Top Ten Places for Extreme Mountain Biking
Tim Houghten, ExtremeProSports.com
Extreme Mountain biking requires endurance, professional equipment, experience, planning, and a huge sense of adventure.
Extreme Mountain biking can give you one of the biggest adrenaline rushes of your entire life, but it is also an extremely dangerous pastime, so you must have the proper training, patience, and self-reliance before adventuring to any one of these top ten places to ride extreme.
10. Afan Forest Park - Port Talbot, United Kingdom
The trails in Afan Forest Park cover over 130km with challenging single track climbs, rock drops, berm and cliff traverses, twisting single tracks, demanding descents, and some seriously rocky sections. It is known as one of the best parks for mountain biking in England, and you must be in great shape before trying the most advanced trails.
9. Sauze d'Oulx freeride, Alpi Bike Resort - Torino, Italy
This area of Italy was made for mountain biking, and the Sauze d'Oulx trail takes advantage of the hill's natural dips, channels, bowls, and highlands to make for a flowy and fast expedition. Sauze is a great place for everyone and has plans to expand and improve trails in years to come.
8. Buffalo Creek Trail - Pine, Colorado
This trail can be summed up into one word: epic. This 14 mile trail climbs up strong and steady then whips you over sliprock with some hairy turns, brings you through some burned areas and leaves you exhausted at the finish. Best to hit this trail after a heavy rain, as it can get very sandy at times.
7. The Yellow Mountains - Huangshan, China
Easily one of the most stunning trails in the world--the reason for its spot in the top ten places to ride extreme. Gnarled trees, granite peaks and rocks, hot springs, and a sea of clouds make these views indescribable.
6. Mega Avalanche Race Route - Cusco, Peru
This route is recommended for advanced bikers only. You will fly down over 1500m of track with steep jumps, gnarly turns, snowy and rocky patches, and witness some stunning mountain scenery. Don't be surprised if you'll have to do some overhauling work on your bike after this trail.
5. Trail 401 - Crested Butte, Colorado
This trail includes some monstrous climbs but the rewards are extreme. Although not an extremely technically difficult trail, the panoramic views are out of this world and the 7 mile singletrack decent will have you screaming for pure joy, fun, and for the most beautiful views Colorado has to offer.
4. Portes du Soleil tour - Ch"tel, France
The trails on the Portes du Soleil tour are easily among all extreme mountain bikers 'top ten trails before you die list'. Some of the most extreme routes will bring you through 47 miles of tough conditions in the Alps in France and Switzerland. Chair lift networks now allow riders to tackle the 3,000 - 7,400 foot peaks, earning it its rightful spot in the top ten places to ride extreme.
3. Slickrock Trail - Moab, Utah
This trail is not only technically difficult but is physically challenging as well. There are many steep slopes, narrow ledges, extreme elevation changes, steep ascents, and drop-offs in the 10- mile main trail, meaning the majority of riders take 4 to 5 hours to complete it. This trail offers some of the most beautiful sights of the Colorado River area but is definitely not for the lighthearted.
2. Whistler Mountain Bike Park - Whistler, BC, Canada
Whistler Park has trails that cater to a variety of riders with gentle, sloped trails for beginners to sheer cliff faces, sharp downturns, and rocky pitches for extreme experts. The best part about the park? All the trails are close to one another so if you feel too out of your comfort zone you can easily hop over to a less technical one. For the most extreme riders Whistler Mountain Bike Park is like the Mecca of mountain biking; you will experience high berms, drop-offs, high speeds, dirt jumping, and nice rock drops.
1. Cliffs of Moher - Ireland
If this isn't the top place to ride extreme, then we don't know what is. The Cliffs of Moher are as extreme as it gets when it comes to mountain biking. The trails along the cliff of Moher are extremely dangerous; with 700 feet of dead sheer and four inch width paths it would be hard not to experience vertigo. Upward drafts from the chilly ocean below have been known to blow people straight off the cliffs, and misjudging gaps can mean plummeting to your death. Only bikers with years of experience, bravery, and expertise should experiment with these trails, and this may not even be enough to prepare you for the conditions.