Biking in October/November


Viewing 8 reply threads
  • Author
    • #192507

      Hey there,

      We’re an european couple and we plan to go to the US in October/November for our (long!) honeymoon holidays. Passionate bikers we are, we want to hit the trails in the Western part of the US as much as we can. However, of course, days are getting shorter and temperatures will be dropping. Fruita (CO) seems to “close the season” in the beginning of October, hence: What could you recommend us? Any good spots in that season?



    • #192555

      I know it is not what you were asking, but a good place to mountain bike in Oct/Nov is Florida.  Three of the best places are.

      Santos, central Fl away from big cities.  Near Santos are also San Felasco and IMBA red

      Markham park, Weston FL (Miami/Ft Lauderdale area). Near there are also Virginia Key trails and Amelia Earhart trail.

      Alafia state park, Between Orlando and Tampa/St Pete.  Near there are also Loyce Hapre (Carter Rd) park and Balm Boyette trails.   and I plan to be here in Nov

      Alafia Fat Tire Festival Biking Event
      November 4th, 5th and 6th 2016
      There are also decent trails in the Tallahassee area, Cadillac, Tom Brown, and Red Bug

      and around the Jacksonville/St Augustine area, Graham Swamp, Mala Compra, Hanna Park, Ft Clinch,


      Obviously we don’t have any serious downhill but we have smooth flowing trails and hard technical trails, and warm weather in the fall, warm enough you may be able to catch some beach time between riding.


      If you should decide on Florida, let me know.

    • #192562

      I plan on being here in Nov

      Alafia Fat Tire Festival Biking Event
      November 4th, 5th and 6th 2016

    • #192566

      It might be too late for most of Colorado. Check Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada trails. not too hot and trails are amazing

    • #192612

      Hey there,

      Many thanks for your answers!
      Wow – and I was thinking Florida is nothing but swamps and alligators. Nice trails there. Thanks, Alvin!

      We will rather head to the West, that’s pretty for sure. So is there anyone who can recommend nice singletracks with climbs (yes, we rarely shuttle) and nice trails with constant slope and lot of flow in AZ/NV?


    • #192729

      I’ve travelled a lot, including Europe. Moab and Fruita will still be in play for riding. So will fantastic and lesser known St George, Utah with nearby Zion National Park, Gooseberry Mesa and more. Thunder Mountain and Bryce NP on the way. Southward into Arizona and New Mexico gives you many options. October Flagstaff should still be good by November focus on beautiful Sedona and so much more around Phoenix and Tucson with the Black Canyon Trail on the way. Gold Canyon Trails east of Phoenix is my favorite there. My home, Tucson has many great trails. Try 50 Year Trail and if you like tech descents Milagrosa Trail. Add pretty Bug Springs to lengthen the ride. The Arizona Trail runs near town, 810 miles long with many great sections.

      There’s plenty in California but only ridden a few there and it’ll be too late for Downieville and it’s 5000′ descents or Lake Tahoe. You’d stay near the coast where my riding knowledge is limited to a few trails. Noble Canyon near San Diego is great but riding is more restricted in many costal areas in California. Still many trails. San Francisco (my favorite city) has choices at Santa Cruz, China Camp near Fairfax, Co, Annadel and Coe State Parks and more as you head east towards the Sierras, where it’ll be chilly.

      Been a hiking and MTB guide, know many trails thru out the west. There are many years worth of trails to explore in the west.

    • #192817

      I agree with Abe

      Most of the American Southwest is prime in October/November.  As others have noted, most of Colorado may be out of play by then, but Fruita should still be on tap.

      In Utah, that’s a good time for Moab and St George/Hurricane.  St George is still a bit warm for my taste in Oct, but by Nov, it’s pretty sweet.

      In AZ, Flagstaff should be good to go in Oct but may become iffy in Nov, when it’s time to move on to Phoenix and Tucson.

      In NV, there are a few good systems outside Las Vegas.  Again, still hot in Oct but pretty nice come Nov.

      If you’re looking for a place with great (entertaining singletrack) climbs, it’s hard to beat Albuquerque.  The Sandia and Manzanita Mountains have many great routes.  Look up Otero/Tunnel Canyon, 10K trail, and Faulty Trail.  Santa Fe and Taos are just up the road.  It is best to hit Santa Fe and Taos a little earlier (Oct) due to elevation and because the Aspens are beautiful.  From Albuquerque, it’s not to far of a drive into AZ.


      In Utah, that time of year also gives you options.  Start in Cedar City when it’s warmer and move down to St George as things cool off.  St George is also a day trip away from Vegas and the trails there.



    • #192948

      You guys are awesome! Many, many thanks for your feedback and hints!

      We will have to adapt our routing a little bit 😉

      Currently, what we plan is following: Denver (Airport)-> Fruita (CO, 5-8 days of biking) -> Hop over Arches NP & co. (hiking) -> Bryce Canyon NP & Zion NP (hiking) -> Maybe 2-3 days of biking in St. George -> North Rim (hiking, if still open) -> Sedona (3-5 days of biking) -> (Phoenix for biking?) -> Vegas (North Las Vegas seems to have 2-3 nice trails) -> SoCal -> SF

      Albuquerque seems to be the place to be what concerns CC MTBiking. It almost hurts not to go there (oh, those pictures on Google!!), but it doesn’t suit our E->W routing 🙁 Another time? Unless somebody of you out there have a good trick to include that region there into our route?

      We just hope to have enough clothes and insulation matresses for camping in Fruita / Bryce Canyon / North Rim in October. May get fairly cold if I interpret the climatic information correctly… 😉


      • #193016


        Sounds like your plan is taking shape.  Should be a great trip!

        Some additional ideas based on your current itinerary:

        1.  Fruita is fantastic, but 8 days is a bit much for the area.  Since it’s only 1.5 hrs from Fruita to Moab, make sure you get in some Moab riding as well.  Also, most of Fruita is desert.  If you’re looking for some variety, there are great trails in the mountains above Fruita which will give you some more mileage and good climbs.

        Fruita’s three main trail networks are:

        a.  Kokopelli area — about 40 miles total of trails in a compact, easily navigable network.  Everything from fast and flowy to outrageously technical.  It’s easy to mix and match a route to your personal tastes.

        b.  18 Road — all fast and flowy.  Not a whole lot of technical.  Also an easily navigable network and you can do multiple laps on parallel trails until your legs protest or you run out of daylight

        c.  Lunch Loops (actually adjacent to Grand Junction, 8 miles from Fruita–as short a drive as 18 road) — Another compact network with many miles and many options.  This is my personal favorite, mostly because it has by far the highest concentration of technical riding.  Holy Cross Trail is one of the all-time best technical rides.

        Also, if you like ledgy, techy riding, be sure to hit the Palisade Rim in the next town over from Grand Junction.

        If it’s hot, head for the trails in the Uncompaghre Plateau or the Grand Mesa, which are higher in elevation and cooler than the valley.  Over The Edge Sports in Fruita can get you all the info you need to find and enjoy them.

        Moving on from Fruita to Utah:

        If you’re heading to the St George area, stop near Bryce Canyon and ride the Thunder Mountain Trail.  This area has the orange hoodoos like in Bryce but is outside the park and is bike legal.  It may ill be the most unique and amazing scenery you’ll ever see on a bike.  The trail itself is also quite good.

        You should easily be able to fill 3 days of riding around St George.  The absolute must ride is Gooseberry Mesa.  Also excellent is Little Creek Mountain and Guacamole Trail.  If you want some miles with a good climb, head for the Santa Clara Preserve and be sure to ride the Suicidal Tendencies trail.  Check out my article on Guacamole and Suicidal here:

        Spring Break Singletrack Trek, The Sequel, Part 4: Holy Guacamole, Batman, it’s Suicidal Tendencies!

        Regarding the North Rim — There is also a stellar bike trail on the North Rim.


        Sedona is perfect for 3 – 5 days of cycling, especially that time of year.  For tech, do any of the 3 Hs (Hangover, Highline, Hogs).  For more mileage and XC, head for Llama or Chuckwagon and all it’s connecting routes.

        Phoenix for riding?  Definitely!  Here’s a couple more articles to whet your appetite:

        Spring Break Singletrack Trek, Part II: Phoenix Phun, Phase One

        Spring Break Singletrack Trek, Part III: Phoenix Phun Phase Two

        Albuquerque has awesome riding, but it’t a good chunk out of your way.  You shouldn’t feel bad about missing it based on your proposed itinerary.  As great as Albuquerque is, you simply can’t beat Fruita/Moab/Sedona/St George/Phoenix.  I have ridden all the great destinations in the Western US, and those are my all time favorites.

        On your swing into Southern California, you may want to look into Idyllwild.  They have stellar trails there.

    • #193280

      I have only ridden Bootleg Canyon and Bristlecone Pine Trail near Las Vegas. Bristlecone is high elevation where’s there’s skiing so a summer ride. Bootleg is a tech fest with the easiest trail there Girlscout a lot of fun. Boyscout is almost twice as tough. The tech level climbs to serious downhill on some. I didn’t ride Caldera, the long cross country trail.  Free old bus shuttle when I rode it. Please tip the driver.

      Here in Tucson 50 Year Trail network is great. Bug Springs (8 miles long) and below Milagrosa (10) if you want to up the tech. Arizona Trail is fun, my grunt it favorite the AZT/ATV section. Large, expanding network north of 50 Year at the Tortolita Mountains. If you can afford the Ritz Carlton there’s one at a trailhead of the mountain, Dove Mountain. Only 700m rise in this range while the Catalinas where Bug Springs Trail is are 2000m above Tucson. Tucson Mountains have many Trails. Sweetwater and Robles Pass are both fun sections, Robles having a wider range of difficulty, both saguaro forest desert rides.

      Be sure to bring more water than you are used to drinking in the western US desert air!

Viewing 8 reply threads

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.