Help planning a US road trip- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    173

    Help planning a US road trip

    Hello fellow mountain bikers. My name is Scott, I'm an aussie and I'm invading the US between Aug 16 and Sept 13 for a MTB road trip. I'd like help with a basic itinerary I have in mind. I pick up a Campervan at LAX and will be self sufficient for the trip. I am a gravity guy for the most part so will be looking at riding bike parks but will do a few days riding at Moab and Park city without lifts. I will be riding an Evil Wreckoning and my ability level would be on the advanced side of intermediate. My fitness level is good but I am starting training now to be super ready. So my itinerary is this so far: -

    LAX – Mammoth CA

    Mammoth – Northstar CA

    NorthStar CA – Moab UT

    Moab Ut – Trestle Bike Park CO

    Trestle Bike Park CO - Park City UT

    Park City UT – Grand Targhee Bike Park WY

    Grand Targhee Bike Park WY – Stevens Pass WA

    Stevens Pass WA – Whistler

    Whistler – LAX over 3 days????


    I do have US road trip experience having driven 3000+ miles in 2011 chasing the snow so I understand the distances involved etc. What I am keen to find out is if there are other places that are considered must ride or have I got a pretty good balance here? I am flexible in that if I like somewhere I can stay longer or if I dislike it I can simply move on. I don't have any real timetable apart from wanting 7ish days in Whistler and leaving 3 or so days at the end to get back to LAX. I am aware that time will be tight to achieve this so if there is stuff that can be left out then tell me that too.

    Also if there are guys that live/ride in these locations and you wouldn't mind hooking up with an Aussie to show me round that would be sick too.

    Cheers guys and girls, Scott.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    273
    Scott--looks like an amazing trip. I'll offer a few suggestions based on places I've ridden.

    Mammoth is a great bike park. It could be a bit blown out/loose by August so consider your tire choice. Not a lot to do in the town, but I really like the park. Mellow vibe and usually pretty mellow during the week.

    Northstar gets mixed reviews but there is incredible shuttle riding in Tahoe and the weather should be cooler due to altitude. Check out Downieville, CA and Mr. Toads Wild Ride in Tahoe. For shuttles in Tahoe check out: https://www.dirtgypsyadventures.com
    The owner, Ryan, is a great guy, concerned about local trails, and also an awesome guide if you want to maximize your time. I never get tired of riding in Tahoe.

    I suggest posting about Moab and SLC, Utah in the Utah forum. Not sure I'd want to ride there in August as it will be REALLY hot.

    Whistler is amazing. If you don't mind some peddling check out Lord of the Squirrel. Their bike park is great.

    Don't know anything about the bike park in CO, but if you don't mind peddling there are epic rides throughout the state.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    173
    Thanks for the suggestions mate. I must admit I have only been through Moab and so it didn't occur to me that it could be hotter than the face of the sun when I'm there. Food for thought.


    Mammoth being loose sounds a lot like a number of places I ride normally so that's no big thing, I pretty keen to hit it. As for Northstar I too have seen mixed reviews and given my time frames I may spend an extra day or so in Mammoth and skip NS.

    I'm keen to check out Downieville though. I have looked at the link you provided and I think I'll get in touch to set something up.

    Thanks heaps, Cheers Scott.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: k2rider1964's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    3,437
    While you say you're a "gravity" guy, it looks from your itinerary that you mean "lift serviced PARK guy". Not saying that's a bad thing. I personally get bored at Mammoth after a day but I prefer a more "backcountry" feel vs the bike park atmosphere that you get at Mammoth. Consequently, as mentioned by drich, DOWNIEVILLE is my favorite place to ride in all or California. You're still shuttling but once dropped off, civilization doesn't exist until you get back into town.

    I know you want to hit as much as possible but if I was you, I'd keep moving North from LAX. Mammoth, Northstar, Downieville, then Ashland, Oakridge and Black Rock in Oregon, Tiger Mountain and Bellingham in Washington before moving on to Squamish and Whistler. Trust me, I'm not a "park" guy at all and everything about Whistler is BETTER that the hype....the immense amount of riding overall, the park, the trails outside the resort (Lord of the Squirrels mentioned by drich).

    Park City is fun for sure but wayyyyy more mellow that al the other places on your list and yeah, Moab will be scorching in August but there's some hardcore people that still ride realllllly early. It may not make much of a difference but if you go to Moab last, it *may* cool down some by then. If you still with your standard plan, you can make it to LAX in one day if you really want to. I drove the whole thing straight last year and made it to Northern San Diego in 22 hours.
    Carpe Diem!!

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    173
    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    While you say you're a "gravity" guy, it looks from your itinerary that you mean "lift serviced PARK guy".
    Mmmm yeah to some extent. We have one lift assisted park here in Australia and they are only just starting to wake up to the fact that they need more than 3 trails so I'm super keen to get some park time before Whistler. That said.....

    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    as mentioned by drich, DOWNIEVILLE is my favorite place to ride in all or California. You're still shuttling but once dropped off, civilization doesn't exist until you get back into town.
    I think you guys have sold me on this. I do also love long single track descents in the middle of nowhere so I am def going to head that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    I know you want to hit as much as possible but if I was you, I'd keep moving North from LAX. Mammoth, Northstar, Downieville, then Ashland, Oakridge and Black Rock in Oregon, Tiger Mountain and Bellingham in Washington before moving on to Squamish and Whistler.
    I'll do some research on these, I hadn't heard anything about them, it's google time. I do want to ride Banana Peel at Trestle Park Co though so I'll have to head East at some point.

    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    Trust me, I'm not a "park" guy at all and everything about Whistler is BETTER that the hype....the immense amount of riding overall, the park, the trails outside the resort (Lord of the Squirrels mentioned by drich).
    Now you are just getting me excited!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    Park City is fun for sure but wayyyyy more mellow that al the other places on your list
    Yeah whilst I am a Park guy I do love getting out and riding on long descents and Park City was a place that caught my eye a few years back in a movie. The other place that interested me was the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho that I saw for the first time in Roam (The collective flick) for similar type of riding.

    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    Moab will be scorching in August but there's some hardcore people that still ride realllllly early. It may not make much of a difference but if you go to Moab last, it *may* cool down some by then.
    Yeah I'm rethinking Moab already. I am definitely keen to go there but I think I'll time it with my next US snowboard trip. I drove through there in 2011 and it looked like a place for the adventurous.


    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    If you still with your standard plan, you can make it to LAX in one day if you really want to. I drove the whole thing straight last year and made it to Northern San Diego in 22 hours.
    I think I'll take my time. By then I will be cooked from a solid month of riding so it might e nice to just cruise. Your country is pretty
    bloody beautiful so it might be nice to take the time to smell the roses as they say.

    Thanks for the input. I'll do some research and take another look at my plans.

    Cheers Scott.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    273
    K2riders suggestion to keep heading north from Mammoth is a good idea. There is some great riding in Oregon and Washington, and you can easily stop in both locations on the way to Whistler. In Oregon, cog wild offers tours and shuttles: https://www.cogwild.com
    You will also probably have better and much cooler riding weather by heading north. There is great riding in Nevada in Utah (including Moab), but I avoid those locations in summer because the heat is brutal. Good call on Downieville. Based on what you like to ride I suggest a few days in Tahoe. It is beautiful up there. I was up there for a month the last two summers and feel like I've barely scratched the surface of their trails.

    Keep us posted on your itinerary. I may be up in Whistler this August. You re going to have a great trip!

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    235
    If you’re going down I5 from Whistler back to LAX check out Galbraith Mountain in Bellingham. No lifts though.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    173
    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyAsheville View Post
    If you’re going down I5 from Whistler back to LAX check out Galbraith Mountain in Bellingham. No lifts though.
    Thanks mate will do. So pumped in this trip I’m losing hours of sleep working out my plans.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    341
    Agree that you would be best served just going north. Several lifetimes of killer riding, whatever you like. Not saying you wouldn't have fun in UT or CO, but definitely not missing anything by skipping it (Moab is unique, but as mentioned hot AF). Plenty of looong descents in CA, OR, and WA, no need to go to park city for that.
    Hitting kernville, mammoth, Tahoe, dville, Shasta, Oakridge, black rock, Bellingham would allow for tons of sick riding with lots of options for shuttling, lifts, or pedaling, and pretty easy to ride a few hours, drive a few hours, sleep and repeat. And yes, you could easily spend a week just riding Tahoe and do a different epic ride every day.
    There's also a lot of cool non-bike stuff along that route. A day or two in Yosemite, driving at least a short stretch of highway 1, and checking out any of the other national parks on the way are highly recommended. If you stick with your itinerary, ride Teton pass and go to Yellowstone.
    Jealous, wish I had a campervan and a month to kill. Have fun and report back.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    173
    Quote Originally Posted by hurtssogood View Post
    Agree that you would be best served just going north. Several lifetimes of killer riding, whatever you like. Not saying you wouldn't have fun in UT or CO,
    Yeah mate also rethinking Trestle Park just because its such a long way out of the way for everything else. So given that I'm looking more inline with what all you guys have been telling me, head north!!!

    Cheers Scott.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    173
    Ok team based on your suggestions here is what I'm thinking now: -

    LAX - Mammoth CA
    Mammoth CA - Downieville CA
    Downieville CA - Oakridge OR
    Oakridge OR - Blackrock OR
    Blackrock OR - Big White BC
    Big White BC - Sun Peaks BC
    Sun Peaks BC -Whistler BC
    Whistler BC to LAX.

    Again this is all dependent on timing and I am still flexible. I've sent emails to Dirt Gypsy and Cogwild as per drich's suggestion. The good thing is this plan limits the travel times and makes a lot more sense. I think I was a little ambitious with the previous plan. Please feel free to keep the suggestions coming.

    Cheers Scott.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: evdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    2,057
    Looks like a great trip, and ideal order. Places like Mammoth are a huge disappointment once you've spent some time at Whistler. One place to check out on the drive up is Retallack near Nelson BC. Its a private resort and you might need to book a stay but could be well worth it considering the type of riding you're after. The riding in Nelson itself is awesome. Of course you could say that for a lot of towns in BC.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    173
    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    Looks like a great trip, and ideal order. Places like Mammoth are a huge disappointment once you've spent some time at Whistler. One place to check out on the drive up is Retallack near Nelson BC. Its a private resort and you might need to book a stay but could be well worth it considering the type of riding you're after. The riding in Nelson itself is awesome. Of course you could say that for a lot of towns in BC.
    Mate that's an awesome suggestion. Till you mentioned it I always thought it was private and you couldn't ride there. I've seen it in a heap of vids, Matty Miles eating it there in The Arrival, Semunuk et al in Rad company. I'm googling it right this second thanks mate.

    Cheers Scott.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    173
    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    Looks like a great trip, and ideal order. Places like Mammoth are a huge disappointment once you've spent some time at Whistler. One place to check out on the drive up is Retallack near Nelson BC. Its a private resort and you might need to book a stay but could be well worth it considering the type of riding you're after. The riding in Nelson itself is awesome. Of course you could say that for a lot of towns in BC.
    So I'm booked in for 3 days including a heli drop on one day. Super excited, thanks again for the suggestion.

    Cheers Scott.

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    87
    I would look into Vermont on the East side of the state. I'm not a gravity guy, so I cant speak to specifics, but the stuff I have done there is awesome. Also the NE of the US is fantastic.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Posts
    33
    I'm curious why it is northstar -> Moab -> Trestle -> Park City


    Northstar -> Park City -> Moab -> Trestle might make more sense?

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    173
    Quote Originally Posted by joroshiba View Post
    I'm curious why it is northstar -> Moab -> Trestle -> Park City


    Northstar -> Park City -> Moab -> Trestle might make more sense?
    Yeah you might be right but in the end I've had to kind of rejig the whole thing now anyway. Due to the only dates available at Retallack I arrive LA on 16 Aug and spend 3 days driving straight to Canada. From there I'm now doing

    Retallack 20-22 Aug
    Silver Star 23-25 Aug
    Sun Peaks 26-28 Aug
    Whislter 28 Aug - 4 Sept.

    From there I'll start heading south and slowly work my way down to be in LA to fly out by the 13th. Will def hit Oakridge and Downieville but won't be getting anywhere near Trestle, Park City etc this time around.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    173
    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar77 View Post
    Well, I haven't tried road trips yet, but I'm going to, so I read about it all the time. What I can suggest is to check https://travelsites.com/. This is a source that includes a huge collection of sites for every traveller. There is much useful information about booking hotels and flights, insurance, cruises, navigation, travel software, activities and tour sites, etc. Maybe you will also find this resource to be useful.
    Thanks Oscar I'll check it out.

    Cheers Scott.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    173
    Thanks mate. Unfortunately a lot of that is too far East for this trip given my time frame. That said I will be back for sure and will be looking to do more Eastern stuff as well as Trestle in CO.

    Cheers Scott.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    173
    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    Looks like a great trip, and ideal order. Places like Mammoth are a huge disappointment once you've spent some time at Whistler. One place to check out on the drive up is Retallack near Nelson BC. Its a private resort and you might need to book a stay but could be well worth it considering the type of riding you're after. The riding in Nelson itself is awesome. Of course you could say that for a lot of towns in BC.
    Hi guys so I'm only 5 sleeps away from the start of this trip and I'm super excited!!! I've kind of had to re-jig plans and things but it's going to be epic. After speaking with some of my buddies that aren't coming I'm doing a travel journal type thing. Hopefully it's not too painful to watch and people get some value out of it. So here is the first episode.

    Thanks for all the suggestions and feedback guys, the trip is going to rock partly in thanks to what you guys suggested. A massive thanks to evdog for his Retallack suggestion. I'm super excited about riding there, cheers dude.


  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    173
    Hi all it's been tough getting posts up due lack of internet in certain places but here are eps 2,3 & 4.







    Cheers Scott

Similar Threads

  1. Family Road Trip Planning Help PLEASE
    By sherpaxc in forum Oregon
    Replies: 27
    Last Post: 02-03-2018, 10:06 PM
  2. San Diego to Whistler road trip. Need help planning
    By rhynohead in forum California - Socal
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 05-17-2015, 08:27 AM
  3. Help Planning West Coast Road Trip (X-Post from RM)
    By Ojai Bicyclist in forum Downhill - Freeride
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-07-2008, 09:12 PM
  4. road trip planning...help!
    By Yvonne in forum Western Canada
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-06-2008, 09:11 PM
  5. Planning a Summer road trip.... little help?
    By spreadlight in forum Oregon
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 01-19-2008, 09:50 AM

Members who have read this thread: 50

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.