4 of the Most Beautiful Mountain Bike Routes in California

Cycling Outdoor California, United States
Sep 27, 2016

LOOKING TO GET OUT mountain biking while in California? Here are some favorite spots.


Downieville () ) ) ) ) tonemapped PS by Marc Wentworth on 500px.com

Marc Wentworth

A historic gold rush town turned mountain bike paradise, it’s refreshing to visit a town where mountain bikers are not just tolerated but courted. The town fills up for the Downieville Bike Classic race and is hopping all summer. Yuba Expeditions and Downieville Outfitters offer shuttles uphill for those who prefer to fly down. Afterward, your ride, relax on the patio above the river at La Cocina del Oro for Mexican food or visit the historic St. Charles Bar for a beer and camaraderie.

Tahoe Rim and Flume Trail

Man and woman mountain biking the Tahoe Rim Trail, Lake Tahoe, Nevada. by Adventure Joe on 500px.com

Adventure Joe

Mountain biking with a view. Much of Tahoe Rim, the 100 of the 165 mile system, is mountain biker friendly. A shuttle is necessary, set it up at the Tunnel Creek Cafe for drop off at Tahoe Meadows. Eventually the Rim Trail runs into the Flume Trail. Descend back to the Tunnel Creek Cafe and bask in the glory of your ride.

Mammoth Mountain Bike Park

Earth is Alive by Diana Vitoshka on 500px.com

Diana Vitoshka

In the summer a number of California’s ski resorts lead another life as bike parks. Mammoth is arguably the best, and certainly the largest, with 3500 acres and over 80 miles of singletrack. While there are quite a few expert-level trails and features, there’s also a beginner area that’s great for kids as well as cross-country loops great for intermediate riders. Then head to the Food Cache Cafe for a healthy bowl, or the Latin Market Taqueria for tacos.

Soquel Demonstration Forest / Forest of Nisene Marks State Parks

Flow Trail TR7 by Cess Ara on 500px.com

Cess Ara

Soquel Demonstration State Forest, or “Demo,” offers trails for intermediate and advanced riders just south of Santa Cruz. You can also ride on certain trails the nearby Forest of Nisene Marks State Park to extend your ride. Shuttle Smith Adventures offers shuttles to the top of Nisene Marks. Then head to El Chipotle or Taqueria La Cabana to refuel after your ride.


East of Donner by Bill Dally on 500px.com

Bill Dally
Another ski resort by winter / bike park by summer, Northstar is a bit west of Lake Tahoe and also offers trails and features for all levels, as well ask the occasional lake view. Wild Cherries in Truckee is a great nearby cafe to fuel up on your way up to Northstar. If you’re heading down to the lake after your ride, stop by the Burrito Window to pick up food to eat by the lake.

What did you think of this story?

More on

California, United States

Ride Through California's Most Celebrated Wine Region on This Vintage Luxury Train

Live the High Life at These Cannabis-Friendly Airbnbs in California

The 10 Best Airbnbs Near Universal Studios Hollywood

8 Gorgeous Palm Springs Airbnbs With Private Pools

8 of the Prettiest Airbnbs in Downtown San Diego, California

8 Direct Flights From LAX Starting Under $300

7 Essential San Diego Bars for Every Type of Traveler

9 Direct International Flights From the Bay Area Starting at $300

The Best 8 Hotels Near the Entrances of Yosemite National Park

11 LA Museums That Sum Up the City of Angels

We think you might also like

How To Visit Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park in Madagascar

You Can Bring Your Own Booze To This Amazing 66-Acre Botanical Garden That Has a Grilled Cheese Kiosk

9 Epische Abenteuer in Arizona

Diver's Bucket List: 7 Rare Ocean Animals and Where To See Them

8 Perks of Using a Guide in Torres Del Paine National Park

A New Film Raises Awareness for Inca Trail Porter's Rights

Sustainable Travel Guide To the Missouri Outdoors

This Lux Eco-Lodge Puts All Other Puerto Natales Hotels To Shame

11 Gorgeous Parks and Gardens in Paris That Prove Nature Can Be Chic

Top Outdoor Adventures in Nevada, From Easy To Extreme

7 Beach Towns in Croatia To Visit This Summer

Save Bookmark

We use cookies for analytics tracking and advertising from our partners. For more information read our privacy policy.