The 10 Best Mountain Biking Trails in California!

California is an outdoor lover’s dream with mountain biking trails at many of the state’s parks and natural areas. Many of California’s mountain biking trails are popular with enthusiasts both in and out of state and at a variety of experience levels. Whether you’re looking for a lakeside ride or a mountain adventure, you’ll find plenty of top trails to explore. 

Downieville Downhill, Downieville, CA

Downieville Downhill tends to be named a top mountain biking trail in California and even has an annual race to its name. The steep terrain and rugged curves, beautiful scenery and challenging course make Downieville Downhill an essential, whether or not you’re entering the official race.

Forest of Nisene Marks and Soquel Demonstration Forest, Santa Cruz, CA

Another of California’s most popular mountain bike trails to explore is the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. You can explore select trails and even volunteer to create them yourself as part of the volunteer trail crew.

Truckee Bike Park, Truckee, CA

Truckee Bike Park may not be every mountain bikers cup of tea, but if you’re new to the sport, or have kids that you’re introducing mountain biking to, then Truckee is the place to go. Miles of terrain mean that advanced riders can hit trails while newbies can learn on easier trails.

Clementine/Foresthill Connector Trail, Auburn, CA

Clementine/Foresthill Connector Trail in Auburn State Recreational Area offers several loops, including the Lake Clementine Trail.

San Juan Trail, Mission Viejo, CA

The San Juan Trail is recommended for experienced bikers that like a challenge. The single track spot is regarded as one of the best in California and is commonly used as a training ground. Be sure to bring your own food and water and technical skills for the trail. 

Tahoe Rim Trail, Lake Tahoe, CA

The Tahoe Rim Trail is amongst the most scenic trails in the world, with mountain and lake views. The terrain includes steep climbs and intense downhills as well as more easy riding spaces. Trail conditions vary, so check before you ride. 

Trione-Annadel State Park, Santa Rosa, CA

Wildflowers and wild blooms crowd the trail at Annadel State park. The big loop that goes around the park is preferred by mountain bikers, but you can also find side loops and shorter loops, and even a stream to ford.

Arnold Rim Trail, Arnold, CA

The Arnold Rim Trail is a vast effort put forth by local volunteers to connect the natural wonders of the central Sierra Nevada Mountains with the surrounding communities. It features many access points so that you can easily find it and start your ride through the mountains.

Water Dog Lake Park, Belmont, CA

Water Dog Lake Park doesn’t have long trails, but you will find a lot of shorter trails, with varying terrain. Be sure to park in designated lots so that you don’t have a ticket waiting when you get back from your short ride.

Peters Canyon, Regional Park, Orange, CA

A variety of trails suitable for different levels makes Peters Canyon worth exploring. Ride past a variety of different native plants and rare species. You may spot various forms of wildlife alongside the creek that goes through the park.

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