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The Red Cliffs National Conservation Area protects a stunning array of red rock formations flanked by the Pine Mountains in the distance.
While a Wilderness area coupled with the vertical terrain prevents bikes from penetrating into the hills, the flatter zone just to the east of the Red Cliffs offers a few short loops of interconnected bike-legal trails.
These trails are quite beginner friendly, offering an incredibly scenic and nontechnical mountain bike ride. Unless you've scored a campsite at the Red Cliffs Campground, the ride will begin from the trailhead close to the interstate.
At just 5 miles long and with less than 500 feet of climbing, most riders will be able to complete this loop—including complete newbies. The trails consist of smooth, sandy singletrack connected to old road grades that have since been gated and no longer see vehicle traffic.
These old road grades are slowly narrowing down to singletrack as the years roll on. The terrain here is mostly flat, with a few short, steep hills punctuating the prairieland.
The only moderately difficult sections crop up where the old road grades descend steeply down the short ridges, but these sections are over quickly. If you're looking for a high-value beginner ride with great views, this is it!