Now that summer is in coming to an end, it’s time to get back on the slopes and hurtle downhill as fast as you can. Just forget your board or skis this time of year and be sure to bring thick pads, helmet and a burly mountain bike with you instead. Since the early days of downhill racing on Repack Road in the 70s in Marin County, California, mountain bike technology has come a long way and ski resorts around the world have built up an amazing infrastructure to try to capture this warm-weather adventure market. If you want to see the best trails and latest innovations that ski resorts have to offer, you need to head to one of these 5 locations immediately!
Bursting onto the scene like a real contender this season. They are working to DOUBLE the size of their network from 30 miles 15 months ago to 60 miles by the end of this season, with their newest trails focused on appealing to intermediate and beginner riders. They are jumping to the top tier of bike destinations with all of their building over the past 18 months, and they also boast the longest season in the Rockies with trails open May to October.
It’s almost impossible to overhype Moab. Its red-rock landscape is truly like nowhere else on Earth, and the best way to appreciate it is by riding it. Famed trails like Porcupine Rim, Slickrock, and the Whole Enchilada steal the spotlight, but it’s the area’s newer and lesser known trails that make a trip to Moab a mandatory pilgrimage for any mountain biker. With sunbaked desert riding, high-alpine singletrack in the nearby La Sal Mountains, and everything in between, it’s possible to ride in Moab year-round, but temperatures are most comfortable in spring and fall—that’s when cyclists from every ski town in the West show up. Fall is your best chance to ride the Whole Enchilada, which starts above 10,000 feet.
Around 500 miles of diverse trail weave around town and the George Washington National Forest. Novices can start off on the green loops at Hillandale Park and work their way up to intermediate and advanced trails. Ride the lift at the new Gravity Logic-designed Bryce Mountain Bike Park for downhill flow trails or ante up for one of the epics—the Southern Traverse or Spruce Knob.
You might not have heard of Millstone because it's only been open four years. But once word starts to spread about this unique 70-mile network, expect it to rival the Kingdom Trails as one of the top mountain biking hubs in the state. A century ago, Millstone Hill was home to more than 75 quarry operations. Today, single tracks weave up and down the forest leading to these quarry sites, where you can peer out over the water from atop a large rock pile. Novice riders will also find miles of old quarry roads offering far more moderate biking.
The only place in the world to have hosted the UCI World Championships twice, Mont Sainte Anne is also a regular on the UCI World Cup circuit. Pro riders rave about the DH race course, but there is much more to offer as a huge XC network keeps the other half of the MTB population happy. The biggest bike park on the East Coast and the 3rd best in North America.
Finally, if you can’t get to one of these premier downhill mountain bike resorts this season, check your local mountains and bike parks to see what they have to offer: you just might be surprised. From Northstar in California to Plattekill Mountain in the Catskills of New York, resorts are building crazy trails you have to see to believe and targeting bikers to get you up on the mountain long after the snow has melted.
Make sure you pack for the travel. We suggest bringing along a par of UR Powered patented touchscreen gloves. These touchscreen gloves for women or men will help you stay connected and keep your fingers toasty warm. If you like to listen to your tunes while tearing it up, but want to keep your ears warm, we recommend any one of the stylish audio headwear options. There are cool styles for both men and women.