January 29, 2020 at 9:19 pm #304459
<p style=”text-align: left;”>Where in the US do you recommend for a family vacation including teens who are MTB beginners?
Our Criteria: trails that go both up and down, gear rental, warmish weather in March, good basic or better restaurants and lodging under 30 minute drive from trails. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!</p>
January 29, 2020 at 10:31 pm #304469
Mountain Bike Radio just did a 6 part podcast series on Park City Utah, sounds awesome and has everything you are looking for. The most recent episode he was talking about the trails with some beginners, who were good critics from Europe, giver it a listen. It will give you a feel for the place. It definitely makes my short list. Not sure about March though
January 29, 2020 at 10:54 pm #304475
Park City is awesome, but you’re more likely to snowboard there in March.
Go to Sedona. It ticks off everything on your list. The kids can ride Big Park Loops and Bell Rock Pathway, and you can hit Slim Shady and Templeton.
January 30, 2020 at 11:02 am #304507
Fruita (18 Rd), Grand Junction, Koko (Mary’s, Rustlers) area are also some places to checkout.
January 30, 2020 at 3:48 pm #304526
Mountain biking in March can be hit or miss in many parts of the country. It would be wise to watch the weather and plan a backup location if possible.
- Arizona is probably the safest bet. Sedona and Tucson are both good choices.
- California is another good choice. I really like Santa Cruz, but there may be better options in March. I have made a few trips to California and it can be a little tricky trying to figure out where to ride.
- Colorado weather is a crapshoot in March so planning a trip here could be risky. Salida and Fruita/Grand Junction are both awesome and your best bets for ridable trails at that time of year.
- The South should have some great riding in March, but you will want to keep an eye on spring rains. Asheville, Chattanooga, and Bentonville would all be fun destinations.
January 30, 2020 at 6:29 pm #304531
January 31, 2020 at 2:49 pm #304600
Florida, Santos in Ocala FL (the OMBA Fat Tire Festival is March 6-7-8), Alafia river state park near Litha FL (an hour or so from Disney), or Markham Park near Miami FL, depending on what you want to be doing when not biking.
Or if you are looking for a little more adrenaline you could try Spider Mountain and the other trails around Burnet TX.
February 3, 2020 at 2:39 pm #304970
A few opinions from me: I love Sedona, but there isn’t much quantity for MTB beginners – if they have the patience for a fair amount of hike-and-bike, then yes, do it for the scenery. If you think they might get frustrated, I would point you to either Bentonville (Slaughter Pen, Blowing Springs, and maybe a few runs on the easier Coler DH run) or Phoenix/Tucson – Brown’s Ranch and McDowell Mountain Park in Phoenix, Sweetwater and Fantasy Island in Tucson. And I agree the best bet in Colorado that time of year is Fruita (Kokopelli area and 18Rd) and Grand Junction. Good luck!
February 6, 2020 at 10:05 am #305192
I would highly recommend northwest Arkansas (commonly thought of as Bentonville). March is a perfect time to ride here. There are tons of trails for all skill levels, ridable in all weather conditions. You can even rent a house in Bella Vista with the trails literally out your front/back door (The Back 40, Little Sugar), or find a hotel or rental in downtown Bentonville that lets you take a super short ride to the trails (Slaughter Pen). Rent from Phat Tire Bike Shop, they’re the best, and right next to the trails with locations in Bentonville, Springdale, Rogers, and Fayetteville.
If you venture out from Bentonville a bit there are great places like Hobbs State Park and its new Monument Trail (plus a great visitor’s center and hiking trails), the Jones Center in Springdale, which has the largest pump track in North America as well as a super-fun skills course, and Kessler Mountain in Fayetteville, which features great rugged singletrack just a few minutes from downtown. If you want downhill, Lake Leatherwood in Eureka Springs (less than an hour away) hosted a stop of the Enduro World Series last year. And then, of course, there’s the Razorback Greenway and the paved trails in the area, perfect for leisurely riding or getting somewhere by bike.
There are great restaurants in Bentonville and Fayetteville, and fun non-bike stuff as well like the Scott Family Amazeum and the Arkansas-Missouri Railroad. It’s a generally affordable area, and the airport is small and friendly, and a short drive to Bentonville.
I’m biased, because I live in NWA, but I think it’d be a great family MTB destination.
February 6, 2020 at 8:00 pm #305228
Outdoormom- How beginner? In great shape, good shape. or out of shape? Is riding the priority?
Hard to argue with Sedona- not a beginner friendly destination, but enough for a few days. If you are in good shape and on the top of the beginner scale, this would be a great choice.
Colorado/Fruita would be my top choice, but March is our wettest month and makes it a high risk choice.
Bentonville’s weather should be perfect, lots of great riding for all levels.
All have plenty!
All 3 have great food choices, but Fruita would be limited if staying for a longer period of time (Grand Junction is not too far). Sedona and Bentonville are basically loaded with choices near by.
My choice would be Sedona.
Hope you have a great trip!
February 9, 2020 at 3:21 pm #305314
I personally have never been to Bentonville and do plan to go, but March when the average high is 59, and the average low is 35 does not seem like perfect riding weather to me.
February 10, 2020 at 6:11 pm #305400
Well, it’s really going to depend on the week. We had a 73-degree day a couple of weeks ago, in January—rode Slaughter Pen in Bentonville and it felt like early summer. March is generally warm enough to not have to worry about layering, and sure beats July/August, when it’s super hot and humid.
I honestly find high-50s to be just about right. Not much sweat, and a long-sleeve shirt is all I need.
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