Best Mountain Biking in California

Trying to find the best mountain biking in California? Bivy has great hiking, biking, paddling, climbing, skiing, riding and more, with hand-curated trail maps, as well as detailed driving directions.

1

California, Madera County

02 :57 hrs
12.1 mi
624.4807 ft
Expert

Steep climb to more gentle climbing on forest service roads. Then a rad downhill on Mary Jane with a link to Willow Creek. Route finding can be tricky on some of the jeep roads as they splinter. This ride is super fun with a chance to cool of in one of many swimming holes along the technical willow creek trail.

2

California, Santa Cruz County

03 :22 hrs
13.7 mi
556.7771 ft
Hard

Great riding on one of the best trails in the Bay Area. The Flow Trail at Soquel Demonstration State Forest was built specifically for mountain bikes in mind and can be enjoyed by riders of all abilities. It emphasizes speed and rhythm with berms, rollers, and jumps. The technical features were designed to allow beginner riders to roll over or around the technical jumps but when ridden with speed are enjoyable for more experienced riders. The trail can be busy so watch your speed and look out for other riders.

3

California, Contra Costa County

03 :13 hrs
12.7 mi
227.48795 ft
Hard

This is some of the best single track in the east bay. There are a couple of steep fire road climbs, but very little compared to other east bay trails. The trail provides some great views of the bay. There is one particular section that is intended to be a flow trail. Some of the jumps in this section are pretty strange as they have no landings, just lips to flat. Regardless, it's incredibly fun. Don't even bother after rain.

4

California, Palm Springs

01 :12 hrs
2.8 mi
295.10406 ft
Hard

The Goat Trail meanders up and down the hillsides adjacent to Murray Hill. During wet cool months, the hills are colored light green from the growing grass in addition to the rocks and brush that fill the hillsides year-round. Be sure to bring plenty of water, there is no shade along the trail.

5

California, San Luis Obispo

02 :34 hrs
10.4 mi
396.74213 ft
Hard

Oats Peak Traill offers beautiful, flowy singletrack to the top of Oats Peak with views back on Morro Bay. For variety, take the Beebe Trail back down. Be sure to bring your Tecnu-there is poison oak everywhere.

6

California, Madera County

01 :32 hrs
7.8 mi
588.79456 ft
Hard

Designated as a mountain bike trail, Lower Rock Creek Trail follows and crosses Rock Creek through a canyon filled with riparian vegetation and pine trees. The trail steadily becomes more technical further down canyon. It has some technical sections which includes tight turns, rough and rocky, and obstacles. There are a few turn outs and parking areas along the road that runs parallel to the trail which are a mile apart beginning at 2.2 miles along the trail. This trail is open year-round, but snow can accumulate in winter.

7

California, El Dorado County

03 :01 hrs
10.2 mi
789.15125 ft
Extreme

Located in the El Dorado National Forest and the Tahoe Basin, Mr Toad's Wild Ride Trail wanders through meadows, forests, and between boulders with steep climbs and a very technical downhill descent. The technical sections can easily be avoided by dismounting and walking around. This is one of the more popular and technical rides in the area.

8

California, Nevada County

04 :20 hrs
15.7 mi
483.55518 ft
Expert

Hole in the Ground Trail is a technical mostly singletrack trail that twists and turns through a thick forest, open meadows, and over several granite outcrops. This trail not only offers a challenge, but also rewards riders with excellent views of the surrounding high peaks and valleys below. The trail surface is hard packed with lots of rocky sections. At mile 12, the trail veers left to Lola Montez lake, a great place to take a break and cool off. The first and last section of the ride follows paved roads.

9

California, Fairfax

02 :14 hrs
9 mi
258.24075 ft
Expert

Tamarancho Loop leaves the parking lot area where it gradually climbs through neighborhoods before reaching the trailhead. From here, the trail steeply climbs up several tight switch backs and wanders up and down through oak and madrone woodlands and along grassy hillsides of Fairfax. The trails are well maintained and mostly smooth with some sections being rocky and filled with roots.

10

Nevada, Reno

00 :53 hrs
4.5 mi
386.68628 ft
Hard

Travelling over both paved and natural surfaces, this downhill ride is a great option for mountain bike downhill enthusiasts. Overlooking beautiful Lake Tahoe and scenic Incline Village through virtually the entire trail, this is a picturesque ride for which downhill riding is famous. Watch out for hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts along this fairly popular mountain route.

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