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.
The new intermediate-friendly trail systems north of town—North Klondike, Sovereign, Klonzo, and the Brands—all connect. Navajo Rocks, off the road to Canyonlands, offers 18 miles of slickrock, flow, and scenic views and Magnificent 7 (or Mag 7) links upper and lower Gemini Bridges Road in one ledgy, memorable traverse.
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 (fall being your best chance to ride the Whole Enchilada).
Beyond the riding, Moab is the gateway to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, a spectacular stretch of the Colorado River, and world-famous climbing at Indian Creek in Bears Ears National Monument.
Crested Butte, Colorado, has a core bike culture that lures riders from all over the world. Its mountain bike history goes back to the sport’s infancy (the mid-1970s), when intrepid riders tackled Pearl Pass on one-speeds. Crested Butte Bike Week dates back to 1980, making it the country’s oldest mountain bike festival.
With more than 700 miles of singletrack—from buff trails casually winding through wildflowers to rugged backcountry rides climbing to 13,000 feet—Crested Butte boasts a solid week’s worth of quality rides (including classics such as Trail 401 and Reno/Flag/Bear/Deadman Gulch) with perhaps the most spectacular bike-accessed scenery in the country.
Several close-to-town cross-country trails have popped up in the last few years like the beginner-friendly Lupine Trail, which follows the bike path from town north to the ski area and back. Evolution Bike Park at Crested Butte Mountain Resort includes more than 30 miles of downhill and cross-country trails. What’s more, the small town of Crested Butte is ridiculously charming (think colorful Victorians and dirt side streets) and packed with delicious eateries and fun watering holes.