride, Corral, The Bench, and Powerlines trail. Next time you have the opportunity to get out to Lake Tahoe make sure your mountain bike is serviced and ready to shred!
Population: 10,336 (2017)
Mammoth Lakes is a town in California's Sierra Nevada mountains. It's known for the Mammoth Mountain and June Mountain ski areas and nearby trails. The town is a base for Devils Postpile National Monument, a formation of basalt columns, and the soaring Rainbow Falls. To the north, saltwater Mono Lake is dotted with limestone towers. Yosemite National Park, with its granite cliffs and ancient sequoias, is nearby.
Mammoth Mountain closes the ski resort in the summer and unleashes one of Southern California's premiere mountain bike destinations, Mammoth Bike Park. Over 80 miles of single-track offer riders a plethora of hucks, berms, drops, and features both man made and natural to keep the mind ticking and the pedals spinning.
Mammoth claims to be the biggest and baddest bike park in the United States, and they do a good job of backing up that claim. Mammoth offers the beginner focused Discovery Zone, considered an opportune place to learn, specifically designed to make bike skills progression easy and natural. Mammoth capitalizes on the rugged terrain of the Eastern Sierra to offer some of the world's most premier trails for mountain biking. The scenic views, in addition to the proximity to hiking, camping, hot tubs, and local food make Mammoth a must visit for your next bike adventure! So what are you waiting for? The step-ups, wall-rides, pavers, and berms are just waiting to be scrubbed!
Snow Summit at Big Bear
- Elevation: 6,752′
- Area: 6.54 mi²
- Incorporated: November 28, 1980
Big Bear and the surrounding area offer an escape from the bustling city of Los Angeles below, as well as a mountain biking hot spot for anyone looking for new trails and amazing scenery.
Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead are approximately 30-40 minutes apart, and between the two cities they offer some of the best mountain biking in Southern California and the access is amazingly convenient. We'll focus on the two bike parks located in the area, Snow Summit and Skypark at Santa's Village.
The premier lift-operating park in Southern California, Snow Summit brings guests access to over 60 miles of professionally designed, built, and maintained single-track including some of SoCal's most famous trails. Treat yourself to panoramic views and a cold beer from the Skyline Taphouse Restaurant located at the top of Chair 1 in between heart pounding runs down the mountain. This is a great time to contemplate if it's time for another burner lap down Pineknot or an all-day push across the Skyline ridge.
The extensive trail network, combined with the ease of access provided by the lift makes Snow Summit Southern California hottest bike destination. Trails are plentiful across the board from beginner on up to double black diamonds. So newbie and retired professional racer alike, cruise on our to Summit this season and take your riding to the next level!
Skypark at Santa's Village
Skypark offers a slightly different flavor of Bike Park than one might be used to. The Bike Park is tucked in the rear of a Santa Claus themed amusement park, complete with gingerbread houses, the north pole, and appearances by Jack Frost and Mrs. Claus! Skypark at Santa's Village is more than a bike park, with over 15 trails running over 10 miles this park makes up for it's smaller size with amazingly fun runs from mellow XC friendly cruisers to fast paced double diamonds complete with drops, skinnies, and doubles!
The trail network winds through a overgrown canopy of pines with several well marked trails complete with names and ratings. Two bonus skills areas exist to brush up on technical tricks as well as a small pump track for the Jr. riders. Groomed daily, open year round, and hardly snowed out this destination is there when you need that Bike Park fix.
In addition the park offers extra curricular activities including zip lining, rock climbing, gokarts, hiking, archery, axe throwing, fly fishing and the list goes on. Best part is all of these activities are included in the price of admission or an annual pass! This is definitely the place to bring the whole family, even if everyone doesn't mountain bike. There's something for everyone at Santa' Village.
So now it's time to plan your next bike adventure trip, and knock one of these world class mountain biking destinations off your bucket list! We've broken down the best in the Southwest and now it's your turn to drop some lines. Don't forget to outfit yourself with the best in mountain biking protection, we recently broke down the best in MTB knee and elbow pads, helmets, gloves, and goggles in a BLOG on MTB protection, find the BLOG here and get yourself protected before your next Bike Park trip! Thanks for reading, keep it rolling!