Guidebook

Classic MTB Trails that Lure Riders Back Again and Again

Some of the oldest trails in the USA are still the best.

Description

As the sport of mountain biking has matured over the years, the advent of purpose-built mountain bike trails and advances in trail design have led to new mountain bike trails that are better than ever before! Flow trails that are perfectly optimized for bikes offer a kinesthetic experience that’s guaranteed to trigger a two-wheeled flow state. And even the new school technical trails are better than ever before: drops with well-built landings, big jumps, burly rock gardens… purpose-built mountain bike trails don’t have to be easy!

Despite the advances in trail building, many of the original mountain bike trails that have been around for decades, or even before the mountain bike was invented, continue to lure riders back year after year. Some mountain bikers are still pedaling the same singletrack trails and slabs of slickrock that they were riding 40 years ago!

In this guidebook, you’ll find a wide selection of classic mountain bike trails across the United States that continue to bring riders back over and over again, for decades on end. Highlights on this list include the iconic Tsali loops in North Carolina, Slickrock in Moab, Demo Forest near Santa Cruz, the Flume Trail in Tahoe, Captain Jack’s in Colorado Springs, and so, so many more.

In many ways, the trails in this guidebook have helped shape the sport of mountain biking. From inspiring the first suspension fork, to defining what an “epic” ride is, these rides were foundational for our sport, and they still continue to deliver superb mountain biking experiences even today.

Think we missed a classic ride? Head to FATMAP’s Adventure Studio and upload it!

Tsali: Right and Left Loops
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Tsali: Right and Left Loops

30.9 km
691 m
691 m
Sinuous, mostly-smooth singletrack along the shores of beautiful Fontana lake.
Difficult
Private
Tsali: Mouse Branch and Thompson Loops
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Tsali: Mouse Branch and Thompson Loops

22.6 km
551 m
551 m
Sinuous, mostly-smooth singletrack along the shores of beautiful Fontana lake.
Moderate
Private
The Flume Trail
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

The Flume Trail

Lake Tahoe
28.1 km
728 m
511 m
The historic Flume Trail, traversing high above the stunningly-beautiful Lake Tahoe.
Moderate
Private
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

Lake Tahoe
14.1 km
434 m
833 m
South Lake Tahoe's classic, technical MTB descent.
Severe
Private
Monarch Crest
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Monarch Crest

Salida
58.6 km
1,043 m
2,222 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.
Difficult
Private
Slickrock
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Slickrock

Moab
15.8 km
388 m
388 m
One of the original world-famous mountain bike trails, the unique slickrock slabs provide an otherworldly ride experience
Severe
Private
Porcupine Rim
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Porcupine Rim

Moab
23.0 km
408 m
972 m
Porcupine Rim is a Moab classic in the true sense of the word. Mountain bikers have been braving Porcupine Rim's gnar since at least the 1980s.
Extreme
Private
Zippety Do Da
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Zippety Do Da

Fruita
10.9 km
277 m
278 m
Zippety Do Da provides the fast downhill bombs, swoop and flow, and visually-stunning ridgeline singletrack that put Fruita on the map.
Difficult
Private
Phil's World
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Phil's World

44.8 km
708 m
708 m
A 25-mile winding, swooping beginner-friendly (but joy-inducing for all levels) chunk of high-desert terrain that will pin your grin from ear to ear.
Moderate
Private
Bull Mountain
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Bull Mountain

Dahlonega
26.8 km
860 m
860 m
One of the original iconic mountain bike rides in the Southeastern US still ranks among the best!
Severe
Private
Bear Creek Out-and-Back
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Bear Creek Out-and-Back

Ellijay
19.8 km
628 m
628 m
A classic North Georgia singletrack ride along a rushing mountain stream.
Difficult
Private
Soquel Demonstration Forest

Soquel Demonstration Forest

Santa Cruz
20.2 km
781 m
780 m
The longest single loop available in the Demo Forest.
Severe
Private
McKenzie River Trail
The best Routes 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
Fisher Creek Loop

Fisher Creek Loop

Sun Valley
27.5 km
631 m
631 m
A classic cross country ride with a fanatical following.
Moderate
Private
Sweetwater Preserve Trail System
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Sweetwater Preserve Trail System

16.2 km
207 m
207 m
A classic, scenic desert mountain bike trail with challenging rock sections.
Moderate
Private
Captain Jack's Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Captain Jack's Loop

Colorado Springs
21.9 km
757 m
757 m
One of the original classic mountain bike rides, Captain Jack's still delivers a rocking-good time!
Difficult
Private
Levis Mounds: Long Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Levis Mounds: Long Loop

22.7 km
424 m
424 m
Maximize your singletrack distance at Levis with this recommended long loop.
Difficult
Private
Thunder Mountain Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Thunder Mountain Loop

23.7 km
584 m
585 m
A classic mountain bike ride offering views of Bryce Canyon's iconic hoodoos.
Difficult
Private
South Boundary Trail
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

South Boundary Trail

33.1 km
681 m
1,519 m
The South Boundary Trail is New Mexico's favorite epic shuttle ride.
Severe
Private
Trail 401
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Trail 401

Crested Butte
22.2 km
737 m
737 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.
Moderate
Private
Downieville Downhill
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Downieville Downhill

Downieville
24.4 km
306 m
1,572 m
A shuttle run of epic proportions, dropping thousands of feet from a mountain top down to a river bottom.
Severe
Private
Gooseberry Mesa
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Gooseberry Mesa

Zion National Park
17.0 km
230 m
230 m
Rippled slickrock riding paired with extreme exposure and beautiful views from the mesa's rim.
Severe
Private
Kingdom Trails: Eastern Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Kingdom Trails: Eastern Loop

29.5 km
861 m
862 m
An introduction to the eastern half of the famous Kingdom Trail Network.
Difficult
Private
Black Mountain Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Black Mountain Loop

Brevard
20.1 km
791 m
791 m
The Black Mountain Trail defines mountain biking in Pisgah National Forest—gnarly, steep, and tons of fun!
Severe
Private