Best American mountain bike destination in January?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Best American mountain bike destination in January?

    I have a United Airlines voucher that expires Jan 15 2016, so I thought I'd take a week in early Jan to ride somewhere with guaranteed good trail conditions. I'm guessing someplace in the Southwest would be ideal. I race Cat1 XC and endurance events, so I'm looking for that style of trail - long, easily navigable with some technical features. No crazy downhill or lift serviced stuff. Any suggestions?


  2. #2
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    Tucson is great. Check out SDMB.org or TucsonMTB.com for trail details or to get together with other riders. Sounds like you'd enjoy sections of the Arizona Trail like starting from Pistol Hill Road and heading South as an out and back. The 50 Year Trail starting from Catalina State Park would also fit your style. Also some newer stuff in the Tortolita Mtns that are more XC style. Sweetwater and the Tucson Mountain Park are two other areas you could hit up. Tubeless tires with sealant highly recommended. You're also only 2 hours from Phoenix so you could hit that area up as well.

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    Moab, Utah would be someplace cool to ride.

  4. #4
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    Thanks! Just wanted to add my only other stipulation is that it's less than 2 hrs from a major, United Airlines serviced airport so that I'm not stuck driving around in a rental car any more than needed.

  5. #5
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    Moab can be pretty iffy in January too.

    Las Vegas seems like a good option. Quite a bit of good riding in Vegas.
    I'm looking forward to regretting this.......

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyspoke View Post
    Moab can be pretty iffy in January too.

    Las Vegas seems like a good option. Quite a bit of good riding in Vegas.
    Really? That would be awesome - tons of direct flights for me San Diego is another place South Western with plenty of direct flights, but I'm not aware of the cycling scene there. Austin, TX is another I was thinking about, but I have no idea if the weather is good then since I know not all of TX is warm all year.

  7. #7
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    I downloaded the United Airlines timetable for my local airport, IAD, and these are the Southwestern direct flight options (my preference since I'm bringing my bike and want to minimize the chance of it getting lost):
    Austin
    Las Vegas
    Los Angeles
    Phoenix
    San Diego
    San Antonio

    If any of these have good January riding that would be perfect!

  8. #8
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    Sedona is where I'd try to go. It can be wet or even slightly snowy in January, but if it's not in good shape, South Mountain will be. Imo that's the mist risk free plan with incredible riding. I prefer Moab to Sedona personally, if that helps you make a decision.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fueledbymetal View Post
    Really? That would be awesome - tons of direct flights for me San Diego is another place South Western with plenty of direct flights, but I'm not aware of the cycling scene there. Austin, TX is another I was thinking about, but I have no idea if the weather is good then since I know not all of TX is warm all year.
    Check the Nevada forum...there's a Las Vegas visitors sticky. Everything from flowy cross country to gnarly chunky downhill.
    I'm looking forward to regretting this.......

  10. #10
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    I would vote 1+ for Tucson. I go there as often as possible, there is a lot of riding, for me there is also some shopping. Also, if you get around Mt. Lemmon, it is quite cool to start riding in the forest and end up in the desert. We camp there when we go, its a lovable place.

  11. #11
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    I'd cross San Antonio off the list as Austin is a far better choice with plenty of local trails and you can still reach the stuff you can from SA. They are only 1:15 minute drive from each other.

    Flat Rock Ranch in Comfort, TX
    Rocky Hill Ranch in Smithville, TX

    Weather in Texas for January can be 30* and raining or 80* and sunny, but more likely you'll have a high around 55*.

    Texas weather in January is all over the board though
    --0--

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by fueledbymetal View Post
    I downloaded the United Airlines timetable for my local airport, IAD, and these are the Southwestern direct flight options (my preference since I'm bringing my bike and want to minimize the chance of it getting lost):
    Austin
    Las Vegas
    Los Angeles
    Phoenix
    San Diego
    San Antonio

    If any of these have good January riding that would be perfect!
    With weather, cost, and convenience as factors my wife and I have chosen the Vegas area for Spring breaks. Bootleg Canyon has fantastic trail riding.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fueledbymetal View Post
    Really? That would be awesome - tons of direct flights for me San Diego is another place South Western with plenty of direct flights, but I'm not aware of the cycling scene there. Austin, TX is another I was thinking about, but I have no idea if the weather is good then since I know not all of TX is warm all year.
    Vegas also gives you the option of SW Utah if weather is permitting up there, since it does snow a little more up there.

    I was riding all the trails in the Vegas area, plus up near Mt. Charleston (at 8,000ft elevation) this January. Daytime temps were usually in the 50's.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by NUTT View Post
    I'd cross San Antonio off the list as Austin is a far better choice with plenty of local trails and you can still reach the stuff you can from SA. They are only 1:15 minute drive from each other.

    Flat Rock Ranch in Comfort, TX
    Rocky Hill Ranch in Smithville, TX

    Weather in Texas for January can be 30* and raining or 80* and sunny, but more likely you'll have a high around 55*.

    Texas weather in January is all over the board though
    Yep, exactly. Central Texas weather is totally unpredictable in the winter. Either there's a cold front and it's cold. Or there's not a cold front and it warms up a lot. We don't have a normal winter "season."

    The only season you can predict is summer, which is always hot. Basically mid May through end of October might was well be called summer in Austin.

  15. #15
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    Fly into Vegas and go ride the St. George trails... they'll be PERFECT in January.

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