It’s the middle of March, and cabin fever is afflicting mountain bikers all across the United States. Thankfully, if you want to escape the vice-like grip of snow and cold temperatures, there are plenty of places to catch some rays and roll on dry dirt.
Here are 13 fantastic choices for a spring mountain bike getaway:
Average temps: March: high of 79, low of 52. April: high of 84, low of 56.
Marquee ride: Santos.
Ocala, aka the home of Santos, is the perfect place for a spring break mountain bike trip. There are enough trails at Santos to keep you entertained for days on end! And whether your prefer cross country or freeride, there’s something for everyone. Also, since you’re in Florida soaking in the sunshine, if you want to add in some classic spring break time on the beach, that’s not far away, either.
While the annual Santos Fat Tire Festival has already passed, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to plan a trip to Florida!
Average temps: March: high of 68, low of 59. April: high of 71, low of 62.
Marquee ride: Nobel Canyon.
San Diego is home to year-round sunny, warm weather, which makes it perfect for a spring break getaway at the end of winter! Unlike other choices on this list, which can range from too cold to too hot in March and April, San Diego stays temperate all the time. Also, some of the other destinations listed here could get drowned in a week-long rain storm in the spring… but that’s highly unlikely in San Diego. With tons of dry singletrack to choose from (at least 20 trails within 25 miles, according to Singletracks), as well as easy access to the beautiful Pacific Ocean, it’s hard to go wrong on spring break in San Diego.
Average temps: March: high of 58, low of 29. April: high of 66, low of 35.
Marquee ride: 18 Road Trails.
Fruita is the go-to spring break mountain bike destination for Colorado… and for riders from all over the nation as well. With trails ranging from smooth and flowy to rocky and technical, the variety of riding available in Fruita has made it a true classic. While this area does actually receive snow, rain, and other nastiness during the winter, by the time most riders are chomping at the bit for some dry dirt, Fruita is usually ready to deliver!
Average temps: March: high of 74, low of 48. April: high of 82, low of 55.
Marquee ride: Fantasy Island.
Located in southern Arizona, Tucson offers a true desert mountain biking experience. While places like Sedona can experience “cold” snaps and even get some snow in the winter, if you’re looking for an abundance of dry singletrack, Tucson is a safe bet!
5. Moab, Utah
Average Temps: March: high of 63, low of 35. April: high of 72, low of 42.
Marquee ride: Slickrock.
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without the venerable Moab. It seems like every time I look at my Facebook feed lately, someone else is riding in Moab… because Moab is the place to be in the spring!
While spring and fall are definitely the choice seasons for a Moab trip, just be aware that the weather can go from sunny and warm to cool and rainy (or even snowy) in early spring very quickly.
Related: Moab, Utah: How to Ride Like a Local
Average temps: March: high of 66, low of 38. April: high of 74, low of 44.
Marquee ride: Highline.
Fantastic red rock, serpentine singletrack, vaulted rock arches and spires–Sedona is what winter mountain bike dreams are made of. Skibum has recently expounded about how awesome Sedona is, so for the first part in his three-part in-depth coverage, be sure to click here. And if you’re going to visit Sedona, the best times are during the spring and the fall. So why not go now?!
Average temps: March: high of 76, low of 58. April: high of 81, low of 63.
Marquee ride: Alafia River State Park.
The Tampa area is home to nearby Alafia River State Park and Balm Boyette Scrub Preserve, which both offer fantastic winter/spring mountain biking. Also, these trails are much closer to the beach than those in Ocala, so if you’re intent on combining trail riding and sunbathing, this is the place!
For more information, check out Jeff’s recent report from Alafia and Balm Boyette.
Average temps: March: high of 67, low of 42. April: high of 75, low of 49.
Marquee ride: Gooseberry Mesa.
The Saint George/Hurricane area offers up fantastic slickrock riding, gorgeous views of Zion National Park, and plenty of bright, hot sun. While this is definitely a well-known destination, for some reason Saint George just doesn’t get the press that Sedona and Moab do. So if you’re looking to escape the crowds, give Saint George a try!
Average temps: March: high of 66, low of 44. April: high of 70, low of 46.
Marquee ride: Forest of Nisene Marks and Soquel Demonstration Forest.
Santa Cruz is known for its mild climate, access to great surf, and, of course, mountain biking! This legendary mountain bike hot spot, rich in mountain bike lore, is well-worth consideration for your spring break getaway.
Average temps: March: high of 66, low of 43. April: high of 74, low of 50.
Marquee ride: Coldwater Mountain.
Anniston, aka the home of Coldwater Mountain, is quickly developing into a must-ride mountain bike destination. IMBA continues to add more and more singletrack here, so even if you’ve ridden Coldwater before, chances are the trail system is even more expansive than it was when you were here last. Add in the mild southern temperatures during March and April, and this is a bonafide spring break destination.
Don’t think Coldwater and the surrounding national forest trails offer enough mileage to keep you happy? Bop on over to the BUMP trails in Oak Mountain State Park in nearby Birmingham for even more great singletrack!
Average temps: March: high of 69, low of 47. April: high of 72, low of 50.
Marquee ride: Aliso and Woods Canyon Regional Park.
Laguna Beach and the greater Orange County area is home to a number of famous mountain biking pros and mountain bike brands like Crankbrothers and Bike magazine. And many of the pros who don’t live here year-round travel here during the winter to train. Thanks to the mild temperatures, abundance of dry singletrack, and the beautiful Pacific Ocean, Laguna Beach is a spring break mountain bike paradise.
12. Ellijay, Georgia
Average temps: March: high of 61, low of 40. April: high of 69, low of 47.
Georgia is generally pretty mild during March and April, and if you live on the East Coast and want to get away for a spring break mountain bike trip, but you still want to ride in the mountains, North Georgia is about as far south as you can get. However, be sure to keep an eye on the forecast: Georgia can still get pretty chilly, especially in early March, and a storm can sweep in and drop rain for a week without respite. If you do nail a sunny patch, though, you’re golden!
For a true get-away-from-it-all experience, be sure to check out Mulberry Gap Mountain Bike Getaway.
13. Austin, Texas
Average temps: March: high of 72, low of 51. April: high of 80, low of 59.
Marquee ride: Walnut Creek Trails.
While Austin might seem like a bit of an oddity on this list, just check out the temps in March and April. Yeah, Austin is almost guaranteed to be warm and dry! Also, Austin has a fantastic bike culture, including great mountain biking trails. According to Singletracks, there are at least 20 trails to check out within 25 miles of Austin. And if you enjoy riding pavement, too, be sure to bring your road bike: Lance Armstrong’s hometown is a decent place to pound pavement.
Your Turn: While these are all fantastic choices to cool your spring mountain bike fever, there are definitely other great locales to score some dry spring singletrack! What’s your favorite spring break mountain bike destination?