Guidebook

California MTB Bucket List: All 4 IMBA Epic Rides

Plan your next California MTB getaway around the state's 4 IMBA Epic Rides.

Greg Heil

Description

For years, IMBA’s list of “Epic” rides has inspired mountain bikers from around the world to pack their bags and travel to a far-flung locale to pedal a long, gnarly, challenging backcountry trail that was almost guaranteed to change your life. IMBA describes their epics as "immersive rides that are technically and physically challenging, beautiful to behold and worthy of celebration.” These trails are so worthy of celebration that many mountain bikers have set a lifelong goal of completing all of the rides on IMBA’s list of Epics.

That goal could prove challenging, as the list continues to change over time. New trails are added almost every year due to the crowd-sourced nomination process, and occasionally old trails are removed. But the trails that remain are always worthy of exploring!

While many states—or even countries—can only claim to have a single Epic ride, California is home to an impressive four designated Epics. But what else would you expect from the birthplace of mountain biking?! In this guidebook, we’ve rounded up all four Epics to create the perfect itinerary for your next California vacation!

Source:
IMBA.com

Big Boulder IMBA Epic
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Big Boulder IMBA Epic

Downieville
33.5 km
646 m
1,913 m
A longer, more difficult variant of the Downieville Classic.
Severe
Private
Armstrong to Strawberry IMBA Epic
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Armstrong to Strawberry IMBA Epic

Lake Tahoe
58.1 km
1,745 m
2,329 m
A classic backcountry-style IMBA Epic ride.
Severe
Private
Tahoe Rim Trail -> Flume Trail
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Tahoe Rim Trail -> Flume Trail

Lake Tahoe
38.9 km
735 m
1,466 m
An epic combination of two of Tahoe's most iconic trails.
Moderate
Private
Cannell Trail
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Cannell Trail

39.8 km
620 m
2,552 m
One of the most epic shuttles in California, if not the entire USA!
Difficult
Private