The ethos behind the Singletracks Trail Database, home to the largest collection of mountain bike trail maps in the world, is that the sum of our collective knowledge is much greater and more powerful than that of just one rider, or even a handful of riders. Since this user-generated trail database has been in existence for over 15 years, we’ve been able to harness the collective knowledge of you, the people.
In order to be as impartial as possible, we’ve long had an automatic algorithm that ranks the best trails in the world, based on the content and reviews that you’ve submitted. And after reading countless lists of the best destinations–lists that we’ve written along with those that have been published by other news outlets and organizations–we wondered if we could apply the same crowd-sourced ethos to destination rankings. After working for months on perfecting the algorithm, we’re excited to announce The Best Mountain Bike Destinations list!
For more detailed information on how this ranking system works and how things can change over time, be sure to check out Jeff’s explanation article. But for now, read on for the top 10 mountain bike destinations, as chosen by the people:
10. Bailey, Colorado
According to the database Bailey is home to 49 trails totaling 555 miles. Top trails include the earliest portions of the venerable Colorado Trail, currently ranked the #1 trail on Singletracks, and the exceedingly-popular go-to Front Range trail system, Buffalo Creek. Buffalo Creek long held the #1 trail spot on Singletracks, and while it’s fallen down the list somewhat, the quality of the riding in Bailey is unquestionably high.
9. Moab, Utah
Really, now… does Moab need an introduction? According to Singletracks Moab boasts at least 31 different trails totaling 500 miles of riding, with the all-time favorite easily The Whole Enchilada trail.
Brevard is a truly epic East Coast destination and is home to at least 38 trails totaling 388 miles of mountain biking. While the top-ranked trail system for Brevard on Singletracks is Dupont State Forest, Brevard is surrounded by a wealth of popular, high-quality trails that could take years to explore.
The Kalispell, Montana area includes the nearby small towns of Whitefish, Bigfork, and more. This area is home to a wealth of rugged Montana mountain biking, with Whitefish leading the way in modern trail development. However, the Beardance trail south of Bigfork is the highest-ranked trail in the area on Singletracks. In total, there’s at least 45 trails totaling 457 miles of mountain biking in the region.
Jackson, Wyoming is no stranger mountain-related top 10 lists of all kinds, and mountain biking is no exception. According to Singletracks, Jackson is home to at least 32 trails totaling 305 miles of riding, with Cache Creek to Game Creek as the stand-out trail.
My hometown of Salida, Colorado graces this list at the number 5 spot, and with more than 75 trails and 528 miles of riding, it’s worthy. Also factor in that one of the most well-known trails in the country, the Monarch Crest, is located in the mountains above town, and you have a mountain bike mecca just begging for your knobbies to explore.
Park City is another destination that needs no introduction. The only gold-level IMBA Ride Center, Park City is home to at least 36 trails and 408 miles of riding, with the Prospector Area the highest-ranked trail system on Singletracks. However, there are tons of other great trails to choose from in Park City–just pick one and start riding!
According to Singletracks, the Winter Park area is home to at least 55 trails and 636 miles of riding. Now, the highest-ranked trail in the area is actually Keystone Resort, but it’s within easy striking distance of downtown Winter Park. If you travel here, be sure to explore the trails right in Winter Park and Granby, but don’t be afraid to hop in the car to drive 10-20 miles to check out some of the other great trails in the region.
Seeing Crested Butte almost at the very top of this list helps further validate my personal claim that CB is the one of the coolest places on the planet I’ve ever visited. And with 86 trails and over 585 miles of riding, there is more exploring to be done here than you could probably do even in a full summer of no work and all riding. Not surprisingly, the top-ranked trail in Crested Butte is Trail 401.
According to Singletracks the Breckenridge area is home to at least 53 trails and 672 miles of mountain biking, with the Peaks Trail claiming the spot of top-ranked trail. Now, we know that there are a lot of Colorado towns on this top 10 list–5, in fact. When we, the editorial team, drafted our own list, all of these Colorado towns and more were mentioned. But we were hesitant to put too many destinations from one state in the top 10 list. However, based on your rankings and these statistics, all of these Colorado towns are clearly worthy of claiming spots among the top mountain bike destinations in the world. While we tried very hard for diversity on our editorial list, it seems that not mentioning some of these Colorado destinations just because they’re within a couple hours of each other does a disservice to mountain bikers everywhere looking to find the very best trails to ride. Clearly Colorado is blessed with a rich hoard of singletrack to explore, so if you haven’t ridden here yet, you’ve gotta make the pilgrimage!
So far, the list displays the top 50 destinations. Here are the runners up in spots 11-20:
|Rank||Destination||Trails within 25 miles||Trail mileage||Must ride|
|11.||Incline Village, NV||25 trails||360 miles||Northstar Resort|
|12.||Telluride, CO||12 trails||176 miles||Hermosa Creek Trail|
|13.||Sun Valley, ID||15 trails||158 miles||Greenhorn Gulch|
|14.||Oakridge, OR||28 trails||295 miles||Alpine Trail|
|15.||Taos, NM||44 trails||331 miles||South Boundary (164)|
|16.||Cle Elum, WA||69 trails||481 miles||Kachess Ridge Loop|
|17.||Eagle, CO||19 trails||206 miles||Commando Run|
|18.||Dahlonega, GA||26 trails||300 miles||Chicopee Woods|
|19.||Steamboat Springs, CO||23 trails||242 miles||CDT / Wyoming Trail #1101: Dumont Lake to Buffalo Pass|
|20.||Boulder, CO||65 trails||530 miles||Hall Ranch|
Your turn: Think your hometown or your favorite destination can stack up against any of the places on this list? Read Jeff’s article for tips on how to help your destination get the attention it deserves!
Last updated 03/06/2015, 3:00pm MST