University of Utah, Salt Lake City
I have long claimed that Salt Lake City provides the best access to the mountains for both mountain biking and skiing of any major city in the United States. Anyone who’s ridden there tends to agree with me, which is why it joined Albuquerque on the list of the top 10 MTB cities in the nation.
As I was researching this list of schools, the University of Utah was recommended by numerous people. Only when I began to dig into the trail access from campus did I realize how superb the University of Utah’s location is. The Bonneville Shoreline Trail (BST), which runs along the base of the mountains near Salt Lake City for over 100 miles, is directly accessible from campus. From the BST you can connect into an entire network of trails spreading up into the mountains, anchored by the popular Bobsled descent.
And don’t get me started on all of the other trails in the area: Park City is just 40 minutes up the canyon, while Moab and the rest of the Utah desert are located just 3-4 hours to the south… the list could go on and on.
The University of Utah offers more than 80 undergraduate majors, and “dozens of our academic programs – from computer science to psychology to physics to dance (to name a few) – rank in the top 100 by U.S. News & World Report,” according to the University. More info is available here. As an added bonus, according to Singletracks member Nick Hepler, “it’s affordable and allows out of state students to pay the in-state tuition rate after one year.”