Guidebook

Greg Heil’s Top 25 MTB Trails from Around the World

After a decade of working in the mountain bike media industry, Greg Heil shares his top trail recommendations.

Description

The world of mountain bike trails is a vast and magical place. In no way could one person hope to explore every trail in every nation around the globe—it would take multiple lifetimes to even come close. Yet the impossibility of ever achieving such a lofty goal doesn’t stop us from trying!

Over the past decade of working full time in the mountain bike media industry, employed as everything from a freelance writer to an editor in chief, I have been fortunate enough to travel extensively throughout the USA and, increasingly, abroad. These travels have allowed me to ride over a thousand superb mountain bike trails in numerous countries. Despite spending years wandering to and fro with my bike, there are massive holes in my mountain bike resume—places like coastal British Columbia and New Zealand continue to elude me.

Holes aside, I receive requests via social media on an almost daily basis to share my top trail picks from my travels. In this guidebook, I’ve attempted to answer those requests by collecting the very best mountain bike trail highlights from around the world that I’ve personally pedaled.

This guidebook was assembled on April 3rd, 2019, and undoubtedly over the course of just this year, this list will change. The holes mentioned above? I aim to fill them. Regardless of how fluid this list may be, every trail in this guidebook is bucket list-worthy and is worth however much effort you have to invest to get there and ride it.

Go forth and pedal the planet!

The Whole Enchilada
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

The Whole Enchilada

Moab
50.2 km
873 m
2,752 m
One of the most epic mountain bike rides of all time, the Whole Enchilada drops over 7,000 feet of vertical and passes through every climate zone imaginable, from high alpine tundra to desert.
Extreme
Private
Monarch Crest
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Monarch Crest

Salida
57.1 km
1,062 m
2,231 m
This epic trail provides high alpine ridge top riding at treeline with views for hundreds of miles in all directions, finishing with a ripping descent down the mountain.
Severe
Private
Furcletta - Welschtobel Tour
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Furcletta - Welschtobel Tour

Arosa and Lenzerheide
36.5 km
2,992 m
2,992 m
Possibly one of the most beautiful mountain bike trails in the world—the Welschtobel Valley is unbelievably beautiful!
Severe
Private
Canyon Creek Loop
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Canyon Creek Loop

Salida
31.1 km
1,176 m
1,176 m
The 10-mile descent ripping down the Canyon Creek Trail from this route's high point atop a 12,500-foot mountain is to die for!
Severe
Private
Gallinero Trail

Gallinero Trail

Benasque
14.8 km
213 m
1,414 m
A gorgeous high alpine singletrack leads to an extended, technical descent.
Severe
Private
Captain Ahab
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Captain Ahab

Moab
14.2 km
431 m
431 m
Captain Ahab combines the best new-school singletrack trail building techniques with Moab's famous views and challenging rocks for a classic mountain bike experience.
Severe
Private
Pikes Peak Shuttle
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Pikes Peak Shuttle

Colorado Springs
18.4 km
17 m
2,274 m
Ride your bike off the summit of America's Mountain!
Extreme
Private
Doctor Park
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Doctor Park

Crested Butte
33.3 km
938 m
938 m
Not only is it considered the best backcountry singletrack descent in Crested Butte, but Doctor Park ranks as one of the best singletrack descents in the nation!
Severe
Private
The Ribbon
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

The Ribbon

Grand Junction
16.4 km
259 m
884 m
One of the fastest, rowdiest, point-to-point shuttles anywhere, with wide-open rock slab riding, uber-technical rock gardens, and big jump and drop options--experts only!
Extreme
Private
Osberg Ridgeline Epic

Osberg Ridgeline Epic

Sun Valley
53.2 km
1,294 m
1,961 m
An epic length point-to-point route that breaks above treeline, providing breathtaking views.
Difficult
Private
Trail 401
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Trail 401

Crested Butte
22.2 km
736 m
736 m
Arguably the most beautiful trail in North America, with epic views of the Elk Range, Trail 401 is also one of the oldest and best-known trails in the world.
Difficult
Private
Hiline
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Hiline

Sedona
14.2 km
330 m
330 m
Hiline offers stunning views of the Red Rocks region from exposed mountainside singletrack. Finish it off with a raucous descent down a black-diamond plunge!
Extreme
Private
Rockstacker to Jackson's
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Rockstacker to Jackson's

Moab
19.2 km
577 m
577 m
If death-defying ledge drops, massive boulders, narrow singletrack on top of a thousand-foot cliff, and jaw-dropping views constitute your idea of fun, then Rockstacker to Jackson's is for you!
Extreme
Private
Alpine Trail

Alpine Trail

Oakridge
26.5 km
807 m
1,606 m
Known as the "crown jewel" of Oakridge, the Alpine Trail easily ranks among the best shuttle routes in the world.
Difficult
Private
Wasatch Crest -> Park City
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Wasatch Crest -> Park City

Park City and Deer Valley
22.3 km
334 m
1,216 m
Gorgeous ridge top singletrack riding with a ripping descent to finish—the best trail in Park City!
Severe
Private
Maxi Avalanche

Maxi Avalanche

28.7 km
590 m
1,530 m
An epic enduro race course that works great as a day-long shuttle ride.
Severe
Private
Dupont State Forest Slickrock
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Dupont State Forest Slickrock

Brevard
11.8 km
378 m
378 m
Experience Dupont's famous slickrock balds in the most efficient way possible.
Severe
Private
Biketicket 2 Ride Black Tour
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Biketicket 2 Ride Black Tour

Arosa and Lenzerheide
83.2 km
6,056 m
6,056 m
20,000 feet of descending in one day in the beautiful Swiss Alps.
Severe
Private
Tahoe Rim Trail -> Flume Trail
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Tahoe Rim Trail -> Flume Trail

Mount Rose
38.9 km
735 m
1,466 m
An epic combination of two of Tahoe's most iconic trails.
Moderate
Private
Colorado Trail: Searle Pass and Kokomo Pass
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Searle Pass and Kokomo Pass

28.5 km
942 m
1,049 m
One of the best sections of high alpine singletrack in the state of Colorado!
Difficult
Private
Hangover
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Hangover

Sedona
13.3 km
385 m
385 m
Extreme exposure coupled with brutally-technical rock moves make Hangover one of the most technical--and dangerous--trails in the nation.
Extreme
Private
Downieville Downhill
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Downieville Downhill

Downieville
23.7 km
381 m
1,630 m
A shuttle run of epic proportions, dropping thousands of feet from a mountain top down to a river bottom.
Severe
Private
Colorado Trail: Kennebec Pass to Durango
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Colorado Trail: Kennebec Pass to Durango

Durango
43.5 km
1,476 m
2,171 m
Kennebec Pass to Durango is a ripping enduro-style descent starting high above tree line and dropping down gnarly singletrack all the way to town.
Severe
Private
Laurel Mountain
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Laurel Mountain

Brevard
28.6 km
1,106 m
1,106 m
Big climbs, big views, technical high-speed descents—Pisgah National Forest at its finest!
Extreme
Private
McKenzie River Trail
The best Adventures on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

McKenzie River Trail

37.2 km
380 m
888 m
One of the most famous trails in Oregon, the singletrack is entertaining and the views are second to none!
Difficult
Private