Planning a mountain bike ride? Locals say website rankings miss some of Park City’s best
For those looking for mountain biking trail inspiration this spring, websites and forums like singletracks.com, mtbproject.com and trailforks.com all have vast ranking systems to help cyclists find the best local rides or locations for upcoming trips. Singletracks, for instance, has algorithmically ranked every trail in its database, including close to 400 in Utah, though Mountain Trails executive director Charlie Sturgis says the system skips some of Park City’s best.
The Whole Enchilada ride in Moab comes in at No. 1 in Utah and the world, with one of its sections (Porcupine Rim) ranked in the top five.
Singletracks explains that its rankings are based on “average trail rating, number of members who have ridden the MTB trail, and the number of members who want to ride the MTB trail.”
Mid Mountain Trail is Park City’s highest-ranked trail, listed at No. 16 in Utah.
Others from Park City include Spiro (23), Prospector Area (27), Deer Valley Bike Resort (31) and PC Dirt Jumps (37) – some of which aren’t trails per-se.
Sturgis was not thrilled with Mid Mountain’s ranking.
“I would have to push Mid Mountain a little higher up, just because it’s an IMBA EPICS trail,” he said, referencing the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s crowdsourced list.
According to the organization’s website, EPICS trails denote “a true backcountry riding experience,” as well as technical and physical difficulty. It’s one of two in Utah, the other being Hurricane Cliffs in Hurricane, out of 14 total in the U.S.
“What was interesting where some of the ones I didn’t know, like Sardine Peak Loop in Ogden,” Sturgis said of Singletrack’s rankings.
Some of the other highly-ranked northern Utah trails include the Wasatch Crest Trail, at No. 9 on Singletracks, the Red Fleet System and J-boy in Vernal (18 and 21), and Bobsled in Salt Lake City (24).
However, Sturgis considered the ranking of Glenwild trail system’s Flying Dog’s at 75 to be too low and the absence of the WOW (Wasatch Over Wasatch) Trail a major oversight. Running from behind Deer Valley Resort down to Midway, Sturgis said the WOW Trail provides a rugged mountain biking experience.
“Once you start down that trail you’re in a variety of terrain and you’re on a big adventure,” Sturgis said. “Because you are your own rescue, you get hurt out there; you’re in trouble.”
Sturgis considers CMG, Apex/Keystone, the Utah Olympic Park system, WOW and Flying dog his favorites in Park City. Rick Fournier, Field Manager at Mountain Trails, listed CMG, Pinecone Ridge, Keystone and Shadow Lake among his favorites.
Though Singletracks, MTB Project and Trailforks differ in most rankings, they all list The Whole Enchilada or one of its parts as the top-rated ride in the U.S.
“Ratings are ratings,” Sturgis said. “A lot of the (highly ranked) trails are desert, and of course some are high alpine, and I think some people just go either way about that. For me, I’d rather be high alpine anytime.”
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While walking down Main Street early Sunday afternoon, one couldn’t help but notice the electric atmosphere. The street was completely blocked off, making way for some of the best cyclists in the world to compete in the sixth and final stage of the Tour of Utah.