So, you now have a bike and can’t wait to ride in on a unique mountain trail? It’s really hard deciding on a good enough trail, though, isn’t it? Well, if you need awesome research fast, we’re here to help you with 5 best picks of breathtakingly gorgeous mountain scenery you can enjoy while cycling.
1. The Whole Enchilada, Utah
This is definitely a five-star ride, encompassing 26 miles on various side trails which will take you in the ballpark of 5 hours total. The level of difficulty is an intermediate one, so chances are most people can do it. We love the landscape most of all, it looks pretty rugged and has plenty of views you’ll want to stop and admire for longer.
You’ll already going to start at quite an elevation of about 10,000 feet, which means you’ll be cycling very near the edgy peaks. You even have to gain some 1,400 feet more up to the narrow Burro Pass, but that’s nothing compared to the descent.
So get the best high-power binoculars because you won’t want to miss a detail. The aspen forests are imposing, and the old pines look like giant soldiers that guard the entrance to the prairie. The fast flowing creeks and slippery tracks of Hazard County explain why this portion of the trail has this particular name.
Then, the Porcupine sections are a challenge as well, but the view when you get to the Colorado River is totally worth it. The terrain is very diverse, you’ll get to try different technical skills from thru to single track, so that’s why it won the gold medal.
2. Trail 401, Colorado
If you’re a real mountain biking fan, you must visit the place where it all began. And that will prove very insightful because Crested Butte in Colorado offers plenty of trails to enjoy taking you through some of the most enchanting alpine landscape you have ever seen. The trails that wax and wane here are all nearby bucolic mountain towns too.
Among the 750 miles of trails, one still stands out. Trail 401 is another intermediate ride stretching of about 14 miles at an elevation of about 9,700 feet. The ascent starts on Gothic Toad to what is called Schofield Pass. The views are outstanding and the faraway Maroon Bells look spectacular.
This will mostly be a singletrack, which explains the intermediate level. However, there are whole green fields that stretch before your eyes and patches of aspen forests to roam through, so this trail looks amazing even during the fall.
3. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, California
You might think we’ve selected this trail purely based on its peculiar name, but you’d be wrong. Lake Tahoe is an amazing area, it’s a huge alpine lake with crystal clear waters and plenty of interesting biking trails around it. So while this is an already popular destination, its southern part is what’s considered the cherry on the cake.
That’s exactly where you’ll find the Mr. Toad’s Ride, which is indeed very wild since it encompasses 20 miles of advanced single tracking at an elevation of about 6,300 feet. That’s what makes it very technical, therefore more appropriate for experts.
You’ll feel a real adrenaline rush coursing through your veins as you’ll be going downhill as well. Granted, you have to do quite a bit of vertical climbing before that, but once you get to Tucker flat you’re in for a real roller coaster ride. There’s also the Saxon Creek portion with its quite challenging singletrack descent.
All that takes place among the most breathtaking vistas of forested areas and through plenty of meadows. The overall distance is 20 miles, so make sure you get enough water and snacks for the ride.
4. Cache Creek – Game Creek, Wyoming, and Idaho
Traditionally called the Wydaho area, this is where the Jackson area is located. Jackson Hole is remarkable among the nearby Teton Mountains, so that’s another great place if you’re into the thrill of the downhill ride. That’s because these mountains have very abrupt walls, and they’re really huge.
Biking around here is a thing just as of late, though, so the trails are very new and look well and they’re quite diverse from downhill to cross country, to single track. So you can choose your poison, but the trail between Cache Creek and Game Creek is really a game changer.
Apart from the fact that it looks incredible, with amazing views of the massifs, this intermediate 10-mile loop ride runs through a semi-wilderness of immense valleys, and you’ll get to experience an isolated cross-country run.
5. Hangover Trail, Arizona
Located in Sedona, which doesn’t boast as many trails as other regions, the Hangover Trail is one of the few precious gems in this area. That’s because it combines an accessible and technically difficult terrain with its heart-throbbing landscapes with red rocks that will make you think your cycling on Mars.
The vortexes in Sedona look quite eerie too, and the single track trail that stretches on 3 miles can nevertheless be considered for experts only. At 4,400 feet, the Hangover trail is very technical but also very dangerous because of its abrupt rocks and rolling terrain, combined with narrow trails and a massive exposure.
But the views are indeed amazing, considering you’ll go up on a saddle-like formation and then keep riding about 200 feet on the rim of the abrupt canyon. You’ll ride on slick rock for the most part, but there are different sections too like dirt trails, step-ups, roll-off portions and the treacherous off cambers.
The ride of your life
With so many thrilling mountain trails to do on your bike, we’re curious where you’ll be heading next. What trails have you tried so far? What did you love? What did you hate? Leave us a comment and share your story.