With mountain biking travel ramping back up, many riders are seeking epic destinations to celebrate their regained freedom to roam. And while the United States has nearly endless options for unforgettable riding, there are some places around the world that offer unparalleled experiences. We put together this list of the 7 best mountain bike destinations in 2022 so you can start planning for summer. There’s even one for those who still want the road trip experience here in the states!
Les 2 Alpes Bike Park, France
When you’re itching for big mountain vistas and never-ending downhill runs, Les 2 Alpes Bike Park has what you need. From the stellar views from the 11,000 ft. summit to the unparalleled terrain diversity, you can shred 21 different world-class trails covering 70 miles here.
The park opened in 2007 for mountain biking, and now it’s known as one of the premier biking destinations in the world. The park features four sectors and 7,500 feet of vertical drop. The park is geared more towards pros and experienced riders who love big air. While boasting gnarly downhill, enduro, and cross country offerings, you can still find milder sections in the lower areas of the mountain.
Finale Ligure, Italy
Featuring a year-round season and breathtaking views of the Ligurian Sea from the trails, Finale Ligure in Italy is one of the world’s most scenic destinations to ride mountain bikes. And if you love to eat and enjoy post-ride beverages, you simply can’t beat the offerings in town.
You won’t find any chairlifts here, so be sure to have your climbing legs ready. Finale Ligure is located near Monaco and San Remo, and is known as a premier destination for enduro lovers. So much so that the Enduro World Series ends their season here most years.
Here, all trails lead to the Ligurian Sea, and the climate is warm year-round, delivering consistently ideal riding conditions. The area has 90 trails spanning nearly 250 miles of coastal riding. Many of the trails descend from the top of Apennine, the 3,280 foot mountain there. You can easily access the trails from town using ample shuttle services to the trailheads.
If you’re just getting into mountain biking but you still want the incredible views Europe has to offer, check out Saalbach-Hinterglemm in Austria. The area is very family-friendly, and this Alpine resort town has a dedicated community of mountain bikers that work on trails tirelessly during off-peak months. You’ll enjoy an extensive lift system with modern gondolas and well-designed trails with options for everything from kids to pros. There’s even options for e-bike riders.
Whatever your preferred style of riding, there are so many options to choose you’ll never get bored. Within the valley, you can traverse nearly 250 miles of trails across four mountains, dropping around 3,200 feet from top to bottom.
Nearly everything within Saalbach-Hinterglemm is geared toward mountain bikers once the snow melts. You’ll find MTB-specific accommodations like the Bike’n Soul hotel, along with more traditional hotels, such as Sallbacherhof, that are close to the town’s trails.
Tizi Mezzik Pass, Morocco
When you’re looking for a deeper, richer travel experience with your expansive mountain views, check out Tizi Mezzik Pass in Morocco. The breathtaking Tizi Mezzik Pass stands at nearly 7,500 feet in elevation, and spans from Imlil to Ouirgane. Starting off, the trail is steep, loose and rocky, and when you add the altitude into the mix, many riders will choose to tackle this section on foot.
Once you’re to the top of the pass, you’ll enjoy wide-open mountain valley views before you start the descent. You’ll need razor-sharp reflexes, as the singletrack is rail-thin, slicing across the hillsides before finally dropping into the valley and through villages.
You can also find singletrack that drops into a jungle-like trail near a river, across red, rolling trails, and on to accommodations in the High Atlas. It’s truly one of the most unique mountain biking adventures in the world.
Beyond the Andalucían food, the riding here will also have you salivating. Known as “Flowtastic,” this trail system branches from the highest village on mainland Spain, Trevelez. The climb out of Trevelez on the popular GR-7 walking route is nearly seven miles of pure riding joy. When the air is clear, you can glimpse the coast of Morocco in the distance, and you’ll enjoy a relatively smooth and groomed ride through the southern Spanish countryside. You can ride straight to your accommodations for the night in places like an organic farm that grows olives, grapes, and almonds. There’s nothing quite like it!
Have you ever stayed in a floating hotel? Well now you can, at “Gåssten,” near the towering peak of Mefjellet. Rising from the turquoise waters of the fjord below, this mountain is an ominous presence that reminds you of the challenges to come. You’ll hike and bike over 3,500 in elevation to the top of a glacier-carved ridgeline that’s flanked by snow-capped peaks.
Once you’ve made it to the top and have gravity back on your side, you’ll be rewarded with a nearly no-pedal downhill for miles. Ripping it up down the open mountainside will take you over rock slabs, following a tiny ribbon of singletrack that morphs once it reaches the woods into feature-filled flow. When you finally reach the bottom, you’ll pop back out near the water’s edge where you can take your lift back up to the Gåssten.
401 Trail, Colorado
If you’re dying for a road trip, head to the old mountain town of Crested Butte. You’ll find a chilled and relaxed atmosphere, along with iconic trails. You can ride high into the backcountry to enjoy the silence and remoteness. As you descend deep into the valley, you’ll peel off into the trees, eventually emerging into an explosion of colorful wildflower meadows. This trail is something every mountain biker in the country needs to experience at some point in their lives!