10 Best Mountain Biking Trails In Utah
Utah is one of the best mountain biking destinations in the world. The unmatched terrain combined with the jaw dropping scenery offer the opportunity for an epic weekend. In this blog we’re going to explore some of the best mountain biking in Utah so you can plan your next trip to the beehive state with ease. Let’s start with number 10!
10. Soapstone Basin
It’s crazy that a ride like this could be tenth on the list! The Uinta mountains are truly incredible and this intermediate bike trail gives you a great sneak peak. With the high elevation of the area, this trail is only accessible starting from the early summer until early fall.
It is a relatively flat trail. Over the course of the ride you will gain about 1,300 feet of elevation. The trail is well maintained, but there are a few sections that can get very rocky. This trail takes you through some of the best scenery that Utah has to offer.
Thick trees lead to fields of wildflowers and a beautiful gorge overlooking the Duchesne River. This is a shared trail so be mindful of ATV’s, dirt bikes, other bikers, and the wildlife that you will find on the trail.
9. Northern Skyline Trail
13-mile out and back
There are a variety of options for riders to choose from when attacking this trail. The most common is an out and back trail beginning at the North Ogden Divide Trailhead. You also have the option to ride point to point with a shuttle back.
For the adventurous rider you can also attempt to brave the full loop. This option requires grueling climbs throughout the ride, so be careful what you get yourself into.
We love this trail because it takes riders to the most amazing lookout spots, and it provides a variety of features that make it a hoot to ride! If you’re looking for a good mountain bike ride near Ogden, this is definitely the place to go.
8. Jacob’s Ladder
1.5-mile downhill stretch
This expert trail puts you through the ringer. The Jacob’s Ladder Trail is a short steep downhill section near Draper, Utah. This recently developed area is where you can find a lot of the best mountain biking in Utah.
To get to the trail and back to your car is closer to 10 miles in total. It is a steep climb to get there, but the views are well worth the work. When you begin your descent you will be faced with steep drop offs, loose rock, and the ride of your life!
Be courteous of others and hold on as you enjoy one of the best downhill sections in the state. After the exciting upper section you can enjoy a more relaxing cooldown as you head back to the trailhead to conclude the ride.
Often referred to as the most famous bike trail in the world, this iconic singletrack is a ride you won’t soon forget. The steep climbs and daring descents offer a unique ride through some of the most beautiful landscapes of Moab, Utah.
The smooth sandstone rock offers surprisingly great traction, which makes the ride safe and enjoyable for almost anyone!
This is a bucket list trail for a lot of people which means that the majesty of the trail comes with the price of large crowds on weekends and holidays. We highly recommend visiting during the slower periods for the year like early spring, late fall, and weekdays. This will allow you to enjoy everything the trail has to offer at your own pace.
Arguably one of the most exciting downhill rides in the state. This ride begins in a relatively calm ascent to the base of the mountain. From there you’ll earn your stripes climbing to the top of the ridge. At that point you can enjoy the spectacular views into the Salt Lake valley before you begin your descent. Then you can enjoy the adrenaline rush of flying down through an old creek bed and thick brush at the fastest speed you feel comfortable.
When riding downhill, you can enjoy a variety of features from high berms to huge gap jumps, if you’re looking for that extra bit of adventure. (The jumps are all avoidable if you don’t feel confident with that skill). If you are staying in the downtown Salt Lake area, this is a great ride that can be done in a couple of hours if you are short on time. That’s another thing that makes it even better! This is a fairly difficult trail, so we generally recommend that it should be avoided by beginner riders.
The Rush Trail sits just down the road from the Jacob’s ladder trail, and can be done on the same day. The mileage above is only for the downhill section because this trail is most often done by shuttling riders to the top. If you’ve got someone willing to drive, it is well worth doing a few times in a day.
If you want to put in the work, there are a few trails that can take you to the top depending on where you want to start and finish. Our favorite is just to ride up along the Corner Canyon trail until you reach the top.
This trail combines beautiful scenery with an exciting descent that anyone can do. For experienced riders you can enjoy zipping through tight corners and sending big jumps, and if you’re new to the sport, you can take it slow and avoid the bigger features on the path.
4. Mid Mountain Trail
21.9-mile out and back
As one of the longer trails on the list, it is important to be in good biking shape before you conquer this trail. Located in beautiful Park City, The Mid Mountain Trail takes you through some of the most beautiful parts of the ski resort and drops you off on a jaw dropping ridge. Here you can test your abilities on everything from steep climbs to technical descents.
There isn’t a dull moment on this trail. One of the other benefits of this trail is being close to some of the best food in Utah when you finish. Take some time to explore the shops and take it all in, we promise, you won’t regret it.
3. Thunder Mountain
Utah is known for its National Parks, and Bryce Canyon does not disappoint. Although it does feature beautiful hikes, the biking trails are what truly set it apart from the rest.
Thunder Mountain combines the beauty of the Bryce Canyon hikes with the technicality of true Southern Utah mountain biking. You’ll get your workout as you push over the ridge, but once you reach the top it’s smooth sailing. Enjoy rolling hills and a scenic downhill trail that does not disappoint.
You’ll want your camera on this ride to get a shot of Thunder Mountain from one of the many lookout points along the trail. This is a great ride for people of all abilities. Every feature can be walked, and the ease of the trail makes it perfect for getting your little ones hooked on the sport!
2. The Whole Enchilada
By far the longest trail on the list, you’ll need to be prepared to master this route. Featuring over 34 miles of adrenaline pumping descents, it’s important to stay on your toes. This ride takes place in one of the mountain bike capitals of the world, Moab, Utah. We recommend taking the shuttle to the top of the trail to save some strength for the grueling ride ahead.
From the top you will descend through the Porcupine Rim (weather permitting). This section is arguably the most technical, and has quite a bit of altitude. From there you will continue through Miners Basin all the way back into town.
Even with the shuttle to the top, you will be required to climb a few hills; however, the majority of the ride is downhill. Over the course of the ride you will end up losing more than 7,000 feet of elevation! Be prepared for technical sections throughout the entire ride, and bring plenty of water and extra supplies, because once you start there’s no going back until you reach the town.
1. Wasatch Crest
Sitting at the top of our list is the Wasatch Crest trail in Northern Utah. This trail begins in Guardsmans Pass between Big Cottonwood Canyon and Park City, Utah. We definitely recommend taking the shuttle for this ascent as well. That way you avoid biking the windy narrow roads in the canyon, and you can get right to the good stuff.
This trail starts out on a flowing trail through the trees that gives you a taste of what’s to come. From there you begin your ascent. This half mile climb will leave even the most experienced riders gasping for air at the top, so don’t feel bad if you have to walk your bike a bit.
When you reach the top you will enjoy breathtaking views of the Salt Lake and Park City valleys, a similar view to that experienced on the mid mountain trail. From this point you can enjoy winding trails through wildflower meadows and thick trees that never disappoint. As you reach the end you will encounter The Spine. A narrow rocky section with steep cliffs to either side. This is another section where you can walk your bike without shame if you aren’t confident on the terrain.
At this point you have a couple options to make it back down. You can choose to go back down into Big Cottonwood Canyon or stay on the ridge and drop into Millcreek Canyon. The second option adds a bit of extra mileage, but it is well worth the time. If you love mountain biking as much as we do, this is a ride you can’t miss. This really is the best mountain biking in Utah.
Looking For More?
The trails in Utah are unbeatable. We’ve done our best to narrow it down to ten best mountain biking trails in Utah, but there are so many other amazing trails that we spent hours arguing about which ones to include. Whether you’re a beginner in the sport or a seasoned rider, we are confident that you will love riding in Utah.
For more information about mountain biking and other activities in Utah, check out our blog! And if you need a place to stay in the area, we have incredible homes we know you are going to love! Contact us today to learn more!