There are plenty of mountain bike gatherings all over the world, they range in size from just a half dozen riders to some of the sport’s biggest festivals. Traditionally the big events were Eurobike, World Cups in Europe but lately events like Crankworx have drawn huge crowds. Mountain Bike events are no different from any other event in that they are all about location. First you need trails that cyclists want to ride and have them near a town with some decent amenities that they want to visit is definitely an added bonus. Now, all that being said Grand Junction, Colorado is a great place to hold a festival.
Grand Junction is in western Colorado at the junction of the Colorado and Gunnison rivers…thus the town’s name. Normally it is home to 60,000 people. Because it’s location it has the mildest climate in Colorado. It is the heart of the wine region and it actually feels more like Northern California than the foothills of the Rockies.
Renowned for some of the best mountain bike trails in the country including the famous Kokopelli Trail that goes from Fruita all the way to Moab, over 140 miles of trail. It also makes it one of the longest trails. You will pass through a variety of landscapes and more than 20 named trails. You will climb mountains, canyons, valleys, you name it and you will pass through it.
Where to Stay
Grand Junction isn’t a big town so you’re not going to come to ride the trials and then spend the night at the Four Seasons. However there are plenty of affordable but comfortable accommodations that will more than meet your needs.
The nicest accommodations in the area would be the Hilton, it has all the luxuries you would expect at the Hilton including pools, fitness facilities and of course a nearby golf course. If you want something a little more moderately priced you will find all the chain hotels here as well.
All of them have clean and comfortable rooms and a pool is pretty much standard. All of them are just a hop skip and a jump from the bike trails nearby.
One of the best places in the US to take advantage of some incredible mountain bike trails is Moab, Utah. You can’t overhype Moab and the stunning red rock landscape is unlike anywhere else on the planet. The best way to see the local beauty is get on your bike and start riding the trails. There are plenty of famous trails like Porcupine Rim, Slick Rock and the aptly name Whole Enchilada. While these are the famous trails there are plenty of lesser known trails in the area that make it Nirvana for any mountain biker.
There is incredible high alpine tracks in the La Sal Mountains and then you can head to some sun baked desert riding nearby. Moab has such a unique climate that you can ride year round but spring and fall have the best temperature. Cyclists from all over the west coast show up and take to the trails. Fall is the best time of year to take on the Whole Enchilada, that starts at over 10,000 feet. Here is a video for you to check out.
Where to Stay in Moab
Once you have made up your mind to try and ride the trails in Moab now you need a place to stay while your there. Despite the number of cyclists that descend on Moab every spring and fall accommodations are not too pricey. There are economy hotels that are located near the trails.
The Archway Inn is a quick hop from the Arches Park Access and it has all the amenities you could ever need. This is the perfect place to stay if you like cycling. It is at the edge of town and gives you immediate access to the trail systems. Soak up some desert heat while your poolside. There are fitness facilities just in case you don’t get a good enough workout riding the trails.
If you want something a little more peaceful and away from the trails try out the Red Cliffs Lodge, it is situated away from the town of Moab about 14 miles outside but the views make up for it. You can get a room with a balcony and sit and listen to the Colorado River lull you to sleep.
If you want something a little higher end then you are going to have to travel to either Park City, or one of the bigger cities in Utah. For an adventure traveler or avid mountain bike enthusiast Utah really can’t be beat.