Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction
Photo from Nate Hills’s Lunch Loops video.
Closest Singletrack: Lunch Loops / Tabeguache Trail System, 3.9mi
Of all the schools on this list, Colorado Mesa University (CMU) may have the best access to year-round mountain biking, thanks to the incredible low-desert riding found in the greater Grand Valley, including Grand Junction, Fruita, and Loma, as well as Moab just an hour and a half away. In fact, the mountain biking in the Grand Valley is so good that it recently made our list as one of the top 10 mountain bike destinations in the United States, period!
If you’re looking to make a name as a collegiate mountain bike racer, CMU is the perfect place to do it. In 2016 they ranked fourth overall in USA Cycling’s (USAC) Collegiate Division I (including all cycling disciplines). The other top-ranked collegiate racing teams on this list interestingly all come from extremely tiny schools, so if having a broader social pool to draw from is important to you, then Mesa’s 11,000 students will sound much more attractive than the likes of Fort Lewis and Lees-Mcrae. To help you afford tuition, cycling scholarships are available on a case-by-case basis.
You can pursue a wide range of studies at CMU, from business to art and everything in between. Check out their catalog of academic programs for more information.