Hello! I’m writing an article on the 10 best mountains to summit with a mountain bike and am looking for some community input. Anything from a small knoll to a jagged South American summit is great as long as there is a ribbon of dirt leading to the top!
Pikes Peak comes to mind, though I haven’t ridden to the top myself. 🙂 At 14,114ft. it is possible to summit on a bike, but not many people choose to do it, or are even capable of doing so. Lemme tell you though, it is a blast going down!
I gotta’ admit, when it comes to summiting major mountains, it’s something I generally do on foot. Or if it’s with the bike, there’s likely to be a shuttle or lift involved.
Good ones I’ve actually earned by my own quad power include:
Bergen Peak, Evergreen CO. This is a Colorado Front Range favorite classic. Many people just do the basic loop and skip the short spur to the peak, but it’s well worth it for the 360 degree views from the top. From the bottom, it’s a long, relentless climb.
Sandia Peak, Albuquerque, NM. On summer weekends, lifts run, but any other time one must earn ones elevation and it’s a pretty tough climb. The view at the top is pretty unique, looking over the entire crest of the Sandia Mountains and the New Mexico desert beyond.
Atayala Peak, Santa Fe, NM. Not a terribly long climb but definitely steep. Very nice trail most of the way in a great pinion-pine forest. Killer views of Northern New Mexico. Best to hit at an off-peak time since it’s so popular with hikers.
Lewis Peak, Ogden, UT. This is a three mile spur off the Southern Skyline trail with a couple killer grunts to get to the summit of Lewis Peak overlooking Ogden and the northern Great Salt Lake Valley. It”s especially tough since the start of the spur comes after 2,800 vertical feet of climbing on the Skyline Trail.
Reddish Knob, Harrisonburg, VA. One of the bigger climbs out east, and a nice long plummet back. Some people shuttle, and some people ride the road up, but a mostly singletrack loop is possible and IMO preferable even if it is a serious grunt to get up.
Here in Orange County, So Cal, a popular destination is Santiago Peak – the highest point in Orange County in the Santa Ana mountains. And you can ride to the actual peak! You can also ride to the second highest peak – Modjeska. A few other peaks in the range are also accessible directly by bike – including Sierra Peak and Los Pinos Peak etc. Others require a HAB and/or bushwack etc. The San Gabriel Mountains similarly have ride access peaks such as Mt Wilson etc. Although I don’t hike much a useful app and website is Peakbagger / peakbagger.com
I’ll prop Los Pinos Peak for having the most technical ways off and no roads. If you’re there, you’re gonna drop LP Ridge, Bell Ridge or Yeager Mesa, all area test pieces. Or you can backtrack and drop Trabuco trail. It’s a unique spot in all of the Santa Anas.