It seems like Wyoming is so often overlooked when it comes to the mountain bike scene. I haven’t gotten to explore everything that Wyoming has to offer, but due to its geographical location is seems that my travels often take me through Wyoming and I’ll dip off to ride a trail or two. In the past, I would just ride whatever trail seemed convenient and close by, but now that I’ve done this research, I will definitely be seeking out more of Wyoming’s top trails throughout my travels. Even if that means going a little out of my way.
1. Wilkins Peak MTB Trail System
The Wilkins Peak Trail System (link to trail map) appears to be the definition of high desert riding. There are 17 different trails that connect to form some 20 miles of riding. There is a solid mix of green, blue, and black trails that make this trail system good for riders of all ability levels.
For three years in a row, Singletracks.com has named Wilkins Peak Trail System the most popular mountain bike trails in Wyoming. The trails feature lots of loose rocks, small ledges, and various features such as drops and a gap jump.
Pro Tip: Since the trails don’t have many trees for shade, and are located above 6,000 feet, staying hydrated is very important. Consider wearing a Camelbak or other hydration vest so that it is easy to drink while riding even when the trails are twisty and it’s difficult to take your hands off of the bars.
Here are a few teasers of what the Wilkins Peak Trail System has to offer:
- TNT: This is a black trail designed for riders seeking difficult trails and a little extra challenge. Unique to this trail, it can be ridden both ways. Riding down, the trail features steeps and tight turns, while going uphill it will challenge even the fittest athletes to never have to walk their bikes.
- Brent and Mike’s: This trail is a loop and has lots of featured options. The trails has ladders, bridges, rock shelves, and washes. While the features make this trail exciting for a skilled rider, they can be avoided for a rider seeking a little less of a challenge.
- Nomojo: At the beginning of this trail there are some ledges and exposed areas, but as the trail goes on there are less technical sections and amazing views. The trail has little elevation gain so it would be an easier option for a rider just starting his or her fitness journey.
Where is the Wilkins Peak Trail System:
The Wilkins Peak Trail System is located in Green River, Wyoming. Parking is located off of Scotts Bottom Road. According to Singletracks.com there is a bathroom and drinking water. Always come prepared though, better safe than sorry.
Bike Shops Supporting Wilkins Peak Trail System:
Make sure that you bike is in good working order when you drive to Green Rivers. The closest bike shop is in Rock Springs, Wyoming, nearly 20 miles away.
- Bike and Trike: Open Monday- Friday 9 am-6:00 pm and Saturday from 9 am- 5pm. Closed on Sunday. In addition to bike sales and repairs, they have coffee for sale so you can grab a cup of joe on the way to the trail. https://www.bikeandtrike.com/
If your into E Bikes checkout where you can ride them without breaking the law in this article – Where to Legally Ride an E Bike in Wyoming.
2. Curt Gowdy State Park for Mountain Biking
Curt Gowdy State Park is a mountain bike haven. With 37 miles of trail and a loop with IMBA Epic status, mountain bikers should be coming from near and far to ride these trails.
These trails have a little bit of everything and feature a lot of what Wyoming has to offer. The trails twist through trees, go through barren landscapes, and cross through granite sections. The granite allows for incredible tire traction and lends the trail towards having lots of optional drops off of ledges.
If you link the Epic Loop all together you will have over 25 miles of singletrack trail with just under 3000 feet of climbing and descending.
Pro Tip: Really focus on how you feel riding on the granite. Trust your tires. A tire that is fast rolling and with a soft compound will feel like it is almost sticking to the ground for maximum traction.
- Canyons: This is a double black diamond trail and can be ridden in both directions. It is generally considered better down than up. It primarily has its difficulty rating because it has exposed edges. The trail has 5 distinct sections that all add their own flare to the overall trail experience.
- Pinball: Even though this trail is marked as intermediate, it is very challenging. It has large rocks and tight turns. Every obstacle on this trail can be ridden, but some intermediate riders may need to walk a few sections.
- Ferguson Loop: This is an easy 2 mile loop that goes through a popular campground. This is a great trail for the whole family to tackle before a night of camping.
Where is Curt Gowdy State Park:
Curt Gowdy State Park is located in Cheyenne, Wyoming. It is $4 to park in the park for Wyoming residents and $6 for out of state visitors. There are lots of camping options, showers, water, and restrooms. If you decide to stay overnight there is an additional camping fee.
Bike Shops Supporting Curt Gowdy State Park:
Make sure that your bike is good to go before making the trip to Curt Gowdy State Park. Despite being in a big city like Cheyenne, the closest bike shop is over 40 minutes away.
- The Bicycle Station: Open Saturday 9:00 am-6:00 and Sunday 11:00 am- 5pm
- Rock On Wheels: Open Saturday 9:00 am-6:00 and Sunday 11:00 am- 5pm
3. Cache Creek/Snow King Mountain MTBing
Snow King Mountain features about 59 trails and over 50 miles of challenging singletrack riding. Starting at the bottom of the mountain it is a 1600 feet climb up to the top. There are a variety of trails ranging in difficulty that a rider can take up to the summit. Once at the top of the climb you have your choice of how to descend back down.
Most of these trails are dry single track that alternate between trees, prairies, and brush. Some of the trails are groomed for singletrack in the winter, and others are closed for wildlife. Most of the trails can be ridden in either direction, but when you are there it will be clear as to which direction is preferred. The mountain has lots of signs so finding your way from one trail to the next shouldn’t be a problem.
Pro Tip: When I put together a long ride like this, I like to carry a small mini pump. Co2s are a one and done piece of equipment so I get nervous that if I get a flat early I will be out of supplies. I like to carry the Blackburn Airstik so I know I can pump up any flat at any time.
If you are up for the challenge and want to connect 6 trails for a 20 mile backcountry loop, here is one of your best options:
- Ferrins: This trail begins at the parking lot and was designed specifically for an easier way for mountain bikes to get up to the top. It’s on average a 9% gradient, so it’s still no walk in the park.
- Wilson Canyon: You will ride only a part of Wilson Canyon in order to connect Ferrins and West Game Creek Trail. Most of Wilson Canyon is mellow, with one rocky and challenging section to keep any eye out for it.
- West Game Creek: This is a 3 mile black diamond trail with a remote feel to it. It has several bridges built over creek crossings.
- Game Creek: After the West Game Creek trail, you will turn left onto the Game Creek Trail which will be an easier trail and should provide you with a little rest.
- Cache Creek: Turn left onto the cache creek trail and enjoy a little bit of doubletrack before the trail narrows back into singletrack and becomes more and more challenging.
- Hagen: Finally, finish your day on the blue Hagen trail and ride it all the way back down to the parking lot where you started.
Where is Cache Creek/Snow King Mountain:
Snow King Mountain is located in Jackson, Wyoming. There is free parking located at the Cache Creek trail head off of Cache Creek Drive. There is a toilet available for you to be able to take care of business or change before you start a ride on the mountain. Riding on the trails is free. You will see lifts when you arrive at the parking lot. The lifts do not currently take bikes up the mountain so come ready to pedal.
Bike Shops Supporting Snow King Mountain:
There are lots of great bike shops nearby so getting your bike ready for a day of shredding shouldn’t be any problem. Here are a few options:
- Snow King Mountain Sports Shop: If you are looking for a bike rental then this is your best option. They offer extra discounts for renting ahead online. On most days they are open from 10 am- 5pm.
- Fitzgerald Bicycles: Open 10 am- 4pm Saturday and Sunday. https://www.fitzgeraldsbicycles.com/jackson
4. Jackson Hole Bike Park
If pedaling isn’t your thing, and you just want to ride bikes fast, then check out the Jackson Hole Bike Park. There are about 24 lift accessed trails that range from novice to advanced. The novice trails should allow for beginners to just get their toes wet on what mountain biking has to offer. The advanced trails will offer big jump lines and table tops to test even some of the best riders. Either way, when you finish your trip down the mountain it is only a 5 minute lift ride back to the top to try again.
- Quickdraw: This is a doubleblack diamond trail and possibly one of the most difficult trails at the bike park. It is a singletrack trail through the trees that has rock gardens, berms, and difficult features.
- Bandit: This is a tabletop trail. The trail will help you carry your momentum as you send it over each table top and reach for distance. It is still considered a blue trail because the tabletops are not dangerous and can be just ridden over or you can even jump and land on top.
- Bronco: This trail features lots of big berms and is great to learn how to carry fast speed through corners.
Pro Tip: Get some knee pads! You’ll be surprised how much confidence you can gain by slipping some kneepads on. I have huge scars on my knees from years of little cuts and scraps that seemed like nothing at the time, but now that I have knee pads I realize how often I would be drawing blood.
Where is the Jackson Hole Bike Park:
As described in the name, this bike park is located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It is open June 8- September 2nd and weekends after Labor Day until September 15th. The park is open 10 am- 6pm and is open for Friday night from 5 pm- 7pm. A day pass is $37 and a season pass is $129. Friday night is only a $10 if you want just a quick skills session.
Bike Shops Supporting Jackson Hole Bike Park:
If you are looking for a bike rental you can rent directly from Jackson Hole Bike Park. However, if you just need some help with repairs or want to purchase a few items, then you can visit Fitzgerald Bicycles as listed above or you can check out Hoff’s Bikesmith.
- Hoff’s Bikesmith: About 12 miles away from the bike park. It is open 11 am -6 pm on most days but closed on Sunday. https://hoffsbikesmith.com/pages/contact
5. Teton Pass – Newbie to Advanced Mountain Bike Riding
The Teton Pass trails are located in Wilson, Wyoming which is about 17 miles from Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Teton Pass trail system has 28 trails with a few beginner ones and a lot of advanced options. The trails have big elevation gains and losses. Some trails such as Lithium will drop almost 3,000 feet in just 3 miles.
The trails are beautiful singletrack sections with big ridges and incredible views. Some of the trails will feature gap jumps and rock gardens. While many of the trails are extremely steep to make a fun descent, others are purposefully graded to 5-8% for a perfect climb.
6. Glendo State Park
Just looking at the map of Glendo State Park’s mountain bike trails I feel excited. There are 38 trails which all line and ride around the Glendo Reservoir. This would make for sensational views. There are multiple parking locations, restrooms, and campgrounds so that you can have your perfect day on a bike. A Wyoming resident will pay $6 for access, and an out of town guest will pay $9.
The trails are rocky and fast rolling. For a better idea of what the trails are like, check out this YouTube video: https://youtu.be/Fm7MK6JvL2Q
Pro Tip: There are not many convenience stores in the area so you will need to bring all of your food. Make sure you always bring a little more than you think you will need or have an emergency snack on hand.
7. Happy Jack MTB System
The Happy Jack trail system is pretty fun and I can say that from first hand experience. It has a good mix of everything. There is moderate climbing with a few steep sections. The trails are pretty buffed out with fast descents and a few rocks and roots to keep it fun. Overall my impression was that the trails are really well maintained.
Even though I have ridden here before, there are tons of trails I have yet to explore. Happy Jack has 52 trails ranging from fireroads to doubleblack diamond trails. There is something there for everyone. There are lots of parking areas and bathrooms along the way to make your trail experience the best it can be.
Pro Tip: A Maxxis Aspen would be the perfect tire for these trails.
8. Snowies for Mountain Biking in Medicine Bow National Forest
The Snowies are in Medicine Bow National Forest, about 30 minutes away from Centennial Wyoming. The trails go through meadows, across creeks, and have spectacular views. Make a point to ride the Rock Creek Trail. It is a black diamond trail and is best ridden downhill. You can park at one end, ride the 11 miles with 3,600 feet of descent, and then ride fireroad or service roads back up to the top to make it an all day adventure.
If you are looking for something a little more mellow there are a few options, but the Snowies are a great place for intermediate or advanced riders. There are 24 different trails and multiple parking areas.
9. Grand Targhee Bike Park
This is a 2,000 foot lift accessed bike park with over 70 miles of downhill and cross country mountain bike trails. The Grand Targhee Bike Park has received accolades from highly creditable sources for its amazing trails. A one day bike lift ticket is $41. They are open from 9 am- 5 pm located in Alta, Wyoming.
There are trails here for all difficulty levels. Most of the trails are singletrack and feature berms, drops, rock gardens, and more. Once you get into the trails it’s easy to forget you are at a bike park. It feels like you are riding in the backcountry.
Pro Tip: Consider using or renting a bike with a dropper seat post. No matter what level of mountain biker you are you will feel much more comfortable once your saddle is out of the way while you are descending.
10. Outlaw Trails – Rocky Riding
Located in the Northwest Corner of Wyoming are the intermediate and advanced Outlaw trails. The area is largely sandstone and cedar. The trails follow a gradual ascent that is made difficult by constant rock obstacles that will force you to keep your head in the game.
Long descents lead to long climbs and fantastic views across the ridgelines. There are 14 trails at this location. All but 2 of the trails are black so come mentally and physically prepared for a challenge. You will park off of Road 7Wc, and take a half of a mile doubletrack road to the start of your adventure.
11. Crossroads Trails – Convenient and Fun MTB Riding
The Crossroad Trails are perfect for a beginner or someone looking for a quick ride without leaving town. These trails are close to various hotels, bike shops, and the Platte River Parkways.
There are 5 different trails in this area all of which are blue or green. They are rideable during most times of the year because they are largely flat and sand based. While they are not the most exciting trails, they are perfect for families to ride together or a beginner looking to start riding on dirt.
Clubs and Groups Supporting Mountain Biking in Wyoming:
- Central Wyoming Trail Alliance: The Central Wyoming Trail Alliance is located in the Casper area and is dedicated to building, maintaining, and advocating for multi-use trails for non-motorized vehicles. They are a chapter of IMBA.
- Bear River Outdoor Recreation Alliance: B.R.O.R.A works with local, state, and federal governments to help maintain outdoor spaces.
- Sweetwater Mountain Bike Association: This mountain bike club is located in Green River, Wyoming. It seeks to promote responsible mountain biking, protect natural resources, encourage trail development, and advocate for a healthy lifestyle for all. The best way to find out more about this organization is by visiting their Facebook page.
Mountain Bike Parks In Wyoming:
Green River Bike Park: The Green River Bike Park is very elaborate. There is a loop track, beginner skills zone, freeride zone, jump line, freestyle jumps, and pump track.The park is designed so that riders can gradually build up their skills by conquering one obstacle and moving on to the next bigger and better features. For more information, view their website:http://greenriverbikepark.com/Home.html
Beck Lake Bike Park: This bike park is located in Cody, Wyoming. There is a pump track, skills trail, drop zone, and a beginner, intermediate, and expert jump line to test out. https://www.parkcountypedalers.org/trails-and-beck-lake-bike-park.html
Why Wyoming for Mountain Biking?
With high elevations, mountains, rocky terrain, and such good views it’s surprising that Wyoming isn’t talked about more as a must go mountain bike destination. To me though, that makes it all the more attractive. Without as much publicity, Wyoming is bound to have some trails less traveled that you can conquer without herds of tourists ruining the vibe. The more people that make the trip though, the more chatter will happen. I would book a trip to Wyoming while you can still be a leader instead of a follower.