10 Best Mountain Biking Trails in Wyoming
Whether you are a newbie in the mountain biking scene or a seasoned hand, one of the most important things to look out for is a trail that suits your style.
Blessed with Rocky Mountains and a fierce biking community, Wyoming, is gradually emerging as a hub for mountain bikers of all categories. Located in America’s Midwest, the state falls in the Rocky Mountains region, making it an automatic choice for visiting bikers.
Here we serve you a list of the top trails you should see and ride while in Wyoming.
1. Hagen and Putt-Putt Trails
Shared by mountain bikers, hikers, and runners, the Hagen and Putt-Putt Trail system is located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. For a trail system so close to the city, the trails have a scenic view and are fun. The trails are easy to navigate and can be divided into two; the Putt-Putt and the Hagen sections. In total, these trails make up for 5 miles of an easy ride.
The Putt-Putt trail runs north, meaning that it faces the south, while the Hagen section goes down south, making it a north-facing trail. This piece of information comes in handy when riding the trails, as it would give you a great idea of where the sun is facing and when best to ride what trail. Mornings would be a good time to ride the Putt-Putt trail, while the late afternoons would be better spent on the Hagen section as it is more shaded than the Putt-Putt.
The Hagen Staircase is the closest thing to a challenge on this trail network. Very few people ever use the Staircase, even on the descent. Beginners would love this trail for its straightforwardness. Adventurous riders should also come here, even if only to tackle the Hagen Staircase.
2. Overlook Trails
4.2 miles of singletrack is what you can expect to get at the Overlook trail systems, located in Dubois. The paths were designed by mountain bikers, so you should expect some quality here. The well-groomed trail meanders through hills and red beige, with the Wind River Range always on the horizon.
Whoever designed the paths had a fast-flowing idea in mind, as the two trailheads located at Mckinley Drive will prove. The Rise and Schiner Trail can be accessed through a short climb that leads to about 630 feet of a flowy descent. Ideal for intermediate riders, the trail is fun with banked turns and well-spread jumps. All the tracks converge at the Rise and Schiner for the last lap back to the lower parking trailhead.
The Wind River’s marvelous view, along with the properly maintained routes, will entice riders of all skill levels. Still, strong beginners and intermediate riders will find the trail particularly beneficial as the jumps, fast lanes, and bends will help hone their skills.
3. Curt Gowdy State Park
Rated by MTB Project as the best trail in Wyoming, the trail is 37 miles long with a 2,260 feet gain in elevation. Located at Albany County, the trail holds the honor of being the sole trail in Wyoming with an IMBA Epic certification. Built only recently in 2006, the tracks were designed to make Curt Gowdy a mountain biking destination, and it is gradually achieving that target, with visits tripling since the trails were added to the park.
The trail travels through various landscapes; high plains in the eastern section and upland montane in the western part, showcasing the beautiful scenery of the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains. The trails feature different surfaces, with sandstone, gravel, and siltstone featuring prominently. The trailhead situated on Twin Lakes can be added to Crystal Ridge if you are willing to make the ride lengthier. An excellent place to take a break would be the tip of the Granite Springs Reservoir.
Shoreline Trail is perhaps the most comfortable trail in this network, and it leads to Stone Temple Circuit, the main course of this park. The narrow and technical loop named Igneoramus is a perfect place for advanced riders looking for a challenge. Whatever your taste is, Curt Gowdy has got a place for you as every trail was intentionally built and designed to satisfy the rider. There are even a skills area and a four-mile loop for the advanced rider.
4. Philip’s Ridge to Philip’s Canyon
The Bridger Teton National Forest is home to some of the best trails in Wyoming. The Philip’s Ridge to Philip’s Canyon Trail is no exception. The ride features a 100 percent singletrack trail. The trails play host to the Teton Pass Kicker race held for mountain bikes every year.
Philip’s Ridge is an 8 mile long gentle ride that features virtually no obstacles at the start and courses through the woods. The lower portion of the ridge is filled with ferns. On the upwards journey, the trail wanders in and out of trees. Except at the ridge top, where there are plenty of roots and rocks, the path is generally smooth.
At the ridgetop, you can follow the route at Snotel junction straight to Philip’s Canyon. The trail here is more challenging to navigate, with its many roots and rocks and a moderately difficult climb through the forest. A downhill follows immediately, taking the rider down the canyon. After this, the difficult part begins, as the biker would pass through the many steep passages and large boulders on the route.
Although the trail caters to all levels of riders, the intermediate and advanced bikers would appreciate this trail.
5. Slickrock Trail
Slickrock has been wrongly assumed to be an exclusive feature of places like Moab in Utah, but surprisingly, Wyoming has a slice of the slick rock trails with its numerous mountains. Located in Cody, Wyoming, the slick rock trail is an 8-mile course that offers a glimpse of what can be obtained in Moab.
Exclusive to intermediate and expert bikers, the rock in Cody is unpainted, and when compared to the trail in Moab, it can prove to be tricky if your sense of geography is not concrete. To get the best out of the Slickrock Trail, it is vital to get a trail map. Alternatively, you can ride on the doubletrack to the playground section. The most popular route to take is circling the sandstone outcropping while riding your bike anti-clockwise. Advanced bikers can take the inner trails for more of a challenge.
Due to the nature of the petrified sand, slick rock is very difficult to ride on, as it is usually slippery, and only the most skilled bikers should attempt this trail.
6. Fountain Pot Loop
Are you searching for a suitable trail for a group or that family get-together you have been planning for ages? Then look no further. Fountain Pot Loop is a 14.2 miles long trail that is long enough to keep the kids engaged and comfortable enough to let them enjoy the ride. Located in the Yellowstone National Park, which is home to numerous hiking and mountain biking trails, the loop has a modest 356 feet elevation gain.
Wildlife abounds in this location, and if you venture out far enough, you probably might encounter some breeds of bison up close. The scenery here would make your ride more pleasant. A Few bodies of water, like the Ojo Cantiele Springs, can be spotted along the route. Other springs in Yellowstone also make for good viewing.
Beginners and kids will appreciate this trail the most, as it is an easy trail with a few rocks scattered all over the track, giving the rider what could probably be their first lessons in cycling through rock gardens.
7. Black Canyon
With more than 12 miles of singletrack, Black Canyon is one of the many cool trail networks in the Bridger Teton National Forest. Plenty of switchbacks and steep passages, coupled with the free-flowing hills that bikers will find here, make it a highly trafficked mountain biking trail. Located at the top of the famous Teton Pass, the rider can make the ride lengthier by descending from Teton Pass to the Black Canyon Trail.
The route is lined with pine trees that are a significant feature of the Tetons. A steep uphill climb awaits the rider after the forest. Running for about two miles, the hill is riddled with pockets of wildflowers. The Black Canyon is divided into two halves. The upper portion is a classic switchback trail that will have you clutching your brakes as if for dear life. The second section is more enjoyable and less strenuous, the complete opposite of the first half. It runs through the drainage, making it more shaded than the upper part. Traversing the entire Black Canyon should take about an hour and forty-five minutes to complete.
The trail is an intermediate biker’s dream ride, a challenging portion to try and tackle, and a reward section to cruise through afterward.
8. Glendo Loop
The trails here at Glendo Loop are relatively new, being only designed in 2012 to spice things up at Glendo Park. Built with the mountain bike in mind, the trails are notoriously tasking, with technical spots a significant highlight in the network.
The Glendo Loop is a conglomerate of different trails that merge into one big loop, traveling around curvy routes and some trees. Just across the road from Glendo Park, other equally demanding trails could be added to make your ride lengthier. The first trailhead is at the Two Moon Loop, a leisurely ride that takes you through Buffalo Run down to the power plant. Switchbacks are a regular on this loop, and you will encounter a few of them before getting to Rattlesnake Rim, touted to be the most challenging climb in the park. Many riders generally avoid this section because of how rocky the climb is. The next most challenging trail is the uphill approaching Root Canal.
The trail cannot be described using words like flowy or gentle. It is nerve-wracking and would challenge even the best bikers. As such, beginners would find that this trail is off-limits and only suited for more accomplished riders.
9. Ashton-Tetonia Rail Trail
Located near Jackson Hole, the Ashton-Tetonia Rail Trail is a 30-mile long trail with a gravel surface that is mostly flat. Relatively unknown, this gem of a trail is not the most popular in Wyoming but makes this list for the quality on show throughout the railway.
Railways that were no longer in use started being converted into trails in the mid-1960s in the United States. Currently, over 15,000 miles of abandoned trails have been converted into trails. The Ashton-Tetonia Rail Trail was completed in 2011, making it one of the few in Wyoming.
It is easy to get lost here, as many have, but if you carefully follow the signs, you will arrive at a trail route that runs almost parallel to Idaho Highway 32. There are no hills at the ATT, although in between Ashton and Tetonia, there is a 900-foot elevation gain. The trail’s path is bordered by farmland to the left and right and courses over three ancient bridges.
As easy as they come, the Ashton-Tetonia trail has no technical spots and would suit anyone looking for a long ride through the countryside side.
10. Wyoming Peak Mountain Biking Trail
Another gem from the Bridger Teton National Forest, Wyoming Peak, as the name suggests, is the highest point in the state. For downhill lovers, that could be good news. But you would have to put in enough work on the climb if you wish to enjoy the descent.
The trail is pure singletrack, which climbs up the Wyoming Peak Mountain and descends on the other side. At the top of the mountain, you get a panoramic view of pretty much the whole state along with the Grey River. The trail is also used by motorbikes, but not as much as mountain bikes, perhaps due to the difficulty of the climb. At some points, you might need to get off your bike and push a bit due to the steepness of the climb.
The trail does not see a lot of traffic, as only expert riders attempt to tackle it. Enough cannot be said about the scenery from the top of the mountain, though. It is worth a try.
Since Wyoming is already a mountainous state, the general perception is that the state would accommodate Mountain bikers, and it does not disappoint. From Slickrock to Fountain Pot Loop, Wyoming has got it all. Challenging rides, family resorts, and enough trails to keep everyone satisfied.
The scenery is not in short supply here too, the iconic view at Wyoming peak means that you get to see all of the states while riding a bicycle.
So if you reside around the state or plan to visit, make sure you satisfy curiosity by visiting any or all of these trails.