One of the Rocky Mountain States, situated in America’s vast northwest; Wyoming is the perfect locale for outdoor and off-road recreation. In addition to the abundance of superb mountain biking trails the state has to offer, Wyoming’s towering mountains and expansive plains provide spectacular scenery, making every ride better than the one before. In the following article we will highlight 5 of the best mountain bike rides in the state of Wyoming, with a brief description of what each has to offer.
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Fountain Pot Loop
For the beginners in your group and/or for families looking for an “all-together” experience, you simply can’t beat the track known as Fountain Pot Loop. A mostly flat and meandering ride that starts in beautiful Yellowstone National Park, this 14-mile trail offers all the wonderful scenery the park has to offer.
While traversing the Fountain Pot Loop, riders will almost certainly get an up-close look at the coveted Yellowstone bison, as well as several lakes and geysers, including the prominent Ojo Caliente Springs and Midway Geyser Basin. In total, the Fountain Pot Loop includes an elevation gain of roughly 350 feet, riding mostly on crushed stone that is easy to navigate.
In a state famous for its mountain terrain, slickrock riding can be hard to come by in Wyoming, which is what makes this track so special. Although slickrock is typically found in places such as Moab, Utah, the Slickrock Trail in Wyoming offers a unique slice of this style of riding that is truly worth the trip.
Situated in the town of Cody, Wyoming, the Slickrock Trail is a 7.5 mile ride that is generally reserved for intermediate to advanced riders. Unlike the slickrock in Utah, the rock in Wyoming is not painted, so navigating the trail can be “slick” and challenging, making it easy to get lost for those not paying attention to their surroundings. For best results, follow the double track section of the trail to the large slickrock playground. The track is usually ridden counterclockwise around the massive sandstone outcropping, but more advanced riders can add to their experience by also testing the tricky interior.
Game Creek Loop
The Game Creek Loop commences and ends in the downtown sector of beautiful Jackson, Wyoming—a town that is famous for the recreational opportunities it offers. The popular trail, spanning 18.5 miles in total, offers liberal views of the celebrated Teton Valley below, as it takes riders through scenic alpine meadows and descends through a burn forest simply bursting with bright, colorful flowers.
The Game Creek Loop begins with a relatively easy and meandering ride on a bike path that runs along the banks of Flat Creek. The trail then rises and falls repeatedly over the next 17 miles, trading leg-burning ascents with fast and technical downhill sections of track—sections that are not recommended for beginners or for anyone riding solo. The final six miles of the loop take place on nerve-testing single track, complete with a bevy of obstacles designed to challenge even the most seasoned mountain bike enthusiasts.
Each year, from across the state and beyond, hundreds of intermediate to advanced riders are drawn to the challenge and exhilaration that is Phillip’s Ridge. Technically known as the “Phillip’s Ridge to Phillip’s Canyon Loop,” the trail is located in the small town of Wilson, Wyoming, just a stone’s throw away from the larger city of Jackson.
The Phillip’s Ridge Loop features an assortment of obstacles, including some steep sustained climbs that do not go unrewarded. Totaling 14.4 miles in length, with an elevation gain of roughly 2,500 feet, the trail begins on Fish Creek Road towards the Phillip’s Ridge Lookout. Riders will then make their way to the uphill section of the trail—a section that is littered with slippery gravel. The grueling climb to the ridge top is a true test of will and endurance, while the downhill section that follows forces riders to employ all of their technical skill as they speed past roots, burms and other impediments that have made this loop so incredibly popular over the years.
Although the trail is recommended to be done as a “shuttle,” it can also be completed as an “out-and-back.”
Curt Gowdy State Park
Named after the renowned outdoorsman and television star, Curt Gowdy, the Curt Gowdy State Park is located in the gorgeous city of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Here riders will find one of the best trails the state has to offer—a trail that was recently named the Best Mountain Biking Ride in Wyoming by MTB Project.
The Curt Gowdy State Park Trail encompasses just over 19 miles and gains 2,260 feet in elevation along the way. It features flat riding, rugged climbs, and thrilling descents, with some hair-raising rocky terrain that is extremely technical at times, as well as some over-boulder areas with good flow. The mountain scenery along the way includes a number of lakes, creeks and rocky outcroppings, and some of the most vivid natural flora in the state of Wyoming.
If you’re looking for another reason to treat yourself to this amazing challenge, the Curt Gowdy State Park Trail has now been certified as an IMBA “Epic” ride, a distinction that is only given to the best mountain biking tracks across the country
Parking at Curt Gowdy State Park will cost you $4 ($6 for out-of-state visitors), and overnight camping is also available for $10 and $17, respectively.
image credit: Flickr, Bureau of Land Management