The Top Mountain Bike Destinations On The Planet

The Top Mountain Bike Destinations on the Planet

Sun Valley, Idaho, is one of the best places in America to ride mountain bikes. It scored a “silver-level ride center” status from IMBA, which ranks it among the best riding areas in the world.

When it comes to great places to ride, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) has helped build, promote and protect some of the best mountain bike trail systems in the world. The non-profit organization was formed in 1988 to keep America’s mountain bike trails open when other trail users began trying to ban mountain bikers from America’s trails.

IMBA has named a number of mountain bike destinations as especially good places to visit. Their top designation is a “Gold-Level Ride Center,” next is “Silver-Level” and third is “Bronze-Level.” If you go to any of these Ride Center locations at the right time of year (for example, don’t plan on going mountain biking in Minnesota in January unless you want to ride a fat bike in the snow), you’re practically guaranteed to have a great time riding.

Here’s what IMBA says about their Ride Centers: “The IMBA Model Trails Program recognizes outstanding, destination-worthy mountain bike trail systems as ‘Ride Centers’ and iconic, adventurous, backcountry trails as IMBA ‘epics.’ These are the trails worth traveling to, the best places to introduce someone to the sport we all love, and are the facilities builders and advocates should look to for inspiration.

“Ride Centers feature extensive trail networks, masterfully designed for mountain bikers of every skill level and built by professional trail builders and local volunteers. Bring your full arsenal of bikes to these destination-worthy areas. From backcountry adventures to shuttle-served gravity trails, and from expert-only to family-friendly, you’ll encounter the best the sport has to offer. Ride Centers range from renowned Gold-Level destinations like Park City, Utah, and Oakridge, Oregon, to smaller towns that totally revolve around the ride like McCall, Idaho, or Marquette, Michigan.”

Here are the destinations that IMBA picks as the best mountain bike destinations on the planet:

GOLD-LEVEL RIDE CENTERS

Roaring Fork/Aspen Snowmass, Aspen, Colorado, USA

Boise, Idaho, USA

Duluth, Minnesota, USA

Nelson, New Zealand

Rotorua, New Zealand

Oakridge, Oregon, USA

Park City, Utah, USA

SILVER-LEVEL RIDE CENTERS

Bentonville, Arkansas, USA

Tucson, Arizona, USA

Steamboat Bike Town, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, USA

Vail Valley, Eagle County, Colorado, USA

McCall, Idaho, USA

Sun Valley, Idaho, USA

Bike Taupo, Taupo, New Zealand

Livigno, Italy

Silver Star Resort, Silver Star, British Columbia, Canada

Copper Harbor, Michigan, USA

Cuyuna Lakes, Crosby, Minnesota, USA

Helena, Montana, USA

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Virginia’s Blue Ridge, Roanoke, Virginia, USA

Teton Region: Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Driggs, Idaho, USA

Snowshoe Highlands, Snowshoe, West Virginia, USA

BRONZE-LEVEL RIDE CENTERS

Coldwater Mountain, Anniston, Alabama, USA

Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA

Valley of the Sun, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Redlands, California, USA

Santos: Ocala, Florida, USA

Central Savannah River Area (FATS): Georgia and South Carolina, USA

Brown County, Nashville, Indiana, USA

Burns Lake, British Columbia, Canada

Rychlebské Stezky, Cerná Voda, Czech Republic

Singltrek pod Smrkem, Czech Republic/Poland

Mt. Buller, Victoria, Australia

Marquette, Michigan, USA

Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Reading, Pennsylvania, USA

Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA

Richmond, Virginia, USA

Chequamegon Area, Cable, Wisconsin, USA

www.imba.com


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Mountain Bike Action is a monthly magazine devoted to all things mountain biking (yes, that’s 12 times a year because we never take a month off of mountain biking). It has been around since 1986 and we’re still having fun.

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