Best Mountain Biking Trails in Nevada
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Unbeknownst to a lot of riders, Nevada is actually home to a lot of great mountain biking. In between ghost towns and endless stretches of desert, there are pockets of fun singletrack networks with tons of flow and plenty of tech.
Depending on where you’re traveling to and from, Nevada mountain biking can also help break up your drive. If you’re heading to some of the more established mountain bike networks in the west like Moab, Hurricane, and Sedona, you’ll most like pass through Nevada. Why not check out some of these awesome singletrack destinations to make your road trip even better?
Nevada Mountain Biking Map
tips for mountain biking in Nevada
Know the forecasted temperatures
Most of Nevada is desert and deserts get hot. Always know the weather and the temps before heading out for your ride. Some places, like Las Vegas and Caliente are not summer mountain biking destinations because the heat can be incredibly intense and dangerous
Bring more water than you think you’ll need
Even if you’re going out for a 1-2 hour ride, bring more water than you think you’ll need. The desert sucks all the moisture out of you and it’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. I also like to have a packet of SaltStick Electrolyte Tabs in my pack to help keep me hydrated.
Always have a ride plan
Always have a general idea of what trails you’re going to ride, what the mileage is, how much elevation gain you’ll be doing, etc… The desert is unforgiving so you need to be prepared.
Tubeless tires for sure
There are a lot of sharp rocks and cacti spines in Nevada, so I highly recommend tubeless tires.
6 Best Nevada mountain biking destinations
1. Las Vegas
Las Vegas is home to some of the best mountain biking trails in Nevada. Really! It’s not just about the glitz and glamor. There is a ton of riding here for all levels of riders from easy desert pedaling to full-on downhill descents. You could easily spend a few days exploring the trails around Las Vegas and not get everything in.
Of course, Vegas is also fun to visit for its food and shows. Be sure to eat at Shang Artisan Noodle at least once and maybe catch a Cirque du Soliel show.
>> Read my full guide on mountain biking in Las Vegas
2. Bootleg Canyon
Bootleg Canyon is the mountain bike trail network in Boulder City outside of Vegas. This area used to be known for its super gnarly and rugged downhill lines and while those trails still exist, there are more beginner and intermediate-friendly trails now.
I haven’t explored Bootleg Canyon a ton, but it’s a worthy destination, especially if you’re passing through and have already ridden Vegas.
There is a weekend shuttle service during the cooler months if you prefer not to pedal.
Ely is not what most people think of when they think of Nevada. This small, historic town is surrounded by 11,000 ft peaks and sits at an elevation of 6,400 ft. It’s green and forested and also home to some of the best mountain biking trails in Nevada.
Unlike most Nevada mountain biking destinations, Ely is a great place to ride during the summer months when the rest of Nevada is baking. There’s also great camping – paid and dispersed – and lots of other great outdoor recreation options like fishing, hiking, and visiting nearby Great Basin National Park.
>> Read my full guide on mountain biking in Ely, Nevada
Caliente is still a bit under the radar for Nevada mountain biking, but they’ve got over 80 miles of trail including a new 21-mile descent off of Mt. Ella. The trail crew is also still actively building with dozens of miles of trail planned over the next few years thanks to generous grants.
I’ve visited Caliente several times to ride and I definitely think it deserves a mention for having some of the best mountain bike trails in Nevada. The two main networks – Kershaw-Ryan State Park and Barnes Canyon – are both great places to check out, especially if you’re already passing through. There’s a good mix of cross-country riding as well as some more technical descents, all with great views.
>> Read my full guide on mountain biking in Caliente, Nevada
To be honest, I haven’t spent a lot of time mountain biking around Reno, but I know there are some great trails. One day I’ll get to explore them! If you have any tips on where to mountain bike in Reno, drop a comment below.
6. Carson City & Incline Village
Like Reno, I’ve yet to fully explore Carson City. I have done the Ash Canyon to King Canyon trail, which is awesome, and the Tahoe Flume Trail in nearby Incline Village is a must. I’ll update this post when I provide better insights into the riding around Carson City!
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What are your top picks for the best mountain biking trails in Nevada? Did I miss any? Let us know in the comments!
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