In general, mountain bike trail systems are not static entities. Most trail systems morph and change, continuing to develop over time. As we zoom the lens out, we see that even mountain bike destinations continue to grow and change, with most destinations getting better and better as the years pass.
We’ve written numerous articles about the best mountain bike destinations across the United States (and beyond), but as I talk to fellow riders about these top destinations, I often hear responses like, “I rode Moab a bunch of times back in the 90s. I’ve ridden everything there is to ride there, so I haven’t been back in 20 years.”
Oh, how wrong you are my two-wheeled compatriot! Not only have all of the top destinations in the nation changed dramatically since the 90s, but even in just the past year or two we’ve seen dramatic changes in the mountain bike landscape, with new trails being constructed all around the planet.
How have these 10 best destinations changed since that article was written less than 2 years ago, and is a return visit to these places worthwhile? I decided to find out.
Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada
Like many other destinations on this list, the Lake Tahoe area is home to a longtime classic: the Flume Trail. Nowadays, the Flume Trail might be one of the least interesting trails in the Lake Tahoe area, as the Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association (TAMBA) has radically expanded the network with bike-optimized singletrack.
Angora Ridge Trail and Mule Deer Trail
TAMBA oversees the mountain bike trail development around Lake Tahoe, and in 2017 they “partnered with the US Forest Service to build 5 miles of brand new singletrack around Angora Ridge near South Lake Tahoe,” according to Ben Fish, President of TAMBA. “TAMBA granted funds to the Forest Service to rough cut the trails, then held more than 60 volunteer trail days with about 150 volunteers contributing 2,000 hours of trail building.”
The two new trails are known as Mule Deer and Angora Ridge. Mule Deer is a smooth trail that’s very approachable for all riders, whereas Angora Ridge is very rocky, due to following the spine of a glacial moraine. “Both trails offer expansive views of the mountain ranges, Fallen Leak Lake, and Mount Tallac,” says Fish.
TAMBA plans to build another 3-5 miles of singletrack in this same area in 2018, “by connecting from Angora Ridge to Fallen Leaf Lake. We are also taking on trail projects in Kings Beach and Tahoe City on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe along with two trail projects (Tamarack Lake and Belli Front) in the mountains between Reno and Tahoe,” says Fish.