Armed with the electric mountain bike of your dreams, the next step is to work out where to ride it. Whether fun trails, challenging climbs, or tricky off-road tracks that will push your new e-bike to its limits, there are routes out there for all electric mountain bike riders.
E-bikes can now be taken into national and state park trails across the United States, enabling you to explore deeper into nature than you could on a regular bike or by foot. An electric mountain bike also gives you an extra boost of power to take on even the most challenging mountain routes and tricky ascents. So, let’s look at some of the best trails available for you to explore on your e-bike across the U.S.
The Rise Of E-Bike Trail Biking
We all know it. The e-bike market continues to grow in popularity due to its many benefits, such as affordability and environmental benefits, to name a couple. And the increasing demand isn’t slowing any time soon. Fortune Business Insights found the market will grow from $35.7 billion in 2021 to $91.2 billion by 2029.
The cycling infrastructure in cities and rural areas is improving to keep up with its popularity. For example, earlier this year, U.S. Congress introduced two bills that encouraged more affordable and accessible e-bikes and the introduction of safer bicycle infrastructure.
As new trails become available to electric bike riders, the big question we need to answer is what makes a good trail for an eMTB.
The best routes offer a variety of challenges and experiences for riders of all levels. A good trail also provides a pleasing climate, beautiful scenery, and a community of supportive, like-minded mountain bikers. And it’s a win-win if they have services like maintenance and repair shops, helpful staff to guide riders, restaurants and bars, camping or hotel options, and shuttles or lifts along the way.
The Best E-Mountain Bike Trails In The U.S.
With those considerations top of mind, here’s our guide to the top trails and locations in the U.S. to ride your eMTB, close to some of the country’s most scenic cities and picturesque landscapes.
Bentonville has modestly declared itself the mountain biking capital of the world, and for good reason. The town is home to an expansive and ever-growing trail system comprised of bumpy descents, cross-country loops, flow tracks, gravel trails, jump lines, skills parks, steep technical climbs, and more. Bentonville is family and e-bike-friendly, making it an ideal place to put your e-bike to the test.
Protip: Check out Coler Mountain Bike Preserve, the world’s only mountain biking preserve with artificial obstacles to push you to your limits.
Downieville Downhill: Downieville, California
If fast-paced thrills and (hopefully not so many) spills are your idea of mountain biking utopia, then Downieville Downhill is the place for you. The trail offers a 4,000-foot elevation drop over just 15 miles, taking you from the peak of a mountain ridge into the valley of the Yuba River. The track also hosts the long-running Downieville Classic race and biking festival.
Protip: If you’re in the area, check out Mills Peak, a purpose-built flowing mountain bike that descends 3,000 feet over 8.5 miles. Wild ride might be an understatement.
Imogene Pass: Ouray, Colorado
If you’re afraid of heights, look away now because Ouray’s Imogene Pass, in the heart of the San Juan Mountains, will take you to 13,114 feet above sea level. But if high-altitude riding doesn’t phase you, then strap in for some of the most spectacular and challenging e-mountain bike riding stateside. Imogene Pass offers tricky trails and serious inclines that include sheer cliff-face drops, large granite slabs, step-downs, and a total elevation rise of around 4,300 feet.
Protip: The trail is also multi-use and popular among off-road drivers, so be sure to check ahead to plan your route and for weather warnings.
Osberg Ridgeline Epic: Ketchum, Idaho
The word “epic” is often overused, but this trail in Idaho more than lives up to the moniker. The iconic Osberg Ridgeline Epic offers 12 miles of singletrack winding through huge looming mountains. Every track in the Sun Valley area boasts stunning views and a laid-back vibe from the local community.
Protip: Regional highlights include a 3,000-foot descent and Forbidden Fruit, a short one-mile loop that more than lives up to the “epic” tagline.
Poison Spider Mesa: Moab, Utah
Poison Spider Mesa combines challenging mountain biking with incredible scenery. Its trails offer varied terrains, including deep sand, sandstone riding, and extremely rocky ledges, making this one for advanced and experienced riders. Some trails on the route are off-limits to e-bikes, such as Portal Singletrack and Goldbar Rim Singletrack, and others are designated for Jeeps, so be sure to stick to the correct routes.
Protip: Do your research before your trek! And be on the lookout, as this is a popular spot for offroading.
Sky Park: Santa’s Village, Skyforest, California
Located in the San Bernardino Hills just outside Los Angeles, this bike park offers seven miles of trail for riders of all levels. It’s the ideal place to hone your downhill skills with descents served by fire roads that will test your climbing ability. These perfectly crafted trails are supported by additional features like ramps, flow tracks, jump lines, and wall rides to offer riding thrills for everyone.
Protip: If you’re a beginner and want to check things out or simply visiting and didn’t bring your bike along, the park enables visitors to borrow electric mountain bikes for up to two hours.
The Whole Enchilada, Moab, Utah
The name alone has us drooling at the prospect of this iconic trail, which is largely considered one of the best e-mountain biking routes in the world. The Whole Enchilada includes several trails starting out at 10,000 feet, followed by a 1,400-foot climb up to Burro Pass. A wild downhill route ensues, taking you through thick forests and creeks into prairies and miles of steep, super-fast, and slippery single track down into the Colorado River. If you’re seeking technically diverse and hugely enjoyable routes, pop The Whole Enchilada firmly at the top of your list.
Moab has long been a fixture in mountain bike culture, and the area boasts a handful of beginner-friendly routes among some of the most challenging trails you’re likely to find.
Safely Enjoy The Best Mountain Trails In The U.S.
Are you inspired to tackle these challenging and picturesque routes nationwide? Before doing so, ensure your e-bike is fitted with a reliable battery that won’t run out halfway through your selected course. Ensure your e-bike has a motor, pedal assist, suspension,
and tires that can handle the most challenging uphill sections and terrains. Be sure to bring the necessary safety equipment, such as lights, bright clothing, and protective gear like a helmet and elbow and knee pads.
Whichever mountain bike route you choose, respecting your fellow trail users with the proper etiquette, from other riders to walkers, runners, and the local wildlife is vital. Stick to designated routes and adhere to local park regulations and best practices to ensure trails remain safe and protect nature and wildlife.
Before setting out to your desired route, check the website of the specific trail or state park to check the rules and regulations. Also, consider using resources like:
- AllTrails: This features maps of over 200,000 trails worldwide
- Chimani: This includes travel guides and enables you to record your trips
- And don’t forget about the NPS website and other mobile apps
As e-bike access to off-road trails continues to expand rapidly, it opens up new opportunities for you to go further off the beaten track than ever before. So, use these recommendations as inspiration to get out there on your e-bike and explore the stunning nature and challenging trails that the U.S. has to offer.