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7 Reasons to Mountain Bike Utah

Two people riding mountain bikes across pale desert rock terrain with bright blue sky over head

Moun­tain bik­ing in Utah is a dream come true for many moun­tain bik­ing enthu­si­asts. Over the last 30 years, Utah has made a name for itself as one of the pre­miere  moun­tain bike des­ti­na­tions in the world.  With end­less sun­shine,  slick­rock trails,  and  amaz­ing geo­log­i­cal won­ders per­fect for two knob­by tires — Utah  needs to be on your buck­et list.  If you’re ready to ride Utah, click HERE

Here are 7 reasons you need to mountain bike Utah:

1. The Slickrock

Yes, it is a pop­u­lar moun­tain bike trail in Utah—but I’m talk­ing about the geo­log­i­cal fea­tures of slick­rock that make it  amaz­ing for moun­tain bik­ers.  Sim­ply put, slick­rock is a term used to describe smooth, out­crop­pings of weath­ered sand­stone.  The sur­face of sand­stone is sim­i­lar to con­crete, and it offers tons of grip for two wheels, mak­ing cer­tain trails fea­tures and obsta­cles eas­i­er to conquer. 

Mountain biker coming down a sandstone hill in Utah with bright blue sky overhead

2. The Climate

I would­n’t sug­gest moun­tain bik­ing in Utah in the sum­mer months (June — August), but any­time in the Spring (April ‑May) and Fall (Sep­tem­ber — Octo­ber) offers the per­fect moun­tain bik­ing weath­er. The sun is usu­al­ly shin­ing and tem­per­a­tures can range from 25 degrees Cel­sius — 30 degrees Cel­sius (We’re Cana­di­an eh? That’s between 75F — 86F). When the sun decides to sneak behind a cloud, you may be lucky enough to wit­ness a beau­ti­ful desert rain storm (and rain­bow). If you decide to vis­it in the Spring, you’ll be daz­zled by the beau­ti­ful desert flow­ers. If you’re in the right part of Utah you can cer­tain­ly ride year-round.

Woman riding a mountain bike across red rocky landscape with gray sky and clouds overhead and a rainbow arched over her in the background

3. The Other Adventures

Utah is not only home to huge net­works of moun­tain bike trails in var­i­ous areas (Moab, St. George, Hur­ri­cane, Salt Lake City, etc.), it’s also a gen­er­al adven­tur­er’s play­ground. Want to go canyon­ing , rock climb­ing or hik­ing? Utah has it all. One of our favourite spots to explore is Zion Nation­al Park and Arch­es Nation­al Park, where beau­ti­ful nat­ur­al fea­tures have been carved by wind and rain over the millennium.

Person climbing and hiking up red sandstone cliff with canyons behind her and bright blue sky overhead
Two large stone arches on sandstone terrain in Arches National Park in Utah

4. The Variety

Whether you are moun­tain bik­ing in Moab, St. George, or near Salt Lake City—you’ll be able to find trails for all skill lev­els. From smooth Green trails to Dou­ble Black trails with tech­ni­cal fea­tures, you can eas­i­ly choose your own adven­tures and chal­lenges. Since the ter­rain is so grip­py, Utah is a great places to prac­tice your skills and gain more con­fi­dence as a rid­er. The one downside…if you do bail, you’ll most like­ly be falling on rock, so we sug­gest elbow and knee pads depend­ing on your com­fort level.

Three people mountain biking in a line across rocky desert terrain

5. The Parklands

We’ve already men­tioned two Nation­al Parks that you should explore if trav­el­ing to Utah (Zion Nation­al Park and Arch­es Nation­al Park), but there are so many oth­er nat­ur­al won­ders to explore—it’s a great com­ple­men­tary activ­i­ty for your moun­tain bik­ing adven­ture. Remem­ber to respect the park­lands. Moun­tain bik­ing is usu­al­ly pro­hib­it­ed in nation­al parks, but you are guar­an­teed to find trails just out­side the park bound­aries. Here is a list of parks to check out:

Silhouette of person standing on massive boulder the height of a house, with sunset and fading orange and red on the horizon

6. The Community

If you decide that your next moun­tain bike trip is going to be in Utah, you won’t be alone. Once you arrive, you’ll prob­a­bly meet pas­sion­ate moun­tain bik­ers from around the world, who flock to pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions like Moab, to  ped­al their hearts out. You’ll also quick­ly expe­ri­ence the strong moun­tain bike cul­ture. Vis­it any bike shop in Moab (Poi­son Spi­der Bikes), St. George or Hur­ri­cane (Over the Edge)  and you’ll find a team of staff eager to rec­om­mend trails,  have you join local group rides and  share their local knowl­edge.  We strong­ly believe that when trav­el­ing, the best  advice always comes from the locals, so don’t be shy to drop by a bike store and intro­duce yourself. 

9 people lined up side-by-side sitting on their mountain bikes in rock desert landscape

7. The Epics

Talk to any moun­tain bik­er about Moab, Utah and they’ll prob­a­bly have to wipe the drool off their face.  Moab has become  a mec­ca for moun­tain bik­ers, and rid­ers flock to  the desert par­adise every year. Ask any moun­tain bik­er what’s on their buck­et list, and if they haven’t already rid­den Moab, it will most like­ly be some­where at the top of their list. There are tons of pop­u­lar moun­tain bike trails in Moab, but there are a few that stand­out  from the rest. 

SLICKROCK TRAIL 
Rat­ed: Black Dia­mond
Length: 11km of pure bliss
PORCUPINE RIM
Rat­ed: Black Dia­mond
Length: 17 km
CAPTAIN AHAB 
Rat­ed:  Black Dia­mond
Length: 7km 
THE WHOLE ENCHILADA  ROUTE
Rat­ed: Black Dia­mond
Length: 43km  

Ready to mountain bike Utah? Click here!