Winter is fast approaching, but that doesn't mean you need to put your bike away. Sales of mountain bikes have soared in 2020 due to the pandemic, so maybe you're wondering about where you can keep hitting the trails this winter. Some veteran mountain bikers might also be looking for new thrills and destinations as well. The good news is that there are plenty of places that offer great year round biking. With the help of some mountain bike enthusiasts, we here at outdoorpals have compiled a list of some of the best places to mountain bike during the winter months. If you need some people to bike with, stay up to date with outdoorpals on Instagram so you'll know when we can help you find some trail buddies to ride with. Without further ado...
1. Sedona, Arizona
Beginner: Aerie Loop
For beginners or riders looking for a quick singletrack loop around Doe Mountain with outstanding views of the Sedona red rock and desert, this 5.4-mile loop is a great Sedona pick. It features a few of the trails in the Dry Creek area with nice flow, slickrock riding, and a few technical sections.
Intermediate: West Sedona Tour
The West Sedona trail gives you the option to link together 8 classic trails or add onto other trails like the Chuckwagon-Mescal-Long Canyon loop if you’re looking to turn this 13.1-mile trail into a longer ride. With lots of climbs and descents, this trail highlights the best of the red rock terrain that Sedona is famous for.
Advanced: Cathedral Big Rock Loop
This 12.4-mile out and back ride has a few technical rock sections, some climbs, and descents. Intermediate / advanced riders will love the incredible scenery and flow of this trail.
For more info on biking in Sedona visit:
Trail Map: https://www.trailforks.com/region/sedona/
2. St. George/Hurricane, Utah
Beginner: Bearclaw Poppy
Locals love St. George’s Bearclaw Poppy trail because it’s fun for riders of all fitness and ability levels, can be ridden year-round, and can be done as a quick out-and-back before or after work. It’s close to town and not very technical, but more ambitious riders can connect this trail with the Stucki Springs Trail or the Zen trail which require a bit more conditioning.
Intermediate: Little Creek
A secret beauty in the Hurricane area is Little Creek just south of Gooseberry Mesa. This area can be difficult and is best for more technically advanced riders, though less experienced riders can always hop off their bikes and walk the challenging sections. The open slickrock and singletrack trail winds up and down through stunning scenery peppered with piñon pines and junipers against a backdrop of classic desert terrain.
Advanced: Gooseberry Mesa
The trail contains 30 miles of networked singletrack, making it very appealing to riders who want to customize their mileage. However, the real persuasion is the rolling slickrock trails that give way to epic panoramas of Zion National Park, making it one of the most scenic rides in the world. It’s easy to get distracted by the fantastic views, but this technical trail will demand your attention!
For more info on biking in St. George/Hurricane visit:
Trail Map: https://www.trailforks.com/region/st-george/
3. Brevard, North Carolina
Beginner: Fletcher Creek
This trail is a fairly mellow ride. It is a good place for visitors or for those averse to steep climbs. It starts with a long, gravel climb with mellow grades, followed by a fun singletrack downhill that starts flowy and adds some rocks farther down. There are a couple stream crossings, so expect wet feet.
Intermediate: Best of DuPont
This route includes some of the best DuPont has to offer from a flow perspective, but you'll have to work for it with the climbs throughout the route. There are three creek crossings in this route, but in most cases, there are rocks that allow you to hop across without getting soaked.
Advanced: The Great Eight
This is a great mid-distance route including a long gravel climb, rocky and rooty goat-track descents where you'll need to pick your line and control your speed, creek crossings, lung-busting climbs, rock gardens, and super-sketchy suspension bridges. How does that sound for a masochistic adventure?
For more info on biking in Brevard visit:
Trail Map: https://www.trailforks.com/region/brevard/
4. Marin County, California
Beginner: China Camp
The China Camp mountain biking loop is an excellent option if you’re not an advanced cyclist or haven’t hit the tracks in a while. It features singletrack for beginners and can be a nice family ride. At the start of the ride, you’ll have a moderate climb for a bit. Don’t let that steep hill scare you though—the rest of the route is a flat ride along the hillside. The loop consists mostly of singletrack with just a few fire roads.
Intermediate: Mount Tamalpais
Mount Tamalpais offers another fun and rewarding bike trail that follows the Deer Park Fire Road and the Coast View Trail. This route features an exciting loop with partially paved roads, fire routes, and singletracks leading up to Mount Tamalpais. The first challenge is the steep climb up Deer Park Fire Road which has an average elevation grade of 12%, making it a great whole-body workout. As you descend along the Coast View Trail, slow down to enjoy the most scenic part of the ride. This singletrack offers great scenic views from a mesmerizing coastal hillside overlooking the Pacific.
Advanced: Mount Diablo Via Summit Trail
If you’ve got your heart set on an intense and challenging mountain biking experience and you appreciate stunning scenic vistas, then biking up Mount Diablo via the Summit Trail is just for you. You may have to make several pit stops on this ride, but we promise it’s worth it—there’ll be plenty of opportunities to stop and marvel at the gorgeous views.
For more info on biking in Marin County visit:
Trail Map: https://www.trailforks.com/region/st-george/
4. Las Vegas, Nevada
Beginner: Badger Pass loop
This is an all singletrack trail with a steady climb leading to fun, technical downhills. Popular with both hikers and bikers, this area is all open and offers spectacular views! There isn't a better trail if you’re new to mountain biking or just out for a good time.
Intermediate: Blue Diamond
Blue Diamond is where you will find some incredible high desert singletrack. The firm desert floor makes the tight twisty trails fast and they go on for miles. There are some good climbs and switch backs on the south side of the road that offer great views of Vegas, or stay on the north side and enjoy relatively flat trails that will make anyone smile. If you are looking for a challenge take the Late Nite trail on the north side.
Advanced: Bootleg Canyon
There is almost 35 miles of awesome singletrack to be ridden here. There is a trail for everyone, wheter you want a relaxing after work ride or a technical monster, it's all here. Some of the trails are quite rocky at some points, but it is all rideable and a great way to develop your technical skill.
For more info on biking in Las Vegas visit:
Trail Map: https://www.trailforks.com/region/las-vegas/