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Bellingham, Washington

Overlooking Bellingham from Galbraith Mountain. Photo: Vik Approved, via Flickr Creative Commons

Overlooking Bellingham from Galbraith Mountain. Photo: Vik Approved, via Flickr Creative Commons

Pinning down exactly how many miles of legal mountain bike trails are in Bellingham, WA  is tricky, as many trails fall in a legal gray zone. However, Bellingham locals are working to legalize many of the illicit lines, and even without those trails they can already claim over 100 miles of close-to-town singletrack.

The Bellingham trail network is anchored by the Galbraith Mountain Trail System, which is home to a whopping 64 miles of mountain biking on its own! The riding in this area is classic Pacific Northwest, so expect wet trails, deep forests, and tons of technical features–from jump sets, to drops, to skinnies, and everything in between.

On top of a wealth of singletrack, Bellingham claims “great local shops for demos, three manufacturers (including Kona and Transition), 10 breweries, greenway trails that connect all over town,” and more, according to local Eric Brown.

Photo: Jason Matkowski

Photo: Jason Matkowski

Must-Ride Trails:

Beer:

Bike Shops:

Your Turn: Know of a world-class mountain bike destination in the US that didn’t make it on either of our lists? Let us know in the comments section below!

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# Comments

  • k2rider

    Wait a tic….I could be mistaken in my old age but wasn’t Breckenridge hailed as THE top spot in another article just a month or two ago? Now it makes the list of the NEXT 10 places to ride instead of being THE place to ride. I remember that article because it surprised me as I don’t know a single soul that has ridden at Breck or even suggested a road trip with break being the destination. I admit I can never figure out how you come up with these lists anyway. I know for me that while the town itself isn’t anything fantastic (at least it isn’t uppity Bend), OAKRIDGE definitely should be in anybodys FIRST top 10 riding areas to check out as the riding there is top notch!!

  • azdb

    RE Matthew at North Shore comment….you just described my perfect riding scenario……..wow……no doubt there is sort of west centric bias. I am from AZ, 40+ years now, Ill never leave and have tons of riding near including Sedona area, but I have to someday go east for a trip, Arkansas has been an intrigue, but what you described is my ideal setting. Urban commute to trail system and water to boot….Awesome.

  • k2rider

    Yeah, that was the Breckenridge reference I was referring to. If it’s the #1 MTB destination in the WORLD, I would still expect it to make the top of the list in the USA as well….rather than “the next 10” list. Not that it matters anyway, I appreciate the articles as they keep me motivated to keep reaching out to try new areas. I’m be ticking Crested Butte, Downieville and Tahoe off my list this Summer.

  • Bentjammer

    Stokesville, Virginia is home of the Shenandoah Mountain 100. Local to Harrisonburg which is home of the Massanutten Hoo-Ha and Tour de Burg. Some nice technical east coast rocks and roots if you like that sort of thing.

    • Dylan Judy

      Agree with Bentjammer! Stokesville is great… there are some incredible and quite technical trails in the Shenandoah valley between Winchester and Harrisonburg VA. If you want very technical, check out Elisabeth Furnace near Strasburg VA.

  • Whistlepig

    Bellingham is definitely worthy of the list although I’m a bit surprised since it’s not really on a lot people’s radar as a destination. It can certainly be a very demanding place to ride when wet and can be tough in the dry too. Lots of good beer, a very strong community mountain biking vibe, easy trail access, and wicked fun trails are in store for visitors.

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