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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 flowy singletrack and gnarly downhill tech.
From the outskirts of Las Vegas to the pinyon pine and juniper studded in Ely, the trails in Nevada have pleasantly surprised me. You may even be surprised to learn that Nevada has the most mountain ranges out of any state, including Alaska!
Depending on where you’re traveling to and from, stopping to ride in Nevada 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.
So why not check out some of these awesome singletrack destinations to make your road trip even better?
Click the images on the map to go directly to my guides
Important Things to Know
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 in Vegas for all levels of riders from easy desert pedaling in Bear’s Best to full-on downhill descents at the Cowboy trails and everything in between. 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.
Start planning a mountain biking trip to Las Vegas with my complete guide
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. I plan on writing up a guide once I’ve ridden there more.
There is a weekend shuttle service during the cooler months if you prefer not to pedal.
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Ely is not what most people think of when they bring images of Nevada to their minds. 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.
See a different side of Nevada when you plan a mountain biking trip to Ely
Caliente is still a bit under the radar for mountain biking in Nevada, but they’ve got over 80 miles of trail including a new 21-mile ‘descent’ off of Mt. Ella (I hear there’s still plenty of pedaling).
The trail crew is also still actively building with dozens of miles of trail planned over the next few years thanks to generous trail-building grants.
I’ve visited Caliente several times to ride and while it may not have the best trails in the west, I definitely think it’s worth a visit, especially if you’re passing through.
The two main networks – Kershaw-Ryan State Park and Barnes Canyon – both have a good mix of cross-country riding as well as some more technical descents, all with great views.
Passing through Caliente? Be sure to check out the trails Kershaw-Ryan State Park and Barnes Canyon!
To be honest, I haven’t spent a lot of time mountain biking around Reno, but I know there are some great trails to be found there.
Peavine Mountain is closest to town with an array of singletrack from mellow cross-country trails to more technical descents.
There’s also Sierra Vista Park, which has been converted into a mini purpose-built bike park-like setting with manmade features and machine-made flow tracks.
One day I’ll get out to Reno and explore the area more so I can write up a guide. 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!
Incline Village is home to one of my all-time favorite trails and routes – the Tahoe Flume Trail!
Nevada is an underrated state when it comes to outdoor adventure. Most people associate the Silver State with the bright lights and glamor of Las Vegas, but there are lots of great opportunities for mountain biking and other outdoor pursuits.
Vegas and nearby Boulder City boast the largest singletrack scene with enough terrain to keep you busy for weeks while Ely and Caliente are perfect for a day or two stopover on your way to Moab or Sedona.
If you’re on the west side of Nevada, Reno, Carson City, and Incline Village are also great places to check out, especially the Flume Trail which is one of the most beautiful trails I’ve ever ridden!
Looking for more destinations for your mountain bike road trip in the West? Check out these related blog posts:
Have you mountain biked in Nevada? What are your favorite destinations? Which ones are now on your bike-it list? Leave a comment below!