Summer road trip... need your advise.
Im getting a little sick of the dirty south so im planning a month and a half long west coast mtb road trip for this spring\summer. I'll be heading down I40 with New Mexico first on the list. I lived there for 6 years so I have it and Colorado pretty nailed down. After that is where I need your help. My girl and I want to make it to (give or take) Utah, Cali, Oregon (her home state), Washington, Idaho and Wyoming. The rough idea is that we will spend 5ish days in each state. Of course plans will change and areas will be skipped, but if I/we could get the must hits, I would be sooooo thrilled. I just checked out Colorado's thread on MTBR and someone posted a top 10 for the state. If I could get your top 5 or just your favorite ride it would get me going in the right direction. Both Meesh and I race and are accustomed to the nasty technical trails of Western North Carolina, Eastern Tenn and North Georgia so don't hold back when recommending trails. I dont know what she's has in mind, but for me Ive always drooled over red wood rides in Cali and sun drenched sandy singletrack around orange hoodoos in Utah and dense mossy climbs that go on for hours in Oregon and ridgeline-pinetreed singletrack in Washington State and high altitude long hauls in Wyoming....... if you know where these are please let me know. I will also be reading the reviews posted on this site and others like it and any books I can get my hands on but if you could help me out it would be greatly appreciated.
If you do end up posting........ Thank you!
hmmm, here's what comes to mind for my personal Top 10 list, in no particular order. These are spread all over the state, you may want to pick one or two areas to minimize driving. Definitely do a weather check on a few of these before you try them, some can be dreadfully hot depending when you'll be here:
Gooseberry Mesa, Hurricane
Little Creek Mesa, Hurricane
Amasa Back/Jacobs Ladder, Moab
Blue Dot/Portal, Moab
Thunder Mountain, Panguich
Mid Mountain Trail, Park City
Bench Creek, Uintas
Shingle Creek, Uintas
Broken Mesa/Icehouse, St George
Wasatch Crest/Mill D, Salt Lake City
There are plenty of other great options out there depending where you'll be.
Sipping the Knolly Whisquillappa
My recomendation after doing some roadtriping out there last summer would be to finish your colorado portion with a stop in fruita then head across I-70 to 89 (at that time of year I would skip Moab), then down to Panguitch and hit the red canyon stuff (if you only do one ride i would go with Cassidy, Casto, Losee loop, but thunder mtn, right across the street is more famous and a much easier/shorter ride)
then head down through Zion and if you have a good 4WD vehicle, take the back way over to Gooseberry Mesa, other wise head down to Huricane and go in the other way. After that hop on I-15 and head to Park City. Get the Adventure Map of the area and do a loop that includes the Mid Mountain Trail and Wasatch Crest. Its a fairly long day but its doable and a great ride. I would start at the Canyons resort. Theres plenty of other rides in all those areas, and Brianhead has some good stuff.
Maob will get hot in the summer. But, if you've never seen Arches, Canyonlands, Moab, it is a must see.
If you are late enough for the snow to be melted off (late June normally), then the Burro/Hazard/Porcupine ride will show you every aspect of Moab in one ride. From 11,000 foot alpine to 4000 foot desert. By far the best epic day in Moab.