We’re heading into a New Year at the swiftest pace and that means that it’s time to get planning your next mountain biking adventure. If this year has taught us anything, it’s the power of the outdoors and that travel is essential for the soul. That being said, it also highlighted the importance of having really great local trails to get out and about when it’s impossible to go further afield.
So, you can stop leafing through your Lonely Planet and throwing darts at a map for your next destination! Because we’ve got you covered with a list of trail gold from all over the world. Check out the following mountain biking destinations that we reckon are a must-ride.
Snowy Mountains NSW
Seeing as we’ve been keeping it local this year, what better way to start than an epic adventure in our backyard! The Snowy Mountains are a prime location for mountain biking and what we love the most is that there’s a little something for everyone. The Monaro Plains are littered with giant boulders, you’ll pass stunning alpine lakes and get to experience Australia’s highest peak—all within one place. Thredbo has the adrenaline pumping Canonball Downhill Trail for experienced riders, as well as Easy Street and the Thredbo Valley track for beginners. Then there’s 18km of track at Lake Crackenback and over 20km of professional tracks at Bungarra Alpine Centre. These are more top 5 bike trails in New South Wales.
Victorian High Country
This is currently the leading destination for mountain biking in Australia and once you’re there it’s easy to see why. Bright, Mt Buller, Falls Creek, Mt Beauty, Beechworth, Yackandandah, and Dinner Plain are just some of the spots that you can choose from. Each offers a stunning number of tracks and there are few more good variety of bike trails in Victoria to opt for depending on experience and fitness levels.
QLD State Forests
The national and conservation parks and state forests in Queensland offer some of Australia’s most astonishing mountain biking options. Parks have been purpose-built to ensure a premium MTB experience and the shared trails are the best way to see the contrasting landscapes found throughout the state. Whether you’re at an advanced competitor level, you’re just learning to ride, or you just want to take a family outing, Queensland has got something for you. From the Parkland Conservation Park to the Nerang State Park and Forest, the Cordalba State Forest, and the hundreds of others in between—there really is no shortage of epic adventure that awaits all MTB enthusiasts.
Queenstown is undoubtedly the most beloved mountain biking destination in New Zealand. With the Queenstown Bike Park, Coronet Peak, Cardrona Alpine Resort, 7 Mile Scenic Reserve Mountain Bike Park, Fernhill Bike Park, Gorge Road Jump Park, Remarkables DH, Moke Lake, Glendhu and Alexandra as just some of the hundreds of trail options, it is easy to see why it attracts riders from all over the world. It’s not just the trails themselves that are so appealing, but also the undeniably stunning natural beauty that New Zealand is known for.
Rotorua has some of the world’s best MTB tracks in Whirinaki Forest Park Mountain Bike Track, Great Lake Trail - Lake Taupo, Rainbow Mountain MTB Loop, Western Okataina, Moerangi Track, Motu Trails, Timber Trail, Huka to Aratiatia, Craters of the Moon and Lake Rotorua. Be warned, however, that many of them are not for the sedate at heart. Rotorua has some hellishly elevated climbs, but the reward of some of the best views in the most gorgeous area of New Zealand. Lush forests, incredible birdlife, and an ancient place of spirits—this is a ride like you’ll get nowhere else on the globe.
Whistler is better known for its snowboarding adventures than anything else, but they have been pushing the boundaries when it comes to trail development and this makes it a premium MTB destination. Not to mention the scenery. The Whistler Mountain Bike Park is by far the most famous trail destination with a huge number of trails crossing four mountain zones. If you’re looking to push yourself, then that’s your spot. For a more relaxed and scenic experience, then you could give the Valley Trail a try to take a ride around the picturesque lakes. Whistler is about a lot more than snow and could be one of the best mountain biking experiences you’ll ever have.
It’s not an exact science at this stage, but there’s something like over 80 trails to choose from in Leogang and more are added every year it seems. Flow Link, Hot Shots, Hangman I, Flying Gangster, Speedster and Hangman II are just some of the names of the more difficult tracks and they are as tricky and electrifying as their names suggest. There are also a couple of easier tracks for beginners, so worry not if you have a little ripper that isn’t quite ready for the more experienced tracks yet.
If there’s a hot-ticket MTB destination, it’s got to be the French Alps. Beautiful scenery, sunny trails, an absolutely extensive lift network and seemingly endless trails make it one of the world’s top choice destinations for mountain biking. Some of the most well-known trails include the Avoriaz Mountain Chamonix Mountain Châtel Mountain, La Clusaz Mountain, Les Gets Mountain, Morzine Mountain, Sixt Fer à Cheval Mountain, and Alpe d'Huez Mountain. These are just some of the epic trails to check out though and we’d suggest doing some really good research to find some of the hidden gems.
For many a year, Utah was seen as an MTB destination primarily for the Moab trails of Slickrock, Porcupine Rim and Amasa Back. However, there has been a big push in track development and now these are just some of the tracks within a huge network that showcases this stunning landscape. Check out some of these trails: Wasatch Crest Trail,
Red Canyon/Thunder Mountain, Mid-mountain Trail, Corner Canyon Wheeler Creek to Coldwater Overlook, and WOW Trail to get just a taste of what Utah has to offer.
As you can imagine, Colorado’s Rockies make for some of the best mountain biking experiences in the world—add in the expansive views and stunning landscape and you’ve got yourself a winner. From Steamboat Springs and the Morning Gloria Trail to the Diamond Park Trail and everything else in between; there’s no shortage of truly incredible trails in Colorado for all levels of experience and it’s certainly a destination that should be on any MTB lovers bucket list.
These are just some of the destinations that we love most from around the world and obviously, we don’t have the time to cover them all. What are some of your go-to mountain biking destinations? Any particular trails you love? Let us know or feel free to get in touch with us if you’d like to know anything else about MTB gear, MTB clothing, MTB protection and destinations.