4 Bucket List Mountain Bike Destinations

Nothing beats a good day on your mountain bike ripping around with friends, working hard,and having a good time, no matter if it’s on local trails or exotic ones. There are, however, some mountain bike trails that tend to stand above the rest. These are the trails we dream about, perfect ribbons of singletrack that meander through beautiful landscapes, these are the mountain bike trails worth planning a trip around – they are bucket list trails.

Check out a couple areas and trails that we think every mountain biker should strive to ride in their two-wheeled adventure career.

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#1 Bellingham, Washington

Bellingham, Washington

The mountain bike trails near Bellingham offer great cross country and all mountain riding, with dreamy “hero” dirt, fun trails, and a great mountain biking community. Bike companies like Transition Bikes began in Bellingham, inspired by this wealth of great riding. Galbraith is the centerpiece of Bellingham’s riding, spanning over 3,000 acres just southwest of town with mountain bike trails climbing up and down through the mossy Pacific Northwest forest. There are 100+ trails here, ranging from flowy jump trails to tricky technical one. Try one of the classic Galbraith loops for a taste of the goods, dropping into the Evo trail to Unemployment Line, finishing with Atomic Dog. Bellingham is all about the descents, gear up with a proper trail mountain bike, or stop by the Transition HQ to pick up a demo.

Chuckanut Mountain offers some great shuttle accessed riding just outside of town, too, offering more great trail and Puget Sound views. The incredible dirt and immaculately sculpted trail make mountain biking in Bellingham so much fun.

#2 Moab, Utah

Moab, Utah

It’s hard to put into the words the bounty of world-class trails that exist in the Moab desert. The grippy sandstone slabs give traction that mountain bikers dream of. Your bike tires will seemingly never slip, allowing you to climb and descent crazy terrain. There is hundreds of miles of singletrack in the area, which makes Moab a perfect destination for a mountain bike trip. The crown jewel of Moab is the Whole Enchilada trail. This trail descends nearly 8,000’ through evergreen forests, aspen groves, then desert singletrack. The beginning is definitely a technical challenge, and the complete trail is best suited for mountain bikers that are comfortable with long days on difficult terrain. The ride usually takes riders between three and six hours to complete, so pack your bike backpack with plenty of snacks and get ready for an adventure.

#3 Oakridge Oregon

Oakridge, Oregon

This town in Central Oregon has grown from an old timber town to a mountain bike paradise. The trails here are seemingly endless, with great flow throughout, and local shuttle opportunities that make it all that much easier to access. The Alpine Trail is an Oakridge must-ride trail with its killer views and rolling singletrack. The buff trail snakes through a beautiful forest and out into high alpine meadows. There aren’t huge machine built features, but the Alpine trail is still flowy and fun. There is more climbing on Alpine than some other trails in the area, but it is well worth the extra effort. The trail is sometimes ridden as part of the 24 mile A-T-C-A Loop, which combine the Upper Alpine, Tire Mountain, Clover Patch and Lower Alpine trails. This loop still requires a shuttle, but combines the trails for more milage with 3,681’ of climbing and 7,000’ of descending.

#4 Fruita & Grand Junction, Colorado

Fruita & Grand Junction, Colorado 

Colorado is home to some great mountain biking, just ask the folks at Yeti Bikes, who are headquartered in the town of Golden. Fruita is a legendary mountain bike destination, with hundreds of miles of some of the best riding  in Colorado. Located close to the Colorado and Utah border, the mountain biking in Fruita is a combination of styles from the two states; the trails have the rock of the Utah desert and elevation the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Visiting bikers will love exploring the great flowy ridgelines, and challenging technical routes, Fruita has it all. There are several trail areas surrounding these towns, each with a unique character. The 18 Road trails offer flowy fun, while trails like Horsethief Bench are rocky and difficult, pick your poison, or try to ride them all.

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Written by Matt Sklar