Pronounced “Her-ah-kun” by the locals, this trail system sits at the edge of the Colorado Plateau and the Great Basin. Grand mesas, vertical rock formations, and deep canyons combine with extinct volcanoes and vast rolling arroyos, bringing together a taste of all that southwest Utah’s Color Country has to offer. The Hurricane Cliffs Trail Network strings together a 21-mile loop, formed by four segments: the Hurricane Rim, JEM, Gould and Gould Rim trails.
A huge day in the saddle and super challenging,” says IMBA board member and Mountain Bike Hall of fame inductee Hill Abell. “Even the mostaccomplished 4-wheeler would have second thoughts about traversing the rugged double track segments, and you’ll witness incredible geography throughout the ride.”
Falls City, Oregon
The Black Rock Epic offers gravity-oriented mountain bikers a dream area, set in a classic Northwest forest. After a quick spin up the 3-mile access road (closed to vehicles), riders find themselves faced with a difficult decision: Which ridiculously fun trail to take? Choices range from the beginner-friendly Bonzai line to the gaps, drops and wooden features (milled from local trees) on Granny's Kitchen.
The IMBA Epics now include a ride in fabled Durango. This southwest Colorado mountain town is surrounded by countless miles of wooded singletrack - a primary reason why so many top mountain bike pros have settled here. The Epic pick is the Telegraph Trail network, a local's favorite.
In the early 1800s a Cherokee Indian named Tsali escaped into North Carolina's Great Smoky Mountains, fleeing the US Army's attempt at a forced relocation. He bargained with his life so that his people could remain in the region.
Today, one of the Nantahala National Forest's greatest recreation areas is named after the brave man. Mountain bikers have been tested on Tsali's Left and Right loops for years - even if their situations are seldom as perilous as that of the defiant Cherokee's.
Consider a 39-mile singletrack that rolls east-west along an Arkansas mountain ridge, following the course of the Ouachita River. The trail begins at one lake (North Fork) and ends at another (Ouachita). It passes through the thick hardwoods and dark pines of the Ouachita National Forest, opening occasionally to spectacular bluffs above the river. This is rolling terrain - ranging between 1,000 and 1,600 feet in elevation - but it all adds up. How do six hours of riding and 6,000 feet of climbing sound?
Looking for the ultimate singletrack adventure? Then the South Yuba Epic has your name all over it. Located about 20 miles north of Nevada City on the far west side of the Sierra Nevada range, the South Yuba is more than 35 miles of mountain bike bliss. A highlight of this ride is the nearly 17-mile stretch of singletrack along the South Yuba River.
Although you'll be hard pressed to find a rock or root on this trail, don't be fooled into thinking this is an easy jaunt. The tight singletrack and numerous short, steep climbs will test you.
Straddling the north fork of the Potomac River's south branch, the Monongahela National Forest's Spruce Knob Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area offers two rides that feature the very best wild and wonderful West Virginia has to offer.
When John Fremont stumbled upon Lake Tahoe in 1844, he was searching for a mythical river. What he found was even better. The azure lake is home to spectacular scenery and fantastic riding, courtesy of the Tahoe Rim Trail.
The Rim Trail climbs high above alpine lakes, through thick conifer stands and across steep, flower-strewn slopes. This segment is celebrated for magnificent views, stretching across Lake Tahoe and the high Sierra and past the jagged ranges of the Great Basin. The terrain is variable, with rocks, switchbacks and plenty of climbing.
Near the Cherokee National Forest, the Tanasi Trail system offers 30 miles of fast, flowing singletrack that riders of all levels will savor. The ride begins on Old Copper Road and climbs to Brush Creek. It is a steep climb but fairly easy. For those of you who desire a more challenging ascent, you can take the advanced version of the climb, which is super technical and steep. Old Copper Road cruises along upper stretches of the Ocoee and dumps you onto Brush Creek, which is chock full of fun singletrack. Traveling at a slower pace? No problem.