Chasing Epic Fall Trips: How do They Compare?
Sure, it’s still officially summer… but we’re always looking ahead. And in doing so, we’ve been thinking a lot about our fall lineup of trips for 2019: Crested Butte, Moab, St. George, and Brevard. These three destinations are as good as it gets for riding in October and early November, which is why we love visiting every year. But we also know that it’s likely you haven’t been to any of them – which is why it’s a good idea to run down each location and what you can expect. So here goes:
Crested Butte, CO
For us, it doesn’t get any better for big mountain riding than Crested Butte in the fall. The weather cools, the crowds thin, the trails get tacky, and things are magical. Seriously. Our fall trips to CB are always eventful and memorable, as we’re always avoiding snowstorms, rain, trying to stay warm, and making sure we provide you with an absolutely epic experience. And we always do.
If you’re looking for big rides, look no further. It’s not unusual for us to hit 20+ miles and 3500 feet on a ride, which always includes take-your-breath-away descents like you’ve never ridden before. Sure, we’ll mix in a shuttle or two, but typically we’re riding up in order to ride down… so just take it easy, breathe deep, and we’ll get to the top. Because remember, the suffering is always worth it. No really, trust us.
Crested Butte is quintessential high-country Colorado, and we absolutely love it. The rides might not be super technical here, but there are still some surprises on trails like Teocalli and Doctor Park. This place wears you down by the end of four days, but we’re always wanting more. And we know you will too.
Moab gets its top technical billing for a reason- the riding here can be beyond your limits, but for the most part it’s challenging in a fun sense. There are rock drops, rolls, exposed ledges, and just about anything else you can think of; when the majority of the trail surface is rock and crushed rock, the possibilities for challenging trails are near endless. That’s not to say that an intermediate-level rider won’t enjoy themselves: nearly all of the technical sections have walk-arounds if you’re not feeling up to it, and if you want to get better, we can stop and session a feature until you get it right! It’s not unusual for everyone to be in bed by 8:30 each night, after the day’s beatdown. Laugh now, but join us and you’ll see the truth!
Moab also scores high for intangibles: scenery and the mountain bike culture. Sitting between Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, Moab is almost other-worldly. There are rock formations like you’ve never seen before, and the views will blow your mind. In town, the bike culture is strong. Despite typically being crowded, town has adventure-seekers from all over the world, coming for different recreational opportunities. That doesn’t take away from the bike scene, since mountain bikers tend to congregate in the same spots, at the same great bike shops. Moab is a true adult adventure playground, and it offers a new challenge every time we roll into town.
St. George-Hurricane, UT
St. George-Hurricane is fun as shit. Seriously. And it’s absolutely beautiful.
Technically, there aren’t too many impossible lines or challenges, and everything here is just plain fun to attempt. From the slickrock riding of Gooseberry and Little Creek Mesa to the rocky ledges on the Zen Trail, you’ll be in heaven. It’s safe to say that you won’t find mountain biking like this anywhere else in the country, if not the world.
Accompanying that is the fact that there aren’t a ton of steep, long climbs… which means we can put in more miles before you’re worn down and begging for the hot tub. Don’t be fooled into sitting around on the couch before your trip- you’ll still want to train hard to enjoy all the area has to offer. There are some decent climbs on trails like Sidewinder and the Zen Trail, but most of them don’t extend more than 15-20 minutes and 750 vertical feet.
The intangibles in St. George combine the beautiful scenery (it sits right next to Zion National Park) due to it’s location in a huge valley of amazing rock formations, and the fact that the trails are virtually empty. Sometimes it feels like we’re the only ones riding that day, and it’s a great feeling to have when you’re enjoying some of the best trails around.
Brevard sits smack-dab in the Blue Ridge Mountains, about an hour southwest of Asheville, NC. Just like all of our destinations, this small town is full of character and welcomes its mountain biking visitors, with a community that firmly supports riders of all kinds. Located in a valley between Pisgah National Forest and Dupont State Forest, the riding options here are plentiful, and offer more than you can shake a stick at. From super technical descents to some of the fastest singletrack in the east, Brevard has it all.
When it comes to expectations in Brevard, one word rules them all: diversity. The scope of trail riding in the Brevard area covers it: technical to flow, steep climbs to mellow grinds, wet roots to slick rock. It’s one of the reasons we’ve chosen to expand to Brevard: there are enough trails to keep even the pickiest riders happy!
In Pisgah, some of our favorites include Bennett Gap, Avery Creek, Daniel Ridge, Black Mountain and Sycamore Cove. If you decide to ride Brevard with us, make sure you bring your A-game because Pisgah will push you to the limits. And maybe a bit further. But don’t worry, because we’ll always mix in a day in Dupont State Forest, where we’ll check out east coast slickrock, flowy singletrack, and have more fun than you can shake a stick at.
OK, so which one is for you? Here’s our high-level summary of each location; hopefully it’ll help you pick one for this fall!
Crested Butte: Magical high-country riding with big climbs and loooong descents.
Moab: Rowdy technical riding in the Mecca of mountain biking. Get ready for a beatdown.
St. George: Fun, beautiful, and challenging technical riding on Zion’s doorstep.
Brevard: Variety is the spice of life… east coast style. Bring your A-game, friends.