Best MTB retirement community?

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    • #203200

      I got an email recently asking what the best MTB retirement community is. While I know what the best mountain bike destinations in the nation are, if you consider the factors that make for a good place to retire, let me pose the question to you:

      What do YOU think are the best places to retire and have top-notch mountain biking? 

    • #203204

      These spring to mind:

      1.  Sedona, if you can afford it.  If not, go a few miles down the road to Cottonwood which is much more affordable and an easy drive to Sedona.   You extensive networks of world class singletrack and slickrock, rideable pretty much year round.   Shady sides get a little icy in midwinter, but at that point, all the great riding around Phoenix is an easy day trip.  Conversely, it can get a bit hot midsummer, but you can just ride early in the day, or head up to Flagstaff and hit cooler temps at altitude on Mt Elden.

      Arizona is rated #9 for best states for retirees based on a combination of cost of living, taxes, community well being, health care, and crime rate.

      2.  St George or Cedar City, Utah.  St George is vicious hot in the summer, so if you can’t stand the heat, settle in Cedar City a little further north and a little higher in altitude.   Both locations if you immediate access to an outstanding array of sintgetrack and rock, and are within an easy day trip of each other.

      Utah is rated #4 for retirees.

      3.  If you don’t mind some winter, Rapid City, SD is a great option.  the Black Hills have endless miles of outstanding singletrack to explore and few people to share them with.

      South Dakota is rated #2 for retirees.

      4.  I have to put in a plug for my hometown, Colorado Springs.  As good a combination of quality, quantity, and variety of singletrack as you’ll find anywhere.  We get some real winter, but we also get warm spells in the winter that dry things out, giving us almost year round riding.  Also, within an easy day trip of dozens of other world class routes like Buffalo Creek and Monarch Crest, and complete destinations like Breckenridge.  Weekend trips to the likes of Fruita, Moab, Crested Butte, Vail, Winter Park, Steamboat, Durango and many more less famous but equally excellent destinations.

      Colorado is ranked #3 for retirees.

      5. If you’re looking for lots of miles to play on, but don’t need tons of gnar around every corner, Boise looks like a good prospect.  A hundred+ miles right on the city edge, and the lower elevations stay pretty dry most of the year.

      Idaho is ranked #7 for retirees.

      6.  Santa Fe if you can afford it, otherwise Albuquerque.  Tons of wicked-good singletrack and tons of culture and great food.  Long riding season.

      At #30, New Mexico isn’t a top prospect for retirees, but the food, weather and singletrack are all so good, I still put this on my short list.

      • #232195

        +vote for the Santa Fe suggestion!  Or, Taos (not far from Santa Fe).  Great mountain biking, and wicked awesome food.  Both somewhat away from the masses, but close enough to Albuquerque for modern technology and shopping, as well as medical requirements of a retiree.  And some year ’round golf to boot.

        Another often forgotten area… Northwest Arkansas.  A lot of good year ’round rides there, including some longer epic rides (The Womble, Ouachita, Buffalo).   Fairly cheap (and remote if you want it) living there, with Lafayette close enough for modern stuff and medical needs.  Great boating and fishing too for the retiree, as well as golf.

    • #203205

      And if you can’t stand cold winters, consider the Gainesville or Tampa areas. Housing is pretty affordable and you can stake out a spot near Santos or Alafia/Balm Boyette.

      I also know a number of retirees are choosing the Hendersonville/Asheville, NC area. The winters are fairly mild and it’s adjacent to the Pisgah National Forest.

      • #203304

        That would be the fishhawk neighborhood in Lithia FL,, just a couple miles from Alifia, that is where one of  my best friends retired to from Seattle. And who I visit and ride with a lot.

    • #203315

      I love riding in Northern Wisconsin. The CAMBA trails outside of Hayward are awesome and there is a vibrant fat bike community that grooms the trails for snow. Riding a groomed single track at night on a fat bike is really a unique experience. In a perfect world though, I would head down south during the winter. I am new to biking and would love some warm  weather winter options…some good ideas here. Thanks.

    • #203664

      I agree with David and Alvin.  Retire to Santos or Alafia/Balm for the winter (affordable area of Florida but close enough to theme parks, Tampa and beaches so the grandchildren won’t hesitate to visit) and then Northern Wisconsin and Camba in the summer which is also affordable, has lots to do when you’re not riding and is close enough to other awesome trails if you get bored (Cuyuna, Duluth, Copper Harbor, etc.)  And the riding is mostly retiree-age appropriate.  My parents do this for golf, but I take advantage of the riding.

      That’s pretty much my plan…in 25 or so years.

    • #203703

      I can concur with John that Cottonwood is a great place to retire for biking.  Positive community, still inexpensive, affordable housing, great weather, tons of riding within a half hour (including Sedona), Flagstaff is a 45 minute gorgeous drive, Prescott and Black Canyon are about an hour.

      • #231864

        I would add Northern Cal (like Eureka/Chico) and Sparks (Reno) to the list.

        Once you’re north of Sonoma County in Northern Cal, the cost of living is reasonable, you have good weather, access to health services, and plenty of mountain biking.

        Sparks/Reno would be another consideration.  Low cost of living, good weather, local airport, mountain biking, boating, skiing all nearby.

      • #231878

        Western Slope of CO.

    • #232068

      NorCal for retirees? This state is one of the absolute worst for retirees with all the taxes and will only be getting worse in the future.

      Florida? Alligators is every body of water, disgusting humidity and just because you’re on a bike on dirt doesn’t making it MOUNTAIN biking.

      I think John had the right idea in Northern AZ. I don’t know if I’d want to ride Sedona rock every day but Prescott is mellower in general, has more variety, a Costco and Trader Joe’s and the median age is like 56… it’s already a retiree haven.





      • #232174

        Prescott,or western Co.

        Just what mtnryder said.Want to ride year round?Trails behind your house?Moto?Moab ,Durango 1 day drive.

        Bring your kids and girlfriend.The smart ones will love it

    • #232197

      I agree with western slope of co. Nothing beats easy access to moab and co trails, most if not all within half a days’ drive. And winter isn’t too bad on that side of the rockies.

    • #232411

      Things to consider when choosing a retirement location:

      1. Health care services and cost

      2. Housing and other cost of living

      3. Weather

      4. Crime rate

      5.  Recreation availability

      I haven’t studied these factors thoroughly but who wants to retire and not travel?

      My retirement has consisted of Florida in the cooler months,  living just a few miles from multiple THs of the Santos network. Once the temps heat up I head to Oregon where the diversity of the trails there and across the state line in Washington are quite amazing.


    • #236281

      Bradington just South of Tampa……NO state income tax, and great Single tracks.  Fishing, sun, horse country, and MTBing….what more can you ask for?  Football and Hockey!

    • #595141

      Resurrecting this thread:

      Ideally, it would be nice to live there is also access to winter skiing. As another suggestion is Killington VT, which has a great bike park and ski mountain (for the east coast anyway)  Trying to find the list that John Fisch referred to in his ranking of best retirement states. So many lists of this type are vastly different. Colorado seems like it would be nice but it seems the whole country is moving there right now.

    • #595574

      Cost of housing in CO and UT have gone up a lot since this thread started.  I think that is because all the people CA fleeing the high cost of living.

      One thing about retirement is that my old body does not tolerate getting beat up as good as it used to.  I don’t think that will improve as I age. Tame trails will probably be just as good for me.  I may need to retire to the Van Life,  then you can go anywhere the wind blows


    • #595608

      Rio Verde AZ, borders Tonto National Forest and has a trailhead for McDowell Mountain Regional Park in the community. With Quick access to Hwy 87, you can be in Payson in an hour and on the Mogollon Rim in 90 minutes. Sedona is 2 hours and skiing in Flagstaff is 3 hours.

      With McDowell Mountain Park, which encompasses the East side of the McDowell’s and the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve covering the West side of the mountains there hundreds of miles of top notch MTB trails and excellent hiking.

      The weather allows year round riding and hiking thru the beautiful Sonoran Desert. Fountain Hills is 8 miles away with 2 good bike shops and a Starbucks, you can camp in McDowell Mountain Park.

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