Thanks to favorable landforms and weather conditions, Utah is perfect for a mountain biking adventure. Although its tried and tested trails are already part of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, there are also newer ones worth trying.
National Geographic Magazine has placed Moab first in their top selection of America’s best mountain bike towns, and for good reason. This town is, of course, renowned for its classic trails, such as The Whole Enchilada, Porcupine Rim and Slickrock. However, a new and lesser-known intermediate-level system has also developed in recent years just north of the town near Klondike Bluffs including the Sovereign and Brand Trails. Park City represents the northern half of the state with trails like the Wasatch Crest and Mid-Mountain Loop, and there are a dozen other mountain biking hot spots with trails that are arguably as fun (and you just might get them to yourself.
The Whole Enchilada gives you a massive survey of Moab mountain biking. It runs almost 33 miles and it’s recommended for advanced riders only. Starting at a whopping altitude of 11,159 feet, the Whole Enchilada takes you through four classic trails of Moab —Hazzard County, Burro Pass, Porcupine and Kokopelli Trail.
From the high alpine plateaus of the La Sal Mountains, you will descend 8,000 feet to the red cliffs of the Colorado River. And if you get tired along the way, you can even take a nap on the shores of Warner Lake. It’s a challenging ride and the change of scenery is breathtaking.
Beginning in the heart of Park City, this 22-mile ride climbs the Spiro Trail, briefly touches upon Powerline Trail, then follows the descent all the way down to Canyons Resort. Bring snacks and extra water. You’ll be out all day on this cross-country ride.
Another highly popular trail in the state, going on Porcupine Rim is a must for die-hard riders. It starts off as a doubletrack in the Sand Flats and transitions to rocky, challenging singletrack in Jackass Canyon, which offers great views as you descend.
You will start seeing the beautiful Colorado River as you make your way towards the parking lot of the Upper Colorado Scenic Byway. Most people use a friend or a shuttle service to drop off/pick up. Riding the highway back to Moab from the parking lot can be a bit scary.
Shared between SLC and Park City, Wasatch Crest is one of the best singletrack trails in Utah. The trail generally extends over 20 miles, but you can start it either at Scotts Pass or at Millcreek Canyon, depending on the level of intensity you are seeking. And for adrenaline junkies, there is another route you can take near Lake Desolation, but be extra careful when crossing its spine.
According to Outside Magazine, Thunder Mountain trail in Panguitch is a great one for intermediate riders looking for the Utah experience outside of Moab or Park City. You can make it a one-way ride that descends 2,000 feet in seven miles, or close the loop and ride along UT-12 (about 16 miles).
Author Bio: Amanda Wilks is a writer, contributing author at www.mountainbikereviewed.com and veteran MTB rider. She is always looking for new and exciting mountain biking destinations. Learn more about Amanda on Twitter