Thinking about places to visit this year, I remembered this post I did last year and thought it was worth pulling back out front. These 5 great summer mountain bike destinations stand strong. They are places we discovered that we like even better than many of the so called popular “mountain bike destinations”.
Scenic vistas, buff flow trails, gnarly steep and rough – not everyone has it right out of their door. Mountain bike adventures might just be what many of us live for, but there ARE destinations other than Moab where big fun can be had.
I consider myself a trail exploring junkie and I am fairly picky (Ok, I am a trail snob). I love putting together big backcountry *loops* that challenge my fitness as well as my skills, but exploring the unknown is hard to beat for me. The following are 5 great destinations to ride that usually get overlooked.
Believe it or not, Flagstaff is my favorite mountain town in the western us. Funny thing is it’s not really on the radar of most folks that think all the great mountain towns are in Colorado. Flag not only has beautiful mountain views, lung busting climbs, and great trails. It has technical trails that don’t exist in many of the “mountain towns”. My personal favorites are Sunset, Jedi and Secret trail. MTB Project Flagstaff trails. When you’re done, Flagstaff has a wide variety of great food within minutes of the trails. Oh, and there is that little spot called Sedona just down the hill.
Normally my BC pic would be Squamish, but after discovering Fernie last year I was pretty happy to spend time in a new place discovering the trails. IF you have not been to Squamish just GO….then go to FERNIE….and Revelstoke and Nelson etc. Project Nine, Lazy Lizzard and Hyperventilation/Hyperexension are few that I enjoyed.
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Graeagle is just north of a little more well-known location of Downieville and easily accessible from Reno. Mills Peak is a great way to start, but there is a deep stash of riding in the area. This is a very small town and does have limited resources to dining and recreations. Be sure to come ready for good times in the mountain of the lost Sierra. Stop in Howling Dogs Bike and Ski for trail info.
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Ok, this one isn’t so unknown. Admittedly I’m a little biased since this place is home. My wife and I chose this spot after living and exploring possibilities all over north America the past 20 years. There are trails for all abilities with the fast and flowy DuPont State Forest and the gnar of Pisgah National Forest. The expansive views of the west may not be as plentiful in the western North Carolina forests, but the waterfalls, tunnels of rhododendron and laurel give a beauty that is special in its own right. Here’s a good map of the area: MTB Project Brevard. I suggest Red Wolf MTB Tours if you’d like someone to guide you.
Harrisonburg likely is the place you’ve heard of in VA and rightfully so – the riding is awesome there. Just outside of town there is a vast amount of great riding spread amongst many trailheads. In Roanoke, most of it is north of town very close to the new Ballast Point Brewing . Carvins Cove is 12,700-acre city park with more than enough riding to keep you busy for a weekend, but that’s just the tip. Nearby Carvin’s Cove, there are several rides such as Dragons Back/Rockstar Route, Day Creek Area/ Glenwood and Glenwood Horse Trail. This is a place I have a feeling thousands of northeast riders on their way to Brevard drive right by without knowing how good it is![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]