While it might be up to some debate whether southern Colorado can be considered the American Southwest, if one thing can be agreed upon, it’s that the southern foothills of the Rocky Mountains contain excellent mountain biking. No better example of that can be found than the town and community of Pagosa Springs, about 50 miles north of the New Mexico border, which boasts an impressive number of trail systems nearby. If you are new to the Pagosa Springs area, or are just looking for a well-tested classic, the Turkey Springs / Brockover Mesa area in the nearby San Juan National Forest is right for you. Featuring more than 100 miles of trails to explore and link up, even if this isn’t part of the American Southwest, this little slice of Rocky Mountain riding is well worth exploring.
Located not far from the glimmering lights of the Las Vegas strip, Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park is an internationally known destination for downhill, cross-country and some of the most fun you can have on a mountain bike. Featuring more than 36 miles of interconnecting trails that meander through desert landscapes, with occasional glimpses at the sparkling waters of Lake Mead, all levels of riders can find something to challenge themselves at Bootleg Canyon. Boulder City’s full-service bike shop, All Mountain Cyclery, provides shuttles to the top of the downhill sections throughout the year, making for a fast way to understand why the International Mountain Bicycling Association has dubbed Bootleg Canyon one of their EPIC Rides.
If you happen to find yourself in Moab, you can basically point your mountain bike in any direction and find some amazing rides. Considered one of the best mountain biking destinations in North America, if not the world, Moab contains the right combination of out-of-this-world scenery, a wide range of high-desert riding and canyon cruising, and a welcoming community that really ties everything together. Throw in all the other excitement that Moab has to offer, including two nearby National Parks and plenty of public land for camping, and this Southwest destination can keep your wheels turning and your wanderlust satisfied for years to come.
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