I have a few week-ish long breaks this summer, and am trying to figure out a mtb type of road trip (one trip will be north with the family, and one will be solo with a few friends to wherever in late June). We live in Fort Collins Co., and as I don’t normally have a ton of free time I really want to maximize both trips. My wife would like our family road trip to also include Glacier and Yellowstone, but outside of that, I have permission to largely suggest any other destination.
Wondering if folks out there have a few hidden (not so hidden) gems they would like to share.
First, for one of your already planned trips, be sure to bring your bike on the Yellowstone/Glacier run. There is tons of outstanding riding around and between those two destinations.
As for your core question, here’s a few suggestions for your remaining week:
1. South Dakota Black Hills. You want hidden gems? This is the place. Hundreds of miles of excellent singletrack from all-day cross country rides to some fun gnarly stuff as well. There’s plenty of non-biking things to do as well.
2. Durango/Telluride/Cortez. Lots of great rides both famous and hidden. Absolutely killer scenery.
3. Flagstaff/Sedona/Prescott. Sedona can be hot in the summer, so it’s best to get out on the trails early–but there’s the best scenery in all of mountain bike land and the trails are unique, varied and always entertaining. If it’s hot, Mt Elden above Flagstaff has enough altitude to get you above the heat and it also has many miles of grade-A singletrack. Prescott has miles upon miles of rarely ridden, but excellent trails. Prescott can also get hot. Best to do this run early summer or late summer. Avoid mid-June through mid-August.
4. If you have the time to range further, consider Tahoe and/or Downieville. Unique, gorgeous, and loaded with awesome trails.
Of course, there are plenty of great rides between Ft. Collins and each of these destinations, so you can also hit some excellent singletrack on your way to and from.
Hey John, I was actually going to msg you directly as you know so much about mtb trails in CO and beyond. Thanks so much for the suggestions. What do you recommend in WY and MT specifically? We will probably do some sort of loop that includes those 2 states, as it so easy to dip into WY from NoCo.
thanks a ton for you help.
I’m planning on a southern loop at some point this summer, and the Dakotas are definately on my radar.
Montana is a huge state so it’s hard to make recommendations without further info. So you’re looking at going to Glacier. There’s a number of ways of doing that. Are you looking to pick a route and then seek rides along the way or are you looking to find the best rides and then build a route around them? Either way works well, depending on your priorities.
If you have a route in mind, let me know. If you want to know what the best rides are that can built into a route, I can offer some ideas there as well. No matter what route you choose, there will be amazing options, including both world famous ones and some fantastic hidden gems. Lemme’ know your pref and then I’ll share some ideas.
Thanks John! We have 2 weeks-ish and I know my wife is hoping to do Yellowstone and Glacier, so will probably do some sort of loop that incorporates those 2 parks. We will definitely try and stay on the less busy sides as we know with RMNP, the west side is very very different from Estes park.
We are really open to routes and itinerary’s. Of course, I’m always looking to combine riding and family activities, camping, etc. as much as possible. Thankfully, we live in a region where family activities, trails, breweries, camping is all part of the culture. 🙂