Mountain biking in national parks and other federal lands we get a sense of their grandeur. They are treasures to be explored and cherished. On our mountain bikes, we get to see them up close and personal.
Chris & Mac
We outventure to help you outventure!
When mountain biking in national parks and other federal lands we get a sense of their grandeur. They are treasures to be explored and cherished. On our mountain bikes, we get to see them up close and personal.
MOUNTAIN BIKING: WHY IN NATIONAL PARKS AND OTHER FEDERAL LANDS?
Recreational activities are encouraged and supported on many of our national lands. For a variety of reasons, however, some recreational pursuits are prohibited in some areas. Mountain biking is one of those activities. Where it is allowed, however, the trails lead us on amazing OUTventures.
MOUNTAIN BIKING IN NATIONAL PARKS
Mountain biking is not a good OUTventure activity in a national park unless one likes riding along the road. This is because bikes are generally not allowed on foot or stock trails in most of them. Many other federal lands are, however, great places for our mountain biking OUTventures, so let’s explore those other options.
MOUNTAIN BIKING IN NATIONAL MONUMENTS
National monuments are great places to mountain bike for two main reasons. First, they are less crowded than national parks, increasing our solitude as we explore. Second, we get greater trail access. With fewer biking restrictions, many national monument areas have both dedicated mountain biking trails as well as shared use trails. That said, these parks have some downsides when we compare them to national parks. First, they have fewer services and facilities. Second, trailheads are often well off the beaten path. In other words, they are remote. As such, have all the supplies and information you need before heading out.
MOUNTAIN BIKING IN NATIONAL FORESTS
Enjoy sweet solitude on a backcountry mountain bike ride in a national forest. It can’t be beat. Why? Set aside for timber, water, wildlife, grazing, and outdoor recreation, the land is minimally managed or developed. Trails abound in these spectacular places, with local mountain biking groups often in charge of construction and maintenance. Extremely popular or sensitive areas may require a permit for access.
MOUNTAIN BIKING NOT ALLOWED IN WILDERNESS AREAS
Located in national forests, wilderness areas prohibit both motorized equipment and mechanical transport. There are very few exceptions. Because mountain bikes are classified as mechanical transport they are not allowed.
MOUNTAIN BIKING IN OTHER NATIONAL LANDS
Finally, wonderful opportunities for mountain biking in pristine places abound on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. These areas are remote, which make them particularly appealing for backcountry mountain biking. Like in national forests, we find local mountain biking groups typically build and maintain these trails. Extremely popular or sensitive areas may require a permit.
MOUNTAIN BIKING: WHERE & HOW ON FEDERAL LANDS?
The United States has 61 national parks and 129 national monument sites. National forest and wilderness areas protect another 154 forest and 20 grassland sites. In addition to these, the Bureau of Land Management manages another 254 million acres of land. Happily, many of these lands are both accessible to and appropriate for mountain biking.
Access and use of national lands comes with a fee (for most). Purchase a National Park Pass (known as the America the Beautiful Pass) to save money and time. Many parks charge $35 or more per day to visit, and many federal areas charge day use fees to park at trailheads (typically $5 per day). Considering the cost of an annual America The Beautiful pass is $80, it pays for itself in no time. Please note that fees quoted herein are always subject to change.
Find National Parks of the United States here.
National Monuments of the United States are listed here.
Locate National Forest areas for Mountain biking here.
Find BLM Lands for Mountain biking here.
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