If you’re a mountain biker, winter might make you think of snow-covered trails and days spent stuck inside on the trainer. But don’t worry; the colder months can still be full of awesome biking adventures! There are some amazing places to explore for those with an adventurous spirit who love experiencing nature on two wheels. From gorgeous desert landscapes to long sunny days and epic rides, here are our top 5 dream destinations for winter mountain biking!
Galbraith Mountain is Bellingham’s best-known selection of trails, and it’s easy to see why. With over 50 miles of trails intertwined with logging roads, many options exist for all-mountain shredding and cross-country adventures. The trails on “Galby” draw visitors from all over the West Coast and beyond.
In addition to the wealth of trails at Galbraith, nearby Larrabee State Park and Chuckanut Recreation Area also feature great singletrack.
Bellingham is well-steeped in mountain biking and is lucky to have such a strong community of volunteers and avid riders. It’s not just riders who are stoked on the area, as Transition Bikes and Canfield Brothers also have offices in Bellingham, and Kona Bikes is based out of nearby Ferndale.
If you’re staying downtown, Galbraith mountain is within riding distance! With over 65 miles of singletrack that wind through 3,000 acres – you’ll have plenty to keep you busy! For those looking for relaxation afterward, stay in one of Bellingham’s cozy hotels or try Glamping! There’s plenty for non-bikers, too: take a scenic train ride along Chuckanut Drive, enjoy seasonal festivals and farmer markets, go bird watching at Birch Bay State Park, or surround yourself within the giant old Douglas Fir trees at Lake Whatcom. Bellingham is truly a paradise for bikers and those wanting to experience nature from another perspective.
If you’re planning a winter mountain biking trip to Moab, Utah, you are in for an adventure! With no shortage of trails and beautiful red rock vistas, it’s ideal for the experienced biker, amateur or family. Start by picking your accommodation – there are many hotels and campsites available where you can rest up after the strenuous exercise of mountain biking. Fly into Grand Junction, Colorado or Salt Lake City, Utah, to keep the travel time short and easily rent a car to get around while exploring the city.
When it comes to trails, Moab has something for everyone, from their famous Slickrock riding to 4×4 trails. Experienced riders will love the challenge of the famous 9.6-mile Slickrock trail and the local’s favorite, Captain Ahab. For those looking to rent bikes, there is an abundance of outdoor shops specializing in rentals; don’t forget the helmet and protective gear too! For those who don’t bike, explore one of the nearby national parks like Arches or Canyonlands – stunning views await them there without fail – or simply enjoy a walk through downtown Moab where shops and restaurants offer plenty of distraction away from the trail.
Sedona, Arizona, is the perfect place for mountain bikers looking to take their winter outdoor experience to the next level. If you’re planning a trip out this way, you can fly into Phoenix or Flagstaff and rent a car. Before jumping on the plane, reserve your rental bike at a local shop such as Absolute Bikes or Thunder Mountain Bikes. They’ll get you hooked up and ready to hit the trails!
Once you’ve arrived at the red rocks of Sedona, the trails are breathtaking and provide an adrenaline rush that cannot be found elsewhere! For first-time bikers, there are easier trails with many stunning sights, such as Bell Rock Pathway and Stirrup. Experienced riders can get their stoke on famous trails like Slim Shady, Highline, Broken Arrow, the Hogs and Hangover. You’ll find high-tech features with plenty of exposure and steep ascents and descents. If you can’t decide, check out Sedona Mountain Bike Academy for a guided trail ride. So visit Sedona: it’s guaranteed to leave you in awe of the beauty of its trails!
“Johnnypannini” on Trailforks
Mountain biking in Fruita, Colorado, is an experience like no other! With its stunning red rock canyons and winding trails, this area is a favorite among avid bikers. The most popular trails include Kokopelli Loops, Lunch loops and 18 Road Trails. Each trail system offers something unique such as the famous Horsethief Bench or mellower paths like 18 Road Trails for riders just starting out.
Those coming from out of town can fly into Grand Junction airport and rent a car or van to get them up to Fruita, which is only a half-hour drive from the airport. For comfortable accommodations, visitors should consider camping or booking a stay at one of the local hotels in the area. If mountain biking isn’t your thing, don’t worry; there are still plenty of things to do, such as kayaking on the Colorado River or testing out the largest wakeboarding Cable Park in Colorado. Visitors come from near and far to experience all that Fruita offers!
Asheville, North Carolina
Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is home to some of the country’s best mountain biking trails. DuPont State Recreational Forest, Pisgah National Forest and Bent Creek are full of trails both the experienced rider looking for a hard, challenging day and a beginner can love. We recommend Farlow Gap in Pisgah National Forest for riders that love to work hard on the way up and be rewarded with steep, rocky terrain on the way down.
For those who want to stay in town while they explore the trails, there are lots of great options ranging from campgrounds surrounded by nature to cozy cabins located right downtown. For non-bikers, there’s an abundance of other activities, like kayaking on Lake Lure or exploring the Biltmore Estate. Whether you like pedaling up challenging hills or simply taking in the sights around town, Asheville has something for everyone!
Time To Plan Your Dream Trip!
So, have you decided on your winter mountain bike destination? If you can’t be without your trusty steed, let Owenhouse Cycling safely pack & ship your bike for you. We are a designated drop-off point for bikeflights.com, a service that takes the hassle out of shipping your bike. While it’s up to you to schedule the pickup and shipping of your bike, we’re here to help you get it ready for the journey.
Boxing a Bike: $75
We’ll box your bike up so it’s ready to ship to your chosen location! Box and packing materials included.
To make it happen, get in touch with us and schedule your trip on bikeflights.com. You can turn that dream into a reality with reasonable rates and an easy process. So, why wait? If Slickrock and desert escapes are calling, now’s the time to answer. And, if you want to talk about dream destinations or want help planning the big trip, give Owenhouse Cycling a call today!
Tucson, Arizona, is an ideal destination for winter mountain biking. To get there, you can fly into Tucson International Airport and take a short ride to your downtown hotel. When you’re ready to hit the trails, there are plenty of places to rent bikes in Tucson – Tucson Bike Rentals and Home Grown. Both companies also offer shuttles, guide tours and all-inclusive packages. Visit their websites to learn more!
The trails around Tucson range from beginner-friendly greenways and gravel paths to more challenging uphill singletrack and skill courses. If friends or family members don’t bike, don’t worry – they can take a breathtaking hike along one of the nearby peaks with incredible views over the valley. At night, relax with some live music at one of Tucson’s great outdoor venues before turning in for an early start on your next day of adventures!
Visiting Austin, Texas, in the winter to take advantage of its mild winter weather and fantastic mountain biking culture is a great idea! First things first – you’ll need to decide where you want to ride and where you’ll stay. With tons of great hotels near downtown and near the bike trails, there’s no shortage of options. To get there, you’ll want to look into flights to Austin Bergstrom International Airport and rent a car from the airport.
With over 25 riding areas and 17 miles of Austin Urban Trails providing incredible views of Lady Bird Lake and downtown, you’re sure to find a route that fits your style – from beginner-friendly to advanced technical levels. The trails here vary by difficulty, length, speed and scenery, but all have something special that makes them unique. You can easily rent mountain bikes at any local shop like Mellow Johnny’s or Barton Springs Bike Rental & Tours. Spare some time for family members who don’t bike? Don’t worry – Between live music, events, and world-class cuisine from top chefs; there’s something for everyone in Austin!
If you’re really looking to get away, Tampa, Florida, is a great place to mountain bike in the wintertime! The warm and sunny weather makes it a perfect getaway. Getting there is easier than you’d think – simply fly into Tampa International Airport or Saint Petersburg–Clearwater International Airport. Once you arrive, start off your mountain biking adventure by renting a bike nearby – some good places to start include City Bike Tampa and Trek Bicycle Stores of Tampa Bay.
The trails in Tampa offer lots of variety, from gentle beginner ones to more challenging terrain that more experienced bikers may prefer. Take advantage of Tampa Bay Area Trail Riders’ online community and get useful tips before heading out. For family members with different hobbies, no worries! There’s plenty to see and do in the area – head to the Florida Aquarium, Busch Gardens or the Ybor City Historic District for a day of culture and fun. Come visit Tampa for an unforgettable mountain biking trip this winter!