5 Mountain Biking Trails with Stunning Scenery in the USA

5 Mountain Biking Trails with Stunning Scenery in the USA

By Zygmunt Spray

Cycling is a great way to get around cheaply and sustainably, but often it’s best left to those cities that have good infrastructure. If you’re out hiking, and want to kick up the fun level, a mountain bike may be the answer.

Just add a dedicated trail suited to your difficulty level, a little safety gear, and a beautiful landscape, and you’ve got yourself an exciting, breathtaking and enjoyable way to get deeper into nature than you can on foot.

Listed here are just a few of the thousands of amazing mountain biking centers and trails throughout the USA that get you out into the great landscape of America.

Kanab, Utah

Kanab is the perfect place to base for a mountain biking trip. In close proximity to this beautiful historic town, with lots of dining options, there is Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park.

Spectacular views across the red desert of Utah are a fantastic backdrop for you to ride trails of varying difficulty. Hire a “fat bike” with enormous tires for more fun and ease in the more sandy areas of the trail. The Virginia River Rim trail is a standout for its views, but expect a longer ride with a fair amount of climbing. Hopefully you’ll agree that the views are worth it!

Backbone Trail: Malibu, California

Not far out from the urban metropolis of Los Angeles, in the Santa Monica Mountains, you’ll find this trail, which provides beautiful views of mountains and the Pacific Ocean with cityscapes in the distance. The backbone trail has sections that are walking paths, but it still leaves many miles for riding through some of the most beautiful scenery in southern California.

Crested Butte, Colorado

This is a serious mountain biking destination. Considered as one of the birthplaces of mountain biking, it now offers trails for all abilities as well as a fantastic town for the evenings and for those who prefer to enjoy the views with a beer in hand. Trail-401 goes for 14 miles, taking in wildflower meadows and epic scenery from the top of the climb.

Black Canyon Trail, Arizona

Just 22 miles from Phoenix, you’ll find Black Canyon. This area has great trails traversing dusty and rocky paths through Arizona’s desert. Huge cactuses dot the trail and wildflowers cover the plains during spring, making this a very picturesque place to cycle.

The Little Pan Loop is the most popular section of Black Canyon National Recreation Trail, which covers 79 miles. But “little” doesn’t do this trail full justice; it’s long at 24 miles and usually hot, so bring plenty of water and avoid the spiky cactuses!

McKenzie River Trail, Oregon

The McKenzie River Trail in Willamette National Forest is a marathon ride; it’s 26 miles point-to-point. It can be ridden in a multitude of different ways depending on the difficulty you take the most pleasure in. The hard way is to ride it out and back, (yes, that will have you riding a total of 52 miles!), but the less stressful way is to hitch a ride to the top (offered by local bike shops), and then enjoy a mostly downhill ride that follows the river. Make sure to savor the serene Tamolitch Pool.

Published: 12/16/2015

Zygmunt, or "Ziggy" to family and all of you friends, travels the world, breathing visual storytelling. He lives behind a camera lens capturing the inexpressible moments that, in summation, become our life's story and a larger narrative on the human experience. He started The Wayward Post with Christina to share amazing travel photography and to inspire other people to travel and do good in the world.

When he's not behind a camera, you'll find him moving to a spot... where he'll then use his camera. Indulge yourself in his beautiful work at  Zygmunt Spray Photography and 500px. Follow him on Twitter.