Travel Reviews and News


Photos: UCSC tanks artwork


To many mountain bikers who ride in Santa Cruz, there is a familiar and welcome sight on the trails as one rides by the U-Conn fire road connecting the Emma McCrary trail and Wilder State Park. Here is a gallery documenting the art of the UC Santa Cruz tanks.

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  • Kirk Pacenti says:

    One of my favorite places in the world to ride!

  • Robert Mann says:

    One of my greatest wishes for the tanks is that they would fill one of them with potable water. How great would that be to be able to fill up right there?

    • Francis Cebedo says:

      potable water… no. How can we even trust that with those antique tanks. The vehicles are only a couple miles away and the dorms are actually really close.

  • EpicAndy says:

    At first, I saw the photo of all the butt cheeks, and I was sure it was a portrait of the ASS. Alas, no. He was likely somewhere MUCH cooler, as always.

  • Cole Trickle says:

    What’s behind the tanks? The photos aren’t hi-res enough, but I see what looks like trails back there.

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Top 5 reasons you need to ride Crested Butte


With 750 miles of singletrack, the Outerbike consumer demo event, Evolution Bike Park, and more, Crested Butte is a must-hit destination for any self-respecting mountain biker.

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Lost & Found – Hidden Treasure in the Lost Sierra


In California’s Northern Sierra Nevada, between Downieville and Sierra City, the area’s mining history contributed to a network of trails that faded away with the Gold Rush.

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Demos galore at Evergreen Mountain Bike Fest


Blessed with dry weather, the annual Evergreen Mountain Bike Fest was showing off some new wrinkles this weekend at Duthie Hill Park east of Seattle.

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  • g0 says:

    A correction FWIW, the demo arrangement was not a “twist” this year, they’ve been doing it for at least as long as I’ve been dropping by (the last three or so years, give or take). Fun times for sure, though.

  • Juan Ghey says:

    They’re CHARGING for demo rides?! That’s like charging people to watch commercials on TV. I’m getting really tired of the expense involved in this sport. I won’t be paying for any demo rides.

  • SteveO says:

    Yah shame on those gullible enough to pay.
    Paul does this help fund the local trail maintenance ?

  • Thorquin says:

    $20 to demo as many bikes as you want all day long isn’t exactly a great expense. Many shops charge between $50-$70 just to demo one bike. I was there. Demo’d 6 bikes over the course of the day. It was totally worth it to me to be able to try different bikes for fit, geometry, etc. Only downside is I don’t feel like you can truly test the full capabilities of a bike at Duthie. The terrain is relatively flat and tame compared to many other trails in our area. Still awesome though!

    • juan ghey says:

      It’s actually $40 if you’re not a member. Presumably bike makers want to sell bikes so having riders demo them should not cost the riders. The bikes are already marked way up over what it costs the companies to procure them from China. I’d much rather have the donation to the trail group be asked for not forced if you want to demo ride. Or have the bike makers pay the trail group fee. Riders pay for everything: race teams, R&D, marketing etc. Cut ’em a break already.

  • Jonzo says:

    My take on the above article is that the $20-$40 goes to Evergreen Trail Alliance. Money well spent to such a great trail organization!

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Bringing the Mountain Bike Experience to Women, Moab Style


7 riders and 4 coaches visit Moab Utah for a weekend of camping and mountain biking!

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Mammoth Mountain and Snow Summit Bike Parks in CA to open May 26th


Summer shred is upon us; Mammoth Mountain & Snow Summit open this Friday, May 26

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MTB trail volunteers awarded $264,000


Project selections for 2018 National Forest Trail Stewardship Grant Program have been announced, and IMBA has recognized 23 of the 42 selections as trails that enhance places to ride.

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How to find new trails to ride


No matter how long you’ve been riding at some point you will (or at least should) go in search of new trails. But what’s the best way to find them?

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  • Sean says:

    Just get out and explore !

  • Shark says:

    I use both trailforks and mtbproject, great apps!
    However, sometimes the best ride is exploring a first service map and finding a trail that is new to you.
    One of the best things about riding a bike is exploring.

    • Marcus says:

      I use both as well. Both rely on users to upload data, so sometimes one has more info than the other.
      However, Trialforks “Ride Planner” tool gives TF a bit of an advantage. It really helps when it comes to trying to plan a route at a place with multiple route options. It will let you select a route, and will show you the total mileage as well as climbing. Highly recommend trying it out (assuming TF has good data for the trail you’re scoping).

  • joey says:

    Strava heat map!

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17-mile MTB trail network opens near Seattle


Seattle’s mountain bike juggernaut will get another steroid shot when a 17-mile trail bonanza officially opens May 19 at Raging River, a half-hour drive east of downtown.

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  • preston says:

    Congratulations Evergreen ! as a veteran of the Puget Sound trail access battles I am astounded and grateful.

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Blackcomb Helicopter wants to expand your bucket list


Blackcomb Helicopters wants to put you in those rad videos of lucky riders being dropped atop other-worldly peaks with 360-degree views and nothing but downhill craziness ahead.

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Top 5 mountain bike trails from around the world


Five best trails in the world? There’s certainly no right answer. But it’s a fun game to play. Watch this video and then tell us your top 5.

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  • Ron Franscella says:

    I agree with Kenneth on Slick Rock – not worthy for this list. Here are 2 to consider, Zippity Doo Dah in Fruita and Downieville Downhill in Downieville CA.

  • Marko says:

    To me this sounds more like “top trails of 5 given niches” of sorts.

    As for top 5… I’ve ridden 1, 4 & 5 (would love to do No. 2, maybe someday), and while the Petzen flow trail might be the longest flow trail in the world it does make for very one-dimensional riding (imho). Enough so that I got bored of it after a 5-6 hour day on it. And to be honest the whole thing is way to smooth to be called an actual mountain bike trail 😉 Joyride maybe? 🙂

    I agree on the Whole Enchilada, easily top five rides I’ve done so far. Very diverse, great views, looong. Stuff of dreams.

    Slickrock is a great experience just based on the surroundings and unreal grip levels (up and down). But as the two posters before me, I wouldn’t put in on a top five trails in the world list.

    P.S: Zippity Doo Dah is also a very fun trail, a bit short though.

  • John says:

    Glad to see I’m not the only one that thinks Slickrock is overrated. Some of those climbs are just heinous. I heard it was originally laid out for motorcycles. Captain Ahab is way better. Definitely agree about The Whole Enchilada, though.

  • Bryan says:

    Pretty good list- a flow trail, wilderness trail, freeride trail, big DH with a little everything, and a unique trail. Enchilada seems to be the trail that makes every list like this.

  • Rusty Baillie says:

    Good stuff.
    Watch out for Capt Ahab though……some of the paving has worked loose, leaving tricky gaps to catch a wheel………..

  • Ian Stansfield says:

    The Old Ghost Road Trail at the top of the South Island of New Zealand is 80+ km’s of single track MTB’ing heaven… you can also bolt the Heaphy Track (just a little further south) to another 80 km’s of amazing trails. https://oldghostroad.org.nz

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Downieville Blackout: The night we spent in the Sierra unprepared


A sunset ride down Downieville’s Butcher Ranch trail quickly turns into a survival story with a night spent on the trail for this mountain biking pair.

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  • Bruce Lee says:

    Brings back a memory of a similar impromptu overnight with Rod and Ray from IRD back in the mid ’80s. This was in the Cascades near the Illinois River. We had drastically underestimated the time to ride the trail end to end. Luckily it was Summer time so a night in the forest with no camp gear or food was uncomfortable but not life threatening. But it was very dark until dawn just started to glow. Live and learn.

    • Katrin Deetz says:

      Thanks for sharing, Bruce. I think most outdoorsy people find themselves in some sort of imperfect situation like this at some point in their lives. I think you summed it up well when you said “uncomfortable, but not life threatening”. That’s a good way to put it! We had a lot going for us with good weather and the fire, and it could’ve been a lot worse. As you said, live and learn!

  • Evan says:

    Crazy how something like a flat tire and a few innocent bad decisions can so easily leave you stranded overnight. Reminds me of a few things I need to put back in my own pack. Hopefully it makes other riders think before heading out, too…

  • Mickey says:

    Tubes? Downieville?
    I think I need to put a bic mini lighter in my head tube storage. Or a bunch of water proof matches.
    Fork Cork baby!
    https://miles-wide.com/product/fork-cork/

  • Eric says:

    I got turned around on a trail once in the woods around dusk after riding a few hours. It’s crazy how quick it gets dark and how dark it actually is. I was able to walk out a few hours later by feeling the trail with my feet but it wasn’t a great experience. I carry a light with me at all times now haha… Glad to hear you guys made it out alright!

  • Julie Kanagy says:

    When my husband first told me this story I was furious at the shuttle driver for not being a bit more attentive. But sounds like even he had some warnings/misgivings. It was just a snowball effect of multiple things gone wrong. I thought it was brilliant how your husband thought to use the glue from the patch kit as a fire starter! Thanks for writing about this to help spread awareness. I’m in Felton, and we should ride, lol!

  • Alex Mendoza says:

    “Experience is what you get with things don’t go as planned.” Not sure where I read this but it says it all.
    I understand the feelings of frustration when reading about how unprepared you were going into this…I was scared for you! Mostly because I have been there. My first experience at 17 with being extremely dehydrated and dreaming of Root beer floats at 3am! And then melting snow the next day to fill our water bottles. And getting caught in a blizzard while cross country skiing to Glacier Point in February of 1998. Made a snow shelter and spent the night shivering uncontrollably at times. This is what your body does to stay alive! I have ridden Dville for the last 20 years and sometimes I forget that there are lessons to learn. Thanks for reminding us that things don’t always go as planned! Glad to read you were aware of your fitness and resourceful enough to minimize your mistakes. And welcome to the club!
    Alex in Santa Cruz.

  • James B says:

    Hi Katrin, they say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!” Although I don’t typically agree with that sentiment, in your case I think it’s true 😉 I’ve had a handful of near “accidental overnight wilderness experiences” but fortunately have always somehow managed to get back to warmth & safety. Twice in 2017 I used my cell phone to light my way as I pedaled near-blindly back to the parking lot for over an hour in total darkness. Shit happens, be it from our own lack of preparedness, stupidity, and/or just plain bad luck! You sound like you handled your adventure with strength, courage & grace. Thanks for sharing your story, I am so glad it ended well for the two of you. Maybe I’ll see you guys at one of the CA Enduro’s this year.

  • Scotch Hennesy says:

    Your one hell of a wife!

  • Don Paul says:

    We ALWAYS carry our SPOT GPS Locator whenever we MTB so we can get EMS if we need it… and let our 30-something kids know “We’re OK” (there’s a button on our SPOT for that) as well as track us. Our SPOT only cost $50 on sale… or you can rent them. Absolutely no reason not to have one since they cost about as much as a MTB tire.

  • Steven W. says:

    Had something similar happen to me a few years back, I usually ride alone, but prepared for most things. Probably the worst thing that has happened to me was crashing and nearly splitting my helmet in half as I wrecked into some lava rock down a very steep section. Luckily I was able to walk that one off. I always carry a camel back with 2-3 liters of water, extra tubes, tools, food and a first aid kit, along with a pump, zip ties and a small knife. Glad you both got out of that relatively unscathed.

  • Francis Cebedo says:

    >> “Experience is what you get with things don’t go as planned.”

    Awesome comment Alex!

  • Philo says:

    This was a good read, and a good reminder of things I should add to my pack.

    That trail is notorious for flats. I remember when Kenda Nevegals were spec’d on new Santa Cruz bikes. All were replaced prior to going on the rental bikes up in that area, or so the story goes, due to their sidewalls having a tendency to getting ripped.

    A friend once taco’d his wheel almost near the top of Downieville and had to wait for us to ride down, get the car and drive up to Packer to get him. This was summer time but he froze his ass off waiting for us at 7000 feet.

  • Pat Day says:

    Katrin Deetz,

    Don’t let the trolls bother you. We all learn from our experiences. I now always carry a light on all afternoon rides, because of being caught out after dark without one, more than once. We don’t all write about our mishaps, but thanks for putting it out there to everyone as a good reminder to go prepared and have the right mindset.

  • Dave says:

    Wow, very dramatic. I mean, like way overboard dramatic for the situation. Weather was nearly 70 degrees all night and a few days from the solstice meant it was about 6 hours between last and first light.

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9 miles of Mills Peak singletrack trail completed


What started in 2007 as a dream to construct a 9-mile multi-use singletrack trail was realized when the final 1.7 miles of singletrack on Mills Peak Trail in Graeagle, California, was completed.

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How the Seattle area became a must-ride MTB locale


Once a veritable mountain biking wasteland, the Seattle-area has recently transformed into a must-hit riding destination. Here’s how it happened and what we can all learn from the experience.

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  • Preston says:

    Wow great article and very accurate as well – I know cuz I was there !
    So great to see all the correct people get their props especially Art at the very top.
    One more great name from that era that didn’t make it into the article is Jennifer Lesher. She did a ton of work in the “developing relationships” department !

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Bikepacking: Way more fun than expected


Combination of well-executed event, challenging but fun route, and lots of two-wheeled cameraderie adds up to three great days at the New Belgium Ramble Ride in Asheville, North Carolina.

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Snoqualmie Pass to open bike park in 2019


A new lift-assist mountain bike park will soon grace the slopes of Snoqualmie Pass, just an hour’s drive east of Seattle on I-90.

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Riding the 668-mile Oregon Timber Trail


The Oregon Timber Trail features four sections that cover 668 miles across the entire state. Mtbr contributor Sonya Looney headed to the Pacific Northwest to check it out.

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  • Scott says:

    This looks pretty awesome. Probably would have been tough this year between the record snowfall and then massive wildfires.

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Downieville Downhill Now Boasts 7,000 Vertical Feet of Descending


After nearly a decade of work, this weekend marks the grand opening of nine new miles of bike-legal singletrack and 1,500 extra vertical feet of non-motorized descent.

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Danny MacAskill summits Mount Kilimanjaro


Africa seemed determined to push Danny MacAskill and his adventure partners to their limits. Click through to check out a video recap of this epic journey to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

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Trestle Bike Park: Going back to (MTB) school


Places such as the Trestle Bike Park can help develop skills in ways regular trail rides simply can’t — and they’re a ton of fun.

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Trestle Bike Park: Best in the USA?


The famed Trestle Bike Park has enough big boy lines to keep even the most accomplished freeride fanatics happy. But with 40+ miles of trails there is literally something for every rider type and skill level.

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  • Doug Lowry says:

    Went twice last year and will be going again in about 4 weeks. Absolutely love this bike park.

  • The other Andy says:

    Shouldn’t ALL of it be free to access?

    Only a lift ticket should cost money. If you’re willing to pedal to the top, you should be able to ride all of the trails there. Like most ski resorts, Trestle is on USFS land.

    • bigcol says:

      I used to pedal at WP all the time. I didn’t realize that changed? Pedaling my trail bike up to trestle DH via the service roads was a fun free ride!

  • bigcol says:

    DH is regressing. In the past, lift service DH meant gnar, now it means flow trails for all skill levels. I’m fine with flow trails, but the fact that steep technical DH is fading away is sad. WP has the terrain, they should make at least one proper DH trail that demotes trestle DH to a blue/black. I enjoy trestle DH, but I don’t consider it worthy of black diamond level DH status. They gave us banana peel for SS, how about an advanced level DH trail? People can work their way up via trestle DH just like they work their way up to banana peel.

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Ultimate Gunnison-Crested Butte MTB (Long) Weekend


With upwards of 750 miles of amazing mountain biking trails in the greater Gunnison-Crested Butte area, you need a plan. Here’s our take on the ultimate Gunnison-Crested Butte mountain bike (long) weekend.

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Iconic Oregon Timber Trail ready to ride


The Oregon Timber Trail is a 668-mile backcountry mountain bike route spanning Oregon’s diverse landscapes from the California border to the Columbia River Gorge that consists of more than 50-percent singletrack.

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  • Roots says:

    Oh.. oh.. ohhhh.. for THIS I would (very much like to) travel to America!

  • Mtbr says:

    Regarding the questions of photo use posted in the comments above, Mtbr would like to apologize to the photographers. The images were sent to Mtbr as part of a press release — and were inadvertently posted without credit and with watermarks. This issue has been amended. We regret the error. Congratulations on the Oregon Timber Trail project. Sounds like an amazing journey.

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Video: Making MTB magic in the Norwegian Fjords


On the surface a catalog shoot might sound like a boring affair. But not when it involves mountain bikes and some of the world’s most jaw dropping landscapes.

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Fat biking Michigan’s Upper Peninsula


In addition to alpine skiing and snowboarding and a Nordic center with dozens of miles of cross-country ski trails, Marquette features an extensive network of fat bike-specific trails surrounding the city.

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  • David says:

    Yes, you are doing it wrong. As you are discovering, conditions are (almost) everything, tire pressure being close to as important. Sounds like you have mainly ridden in a lot of unconsolidated snow; many other not perfect conditions can still provide great riding.

  • Lisa E says:

    I live an hour away from here and have ridden winter and summer. GREAT trails! Great people! Great bike scene! Highly recommend this area. You won’t be disappointed.

  • EndUser says:

    “alleged snow biking capital of the U.S.” Let me fix it for you….
    “alleged show biking capital of the Lower 48 US.”

    The snow biking capital of the U.S is Anchorage, Alaska. Better and far more exotic.

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