Best USA destination for first week of June?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Best USA destination for first week of June?

    Pondering the best destination for first week of June.

    I have a converted Sprinter and total flexibility on schedule. Canadian accountant friend can only spare 8-9 days r/t from Calgary in early June. I can meet him anywhere he can fly. We're both technically skilled and reasonably fit, but aren't looking for lift serve air time or 10 hour XC days.

    I'm assuming this is going to be too early for Downieville/Tahoe areas given the deep snow pack this year. Moab, Hurricane/StGeorge, or Sedona/Prescott would all be rideable but probably uncomfortably warm by June. We did Oakridge + McKenzie two years ago, so that's "disquailified" despite being a pretty optimal season.

    One option is Bend + Hood River areas. We're both kayakers so could add a 3 day paddle on the Deschutes mid week w/ 3 days in Bend before and 2 days in Hood River after.

    Any itinerary suggestions if we went central or eastern US?

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    Depending on snowpack...Park City, Durango, Crested Butte, Steamboat Springs and Jackson Hole all come to mind as options. Just my opinion but compared to the stuff you've already ridden in Oregon, Bend is subpar. I've been twice now and I don't think it deserve the hype it gets. I haven't ridden the trails at Hood River yet but a friend goes every years and loves the area.

    Assuming it's all open, I think Park City offers the most bang for your buck riding wise though Durango has the Animas River running right thru town where world class kayaking events have been held in high water years (and I think they are having a banner snow year in SW Colorado).

  3. #3
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    Don't write Tahoe or Downieville off yet. The snow is melting now according to Over The Edge Sports Tahoe. Unfortunately our Sierra snow pack isn't all that deep. I'm camping at Tahoe the last weekend in May and hoping for some MTB.

    Moab and Hurricane can hit 105 F in early June. I've seen 115 F in St. George. However, really nice riding if you are on the trails at sunrise and off by 11 AM and close to sunset it is usually nice for a short ride, or longer with lights. You can get in 4 - 5 hours of riding each day.

    I wish we had destination level MTB in the Santa Cruz Mountains for you but our land agencies suck. Nice trail through redwoods but not Moab quality. We do have the new 4 mile Demo Flow Trail which is a bit more than most places and a great ride. It is a steep pedal back up though. A big advantage is Santa Cruz and the beaches after the ride! Also, you can demo Ibis and Santa Cruz bike directly from the factories at $20/day. And there is wine tasting.

    Or go the other direction - Yukon. I'm hearing good things about trails near Whitehorse. Love that little town!

    :-)
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    @k2rider,

    I thought about various Rockies/Wasatch destinations, but I'm concerned that its pushing just a tad too early for them. Tentative travel plan is May 28-June 4. Certainly there will be at least some trails in decent shape then, but won't many of the higher elevation classic/epic trails potentially still be compromised by snow or moisture/mud during the spring/summer shoulder season? Obviously it will depend a lot on the exact timing/size of any late spring storms, how quickly things warm up, etc. Since my buddy needs to book flights in advance, we can't make last minute judgments, so I'm leaning toward conservative assumptions about weather & trail conditions.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by InertiaMan View Post
    @k2rider,

    I thought about various Rockies/Wasatch destinations, but I'm concerned that its pushing just a tad too early for them. Tentative travel plan is May 28-June 4. Certainly there will be at least some trails in decent shape then, but won't many of the higher elevation classic/epic trails potentially still be compromised by snow or moisture/mud during the spring/summer shoulder season? Obviously it will depend a lot on the exact timing/size of any late spring storms, how quickly things warm up, etc. Since my buddy needs to book flights in advance, we can't make last minute judgments, so I'm leaning toward conservative assumptions about weather & trail conditions.
    Admittedly, on that list I threw out, I've only ridden in Park City and Durango/Cortez. You would want to check in on the separate Utah and Colorado forums separately to get the best advice but I think *most* of Crested Butte would NOT be rideable that early in most years. On the other hand, Cortez will be open for sure and *most* of the riding in Durango would normally be open but as I mentioned before, I think they are having a banner snow year. cbossman on the Colorado forum is a local there. I think the snow will only effect the high alpine stuff and not the stuff near town by late May.

    As for Park City, they have a 7 foot base of snow right now so I'm not sure when they get moving usually. I know the resorts will open later but the trails over by Kimball Junction *should* be clear by late May. There's also riding in SLC and Ogden is taking off if you don't mind driving a bit to get to the trails.

    One last option that most don't think of in the Summer is Sedona/Prescott/Flagstaff. Sedona's average high in June is 93, Prescott's is 86 and Flagstaff's is 78. Obvious tons of trail options with great variety...chunky Sedona, XC Prescott and enduro Flagstaff. To top it off, your buddy could fly into Phoenix 90 miles away which should have tons of flight options. Maybe you're get REALLY lucky and catch a cold spell in Phoenix and be able to ride down there id your wanted as well. I'm sure it will be too hot but the Cave Creek Cactus Cup Race Loop is exactly the type of ride you are after in your first post.

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    I'd try to remain flexible on destinations until 3 weeks or so prior to going anywhere. I'm in Park City and we have what would be called an average year....which is to say, a lot of snow. It's been a few years since we've had this much, but my recollection is that the trails are usually pretty clear by the time frame you are looking at. The kayaking in the area, though, is class 3+ or less for the most part, so bringing boats would be a waste. One thing to consider, the Park City area has over 400 MILES (!) of trails, and almost all of it is singletrack, so finding something to ride on should not be a challenge. Most is below 9000 feet which could be the cut off by then. If you want to kayak as well, the areas north of Boise (Payette) and the areas around Nevada City, Ca (Yuba) are great. I think both of those areas are lower and would have a better chance of being clear. I just don't know how the trails are...I've boated it, but not ridden it. In the Jackson area, you have the Greys, which would probably be 4+ around then, the Gros Ventre and a great playwave at "Lunch Counter" on the Snake in Alpine Canyon. Again, though, I have no idea what the biking is like up there.

  7. #7
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    I'm an E100 "survivor" so have sampled a decent chunk of the Park City trails. Nice riding, I will definitely return, but still a bit on the shoulder season for late May / first days of June. If the trip was even slightly (2 weeks) later, I wouldn't hesitate.

    The kayaking isn't a necessity. so don't need input on that. I just mentioned it because it was a highly convenient option for a north/central Oregon trip which would reduce "pressure" to come up with 8 consecutive days of 4 star riding.

    Perhaps my original post wasn't very clear. The input I was really looking for was to identify some quality riding areas where May/June is the optimal season, and not to identify places with great riding which, though not in optimal season, might be rideable with some compromises (like Sedona for example).

    Surprised that no one weighed in w/ some central or east coast options. I'd think the PA to WV region would be in prime shape that time of year, though there is always the unpredictable risk of rain.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    One last option that most don't think of in the Summer is Sedona/Prescott/Flagstaff. Sedona's average high in June is 93, Prescott's is 86 and Flagstaff's is 78. Obvious tons of trail options with great variety...chunky Sedona, XC Prescott and enduro Flagstaff. To top it off, your buddy could fly into Phoenix 90 miles away which should have tons of flight options. Maybe you're get REALLY lucky and catch a cold spell in Phoenix and be able to ride down there id your wanted as well. I'm sure it will be too hot but the Cave Creek Cactus Cup Race Loop is exactly the type of ride you are after in your first post.
    Rode the Cave Creek race loop two weeks ago. Good riding, but I don't want to be anywhere near the place in June. An early June "cold spell" in PHX = highs of 95 with essentially no shade on any rides. If I was a local, sure, I'd head out after dusk w/ a headlamp, or hit a short ride early and finish before 10am. But not suited to a destination trip in that season imho.

    Rode Sedona last week and temps were perfect. As a local, I'd be riding in June, but won't point that direction as a visitor destination in that timeframe.

    Sorry if I'm being picky . . . my perspective is that there are tons of great rides out there, so no need to push the envelope on weather/season. I'd rather pick a place where Memorial Day is typically the best time for riding.

  9. #9
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    The average high temp for Moab in May is 83 degrees. In June it's 93 degrees.
    Climate Moab - Utah and Weather averages Moab

    Call it an average high of just under 90 (31C) for the time frame you're looking at. The Whole Enchilada may be clear by then (or at least from Burro or Hazard down), and there's plenty of early morning and late afternoon riding to be done. The start of the Mag 7 is around 6000 feet, so it would be cooler. I just rode it as a loop and it's way fun.

    I usually go there with my son in mid to late May to ride and we often get in 2 rides on at least one day....we almost always return home against the Memorial Day (May 25 of last year) traffic as it heads down to Moab. I think you'd be fine a week or 2 later, even. I'm in my 60's and I have to be careful to hydrate, but it's never been a deal breaker.

  10. #10
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    Look into Pisgah Forest near Ashville/Brevard NC. I'm from Pa and going to Pisgah 1st of May for a few days. There is still a lot of places in Pa that I haven't ridden yet. That time frame is decent weather, but like you said rain is an unpredictable thing. So little time so many trails.
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    Quote Originally Posted by telebiker View Post
    That looks promising. Some youtube vids:
    https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...y+trail+system

    Looks as though if the trails are wet, you're hosed.

  13. #13
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    CAMBA trails in Northern Wisconsin would be prime at that time. 100 miles of single track, lakes, and fishing.

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    That looks promising. Some youtube vids:
    https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...y+trail+system

    Looks as though if the trails are wet, you're hosed.
    This is true for Maah Daah Hey, not sure about conditions on Black Hills. I have heard of riders bailing on MDH because of weather and finding great conditions on Black Hills trails.

  15. #15
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    Another destination to consider is Helena Montana. A bike friendly town with a huge trail system right at its doorstep. Free shuttles too.

    Mountain Biking in Helena, Montana | Bike Helena

  16. #16
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    Boise or Sun Valley Idaho. Sun Valley doesn't get all that much snow, so should be OK in June. If you are a Kayaker, you probably already know that Idaho has some of the best.

  17. #17
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    Good to see some fresh ideas coming. Since I didn't mention all the places I've already ridden, I'm seeing a lot of repeat suggestions.

    I've done a thru-ride of MDH and a week in South Dakota in past years. I can attest to the consequences of moisture on the MDH: we were forced to carry mud-laden bikes cross country to oil service roads one night.

    I'll look into Pisgah. Haven't been there since I was riding a rigid Fisher in 1987.

    I think @bpressnal is right that much of Boise and Sun Valley should be good. Rode that in 2000 during a long trip that included a week on the Middle Fork of the Salmon.

    Those free shuttles in Helena look great! I'll use those at some point, other trips if not this one.

    In fact, independent of this one week trip w/ my buddy, the suggestions above make me think a northern tier trip through Boise to Helena to North Dakota and onward to Minnesota (Duluth etc) and northern WI could be a great way to "ride" my way back to visit family in Iowa.

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    I'll throw in a pitch for Arkansas. I live in Bentonville in the NW part of state and we are hosting the imba conference this fall. We literally have 85 ish miles of trails in town and withing 25 minutes drive.

    Not to mention the Ouachita trail 3 hours from here is epic. The Womble is near Ouachita. Both incredible trails. Then three hours in another direction from my house is syllamo. Which is about 80 miles. Some pretty epic riding around hear. Oh. I forgot about the buffalo headwaters trails.

    Plus if you like paddling. The buffalo river is pretty incredible


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  19. #19
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    Arkansas is another place I've ridden many times!

    Love the place. Did a fair amount of rock climbing in the region back in the late 80's when I was in school at MU. Later, I was in California but working for a Texas company, so I would tag weekends onto business trips to Dallas, and go hit northern AR for play time. Have ridden the full Womble 4 or 5 times, many chunks of the Ouachita, Syllamo and some more obscure stuff I found thru NFS websites. All good riding.

    Still hoping to choose a place that I haven't been yet.

  20. #20
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    Have you ever been to Duluth Minnesota?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek200 View Post
    Have you ever been to Duluth Minnesota?
    I have not. I read the article in Bike a year or so ago about the trail building momentum in town, and I perused some of the trail info online. I'll definitely swing through there at some point. My buddy and I considered him flying into Minneapolis and trying to hit the iconic trails in northern WI and MN but it would likely involve daily or near daily driving which my buddy was hoping to avoid.

    What trails would you ride if you had 4-5 days in MN and WI and could sustain ~6 hours of riding a day (so long epics, or 2X/day shorter rides)?

  22. #22
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    Tahoe and D-ville will be doable then, though likely not all of it. Barring any big storms in the next few weeks, I would expect the North shore rides to be fine, as well as the East shore and much of South Lake and Truckee. Stanford Rock, HITG, and Freel Pass will probably be snowed in, and Tahoe Meadows and Toads kinda iffy. D-ville could be rideable from the top, but too early to say. If not, plenty of riding lower down and around town. And I'm not much of a boater, but the rivers and creeks in the area will be flowing pretty good.
    Would definitely be worth the trip, but you would be just a few weeks early for our most epic riding. In most years I consider the last week of June to be prime time - the upper elevations are just getting rideable, the wildflowers are going off, the Lake is warm enough to swim, the dirt is still tacky, and town hasn't turned into a complete shitshow.

  23. #23
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    I don't know the Duluth trails well enough to answer. We are passing through this summer so will try to hit some trails in Duluth as well as head to cuyuna lakes.


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  24. #24
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    Come east...first week of June is just before NEMBA Fest, so trail crews will be working overtime to get everything prime. Kingdom Trails, Millstone Trails, brewery tours, springtime in VT...

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