Mountain Biking

Best Mountain Biking Destinations In The World | Top 10 Places To Ride

From Canada and New Zealand to Norway and Wales, this is our guide to the best countries on Earth to take your mountain bike (and a look at the top places within those countries to ride)

The world’s a big place, with lots of incredible spots to ride a mountain bike. To help inspire you and your MTB crew’s next big two-wheeled adventure, we’ve gathered together some of the very best mountain biking destinations in the world and shone a spotlight on them. Some of these places will, no doubt, already be on your radar while others, well, they might not be. Whatever kind of riding you’re into, rest assured, there’s something for you here. Time to pack your bags? We’ll see you at the airport.

Whistler, Canada

Whistler is just over 120km north of Vancouver. Credit: Getty Images

This place needs little introduction. Home to one of the best bike parks in the world, the trails in and around Whistler, British Columbia, are incredibly famous. Known for its technical trails and burly features, riding around Whistler isn’t for the fainthearted. That said, you will find plenty of beginner-intermediate trails tucked amongst the forest and plenty of flowy berms and tables to improve your jumping on in the bike park. Yes, the mountain biking in Whistler truly is bucket list stuff.  

Nelson, New Zealand

Small islands with a plenty of personality, New Zealand offers endless opportunities for outdoor adventures. Hosting arguably some of the best riding on the planet, you can find everything from flowy singletrack to heli-bike ridge top epics here. Situated at the northern end of the South Island, Nelson’s 3000+ft peaks rise straight from sea level to provide unrivalled riding and views. Local spot Wairoa Gorge Bike Park is a favourite for locals and visitors alike. And, when you’re finally ready for a rest day, stunning Abel Tasman National Park is just around the corner.

Moab, USA

Pictured: Slickrock Trail in Utah. Credit: Getty Images

Often called the mountain bike capital of the States, it’s no surprise the red rock of Utah has made it into our top 10. Quite possibly the most unique landscape for mountain biking globally, riders flock to the impressive location for rides through beautiful canyons and across mesa tops. With plenty of epic beginner and intermediate trails, there’s options for everyone to enjoy. Riding in Moab though really comes into it’s own for advanced riders with it’s world-renowned and highly technical trails. While you can ride year round here Moab temperatures do soar in the summer months, so spring and autumn are the best times to visit.

Finale Ligure, Italy

Fondly known as “Whistler by the sea”, Finale’s rocky, technical trails start high on the hilltops and generally spill you out on the stunning Mediterranean coast. Most people shuttle (or uplift) to the top of the road climbs as the majority of trails are directional and gravity-orientated. With around 90 trails, stacking up to over 400km of length, you’ll have definitely earned some of the incredible local cuisine by the end of the day’s riding. We promise you it’s some of the best in Italy. Did someone say 5 Euro pizza?

Dyfi Bike Park, Wales

Looking for big mountain trails hand crafted by the pros? Look no further than this spot here. Dan Atherton’s Dyfi Bike Park is a thing of beauty. Set in the heart of Dyfi Forest, the 650 acres bike park sits on a truly stunning backdrop of Welsh mountain-scapes and makes for an unforgettable riding experience. With long descents, numerous trails and varied terrain, the big summits and steep valleys provide the ideal playground for riders of all abilities.

Hafjell, Norway

For most mountain bikers, the image that comes to mind when we mention Hafjell is that of gnarly World Cup racing. But there’s something for all kinds of riders at Hafjell Bike Park. With 18 DH trails, from easy to expert, Hafjell is continuously adding to and improving its offering to maintain its name as one of the most progressive bike parks in Europe. The ultimate mountain bike playground? It might just be. The riding is generally fast-paced and undulating to keep you on your toes, but you’ll find plenty of tame riding between rock strewn trails and manicured jumps.

Bellingham, USA

Hands down the best mountain bike spot in Washington, it’s no wonder so many big bike brands are based out of Bellingham. Around an hour and half north of Seattle, the forested singletrack is similar to that of their Candian neighbours north of the nearby border. Offering great all-mountain riding with flowy trails, technical descents, plenty of climbing, some huge perfect jump lines and that hero dirt you dream about at night, Bellingham’s best characteristic might just be its super involved mountain bike community. Less than a 30 minute pedal from town, Bellingham’s hard to beat for accessibility, quality and quantity of trails.

Oaxaca, Mexico

Mexico? Mountain biking? You what? Yep, not as obvious as some of the other destinations here but no less worthy of its place on the list. Oaxaca provides the goods with amazing views and huge variety of riding from semi-wet forest singletrack to dry rock gardens. Roots, switchbacks, flow, rock features – what’s not to love? Oh and did we mention the amazing culture and food of the UNESCO world heritage site? The city of Oaxaca is as much of a treat as the beautifully diverse forest you’ll find there. With some of the trail heads starting at 11000+ft, we’d definitely recommend choosing a shuttle service to maximise your riding time.

Samoens, French Alps

Downhill, enduro, cross-country – Samoens truly does have it all. Set in the heart of the beautiful Grand Massif mountains of the French Alps, this location is world class. With stunning scenery typical of the Alps and over 615km of gondola-accessed marked trails, French riding doesn’t get much better than it does in Samoens. With six lifts providing access to an ever expanding network of trails right down to the valley floor, you can see why the Enduro World Series often frequents the resort. With mostly steep, technical riding, Samoens is a favourite for intermediate-advanced riders.

Maydena, Australia

With a location as insane as Tasmania’s Derwent Valley right on the doorstep, it’s hard to imagine having a bad time at Maydena Bike Park. Designed and built by world-renowned trail builders, Dirt Art, the park offers a year-round shuttle service to over 820+m of vertical elevation. With a vast array of epic long descent singletrack and downhill riding over 68km, expect steep lines, rough tracks, tight single track, big jumps and flowy berms. The park is best suited to intermediate to advanced riders. However, the park’s clever trail network means there’s something for every level rider in each section of the park.

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