Top 5 Mountain Bike Areas

Top 5 Mountain Bike Areas

By Jake Wilhelmsen
August 10, 2017

Don't make mountain biking Utah's awesome trails one of those things you know you ought to do but never get around to. (See also "Spiral Jetty," "Natural History Museum of Utah," and “Capitol Reef.") Every part of the state has unique trails - red rock and single track and downhill and low rollers - so ride the one closest to home and then plan a trip to one or two others.

5. Salt Lake City

Mountain Biking at Snowbird

Mountains Built Like Castles. just invented a mnemonic to help you memorize Salt Lake's canyons, from north to south - Millcreek, Big Cottonwood, Little Cottonwood, Corner Canyon. Now bike them. Bike them all. Great ski mountains make for great riding in the summer, and you don't get so many resorts this close together anywhere else in the country.

4. Antelope Island

Weird, salty and desolate. There are about nine reasons no one ever settled Antelope Island, but it makes for a fun ride. Breeze across the utterly flat 7-mile causeway and climb to the island's bony crest for a saline panorama. Good for families and casual riders. Don't pet the buffalo.

3. Park City

Chris Akrigg riding trails at Deer Valley, Utah.

More ski resort biking, but these trails are about 10 degrees cooler than the ones in Salt Lake. See when the chairlifts are running and practice not breaking your neck riding downhill all day. Park City has 150 miles of public trails so if you can't find a ride that suits you, maybe take up a different hobby.

2. Slick Rock

Mark Field mountain biking the slickrock of Bartlett Wash, Moab, Utah, United States

It's important that everyone rides Slickrock.

1. Gooseberry Mesa

Brendan Gecik rides the North Rim Trail on Gooseberry Mesa just west of Zion National Park, Utah

Marking an evolution (or sub-genre) of mountain biking, Gooseberry Mesa is the new hot spot for trick riding and extreme maneuvers. Riders dress up in riot gear and treat the buttes, tubs, basins, and ledges more like a skate park than a traditional bike trail. This may not be the place to start if you're dusting off your bike to see if you still know how to ride.

Travel Tip: Be prepared

Here's the low-hanging fruit of bike safety/prep. And if you forget, there's nothing like carrying your bike with a flat tire back to the car to help you remember the next time.

  • Wear a helmet. This one's so dumb/important/obvious it comes before
  • Check your tires before you ride. Read the sidewall for a proper tire pressure range. Skew softer if you're a lightweight.
  • Bring an extra tube and a hand pump. Squeeze it and go with your gut.
  • Don't stare at your front tire as you ride or you'll run into a buffalo.