“Armadillo Rock” on the “National Trail,” South Mountain, Phoenix, AZ.
“Hangover” trail, Sedona, AZ. One of the most unique trails I’ve ridden; and what a day riding with a fellow coach, Keith Bohne.
A secret trail "out west."
"Gooseberry Mesa," Southern Utah.
Nothing like good friends taking the time to guide you on some of their favorite trails. This one is near Buena Vista, Colorado
Trestle Bike Park, Winter Park, Colorado

Bucket List Trails

I’m often asked which are my favorite trails.  I answer this question in terms of my four favorite trail environments:


1.   High Mountains: 

My favorite trail system in the world is Alice Lake in Squamish, British Columbia.  If you want to skip to that description, then it is under “Whistler, British Columbia” below, but for most riders, they might find what I have to say about Lake Tahoe more interesting.

Lake Tahoe, California 

If you are primarily a cross country rider, then you simply can’t go wrong with “The Tahoe Rim Trail,” including of course, “The Flume Trail.”  The scenery is so spectacular from every angle.  Overlooking beautiful Lake Tahoe is a majestic, surreal, experience. 

I used Flume Trail Bikes for the shuttle. Even with a shuttle, you have to be in good shape to finish this trail.

Since you are so close, you have to ride Northstar Bike Park.  Even if you are primarily an XC rider, you still have to give it a chance.  There are plenty of easy beginner and intermediate downhill trails at Northstar, as well expert trails that will humble all of us.  I truly believe that if a rider has honed some core skills, then renting a big bike and riding for a couple days will skyrocket that rider's abilities once he or she gets back on his or her XC bike.  I've seen this happen for several of my students.  My favorite trail at Northstar was "Gypsy."

I call Northstar “Little Whistler” because it has excellent lift-serve, and nearby there is spell-binding XC. The best time to go is in the summer when the snow is melted on the high altitude trails.  It's not a bad idea to invest in some goggles if you plan to ride in the bike park because I've found this park to get more dusty than many other lift-serve parks.

If you have time, then it is definitely worth it to drive from Northstar to Downieville, CA to enjoy the classic trails there as well as experience the town.  It is one of the neatest towns I've ever been to in the US.  It is like something Disney created, but it is real!!  The drive isn't bad on the eyes either.

Whistler, British Columbia 

If one of your goals is to see the most difficult XC and DH trails on the planet, as well as the best riders, then Whistler is a must.  My favorite jump-line trail in the world, "Blue Velvet" is in  Whistler Bike Park.  The black diamond level “Top of the World Trail” will make your jaw drop because of its 360 degree snow-capped beauty.

The double black diamond designation of trails in most states in no way compares to the double black diamond designation for all the trails in Whistler.  While I have ridden many of the double black trails in many parts of the USA and felt that I was at home, in Whistler I was doing well just to survive a single black, much less a double.  I've told many people that I'm only an intermediate rider on my best days in Whistler.  I stay off the double blacks in Whistler because I will only get in the way of the riders who have earned the right to be there.  I say all this to say it is common for people to travel to Whistler and assume they are the same level there as they are back home, and it often times ends in serious injury. There are also beginner level XC trails in the beautiful Lost Lakes trail area as well as beginner level DH trails in Whistler Bike Park.  Outside the park, my favorite trails are on the Blackcomb side, are the challenging: "Microclimate," "Out There," & "High Hopes."  And ebike is the way to go on these.

My favorite time to go to Whistler is late August after Crankworx or early September before September 15 when the rains start picking up and when the prices are a little lower and the crowds are fewer.  However, there is less chance of rain in the summer.  The locals have some of their best rides in the rain, but you may not.  The roots are slippery in the rain; but the rocks are not nearly as slippery in the wet as they are in most parts of the world.  However, I think to have the authentic Pacific Northwest experience, you have to ride at least one day in the rain. 

If the American dollar is really strong in Canada, then I would go for Whistler.  If not, and the total cost of a Whistler trip gets too expensive, then I would go for Lake Tahoe instead.  I’d also say Whistler is more of a must after you have already experienced some of the great stuff we have in the states and/or you really want to push your technical limits.  Otherwise, you will probably have just as much fun at Northstar/Lake Tahoe. .

While Whistler?Squamish is number one on my personal bucket list, I put it down as number two on this list because, for most people, the reasons described in the previous paragraphs may knock it out of the number one slot for them.

US health insurance companies don't work in British Columbia, so I purchase additional health insurance like:  GeoBlue

About an hour south of Whistler is Squamish, B.C.  If I could only choose one place in the world to ride, it would be Squamish.  This is because rock slabs are my jam.  Alice Lake is the trail system with the most rock slabs.  The difficulty is like Whistle {see above}.  Some of the many highlights from one of my trips: our 2023 trip here.  The following is a list of trail progression for Alice Lake: of course you will use the climbing trails of "Jacks," "50 Shades of Green," "Of Mice & Men," as needed, for the fun stuff of "Leave of Absence," "Credit Line," "Rupert," "Pamplemousse,"  Use "Tracks to Hell" also to climb back up for some the trails I've just mentioned.  Next use the climbing trails all the way to the top for the very difficult "Entrails" to "Room with a View," to "Highway to Hell," to "Blue Connector," to the easiest parts of "Gouranga."  Then take access roads back up mid mountain for the easiest parts of "Dirk's Diggler," stay left to "Wizard Sleeve" (stay right on "Wizard Sleeve.") Next is go back all the way to the top for the more difficult "Entrails" to "Boney Elbows" (when you get on "Boney Elbows," look to the far right for the longest, steepest, narrowest slab you will have ridden so far.  (This is the best warm up for "Inn & Out Burger.") Next is "Inn & Out Burger."  After all of this, next is "Hueso."  It is my favorite trail; it is one of their easier double blacks, but it still took me two trips, a year apart, to ride it all without walking any feature.  Go for it only after all the other slabs on the above trails are easy for you.  Don't ride any of the other double blacks until "Hueso" is easy for you.  I'll never ride the hardest double blacks of "Chossy Shlabz," and "Larvaside."  But the double black "Treasure Trail" is definitely worth checking out, even if you have to walk a lot of it (same with the single black "Marc My Word").

Only ride Pemberton, north of Whistler, if you have a lot of rain.  Favorite trails there are "Cream Puff," "Rudy's," "Overnight Sensation," & "Rusty Trombone."  Again, ebike is the way to go for everything outside of Whistler Bike Park.

My friends who have ridden Whistler and Squamish tell me not to ride the North Shore if you have time to ride Squamish, Whistler, & Pemberton instead.

My amateur POV of first Whistler trip.

To muddy the waters more, I have to mention Big Sky Bike Park, Montana  This is one of my favorite parks because it feels so remote, yet it has everything you need.  The crowds are light here; it is a best kept secret.  They allowed free car/van camping in the parking lots the summer I was there.  Depending on the day you choose to ride here, there are two mountains to ride and a ton of trails for all levels.  It has beautiful scenary, and of course, you must drive through both Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks while you are there.  The most difficult trail there is "Revenge," and take my word for it, it is one of the most difficult downhill trails I've ever ridden.  While in the area, I added riding at Grand Targhee Bike Park, and I'm so glad I did.  Again, the scenary was breathtaking, and there were trails for all skill levels.  I had to pay for van camping in the lot, but it was reasonable.  I didn't like Targhee as much as Big Sky, but it was still good!  Instead of going to the Jackson Hole Bike park, I would recommend doing what I did and riding down from the top of Teton Pass.  It is very common to park at the bottom and hitch hike up.  I will let you do research on how best to do this and which trails you would enjoy for your skill set.  The trail I rode was "Lithium;" it is a classic.  Even with a shuttle ride to the top of the pass, it still has a generous amount of pedaling.  I would recommend a long travel bike, but not a downhill bike; I would also recommend riding it with a buddy, if at all possible.  I didn't have a buddy, so I walked more sections.  Many sections are super challenging.  It is very remote and it may be in bear territory.  I did carry grizzly spray with me. It was one of the neatest trails I've ever ridden.  There are easier trails you can take down as well.  Don't forget; you will want MTB Project and Trailforks in order to make sure you don't get lost.

Changing subject back to Whistler, if Whistler sounds good to you, then read on; if not skip to number 2 on this list, desert. 

"Cut Yer Bars" and "99er" were my two favorite all-mountain trails in Whistler Valley.  They are a little farther from the village than Lost Lakes.  Now for the trails inside the bike park...  "Blue Velvet" is a miniature version of "A-Line."  Clearing the jumps on "A-Line" and not casing the table tops is much more difficult in real life than it looks in the videos.  "Original Sin," "No Joke," "MacKenzie River Trail," "Drop In Clinic," and "Fatrocbat" were my favorite technical trails inside the bike park.  "Fatrocbat" has the longest log ride I've seen anywhere.  Look for the huge pro-lines off of "Original Sin" near the road.  Maybe you will get to see someone ride them.  One is like three stories tall, and it is called "Filthy Ape."  The other is about 100 or so yards up the gravel road, and I'm not sure the name.  It is not as tall, but steeper.  If you describe these two, someone should be able to guide you to them or point to them on the map. They have a great progression list of trails for both tech and jump line trails on the Whistler bike park trail map.  I would highly recommend following it.

Arbutus Routes is who I recommend for renting an enduro bike for the park; while a downhill bike is more fun and forgiving, the enduro bike from here is more budjet friendly.  Arbutus is in Blackcombe Village.   http://www.tandooriwhistler.com/ is great if you like Indian food.  http://crepemontagne.com is one of a kind for breakfast in Whistler village.

2.    Desert:

St, George & Hurricane,Utah

For years I had "The Whole Enchilada" as my number one choice for desert riding, but then I rode Sedona, AZ and southern Utah.  Chris, of Advenduro guided me near, St. George and Hurricane, Utah, and that experience took the top spot.  The main reason for this is that you get to experience exposure here, but it is more manageable than Sedona.  And you are not tied down to such a grueling long ride like you are on "the Whole Enchilada."  Don't get me wrong; definitely still ride Moab and Sedona, but do a tour with Chris first.  This way if you only get to have one desert riding experience, then you will get the best of both worlds.  While you are in this area, definitely also check out the first Red Bull Rampage site; there are some baby lines you can ride towards the bottom. Google "first Red Bull Rampage site," and you should find directions right to the parking lot.

Moab, Utah

The iconic ride in Moab is The Whole Enchilada.”  Don’t believe it if someone tells you this ride is not physically demanding.  Even with a shuttle, this ride demands an incredible amount of fitness and attention.  A rider must have solid mtb skills also; because if you get hurt, you are way far away—well, let’s just say you or your buddies better not get hurt bad out there.  I almost went over the bars at a high speed simply because I was mentally exhausted on the chunky fire road.  Exposure where you can die is frequent.  Don’t be afraid of it; just respect it and ride in control, and don’t be a hero.  Do what I did, and don’t attempt any lines if they end in death—even if you are pretty sure you can ride them.

I've heard some say that it's not the whole enchilada unless you don't take the shuttle and instead pedal all the way from town as well.  That is fair enough; but if that is the case, then it is also not the whole enchilada unless one rides "The Notch" without putting a foot down.  Take a gander at "The Notch," and it will become evident that few riders on the planet could climb from town AND ride "The Notch" as well as all other technical features on this ride.  This trail humbles 99.9% of us.  That's one of the reasons why it is a classic!  Views at Upper and Lower Porcupine Singletrack are incredible.  The chunky fire road that connects LPS to Porcupine Rim gets kind of boring after a while.  Maybe I would have had more fun on that section if I weren’t riding by myself.

The best time to go is early October before the snow shuts down Burro Pass and when the leaves are still vibrant.  The best part of the Whole Enchilada is “Porcupine Rim,” which is the very last part of the ride.  So if you are there in the spring and the upper part is not open, try to get shuttled as close to Hazard County as you can.  Another option is to do an out and back from town on Porcupine Rim.  Technically it is a two way trail, but I would advise giving the downhill rider the right of way since that is the direction most people ride it and because it is hard for the downhill rider to get stopped sometimes.

Bartlett Wash is a super neat free ride area where you can find lines as hard or easy as you want.  It caters to the more skilled rider.  We did not need a four wheel drive to get there when we went, but we almost did.  Certain times of the year you will need a four wheel drive.  Slickrock is the most popular trail, and I enjoyed it a lot, but I would recommend it last over all the other trails I describe for Moab.  Klondike Bluffs is very pretty and a great place to ride for riders who aren't ready for the whole enchilada or some of the more difficult lines at Bartlett.

There are other trail systems near Moab equally as beautiful that do not have as much exposure and don’t require as much fitness and tech skills.  Since you are so close, you also have to hit the trails in Fruita and Grand Junction. I loved Fruita!  We rode the 18 Road trail system in Fruita. It was not technically challenging, but it was fun! The "Zippity Loop" was my favorite.

My POV of Moab and Fruita

Sedona, Arizona

Simon Bosman  rode with me, and Simon knows these trails so well;  I would highly recommend him.  The "Hangover" trail was by far one of the raddest trails I've ever ridden.  One reason I don't recommend it over southern Utah with Chris of Advenduro Tours is that there is so much more exposure, and most riders would not like that.  I'm not a big fan of it either, and I walked a lot of the trail because of it, but I'm still so glad I experienced the entire trail.  "Hiline" was so good also; it didn't have as much exposure as "Hangover," but it still had a lot. "Hangover" was my favorite, with "Hiline" second, "High on the Hog," and "Hog Heaven" together as 3rd.  But please don't make me choose because they all are so good!!  For a first time experience in this desert type of riding my recommendation would be to take a tour with Chris as described above. For extremely advanced riders I would recommend these trails I've mentioned in Sedona.  Much more information on some of the trails or sections with less exposure on my YouTube channel here:  SingletrackSkills


3.   Old Growth Forest:

McKenzie River Trail, Oregon (the MRT)

           This is equally as mesmerizing as “The Tahoe Rim Trail,” “The Top of The World Trail,” or “The Whole Enchilada.”  It is simply mesmerizing in a different way.  You are surrounded by massive trees.  Some of them have fallen across the trail, and the forest service has cut out a place for you to continue to ride the trail.  When you ride through these fallen giants they are still taller than you are on your bike!  There is a beautiful river of clear rapids running right next to you for a good portion of the trail, with waterfalls and all.  An aqua pool in another part with cliffs surrounding it looks like something the elves made.  I’m not making this stuff up.  I kept wondering if I was going to see a unicorn run on the trail in front of me or Frodo Baggins and the other hobbits cross the trail somewhere…  You ride around one of the deepest volcanic lakes in the world with a petrified forest at the bottome—divers love it because of the clear water.

                It is mainly a cross country trail, although there are some sections that only a very skilled enduro rider could clean without putting a foot down.  And by the way, don’t try those sections near that volcanic lake unless you are a very good rider with knee and elbow pads on because the rock there is like a cheese grater.  Trust me…  Even if you shuttle this ride, it is still physically demanding, although not as much as “The Whole Enchilada.”  The best time to go is in the fall when the leaves are in full color, but spring and summer would be great also.  It will most likely be wet on this trail.  If it ever just starts storming and raining way too much you can always head over to Bend, Oregon for a day.  It is much dryer there, and I've been told the trails are easier also.

                      Google images of this trail if you don't believe me how beautiful it is, even though as we all know, photos can't do it justice.  My friends over at McKenzie River Mountain Resort did a good job hosting me and shuttling me both days I rode the MRT.   My POV footage.  And a cool video of some pros riding it...

Wilder Ranch State Park, California

                Just outside Santa Cruz, Wilder Ranch is amazing.  What makes it so unique is there are 500 foot cliffs on one side of the park dropping off into the ocean, and the trail runs along the cliffs (not too close).  On the other side of the park, the trail runs beside massive redwoods that are thousands of years old.  The redwoods are much larger than the trees along the McKenzie River Trail.  That, in and of itself, is spectacular.  However, I would have to say if I had to choose between the two, I would choose the McKenzie River Trail because it is more of a mountain biking destination.  But if you are ever near Santa Cruz, then you have to ride Wilder Ranch.  As with all riding destinations, just make sure you keep your valuables out of site in your car because I have heard of break-ins at Wilder Ranch.


               There is so much good riding in the state of Washington.  I've only scratched the surface.  For the best skills park I have seen anywhere in the world, ride Duthie Hill.  This is THE place to progress your skills.  I wish there were more places like this all over the world.  Tiger Mountain is another iconic trail system that you will definitley want to check out.  I enjoyed the Bellingham, Washington area so very much for both riding and teaching.  It would be well worth it to hire a guide so that you make sure you are riding the best trails in the right direction for your skill set.  Also why not tour Transition Bikes while you are there!  Some of the riding in Washington reminds me a lot of the riding in Pisgah and Dupont in North Carolina, and I love riding in North Carolina, but I like the riding in Washington a lot more.

4.       Swamps:

Alafia River State Park, Florida

                Yes, Florida!!!  It would be a mistake to think that all the trails in this large state are boardwalks or sandy beaches.  Alafia is not very big, but boy are the trails fun and unique.  It is supper cool going right beside the swamps and right over them via well maintained bridges.  I even saw a bobcat in the middle of the trail on my first trip there.  I finally had to meow at him to get him to scurry off.  Are there gators in them there swamps??  Heck yes; on my third trip there I saw one right off the side of the trail; and that is part of the thrill of riding here.  Like any wildlife, yield to it and back away from it.  Remove the temptation of J-hopping it!!  It is a good idea to have some good cornering skills here so that you don't overcook a turn and end up in the swamps.  The locals say that has happened more than once.

                Don’t ride here when I did on my second trip, in the heat of the summer—too dangerous for heat exhaustion.  The other seasons would be fine.  I saw a gator on the "Buzzard Bay" trail, and the locals say the gators like to hang out near that trail, so if you don't want to see one, then you might want to avoid that trail.  Also that trail does not smell very good during the winter months because of the bird droppings.  But that is only one short trail.  There are a ton more!  More info on Alafia here.  

                My POV footage of Alafia from my first trip there.  If you have time, hit Balm Boyette, which is not far away.  "Ridgeline Trail" was my favorite trail there.  Nearby is Loyce Harpe Park (Carter Rd.)  "The Fingers" were my favorite sections there.  If you are limited on time, and can't do all three places, then definitely spend all your time at Alafia.           

Santos, Florida

                Well Santos doesn’t really have swamps and no gators that I know of, but you do get the neat Florida feeling of the large oak trees with the Spanish moss.  There are a lot of miles of trails at Santos.  This is an XC rider’s dream.  Only the free ride area called the “Vortex” is really difficult, and some of the features there are pro level features not to be attempted by mere mortals.  Floridians seem to be very fit.  I think this is partially because their terrain lends itself to natural interval training.  There are constant short, punchy ups and downs--no long ups and no long downs.  There was a super long skinny in one area that was a blast.  Another one in that same area had an arc to it, and I was never able to keep my rear tire on it.  Good luck...  Spring, winter, and fall are the best seasons to ride here.  The folks at Greenway Bicycles right across the street from the Santos trailhead were super friendly and super helpful.


Ok, so I’m suggesting a solid bucket list could be one destination from each of the four types of mountain biking ecosystems: The High Mountains, The Desert, The Old Growth Forest, and The Swamp.  And I would probably try them in that order; although it is a toss-up--it just depends on what type of ecosystem you would like better.

Don't get me wrong; there is excellent riding in Missouri, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, and many other states, but much of the riding I've done in these states has a similar feel as to what I've described in the Old Growth Forest category--although not as spectactular as the MRT, Wilder Ranch, or Washington, as described above.  Whereas, the High Mountains, the Desert and the Swamp are uniquely different.  For information on trails in the states I've mentioned in this paragraph, please go here.  

Northwest Arkansas:  If you don't have the cash to make it to some of these destinations out west and you love jumps, then Coler Preserve in Bentonville, Arkansas is soooo much fun.  "Fire Line" is my favorite intermediate jump line trail there. (Although I actually like the jumps at Ride Bham even more.)  Both Coler and Ride Bham are even more fun on an ebike.  Ride Bham rents them.   I like Lake Leatherwood City Park near Eureaka Springs more than any place I've ridden in Arkansas because of the shuttle service they provide.  There is no way to get better at jumps than riding the same ones over and over, and the shuttle service allows the rider to make more runs before he or she gets too tired to jump--same with corners.  I actually recommend the green trail at Lake Leatherwood for the best trail to hone basic jumping skills.  For some technical cross country that keeps your attention and also allows some of the old ozark rock cliff scenary, I highly recommend Blowing Springs Park.  It is a great place to camp, and while most mountain bikers go straight to the Back 40 to ride, the trails in this little park have a lot more personality.  Ride everything in this park before heading to the Back 40.  The stuff on the left side of the park (in front of the big rock cliffs) when you drive in is more technical.  Mojo Cycling is a great resource for the area and even leads weekly shop rides.  "Slaughter Pen" is also a blast; it has more jumps than I could ever count. 

My riding has tended to favor the high mountains.  This is partially because all year I get to pedal up hill.  I love that part of mountain biking.  But it is a real treat when I have the opportunity to go to a place that has lift-serve.  There is no better place to practice the skills I’ve been taught than a place where I can hit the same jumps, corners, and features over and over without getting as fatigued as I would if I had to pedal back up.

Most of the following are lift serve, but some are for pedalling:

A.       Trestle Bike Park in Winter Park, Colorado was a hoot.  It is a good first timer's bike park.  I would highly recommend a rider have taken my first three courses before heading to any bike park.  All these lift serve bike parks have incredibly beautiful scenery….  I just love turning around and looking off the back of the lift as I’m resting while going up to make another run!  Try this bike park once, but then try other ones on other years.  There are too many amazing parks in the world to keep going back to the same one, in my opinion.  My only knock on Trestle is that their jumps aren't as well built as they should be.  In other words, it is hard to know how long the table tops are.  They should gradually get longer as the trail continues, but sometimes at Trestle, you will have a short one and then a long one with no ryhme or reason. I don't like that because I either case or overshoot.  The only way to deal with it is to memorize the trail, which I don't want to have to do on vacation.

            For all the bike parks, but especially the more popular ones like Whistler or Trestle, I would recommend going during the week instead of on the weekend because it is less crowded.  Periodically there will be some jerks that yell at you for going too slow.  This is not cool, especially if you are on a trail that fits your skill abilities.  If someone does this, count the cost of snapping a picture of them and showing it to the bike patrol people because riders like this are breaking park rules just as much as riding on unmarked or closed trails.  Going during the week decreases the chances of having this kind of bad experience.

B.        Deer Valley Bike Park in Park City, Utah is also a lift-serve park that leans towards first timers or cross country.  Don’t get me wrong; there are some gnarly big boy downhill trails there, but there are also some beginner-intermediate trails that are a blast.  I rode much of this park on an XC race bike.  While it was fun, it would have been much more fun to hit it on a dh or enduro rig.  The scenery is superb.  I didn't even realize until I rode the lift back up that I had ridden down the trail right beside two massive elk.  I don't need to tell you that I didn't take that trail again!  Downtown Park City is super cool.  I would stay at the Treasure Mountain Inn right in downtown Park City, if I were you. 

           If you are in Park City, chances are you will have to travel through Salt Lake City.  If you do, then you will want to hit the Wasatch Crest Trail.  This is an unbelievable XC trail!  I would recommend a shuttle as well as a guide.  It would be worth it to enjoy it to its fullest.  If you plan it right, you might even be able to get two runs in one day.  It is open to mountain bikers only on either odd or even days.

C.      The Monarch Crest Trail near Salida, Colorado is also an XC and enduro rider’s haven. You are surrounded by some of the tallest mountains in the States (14000 feet).  Shuttling Fooses, Greens Creek, Starvation, and Silver Creek off of Monarch Crest is the way to go if you like more of an enduro experience.   We were able to get two wild shuttle runs in a day.  Some of these trails run on the Colorado Trail for a while.  I would recommend a guide on these.  This is another place where you are really out there, so no time to be a fool and get hurt bad!!

D.       Keystone Bike Park and Grandby Ranch Bike Parks in Colorado both have terrain every bit as difficult as some areas of Whistler Bike Park, although not as much of it as Whistler.  Both of these parks are for the seasoned downhill mountain biker who is looking to push his or her riding to the limit.  Grandby Ranch is much smaller and is close to Winter Park.  I liked the atmosphere or Grandby more.

E.       Snowshoe Bike Park in West Virginia would be the equivalent to Keystone and Grandby in terms of old school downhill trails.  Even though Snowshoe does not have that high mountain feel, it has some terrain that is equally difficult as Keystone and Grandby, especially in the wet.  It is also a great place to learn how to ride in the mud with slick roots and rocks.  At the same time, it has some much easier trails for beginners thru intermediates as well as some jump line trails for all levels that are super fun.  It is a much less expensive trip for those of us who live in the southeast. Oh, and if you have time, you can't miss the pedally enduro trails that cut through moss that almost glows.  They are so unique and rooty!!

F.       Bootleg Canyon (near Las Vegas):   The rocks here are sharper than any place I've ever ridden.  The downhill and enduro trails are very challenging.  Too hot to ride here in the summer.  While there is no lift, I believe it can be shuttled.

G.        South Mountain (near Phoenix):  Too hot to ride here in the summer.  The "National Trail" was my favorite trail there. More information and tech tips on how to ride some of the challenging features are over on my YouTube:  Singletrack Skills  Albuquerque, NM also has some fun trails in the high desert area.

H.      Tamarack Bike Park  This would definitely be a great place to go if you are trying to ride in every state, and you want to ride in Idaho.  Just don't forget your goggles because it was very dusty.  It has one of the biggest rock rolls into a drop I've ever done.  (Picture of it is in the scroll at the top of my home page)  But it also has features for all levels and an amazing jump line that my buddy built.  The jump line has beginner, intermediate, and expert lines.  It is one of the neatest jump lines I've ever ridden.

I.          Bogus Basin  This is a great park to hit if you are in the Boise area and do not have a lot of time to explore the state.  They work hard here to make sure a small park has a lot of fun trails.  Don't forget your goggles because of dust.

J.          Spider Mountain  This is even smaller than Bogus.  It is the smallest lift serve bike park I know of, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in cool vibe as well as trails that have had a lot of TLC.  Trails are for all levels here.  The "Waterfall" rock garden on the double black trail, "Stinger," is legit!  If you are near Austin, Texas, then you have to check it out!!  It is the only lift serve bike park that I know of that is open all year.  The lift is only 350 vertical feet.

K.          Windrock Bike Park is also open year around, but they use shuttle trucks and trailers instead of lifts.  Windrock has the steepest trails per capita of any place I've ridden in the world.  You would not think that could be the case in little 'ole Tennessee.  But trust me, I've had numerous top ten world cup pro downhill mountain bikers who train there in the off season say more than once how steep and challenging the trails are there.  "Horse Face" is the steepest trail there, and I've been told by some of those same pros that it is one of the steepest trails in North America.  Of all the times I have attempted it, I have only made it down once while taking the hardest lines, without putting a foot down or crashing.  If you think you are an expert rider, then you have to ride Windrock in the mud.  There are no posers at Windrock; it tells on us all, but if you treat it with respect and progress and get lessons beforehand like you should, then there are few places in the world that will explode your skills like Windrock.  Downhill bikes are preferred there, but enduro bikes will work also.  For my recommendation of the order of trails one should ride here, go here! 

L.         Pike's Peak"The Barr Trail" is the trail that descends all the way from the top of Pike's Peak.  This is definitely a bucket list trail.  But it is one not without its challenges.  If you want to shuttle it, then you will have to have a driver drop you off, but the driver will not have a place to park, so he or she will need to drive back to the bottom.  The first few miles are hike a bike.  The other challenge is there are a lot of hikers, so it is best to find a local to guide you at a time when hikers will be at a minimum.  Now for the good news: the terrain on this trail is very technical in parts.  It is also fast and flowy in parts.  And the scenery is brilliant.  It is definitely one of the most amazing in the world!!  It is also very advanced because of the length, technical challenges, and of course, the altitude.

M.         Shepherd Bike Park just south of St. Louis, Missouri is one of my favorite places to ride in Missouri.  Missouri has a lot of underrated tech trails.  Shepherd is one of the rockiest places I've ridden, and it is a lot of fun.  You can ride a full out downhill bike here or a shorter travel bike with progressive geometry.  It has a couple of steep sections that remind me of Windrock, but it is more rocky and not as steep.  It has some fun features.  "Cannonball" trail was my favorite there.  Definitely purchase a lift ticket ahead of time through their website. Ironton, Missouri, where the park is located has a neat, authentic, small town feel.  The locals really appreciate visitors, and don't take mountain bikers for granted.

N.          Grand Junction:  The "Lunch Loops" area is one of my favorite places to ride, not just in Colorado, but anywhere.  it has the amazing soil of Fruita but it has more challenging features.  I really enjoyed "Andy's Loop" which had a little bit of everything.  While I'm talking about Colorado, I need to mention a few more trails and areas to ride.  Each of these affected me greatly because of the altitude coming from almost sea level.  At 54 I got headaches at night after riding.  If you are near Boulder, and you like extremely steep and challenging trails, then "Left Hand" is the way to go.  If you are near Golden, then "Dakota Ridge" is fun and challenging.  "Floyd Hill" is also not far from Golden, and has some challenging sections.  The trail "Black Jack" at the "Buffalo Creek" trail system is very unique and extremely challenging.  I would hit Grand Junction as a special trip, but these other trails I would only hit if I were near them; they aren't a destination in and of themselves, but they are really good!!

O.      North Carolina:  For sure check out Pisgah's Farlow Gap and Dupont's Cedar Rock, but once you have checked them off, get more bang for you buck by hitting Ride Rock Creek and Ride Kanuga.  These are my favorite two riding destinations in North Carolina.

P.  Angel Fire Bike Park, New Mexico: for some helpful information and riding tips, check out my playlist: Angel Fire 

I sure hope this information helps.  If you have any questions or comments about any of the destinations I described above, please contact me.  I would love to learn from your experiences as well!!

"Mountain Town Creek," near Mulberry Gap in North Georgia, definitely the most technical creek crossing I've found...
Off camber rock roll into hard left corner, Sedona, AZ.
"Flume Trail" & "Tahoe Rim Trail," pictures don't do justice...
"Tahoe Rim Trail"
"Jedi Slickrock" Moab, Utah 2016
The mountains in the background of this shot don't look like 14000 foot mountains, but they are. Coming from sea level I was really struggling to breath at nearly 12000 feet on the Monarch Crest Trail.
Fruita, Colorado is unique. I've not been to another trail system quite like it.
Look above my thumb to spot the gator. Alafia River State Park, FL, one of my favorite small trail systems.
"Top of the World" trail, Whistler (So many great places to take our skills and ride on this planet!)
Snowshoe Bike Park, WV
"Hog Heaven," Sedona, AZ
Getting ready to drop into the abyss of "Horse Face" at Windrock Bike Park
Oak Mountain State Park in Alabama has some good stuff, including cross country with optional technical lines.
A Snowy Day...
A Rainy Day...
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