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Top Mountain Bike Vacation Spots

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Vacation. The word itself conjures images of places far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Personally, I’m always torn as to where and how to spend my downtime. Should I indulge in a luxurious retreat that’s relaxing and restoring? Or energize my body with an escape that’s full of excitement and adventure?

If you’re anything like me, adventure always seems to trump luxury. But that’s OK; rejuvenation is a good thing to feel after a getaway. That said, what follows is a list of our top choices for adrenaline-fueled vacation destinations across America. These places have it all—from top-notch mountain biking trails, to ample lodging and dining options that will suit the whole family.

Southeast Alaska - Juneau & Ketchikan, AK

©Justin Kline
Fantasize about mountain biking in Alaska? Well, with some proper planning your dream destination is not as improbable as you think! Whether you plan on renting a bike during your stay or traveling each island exclusively via two wheels, we've got the inside scoop on touring The Last Frontier from behind a pair of handlebars. Take a gander at these informative articles to help you plan for a vacation you’ll never forget.

Tortolita Preserve at Dove Mountain - Marana, Ariz

©Beth Puliti

Don’t choose between luxury and adventure. Mountain biking and massages are plentiful when you make Arizona's Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain your base camp. Nestled in the foothills of the Tortolita Mountains, high in the Sonoran Desert, this piece of paradise boasts a 17,000-square foot spa and wellness center and on-site mountain biking trails. You’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven.

Northstar at Tahoe – Truckee, Calif.

©Beth Puliti

Vacationers can spend an entire day at the largest bike park in northern California without riding the same trail twice. Boasting more than 100 miles of mountain biking trails, Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort is a downhill destination that’s been growing in popularity over the past few years. Don a full face helmet and some body armor and check it out for yourself.

Mt. Washington Valley – New Hampshire

©MWV Chamber of Commerce

Bring the family! The area offers an abundance of trails—from rolling carriage roads to challenging New England singletrack. It’s easy for all types of mountain bikers to find something to ride here. Don’t forget your camera—you’ll be surrounded by national forest and the Northern Presidential Mountains, which offer stunning views. Go in the fall to see a rainbow of colors from the changing leaves.

Mid Mountain Trail – Park City, Utah

©sidewalk flying via flickr

This place will take your breath away—literally. At 8,000 feet above sea level, the 20-or-so mile trail offers riders breathtaking views of Park City, Utah. Just give yourself plenty of time to acclimate to the altitude before laying down the hammer. Climbing, descending and ridge-top riding earned the trail an “Epics®” label from the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA)—and should earn a spot on your vacation destination short list.

Southwest Utah - St. George, Hurricane & Springdale, UT

©Beth Puliti
From on-your-toes technical trails to fast and flowing “epic” singletrack, there are rides in Southwest Utah to suit every mountain biker’s preference. Plan to spend at least a week in town so you can sample a good portion of slickrock and singletrack. After five days, I didn’t come close to riding even a majority of what’s offered. That's OK, because I fully intend to return soon. Before you go, find out where to fly into, where to rent bikes, where to rest your aching muscles at night and more.
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