Top 10 Mountain Bike Destinations Around the World

Top 10 Mountain Bike Destinations Around the World

Finding the best mountain bike destinations in the local area can be done quickly and soon you will find that you will outgrow your beloved trails in search of something bigger, better, and more breathtaking. When this happens, many riders take up international travel to find out what other countries have to offer when it comes to downhill descents, steep climbs, speed, and excellent terrain. Before you pack your bags, take a look at the top ten mountain bike destinations from around the world.

Top 10 Mountain Bike Destinations Around the World

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

    1. Park City

In the heart of the Rocky Mountains, you will find the famous Park City. Park City has trails available for riders of any skill level and each trail provides exquisite scenery. If you are looking for a technical single track, Park City is the place to go as it is home to some of the very best in the world.

As a matter of fact, Park City is a recognized ‘Ride Center’ by the International Mountain Biking Association and to be qualified as a ‘Ride Center’ the area must cater to riders of all ages and levels. Park City is the only ‘Ride Center’ in the world that holds a gold-level status. Needless to say, Park City is not to be missed.

  • Location: Utah, United States

  • Total Miles: 300+

  • Most Popular Trail(s): Wasatch Crest, Park City Mountain Resort Trail,

  • Difficulty Level: Beginner to Expert

  • Events: Utah Enduro Cup, Mid-Week MTB Series, and Jupiter Peak Steeplechase

    2. Cape Town

Cape Town is not only full of spectacular views, it is a mecca for mountain biking. The various trail terrains provide challenges as well as fun throughout the ride. Throughout several trails you will have the white sands and the crystal clear blue water alongside you.

There are several events held in Cape Town each year and mountain biking enthusiasts join in for the competition, fun, and the chance to meet fellow riders. People from all over the globe come together throughout the year in Cape Town with one purpose- mountain biking. It is easy to understand the popularity of this amazing place once you have had the chance to ride one of the epic trails or single tracks.

  • Location: Western Cape, South Africa

  • Total Miles: 400+

  • Most Popular Trail(s): Table Mountain, Lion’s Head

  • Difficulty Level: Beginner to Expert

  • Events: Cape Epic, Trans Cape MTB, Lighthouse to Lighthouse MTB, (just to name a few; Events in Cape Town fill up the calendar every year!)

    3. Edinburgh

The rolling, lush, green hills of Edinburgh are a calm and quiet place to get back in touch with nature and enjoy a great ride. Edinburgh trails are excellent for beginners, yet there are a few that cater to those with more experience and skill. Regardless of your skill level, all riders can agree on the uniqueness and beauty of this area.

It comes to no surprise the Edinburgh is one of the most popular mountain biking destinations for Great Britain and it is quickly gaining notoriety around the globe. The cool, fresh air combined with the terrain and views truly make Edinburgh a special place to take your mountain bike out for a spin.

  • Location: Scotland

  • Total Miles: 60+

  • Most Popular Trail: Trails within the Pentland Hills Regional Park

  • Difficulty Level: Beginner to Advanced

  • Events: The Celtic Challenge

    4. Rotorua

Located in the cool forests of New Zealand, Rotorua is the perfect place for riders that live for the views as well as the winding trails. Mountain biking in Rotorua can be enjoyed by anyone of any level and there are even guided tours for those who are novices. Those who experience Rotorua will fall in love with the green mountain side and lush forests.

If you have never gone mountain biking before, Rotorua not only has guides, there is also bike rentals available. For riders who are passionate hobbyists or have a competitive nature, there are trails within Rotorua that will leave you feeling challenged and exhilarated. Additionally when you are off the trail you can take advantage of the onsite cafes, mechanical bike support, kayaking, or taking a dip in the hot pools.

  • Location: Whakarewarewa Forest, New Zealand

  • Total Miles: 81

  • Most Popular Trail(s): Whirinaki Forest Mountain Bike Track

  • Difficulty Level: Beginner to Advanced

  • Events: Crankworx Rotorua Festival

    5. Finale Ligure

Finale Ligure is a well-known bike resort (yes, a resort), that keeps the mountain bike riders every wish in mind, starting with the trails. In the heart of the Mediterranean rests the winding trails and some of the highest hilltops in Italy- reaching up to 1400 meters. Bike enthusiasts from all backgrounds can agree that riding the Finale Ligure is not only stunning, but memorable.

The trails featured within Finale Ligure naturally include many twists and turns and the terrain has several rocks and roots that will put you and your bike to the test. Not to mention, the cafés and dining in the Finale Ligure have something for every rider looking for a luxurious or relaxing moment off of the trail. Besides, the crystal blue waters of the coast, provide such a gorgeous backdrop to this historical biking paradise, you will never want to leave.

  • Location: Muenchen, Italy

  • Total Miles: < 20

  • Most Popular Trail: Madre Natura

  • Difficulty Level: Beginner to Advanced

  • Events: Eurobike, Superenduro Race

    6. Whistler

Whistler Mountain Bike Park rests within the exquisite mountain ranges of British Colombia. These North American mountains not only provide thrills and technical trails, but the stunning views bring riders from all over the world. During ski season, riders are able to access the chair lifts to get to the trailheads which allow riders to save time and energy. This in turn lets mountain bikers ride more trails during their day.

Whistler is not only famous for their technical and smooth trails; the bike park is another great feature. Those who are beginners or riders looking for something a bit different and fun, the bike park is available for use. There are also coaches and guides available for those who want to sharpen their technical skills or look for advice. Beyond the bike park are several other trails to explore so those who visit will always be able to find something new.

  • Location: British Colombia, Canada

  • Total Miles: 120

  • Most Popular Trail(s): Molly Hagan, Cut Yer Bars, A River Runs Through It

  • Difficulty Level: Beginners to Expert

  • Events: Crankworkx Freeride Mountain Bike Festival

    7. Alps

Throughout the Alps, there are several hundred different trails and regions that offer superb climbs and magnificent descents. Morzine sits at the heart of all the action in the Alps and there are several chairlifts and shuttles to take you to trailheads scattered throughout the areas. Since there is such an extensive and intricate chair lift system (that starts in Morzine) riders do not have to worry about the steep climbs and can simply enjoy the descents.

Mountain bike riding in Morzine is especially popular (and convenient) for those from Great Britain. It is so easy to get to from the UK and the sheer beauty of the snow-capped mountain peaks is un-paralleled. During the summer, the Alps can be quite hot and the landscape changes to lush green. No matter which time of year you visit Morzine, the trails will always be satisfying.

Since Morzine is such a hub for mountain biking in the Alps, there are more than enough cafes, restaurants, bike shops, and accommodation. Mountain biking enthusiasts from across the globe should visit Morzine at least once to experience the epic descents and stay for the numerous areas to explore.

  • Location: Morzine, France

  • Total Miles: 220

  • Most Popular Trail: Heart Attack Hill

  • Difficulty Level: Intermediate to Expert

  • Events: Pass'Portes du Soleil

    8. Reykjavik

Reykjavik is one of the most Northern capitals in the world and it is no surprise that this city makes it on our list. No matter your skill level, there will be something there for you. Whether you are looking for a short and easy ride or a trail that will take you to a more remote location, Reykjavik has it on offer. There are trails that even allow you to mountain bike across the whole island. Whichever route you choose to take, you will always be in range of the city center.

Since Reykjavik is located in such a northern area, it is much colder (even during the summer months) than other regions. Just as long as you pack the right gear and equipment, this should not stop you from experiencing a ride in one of the most spectacular places in the world. Not to mention, after a long days ride, you can enjoy a dip in the Blue Lagoon. This hot spring is perfect for relaxation and soothing sore muscles, not to mention warming you up from the cool air.

  • Location: Iceland

  • Total Miles: <50

  • Most Popular Trail: Heiðmerkurhringur

  • Difficulty Level: Beginners to Expert

  • Events: Blue Lagoon Challenge

    9. Manly Dam

In the land down under are a host of mountain biking regions. However, Sydney is home to some of the best trails and routes within Australia. Set in the outback riders will experience rocky and challenging terrain, yet the peacefulness of the remote area brings riders back in touch with nature and the reason they love mountain biking.

On the trails riders will be challenged by low hanging trees, man-made ladders, large rocks, roots, long climbs, and of course, thrilling descents. Mountain biking in Manly Dam is truly an adventure, especially when you consider the fact that a wildlife encounter is not so much of a rare occurrence. (Just be aware that there are several dangerous species amongst the Australian wildlife).

Since Manly Dam is so close to the coast, many riders take advantage of the cool waters after a long day’s ride on these technical trails. Getting back to the cities center is very quick and you can experience a day of remote nature and riding, and then a night of a bustling, busy city. The convenience of having access to both of these worlds attracts riders to this spot year after year.

  • Location: Sydney, Australia

  • Total Miles: <20

  • Most Popular Trail: Manly Dam Reserve

  • Difficulty Level: Beginner to Advanced

  • Events: Manly Dam Mountain Bike Challenge

    10. La Paz

To round off our list, we have to include the physically demanding and technically challenging La Paz. This mountain biking area is located in the Andes Mountains on extinct volcanic rock. The volcano helped shape this region giving trails a unique layout and simply stunning landscapes.

The reason that this area is so challenging is due to the fact that the air is thinner and there is less oxygen. Those who are looking to ride the trails in the world’s highest capital city will need to train extensively before doing so. Most riders will find the thinner air difficult to breathe while they are climbing up the steep ascents. The extra training is more than worth it. Riders that have experienced this area easily fall in love with the technical trails and speedy descents.

Although it is recommended for advanced or expert riders, riding in this region is a great goal to set if you are a beginner. Having the chance to see this part of the world on your bike is not only an excellent challenge, but it is an incredible experience.

  • Location: Bolivia

  • Total Miles: <85

  • Most Popular Trail: Death Road

  • Difficulty Level: Advanced to Expert

  • Events: Inca Avalanche Race

Mountain biking destinations from across the globe are gaining more and more popularity with each passing year. The epic descents, fabulous and breathtaking views, and the physically and technically challenging trails are what attract mountain biking enthusiasts from all over the world.

Many riders seek out these special places not only for the area but also for the experience of a lifetime. Riding trails in these regions will be unforgettable and you will feel compelled to return year after year. Who knows, you might even find yourself becoming addicted to finding new places to ride and this list is a perfect place to get started.

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