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7 Best Locations in the Southwest for Winter Mountain Biking

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The sunny Southwest offers mountain bikers the perfect escape from the winter blues and soggy trail conditions in other areas of the US. Whether you live nearby or across the country, the renowned trails in the Southwest are a worthwhile trip that will deliver epic rides in warmer weather. This blog highlights several of the best locations in the Southwest for winter mountain biking so you can still hit the bike park!

ROKFORM is the preferred phone-carrying solution among mountain bikers. Our premium phone cases and heavy-duty mounts ensure your device stays protected as you rip down the trail. The V4 Pro Series Mount and Sport Series Mount offer plenty of options so you can fine-tune your bike’s setup and keep maps or cycling apps within reach at all times. In addition to biking, our wide range of car, golf, and motorcycle phone accessories are purpose-built to support an active lifestyle.

What Do Mountain Bikers Do In the Winter?

Depending on the weather conditions, mountain bikers turn to snow biking or cold-temperature riding during the winter season. If you want to avoid riding in snow, the Southwestern part of the United States has a milder winter so you can continue biking in the cold months of the year.

Winter Mountain Biking Tips

Setting yourself up to ride through the winter months is the best way to extend your cycling season! Preparation for winter riding, however, requires a few extra steps to ensure you’ll have a blast out on the trails, especially if you’re expecting snow.

Mountain Biker with ROKFORM V4 Pro Series Stem Bike Phone Mount

Here’s a brief list of the most important things to know before mountain biking this winter:

  • Clean your MTB regularly
  • Layer up with cold-weather apparel
  • Install mudguards
  • Choose appropriate winter tires
  • Always use lights!
  • Swap clipless pedals for flat pedals

No matter where you are in the country, winter typically means colder temperatures, less daylight, and soggier weather. Embrace layering up to stay warm and dry on rides and use lights since the sun sets significantly earlier in the day.

Rain or snow conditions will fling water and mud at your frame so you should install mudguards and wash your winter bike after every ride or two. Another good idea is switching to flat pedals that won’t get gunked up with mud and are easier to dismount in the event of an icy slip or fall.

Another crucial piece of mountain biking kit is the ROKFORM V4 Pro Series Phone Mount. See how this rugged bike mount works in the video below!

What’s the Weather Like in the Southwest?

The Southwest part of the US is warmer and drier than the rest of the country, meaning it’s ideal for winter MTB biking. Average high temperatures hover around the 60°F range and there are single-digit days of rain in the winter months— some trail areas will have patches of snow at higher elevations.

Winter Mountain Biking Locations and Winter Weather

  Average high in °F Days of rain per month
Phoenix, Arizona 68° 3
Las Vegas, Nevada 62° 2
Sedona, Arizona 60° 4
Cleveland National Forest, California 52° 6
St. George/Hurricane, Utah 55° 3
Moab, Utah 47° 3
Austin, Texas 66° 5

Top 7 Locations in the Southwest for Winter Mountain Biking

Are you a mountain biker who loves epic views of massive mountain peaks? How about mostly warm, sunny weather in the dead of winter? Perhaps you’d enjoy endless miles of shreddy dirt that stays dry almost all winter?

If those conditions sound like heaven to you, then you have to get to the following destinations in the Southwest this winter!

1. Phoenix, Arizona

For a metro area, there is a surprising amount of trails in Phoenix, making it an ideal city to visit if you’re able to spend more time here. Campgrounds in the area are plentiful, along with other reasonably-priced accommodations, so if you’re a digital nomad who loves to ride, keep this one in mind.

Great spots to check out include South Mountain bike park which boasts over 16,000 acres and well over a thousand vertical feet. It’s a popular place near Phoenix with some great rocky and challenging terrain. The Hawes Loop, McDowell Loop, and Sonoran Trail also come well recommended.

Why we love this spot:

If you’re seeking a warm and sunny getaway from a colder part of the country, this is your perfect place. There are days where temperatures reach into the 70’s in the dead of winter, making this the warmest mountain bike destination on this list. There are 1,035 miles of vast trails and 24 recommended routes here, offering days upon days of exploration.

Potential drawbacks:

Downhill MTB junkies might get frustrated with the minimal elevation loss on the area’s trails. Rarely are there more than 1,000’ vertical feet of drop on a route. That said, there are a few fun and fast downhill trails— they’re just relatively short.


Average high of 68º and 3 days of rain per month 

2. Las Vegas, Nevada

Ready for a party? Las Vegas doesn’t disappoint mountain bikers when it comes to its reputation for a good time. Aside from the city’s obvious benefits, the nearby riding has plenty to offer.


The most popular riding area in the region is Bootleg Canyon which has plenty of terrain for a full day or two of MTBing. Other closeby spots include Blue Diamond Badger Pass which can make Las Vegas a worthwhile visit— hitting the famous strip combined with a few days of trail-shredding makes for a fun getaway.

There are moderate elevation changes so big-mountain riders might be left wanting more, but the region’s mild climate offers a welcome respite from colder winter conditions. For riders trying to steer clear of snow, Las Vegas receives 0” of snow annually so it won’t be an issue.

Why we love this spot:

The Las Vegas metro area alone offers 642 miles of trail and 11 recommended routes on the MTB Project app. Rock garden lovers might want to check out the 10-mile Cowboy Trails loop that ascends and descends around 1,400 feet for a challenging ride with stunning views the entire way.

Potential drawbacks:

Routes only provide modest elevation changes and there’s little to no tree cover for shade. But that’s about all we can come up with!


Average high of 62º and 2 days of rain per month

3. Sedona, Arizona

Mountain Biker with ROKFORM V4 Pro Series Stem Bike Phone Mount

Mild temps, vistas in every direction, and some of the best trails in the country will keep you entertained for 3 to 5 days of solid adventure–– Sedona is a great place to go in the winter! The area is well-loved by many mountain bikers and the Sedona continues to develop more singletrack trails every year. Some highlighted Sedona routes include Hangover, Hiline, and the Hogs.

Why we love this spot:

Sedona has some of the highest-rated mountain biking in the country, no matter the level of skill. There are 405 miles of trail and more than 200 individual mountain bike routes there, with a good balance between green, blue, and black-rated trails.

Potential drawbacks:

Camping in the winter is hard to come by, so it’s better to book an Airbnb or hotel while you’re here. Everything costs more in this popular spot, too. Expect colder temperatures compared to either Phoenix or Tucson, Arizona.


Average high of 60º and 4 days of rain per month

4. Cleveland National Forest, California

Biking Trails on the Cleveland National Forest (Photo by U.S. Forest Service)

The mountains in and around the Cleveland National Forest offer days of riding with a wide range of trail difficulty levels. There’s everything from green to black-diamond-rated trails here. If you’re into taking mountain bike road trips to camp as well, the trail system is located in the Cleveland National Forest, so you’re allowed to tent camp in dispersed camp areas.

As a mountain biker, it’s hard to go wrong riding anywhere in California. As long as you’re away from the high mountain areas like Sierra Nevada or Mammoth, there are amazing trails that can be ridden year-round including Santa Cruz, the Bay Area, and around San Diego where the Cleveland National Forest is located.

Why we love this spot:

A major highlight of this area is the Cuyamaca to Noble Canyon route. This 30-miler traverses a range of everything California has to offer and, as one past rider puts it, you can, “Ride snow-patched pine forests to fiery high desert canyons; a feast of Southern California terrain”. The ride near Julian, CA connects trails established hundreds of years ago by the Kumeyaay Indians with a mix of singletrack, fire roads, steep climbs, and technical descents.

Potential drawbacks:

This is one of the more rainy areas on the list. The temperatures at high elevations can be cold enough that you might encounter a snowy trail or two, so keep an eye on the forecast and trail conditions before heading out.


Average high of 52º and 6 days of rain per month 

This is one of the more rainy areas on the list. The temperatures at high elevations can be cold enough that you might encounter a snowy trail or two, so keep an eye on the forecast and trail conditions before heading out.

5. St. George/Hurricane, Utah

Gooseberry Mesa and Hurricane Cliffs Mountain Bike Trails (Photo by Leslie Kehmeier, IMBA)

When you go to this area, the Hurricane Rim Loop is a must-ride! The 24-mile adventure is a certified “EPIC” ride from the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), meaning it’s one of the best routes out there. This route boasts stellar canyon vistas, easy climbing, and ripping descents. There are more than 441 miles of trails and 17 recommended routes listed in the MTB Project app here, so there’s plenty to keep you busy.

Why we love this spot:

If you like camping in more natural sites, the Red Cliffs Recreation Area is a public-lands area with camping. There’s a ton of MTB riding in the area, so it’s in the running for the best spot to spend a week-long trip.

Potential drawbacks:

While the trails remain mostly dry enough to ride, temps can get down into the 40’s in the higher elevation areas in the winter, so it’s good to keep an extra layer in your pack.


Average high of 55º and 3 days of rain per month 

6. Moab, Utah

Moab has been a mecca for mountain biking for decades now. The bald rock faces offer one of the world’s most unique mountain biking experiences. Unless the rock is sandy, the sliprock surface offers an amazing grip for mountain bike tires, allowing you to climb up and descend down insanely steep pitches. The longer rides are best for shuttling, which isn’t always available in the winter. But there are still plenty of miles for riding loops and out-and-back rides if you’re flying solo.

Why we love this spot:

There is relatively low traffic on the trails in the winter. The lodging is cheaper in the winter and the town is less crowded overall, making it more pleasant for folks who don’t like jam-packed small towns.

Potential drawbacks:

The high-mileage, high-elevation routes like The Whole Enchilada are too cold and can’t be shuttled in winter, so if this is a bucket-list trip, choose a warmer time of year instead, so that you can get the full experience. The average daily high temps aren’t all that warm in the winter, but still better than sub-freezing.


Average high of 47º and 3 days of rain per month 

7. Austin, Texas

Not many people think of Texas as a great spot for mountain biking, but the Austin area is gradually making a name for itself. The significant development in the region means it’s a youthful and fun place to be with great music and recreation the MTB riding comes with! Trail systems to keep in mind include Walnut Creek, City Park, and Brushy Creek.

Why we love this spot:

Newer spots like Reveille Peak Ranch and Spider Mountain are great spots to shred trails in the winter, including a range of terrain difficulties. Spider Mountain isn’t the largest bike park with only 350 feet of elevation gain, but it is one of the only lift-serviced parks in the US that’s open in the winter!

Potential drawbacks:

There’s not a whole lot of elevation change on these Texan trails, so dedicated downhill riders may want to look elsewhere.


Average high of 66° and 5 days of rain per month

ROKFORM Phone Cases for Mountain Bikes

MTB riders expect their bikes to withstand the wild outdoors and should use phone cases that are built to the same standards. ROKFORM phone cases are designed with premium materials and reinforced corners to pass military-grade drop tests, meaning your phone is safe from drops of up to 6 feet.

Newer ROKFORM cases are MagSafe®-compatible and work with our wide range of phone mounts. Following the recent launch of the all-new iPhone 15, we have released both Rugged and Crystal cases for Apple’s latest smartphone! Get your hands on protective iPhone 15 cases as well as accessories for all iPhone and Samsung Galaxy models.

“This case is truly the best case on the market! I drop my phone all the time from various heights and never once have I had a crack or a problem with the case.”

—D. 09/20/2023

ROKFORM Bike Phone Mounts

ROKFORM specializes in rugged bike mounts designed for any bike and any ride. Mountain bikers can secure their phone to the handlebars to easily track their ride and access maps in a flash. Using a phone mount frees up pockets or bag space where devices can rattle around over rough terrain.

The ROKFORM Sport Series Handlebar Bike Phone Mount is our most versatile accessory for cyclists. The secure hook-and-loop strap attaches securely to the handlebar or stem while still being easy to remove when necessary. This makes it easy to swap the mount between multiple bikes or position it exactly where you want it on the bike. ROKFORM phone cases instantly click into place and the aluminum lock lever ensures that the device stays secure throughout the ride.

The V4 Pro Series Phone Bike Mount is the most secure choice for MTBers who ride over chunky terrain and rock gardens. The mount installs directly into the headset of the bike, staying put due to the heavy-duty bolt and aircraft-grade aluminum construction. The patented twist-lock retention system and extra-strength magnet allow riders to tackle big obstacles without worrying about their device getting loose. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What do mountain bikers wear in the winter?

MTB riders wear insulated articles of clothing like a waterproof jacket or apparel with merino wool that will keep them warm in cold winter weather. If there is rain or muddy trails, waterproof shoes will keep feet dry. Even in drier areas like the Southwest, expect a lower average temperature than usual.

What is a fat tire bike?

Far bikes are rigid mountain bikes characterized by their wider tires between 3” and 5”. The large tire provides greater traction in slippery conditions like snow-covered trails, ice, or mud. The increased grip and control make fat biking a popular choice for winter rides.

What’s the difference between the V4 Pro Series and Sport Series mounts?

The V4 Pro Series Mount attaches directly to the stem of the bike while the Sport Series Mount straps to the handlebars. The full-aluminum construction of the V4 mount makes it a good choice for mountain bikers who ride over rough terrain. The Sport Series mount can be placed anywhere along the handlebar or stem and is easily removable when swapping bikes.

ROKFORM: Quality Accessories for Mountain Bikers

ROKFORM accessories keep your phone close at hand on bike rides, assisting you in making the right turn at trail junctions. Our high-quality phone bike mounts and protective phone cases keep your smartphone securely attached to your mountain bike so you can quickly access your navigation apps and camera.

Have questions about which products are right for your mountain bike? We are available for online chat or in-person at our Irvine, California showroom. Call us toll-free at 855-765-3676, or email us at, or visit us at

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