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Dropping a "chute" on Chutes and Ladders

Grip It and Rip It: Las Vegas's Best Shuttle Runs

Slash a fine selection of gnarly enduro runs near the metropolis of Las Vegas.

Mountain Biking Moderate, Difficult, Severe, Extreme

Dropping a "chute" on Chutes and Ladders
Dropping a "chute" on Chutes and Ladders Photo: Greg Heil


The mountain biking in Las Vegas is renowned for its rugged, technical trails. The desert surrounding the city is solely inhabited by an endless sea of sand and rocks of varying sizes. Most of the rocks around Vegas are sharp—the rocks found on the mountain bike trails in the region feature knife edges, ripples like razors, and abrupt ledges... all of which seem perfectly designed to shred your tires to bits!

One thing Vegas isn't known for is big mountains and massive shuttle runs. However, you might be surprised to learn that there are two different zones that offering great shuttling, one of which actually is a massive mountain!

First, Bootleg Canyon is the most famous trail system in the area, and it has historically been the home of full-blown downhill races. A short dirt road winds its way to the top of the small mountain, providing uplift access to short (but steep) downhill rips. Even outside of race day, you can tackle absurdly-difficult lines that blast straight down the southern side of the mountain at Bootleg Canyon.

But second (and even more significantly), as it turns out, there actually is a fantastic alpine shuttle zone located just 45 minutes from downtown. Known collectively as "Mount Charleston," the trails in this area descend from Deer Creek Highway in the valley below Fletcher Peak. While you won't find any true long-distance shuttles with dozens of miles of singletrack and over a vertical mile of descending, you can still shred down a cool 2,000 vertical feet in a few minutes on several steep shots of singletrack.

Arguably the prime route down the mountain begins on the Chutes and Ladders Trail and finishes on Tin Can Alley. But you can also tackle a slightly mellower and more pedally shuttle run on the Showgirl Trails in the same zone.

Whether you stick to the low desert trails at Bootleg or head high into the alpine near Mount Charleston, Vegas can indeed offer some delightfully steep, fast, and technical shuttle riding for the gravity inclined!

Routes included

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