Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced downhill dirt-jumper, mountain biking is a fantastic way to get some fresh air and improve your mental and physical health.
The mountain biking industry is expected to see its largest growth ever throughout the next six years. Areas and governments across the country, including the TDS community of St. George, Utah, are planning on expanding their mountain biking networks.
- Gooseberry Mesa — Hurricane, Utah
Within the TDS community of Hurricane, UT, the Gooseberry Mesa National Recreation Trail is located in southern Utah’s red rock country. At an elevation of over 5,000 feet, the views from the mesa rims are spectacular. Rising from the north are the massive sandstone sentinels of Zion National Park, and below the west rim lies a panoramic view of colorful desert mesas and water carved canyons.
A great moderate to intermediate ride, the J.E.M trail is a 21-mile-long trail network in its entirety. Consisting of the Gould Rim, the J.E.M trail, and the Hurricane Rim, the network is chalk full of fast, rolling hills. Start by riding west on the Hurricane Rim, which has the most technical bits and the highest climb. At the top of the climb you will behold amazing views of the canyon and surrounding landscape.
The Virgin River Rim trail is a high-alpine trail in Southwestern Utah. Beginning at the edge of Cedar Mountain, the trail is 32 miles long and traverses through ancient forests, alpine meadows, magnificent pink cliffs, and cascade falls. Despite its length, the single track can be broken into smaller sections and loops. Being situated atop the Colorado Plateau, the majority of the trail resides above 9,000 feet, guaranteeing a nice breeze and beautiful views on a hot summer day.
- Phil’s World — Cortez, Colorado
The Phil’s World trail system sits atop a southwest desert mesa four miles outside the town of Cortez. The area is quite flat, comprised of rolling mesa tops and small, scenic canyons. The mountain biking trails are flow trails, with classic single-track riding along with segments of challenging slickrock. The system is known for its many optimized mountain bike features, like the “Rib Cage”—a flowy rollercoaster-like section with great jumps and berms.
- Crosier Traverse — Estes Park, Colorado
This eight-mile point-to-point ride puts the mountain in mountain biking. One of the more difficult trails to make this list, the Crosier Traverse is a stiff and technical climb followed by an even more technical descent. So, make sure you’re prepared both mentally and physically. The trail is also strikingly beautiful, featuring beautiful wildflowers throughout and awe-inspiring peaks.
- Cedar Creek Spaghetti Bowl — Ruidoso, New Mexico
With over 30 miles of multi-use trails, the Cedar Creek Spaghetti Bowl mountain bike trail is a popular choice for mountain cyclists. Many of the Spaghetti Bowl’s trails lead back to the main trail, giving riders the ability to explore the beautiful terrain of southern New Mexico without fear of getting lost. The area is also very family friendly, with designated picnic and campground areas.
Within the Lincoln National Forest lies the Grindstone Lake Loop—a seven-mile loop trail built for bikers of all ability levels. Despite the easy ratings by bikers, be prepared for some climbing because the area is actually quite elevated. With that being said, there will be many opportunities to take a break and admire the forest tops and bright blue lake below.
By Garrett Seymour, TDS Communications Intern