Colorado offers endless opportunities for mountain biking, especially in the Rocky Mountains. Most trails are technical but there are also lots of trails that the novice can handle.
The aspens turn bright yellow in late September to early October depending on elevation, adding even more stunning beauty to the mountain scenery. Kenosha Pass is one of the most popular leaf peeping areas in the state because of it’s location about an hour southwest on US285 from the Denver metro area and the wide panoramas of fall foliage seen there.
The Colorado Trail crosses US285, open to mountain biking here. The trail that heads west is steeper and more technical, however the eastern side that is open to bikes for its first 6.5 miles is more for the novice. During peak leaf peeping season, however, expect scores of hikers on the trail, especially on weekends. Another option is a forest service road that starts here and passes some great aspen stands.
Imagine gliding down a perfect winding singletrack mountain bike trail for mile after mile through the Sonoran desert landscape, jagged mountains in the distance, birds flittering in saguaro cactus, a wide smile plastered on your face. You are downhill on the north segment of the Pemberton Trail in McDowell Mountain Regional Park, located in the McDowell Mountains between Scottsdale and Fountain Hills east of Phoenix. You can finish the ride in the comfort of your RV if you’ve secured a precious site at the beautiful and popular Maricopa County campground. An hour to the south is Usery Mountain Regional Park east of Mesa, where you can also camp out and hop on magnificent mountain bike trails. Usery is flatter with more lush vegetation, whereas McDowell is on a gradually sloping alluvial plain with many more miles of trails and more of a wide open feeling because much of the park burned in the 90’s. The adjoining Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve extends the 50 miles of trails even further. Both have fabulous views of the Superstition Mountains and most of the time no civilization is in sight, a different world than the nearby Phoenix metro area. West of Phoenix, White Tank Regional Park is just as beautiful with a smaller set of trails but still very enjoyable. The vast majority of the trails are non-technical, with few rocks or challenging pitches, perfect for the everyday mountain biker who likes to enjoy the outdoors and get a good workout.
The easy scenic cycling adventures of Richard Fox, author of the 2014 (2nd Ed 2017, 3rd Ed 2021) guidebook "enCYCLEpedia Southern California – The Best Easy Scenic Bike Rides."