What are the best/most robust towns for mtb trails and trail building in the US?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What are the best/most robust towns for mtb trails and trail building in the US?

    What towns are strongest for trail building and advocacy in the US right now? Iím talking about towns adding trails and with interesting, sustainable, innovative trails approachable by riders of a wide variety of skill levels.

    It may be possible for me to leave my current job in the next few years and get a consulting job which I could do from anywhere. Iím a newby middle aged woman mountain biker and wouldnít mind moving somewhere where the trails are great.

    Personally I love epic scenery so the West is preferred but Iíd be interested in hearing about all kinds of places. Also, locales with other nearby (within a 8-12 hour drive say) mtb hotspots would be a plus. Maybe weíd buy a camper van and Iíd work out of that for a few weeks or months per year.

    We live currently in a northern suburb of LA and I donít love the mtb-ing in our town- steep, loose, and washed out half the time. Places Iíve ridden that Iíve really enjoyed include Tahoe, Scotland, Sedona, Big Bear Lake CA, Mammoth Lake CA, St George UT, Park City UT, Moab. Mostly I like cross country wild trails, but Iím ok with rocks too. I suppose forest appeals to me more than desert but I do like lots of different types of places.

    Bend OR and Sun Valley ID are on my short lists for mtb travel, I just havenít managed to find time quite yet.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
    What towns are strongest for trail building and advocacy in the US right now? Iím talking about towns adding trails and with interesting, sustainable, innovative trails approachable by riders of a wide variety of skill levels.

    It may be possible for me to leave my current job in the next few years and get a consulting job which I could do from anywhere. Iím a newby middle aged woman mountain biker and wouldnít mind moving somewhere where the trails are great.

    Personally I love epic scenery so the West is preferred but Iíd be interested in hearing about all kinds of places. Also, locales with other nearby (within a 8-12 hour drive say) mtb hotspots would be a plus. Maybe weíd buy a camper van and Iíd work out of that for a few weeks or months per year.

    We live currently in a northern suburb of LA and I donít love the mtb-ing in our town- steep, loose, and washed out half the time. Places Iíve ridden that Iíve really enjoyed include Tahoe, Scotland, Sedona, Big Bear Lake CA, Mammoth Lake CA, St George UT, Park City UT, Moab. Mostly I like cross country wild trails, but Iím ok with rocks too. I suppose forest appeals to me more than desert but I do like lots of different types of places.

    Bend OR and Sun Valley ID are on my short lists for mtb travel, I just havenít managed to find time quite yet.
    Well...as u did mention Tahoe, reno would be a good spot, plenty of trails in the sierras and within that driving window to the other spots u mentioned...

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  3. #3
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    Bentonville.

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    The western slope of Colorado. Thousands of miles of trails already, more being built, and within a few hours of Moab, Durango, Crested Butte.

    Towns like Eagle, Rifle, Palisade, Montrose, Paonia, Ridgway.

    You might not like the politics though.

  5. #5
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    Do you want 4 seasons or year round temperate climate? New England has some kick ass spots but you have to deal with winter, which for me means kick ass fat biking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by radair View Post
    Do you want 4 seasons or year round temperate climate? New England has some kick ass spots but you have to deal with winter, which for me means kick ass fat biking.
    The longer the season the better IMO. 12 month season is best. 10 months would be ok. 6 months? That would be tough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by radair View Post
    Do you want 4 seasons or year round temperate climate? New England has some kick ass spots but you have to deal with winter, which for me means kick ass fat biking.
    Based on the rider's description of her preferred riding, I'm not sure she'd like roots and rocks of New England. Also riding in the forests are peaceful, but not the most scenic.

    Don't get me wrong, I live in New England and love the technical riding we have here...

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    Quote Originally Posted by briank View Post
    Based on the rider's description of her preferred riding, I'm not sure she'd like roots and rocks of New England. Also riding in the forests are peaceful, but not the most scenic.

    Don't get me wrong, I live in New England and love the technical riding we have here...
    From my original post: ďMostly I like cross country wild trails, but Iím ok with rocks too. I suppose forest appeals to me more than desert but I do like lots of different types of places.Ē

    Iím up for all kinds of terrain. The only thing Iím not interested in is bike park trick- type riding. I like Mammoth bike park, though, lots of natural feeling trails there.

    The only dense forest rooty type riding Iíve done is Scotland. No idea how that compares to New England but I liked Scotland a lot.

  9. #9
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    +1 for Bentonville, Arkansas or NW AR region. Forested, rolling hills, rocky if you want it to be, tons of new trail development, year round riding.

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    I'd keep in mind that you only ride a few hours a day. You need to live there 24/7, so make sure you can live in the town. Bentonville may be great, but personally there is no way I could stand living there.

    Make a short list and spend at least a week's vacation in each one before you decide. From your description I'd look at norcal - either bay area or Grass Valley area (close to trails in Downieville / Sierras / Tahoe but out of the snow), but there are lots of great towns out there.

  11. #11
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    My wife and I made a similar decision in 2012. We have the additional requirement of excellent schools for our kids, which you didn't mention, so here would be my short list for riding destinations in the west that are fun for 8+ months out of the year. Note that I'm assuming you can afford an expensive house (in PC, a "cheap" house is a cool million bucks), have a fully mobile job, and don't care about schools/kid stuff. This is in my order of preference - we'd live in Santa Fe in a heartbeat if it weren't for the bad schools.

    -Santa Fe, NM (probably the best/least crowded trails in the west, easy to get to CO and UT riding)

    -Park City, UT (riding season is ~7-8 months but Moab and St. George are close by. Probably the most trails anywhere on earth by mileage/pure concentration, 50% are mediocre though) Good schools, so we ended up here.

    -Durango, CO (cold season riding 1 hour south in Farmington)

    -Moab, UT (needs no intro from me, summer can suck)

    -Salida, CO (surprisingly long riding season in the "banana belt"/rainshadow of Monarch)

    -St. George, UT (bad summers)

    -Grand Junction, CO (or surrounding area)

    -Flagstaff, AZ (Sedona when cold)

    -Boise, ID (riding a bit less good, but cheap and long riding season)

    I'm not a huge fan of the riding in Bend since the Cascade cement doesn't melt out on the fun higher elevation trails until August lots of years, and then they snow in again in October. I can take or leave the Phil's/Mrazek stuff around town. It's also pretty isolated (could be good or bad). But I have not ridden there in almost a decade, I'm sure there's new stuff now.

    Sun Valley is cool but season will be shorter than you want and there's no warmer-climate stuff close by.

    There is a ton of good riding in the Southeast and East, of course, but I've only done tourist type riding anywhere east of the Mississippi so I can't comment in detail on any of it.

    -Walt

  12. #12
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    Grand Junction is an epicenter of sorts that puts you within about a 1,000 mile drive of places as far away as Bentonville & Bend. Everything else on Walt's list is closer.

    Not that that was anyone's criterion, just an observation.
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    Bentonville has had an explosion of trail and most fit what you are looking for. It also has one of the best average income to cost of living ratios in the US.

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    -Santa Fe, NM (probably the best/least crowded trails in the west, easy to get to CO and UT riding)

    -Park City, UT (riding season is ~7-8 months but Moab and St. George are close by. Probably the most trails anywhere on earth by mileage/pure concentration, 50% are mediocre though) Good schools, so we ended up here.

    -Durango, CO (cold season riding 1 hour south in Farmington)

    -Moab, UT (needs no intro from me, summer can suck)

    -Salida, CO (surprisingly long riding season in the "banana belt"/rainshadow of Monarch)

    -St. George, UT (bad summers)

    -Grand Junction, CO (or surrounding area)

    -Flagstaff, AZ (Sedona when cold)

    -Boise, ID (riding a bit less good, but cheap and long riding season)

    I'm not a huge fan of the riding in Bend since the Cascade cement doesn't melt out on the fun higher elevation trails until August lots of years, and then they snow in again in October.
    I have nothing more to add, that hasn't already been said by Walt, other than to say that I would take western over eastern. (Grew up in Virginia, love life out west.)

    Right now I am sitting in Bend, OR (on vacation). Have lived in Fort Collins, CO and Denver/Golden, CO. Last 8 years has been extensive travel throughout Colorado, Utah, Arizona, Nevada. Currently living in ABQ, NM (due to work, not quite by choice).

    Bend, OR is Boulder, CO less the pretentiousness/smug of Boulder. Pretty isolated though.

    As Walt said, New Mexico has great riding, empty trails (and phenomenal weather). Food is fantastic too! However - New Mexico is weird - but not in a "Keep Austin, TX Weird" sort of way. More of a Breaking Bad sort of way.
    I like 'em long, low, slack and playful

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    My wife and I made a similar decision in 2012. We have the additional requirement of excellent schools for our kids, which you didn't mention, so here would be my short list for riding destinations in the west that are fun for 8+ months out of the year. Note that I'm assuming you can afford an expensive house (in PC, a "cheap" house is a cool million bucks), have a fully mobile job, and don't care about schools/kid stuff. This is in my order of preference - we'd live in Santa Fe in a heartbeat if it weren't for the bad schools.

    -Santa Fe, NM (probably the best/least crowded trails in the west, easy to get to CO and UT riding)

    -Park City, UT (riding season is ~7-8 months but Moab and St. George are close by. Probably the most trails anywhere on earth by mileage/pure concentration, 50% are mediocre though) Good schools, so we ended up here.

    -Durango, CO (cold season riding 1 hour south in Farmington)

    -Moab, UT (needs no intro from me, summer can suck)

    -Salida, CO (surprisingly long riding season in the "banana belt"/rainshadow of Monarch)

    -St. George, UT (bad summers)

    -Grand Junction, CO (or surrounding area)

    -Flagstaff, AZ (Sedona when cold)

    -Boise, ID (riding a bit less good, but cheap and long riding season)

    I'm not a huge fan of the riding in Bend since the Cascade cement doesn't melt out on the fun higher elevation trails until August lots of years, and then they snow in again in October. I can take or leave the Phil's/Mrazek stuff around town. It's also pretty isolated (could be good or bad). But I have not ridden there in almost a decade, I'm sure there's new stuff now.

    Sun Valley is cool but season will be shorter than you want and there's no warmer-climate stuff close by.

    There is a ton of good riding in the Southeast and East, of course, but I've only done tourist type riding anywhere east of the Mississippi so I can't comment in detail on any of it.

    -Walt
    Wow what a great list. Obviously weíve been to some of the places on the list already.

    No kids, we donít care about schools and the job would be fully mobile- all I need is telephone service.

    Weíd love someplace affordable. We would sell our house in SoCal but Iíd take a big pay cut and it would be nice to hang on to some of the equity we have in the current house, which would help us make retirement at a decent age. Hopefully 10-12 years.

    Flagstaff is actually a great idea, or maybe Prescott? I have a (road) race in Albuquerque next June, maybe can check out Flagstaff and/or Prescott on the way.

    Iíll look at real estate prices in the Colorado locales and Idaho. Reno also looks great but surprisingly expensive if you want to be riding from the house (which Iíd want to be).

    We went to Park City in July, I liked it so much (so easy to ride everywhere) that we are in the process of buying an every other year summer timeshare week there. But I think it would be too expensive and too cold for us in winter.

    Was just talking to a friend while riding today- how awesome it is to ride well built and well designed trails. I could see get involved in trail building and trail advocacy if I were in the kind of place where thereís a great ďsceneĒ.

  16. #16
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    Ok, that's good followup info. FWIW, if you want to move you should sell the house (here's my personal finance geekery side) - use that equity in the market, or else to buy a place elsewhere. There is no point in hanging onto it (and losing your capital gains exemption) if you don't want to live there anymore.

    Now, if you want inexpensive, the list changes.

    -Cross off PC. It is stupid crazy expensive.
    -Cross off Bend, it's not cheap at all.

    -Boise is probably cheapest on the list. But it's also (IMO) the lamest riding, and it's not super close to a lot of other cool destinations. But trail systems are improving there and you can get a house for $250k in a decent spot if you're not too insanely picky. There is skiing, it's mediocre at best. If you live at the east end of town near the Boise State campus it's pretty college-townie, otherwise it's suburbia forever and ever. Ride from the house at the east/north side of town, otherwise you'll have to drive. Hotter than you think in summer due to the low elevation.

    -Flagstaff is reasonable. Decent condo for $250-300k. Decent house for $350-400k. Not "cheap" but not crazy expensive. Flagstaff isn't expensive because it's pretty isolated, though. Ride from the house pretty much no matter where you live. My great grandfather used to drive the train between Flag and Gallup NM where a bunch of my wacky ass family are from. Skiing horrible but exists.

    -Grand Jct. is reasonable too. Maybe a little cheaper than Flag, though the fracking boom on the CO plateau has driven up house prices a bunch (back in the 90s it was *cheap* as dirt to live there). Very conservative/roughneck culture, but lots of outdoors folks too. Riding from the house is easy though bike infrastructure is hit/miss. Not forest riding. Skiing available via 2 hour drive east.

    -Santa Fe is pretty cheap if you live in the southern half of town, but riding from the house is less convenient (20 min on pavement to get to trails) and in some of those parts you'll get the Breaking Bad vibe. Riding infrastructure/bike lanes are pretty bad but improving. Food amazing. Art amazing. Decent skiing.

    -Moab is shockingly cheap for being a famous destination (decent houses under $400k) because There. Are. No. Jobs. Not a problem for you! The old part of town has ugly-ass 50s and 60s ranch homes that are perfectly fine to live in and there's a great new rec center and you can ride from the house super easily. Winter is colder than you think! Summer is hotter than you think! The restaurants all suck! The whole town is a traffic jam for 2-3 months of the year for various events/tourist stampedes. But it's freaking Moab.

    -Durango is not too cheap but not awful. Entry level around $500k. Metric ton of famous riding. College town vibe. Good skiing nearby. Ride from house anywhere in town. You will see Ned eventually and he will talk to you and you will wonder if you should ask him to sign an inappropriate body part (I'm not being sexist, I feel that way when I talk to him too), if you live here.

    -Salida is again entry level around $500k. Tons of amazing riding from town, good skiing, long season - you can ski at Monarch and ride your mountain bike in town on the same day (though you'll probably want to bundle up a little for your ride). Small town, quite isolated. Easy to get to Crested Butte and Gunnison, hard to get anywhere else.

    Road trip the heck out of it and visit them all, then make your decision. If you're in PC and want a beer or a ride, stop by.

    -Walt

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt View Post
    Ok, that's good followup info. FWIW, if you want to move you should sell the house (here's my personal finance geekery side) - use that equity in the market, or else to buy a place elsewhere. There is no point in hanging onto it (and losing your capital gains exemption) if you don't want to live there anymore.

    Now, if you want inexpensive, the list changes.

    -Cross off PC. It is stupid crazy expensive.
    -Cross off Bend, it's not cheap at all.

    -Boise is probably cheapest on the list. But it's also (IMO) the lamest riding, and it's not super close to a lot of other cool destinations. But trail systems are improving there and you can get a house for $250k in a decent spot if you're not too insanely picky. There is skiing, it's mediocre at best. If you live at the east end of town near the Boise State campus it's pretty college-townie, otherwise it's suburbia forever and ever. Ride from the house at the east/north side of town, otherwise you'll have to drive. Hotter than you think in summer due to the low elevation.

    -Flagstaff is reasonable. Decent condo for $250-300k. Decent house for $350-400k. Not "cheap" but not crazy expensive. Flagstaff isn't expensive because it's pretty isolated, though. Ride from the house pretty much no matter where you live. My great grandfather used to drive the train between Flag and Gallup NM where a bunch of my wacky ass family are from. Skiing horrible but exists.

    -Grand Jct. is reasonable too. Maybe a little cheaper than Flag, though the fracking boom on the CO plateau has driven up house prices a bunch (back in the 90s it was *cheap* as dirt to live there). Very conservative/roughneck culture, but lots of outdoors folks too. Riding from the house is easy though bike infrastructure is hit/miss. Not forest riding. Skiing available via 2 hour drive east.

    -Santa Fe is pretty cheap if you live in the southern half of town, but riding from the house is less convenient (20 min on pavement to get to trails) and in some of those parts you'll get the Breaking Bad vibe. Riding infrastructure/bike lanes are pretty bad but improving. Food amazing. Art amazing. Decent skiing.

    -Moab is shockingly cheap for being a famous destination (decent houses under $400k) because There. Are. No. Jobs. Not a problem for you! The old part of town has ugly-ass 50s and 60s ranch homes that are perfectly fine to live in and there's a great new rec center and you can ride from the house super easily. Winter is colder than you think! Summer is hotter than you think! The restaurants all suck! The whole town is a traffic jam for 2-3 months of the year for various events/tourist stampedes. But it's freaking Moab.

    -Durango is not too cheap but not awful. Entry level around $500k. Metric ton of famous riding. College town vibe. Good skiing nearby. Ride from house anywhere in town. You will see Ned eventually and he will talk to you and you will wonder if you should ask him to sign an inappropriate body part (I'm not being sexist, I feel that way when I talk to him too), if you live here.

    -Salida is again entry level around $500k. Tons of amazing riding from town, good skiing, long season - you can ski at Monarch and ride your mountain bike in town on the same day (though you'll probably want to bundle up a little for your ride). Small town, quite isolated. Easy to get to Crested Butte and Gunnison, hard to get anywhere else.

    Road trip the heck out of it and visit them all, then make your decision. If you're in PC and want a beer or a ride, stop by.

    -Walt

    - Grand Junction has skiing and forest riding less than two hours away up on Grand Mesa. Killer XC skiing up there as well. I think you undersold the "roughneck" aspect though. I'm guessing someone from SoCal would think GJ is redneck heaven.

    - Moab absolutely SUCKS as a place to live. They keep building and building and building hotels, but the workers have nowhere to live, so you have vanlife all over the place, and houses with dozens of people living in them. That could be the house next door. Highway 191 is essentially an interstate now as far as traffic, but it runs right down Main Street, and it would take billions to build a bypass, so it simply isn't going to happen. You literally can't make a left across Main without a light now from 7 AM to 7 PM. Try getting out of City Market and heading south. You can't leave anything unlocked any more, not even in you own yard. Moab also has a really bad meth problem, and a homeless issue as well.

    The next 20 years look even worse. The "new town" they are going to build just over the county line will more than double the population. When the crap hits the fan and they run out of water, watch the place crumble. The people calling the shots there don't give a crap about the long term viability or short term impacts on the people already living there. They care about making bank and leaving.

    - Durango has a lot of the same issues as Moab, but a bigger population base to absorb the issues. I would say $500K for a shack in town is pretty high end, but I guess you live on a different economic scale then 97% of the rest of the country. Twenty years ago that was Telluride.


    Bottom line to me would be that living in any town that gets the majority of its money from tourism would suck. Living 20 miles a way from such a town is much better. Tourist towns are for tourists. You might as well be a tourist to a nice, nearby tourist town, but live where the impacts are not as great.

  18. #18
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    If you're coming from SoCal as the OP is, $500k is not a particularly expensive house. That was the standard I was using. But your point is well taken that none of these places are cheap, and most people would consider a half million dollar house very very expensive.

    OP wants to live in a mountain bike mecca in the west and ride trails from their house, though, so c'est la vie. That lifestyle won't come cheap.

    Good perspective on Moab. I've watched that process happen over the last 20 years (as a visitor, not a local) and always wondered how they were going to handle all the people moving in. Sounds like they're just... not.

    To be fair, the same thing is starting to happen in Park City. We will just leave if it gets too bad/crowded, which it very well might - none of the infrastructure is designed/capable of handling the doubling of population that is on the drawing board.

    -Walt

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    You might want to check out Greenville SC. Right below Asheville NC which the area hosts Pisgah and DuPont, among other riding destinations. Greenville is booming now. I live around this area and itís a lot cheaper than crossing the boarder into Asheville. Very good bike scene here.
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    I have no interest in skiing, maybe cross country skiing if I wound up somewhere cold.

    As to the comments re: culture shock living X place since Iím ďfrom California.Ē Iím not actually from California. Have been here 12 years but have also lived NY Metro, Boston, Portland Maine, Chapel Hill NC, Raleigh NC, Opelika Alabama, and Athens GA.

    I took a pretty hard look at Reno, Flagstaff and Prescott.

    Cost of housing is much less in trail adjacent areas in Arizona but Reno is more tax advantaged for retirees which we hope to be in 12 years. I love the riding in the Tahoe area, plus thereís a good road racing scene. I can get to a lot of nice mtb destinations from any of the current short list but the ability to easily get into Pacific NW and Idaho is a plus in the Reno column.

    Havenít really looked in to Colorado yet though.

  21. #21
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    Going back to the OPís original questions, of the places listed, I feel Moab east to Grand Junction (and south towards Durango) is the most progressive in MTB trail design, construction and approach.

    Also, St. George/Hurricane, UT deserves consideration.
    I like 'em long, low, slack and playful

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by 06HokieMTB View Post
    Going back to the OPís original questions, of the places listed, I feel Moab east to Grand Junction (and south towards Durango) is the most progressive in MTB trail design, construction and approach.

    Also, St. George/Hurricane, UT deserves consideration.
    Palisade plunge will be worth living in GJ by itself!

    Agreed. Also I'd never want to live on the west side of the great basin, but that's just me. Maybe Reno got cooler than it used to be?

    -Walt

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 06HokieMTB View Post
    Going back to the OPís original questions, of the places listed, I feel Moab east to Grand Junction (and south towards Durango) is the most progressive in MTB trail design, construction and approach.

    Also, St. George/Hurricane, UT deserves consideration.
    That was the vibe I had, Moab in particular just seemed so intelligently done. Navajo Rocks for example could have been harder and unapproachable for me. But nope, someone went out and built something challenging for me and still interesting for more skilled/stronger riders. I literally went home after I rode and figured out who built the trail and sent them $50.

    As to the Reno comment, I don't get it (I have LA friends who say the same thing- "Reno is an armpit, I could never live there!"). My own experience with Reno is visiting my (road) coach there a number of times. He lives in a very nice house with a great view of Mt Rose and the entire area he's in seems very nice to me, I'd definitely want to live there. We've also been into the city with him and his wife, lots of great hip restaurants. Normal suburban convenient shopping, great variety of stores. And you can ride to great MTB trails right from his house. Then drive to a huge smorgashabord of trails all over Tahoe. Based on the cost of housing, I don't even think Reno is undiscovered.

    And the other good thing for me (not one of my original criterion, I know) is that there's great road racing there too. Lots of roadie pros retire to the area, keeps the scene vibrant.

  24. #24
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    Based on what youíve posted, I donít think youíd like living in GJ/Fruita or Moab. Yeah, trails are awesome and super progressive, but I donít think youíd like the towns.

    Hell - Iím not certain youíd like Durango.

    If youíre looking for ďvibeĒ and outdoors - I think Bend is your town. Definitely not cheap, but noticeably less expensive than CA. Itís oozing with ďvibeĒ

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    I'm happy we're not on anyone's list 😀

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    Quote Originally Posted by 06HokieMTB View Post
    If youíre looking for ďvibeĒ and outdoors - I think Bend is your town. Definitely not cheap, but noticeably less expensive than CA. Itís oozing with ďvibeĒ
    Hundreds of miles of trail right out the west side. Also a big road riding scene. Exploding population and housing, will be interesting to see if the infrastructure holds up. COTA started there and has expanded into Redmond and Sisters.

    Thereís even a freeride scene just starting up with Carson Storch and Cam McCaul in the area, even a Fest series the last couple years.

    In winter (snow, freeze/thaw) you can find smaller riding spots to the east, or just take up skis. Summer it gets dry and dusty, but you can just go higher into the Cascades to avoid it.

  27. #27
    beer thief
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryman View Post
    I'm happy we're not on anyone's list 😀
    Ha, me too. Content to be under the radar but that's changing for better or worse.

  28. #28
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    Good info. Pretty consistent with some recent email correspondence with a friend regarding potential retirement locations. Being NW based I've been to a lot of these locations and mostly agree with your assessments. Bend is overpriced, and overrun with Californians and tourists, and OR's income tax blows. Sun Valley is great but really expensive. Bentonville was also suggested to me by another mtbr user, and wow, Zillow shows amazingly cheap housing prices there.
    If it's not powered solely by you, it's motorized.

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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACree View Post
    and wow, Zillos shows amazingly cheap housing prices there.


    That's a warning.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heathpack View Post
    As to the comments re: culture shock living X place since Iím ďfrom California.Ē Iím not actually from California. Have been here 12 years but have also lived NY Metro, Boston, Portland Maine, Chapel Hill NC, Raleigh NC, Opelika Alabama, and Athens GA.
    Itís worth noting that those are all college towns, however.

    Quote Originally Posted by 06HokieMTB View Post
    Based on what youíve posted, I donít think youíd like living in GJ/Fruita or Moab. Yeah, trails are awesome and super progressive, but I donít think youíd like the towns.

    Hell - Iím not certain youíd like Durango.

    If youíre looking for ďvibeĒ and outdoors - I think Bend is your town. Definitely not cheap, but noticeably less expensive than CA. Itís oozing with ďvibeĒ

  31. #31
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    Seems like this thread can be summarized as:

    Good trails. Good vibe. Good cost of living.

    Pick two.
    I like 'em long, low, slack and playful

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by 06HokieMTB View Post
    Seems like this thread can be summarized as:

    Good trails. Good vibe. Good cost of living.

    Pick two.
    I'd argue that NWA, the area at large, not just Bentonville, hits all three.

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  33. #33
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    I'll bet Gallup, NM is right in the middle of what you want, has a LArge and continually expanding trail base nearby (ie ride from your door or up to ~20 minute drive), and has an exceptional mtb community. A lot of mtbers from all over ride here regularly so it's a great scene on the mountain, which is Ponderosa pine forest interspersed with meadows and canyons. Not much as far as big city entertainment alternatives, but some quality smaller venue opportunities. This part of the world is very much about the place we live in the middle of, the greater four corners region, which offers an endless variety of outdoor landscapes and recreational opportunities.
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    Fairly mild winters and elevation range to get out of heat in summer, plus popular trail systems: Flagstaff/Sedona, Carson City/Tahoe, Boise, Ashland Or, Eugene/Oakridge Or (kinda wet in winter), Santa Fe, NM. I'm not going to give out all the goods!

  35. #35
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    I was thinking Colorado Springs might be a great spot to check out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    That's a warning.
    Not in this case. Area is THRIVING!

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