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The IMBA Epics

IMBA has used the Epic® designation for more than a decade. With the addition of new Model Trail classifications in recent years, IMBA has returned the Epics to the original intent of the designation—demanding, singletrack adventures in a natural setting. The current Epics celebrate true backcountry riding experiences that are technically and physically challenging, more than 80 percent singletrack and at least 20 miles in length. All of theses Epics offer amazing opportunities to interact with the natural world. Existing Epics that meet this criteria will retain Epic status. We created an IMBA Epics Hall of Fame to recognize rides we have honored in the past, but that no longer meet the new criteria.

Submit an online nomination if you think you know a trail worthy of Epic status.

Here are the 2014 Epics:

  1. Australian Alpine Epic, Australia (pictured) — Built by the resort team at Mt. Buller, the country's only Ride Center, this half- to full-day, 35-mile ride delivers a stunning journey through backcountry wild lands.
  2. Cannell Trail, Sherman Pass, California — This 26-mile ride in the Sierra Mountains is remote and can take anywhere from three hours to a full day to complete. Highlights include “The Plunge,” a near-continuous descent of 5,000 feet.
  3. Goodwater Trail, Lake Georgetown, Texas — This 26-mile loop circumnavigates Lake Georgetown (near Austin), offering sweeping views of the lake as it weaves through cedar stands and cactus-strewn fields of limestone. The hills are minimal but the trail is very technical.
  4. Grand Targhee Loop, Wyoming — This 25-mile ride is on 100 percent singletrack and begins and ends conveniently at the Grand Targhee Resort. It offers alpine meadows blanketed in wildflowers, forests of pine and aspen trees, and jaw-dropping views of the Tetons.
  5. Lake Ouachita Vista Trail, Arkansas — This trail offers 45 miles of singletrack along the southern shore of Lake Ouachita in west-central Arkansas. Prepare for a deep woods experience that includes panoramic views of the lake and its emerald islands.
  6. Upper Buffalo, Arkansas — The Upper Buffalo Mountain Bike Trail offers about 40 miles of singletrack surrounding the highest point in the Ozark Mountains. This gem of Midwest riding laces around the headwaters of the Buffalo National River on a mixture of narrow, hand-built singletrack and machine-cut flow trails.