From a former mining site in Minnesota to the birthplace of the Arkansas mountain biking scene to Denver’s best weekend getaway, these state parks and recreation areas all let you bike from camp.
Across the U.S., there are a lot of state parks with growing trail systems and purpose-built mountain bike trails, all within easy access from the park campgrounds.
The beauty of a state park campground? It’s affordable, it’s clean and well maintained, and it comes with basic amenities like fire pits, picnic tables, bathrooms, and trash cans. The downsides of a state park campground? They can be crowded and tough to reserve a campsite, especially at popular spots. Which means you need to get online early and book.
Here are some of our favorite state park campgrounds, state recreation areas with camping, and U.S. Forest Service campgrounds where mountain biking is accessible right from camp.
Devil’s Den State Park; West Fork, Arkansas
Devil’s Den State Park, in the Ozarks, built the first designated mountain bike trail in Arkansas’ state park system back in the late 1980s, and it’s still home to the oldest mountain bike festival in the state, the Ozark Mountain Bike Festival, which takes place each April. This state park is known as the birthplace of Arkansas mountain biking, and it’s continued to grow the sport with the addition of more new trails over the years. These days, you can ride the original trail, Fossil Flats, or more modern one-way downhill trails like Sparky or Orville. The park has 135 campsites, ranging from rustic hike-in sites to RV spots with hookups. Camping rates start at $14.
Curt Gowdy State Park; Cheyenne, Wyoming
The 19-mile loop trail at Curt Gowdy State Park—between Cheyenne and Laramie—earned Epic status from the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) in 2009. The park has mountain bike skills zones and caters to riders of all levels, with a total of 35 miles of trail—right from several campgrounds. Camping rates start at $15 a night for Wyoming residents; $25 for non-residents. The park has 159 campsites. Kids and adults can sign up for a skills camp with Wyoming MTB Camps.
William Kent Campground; Tahoe City, California
Located two miles south of Tahoe City on Highway 89, which runs along the West Shore of Lake Tahoe, William Kent Campground—which is maintained by the U.S. Forest Service—has over 80 campsites nestled into a quiet, residential area surrounded by pine and fir trees. The recently-rebuilt Stanford Rock trail is riding distance from camp, or you can access a wide variety of routes, including long sections on the Tahoe Rim Trail, from Tahoe City, a short pedal away. The shores of Lake Tahoe are just across the highway, and you can grab breakfast burritos, deli sandwiches, or a post-ride six pack from the West Shore Market, also across the street. Camping rates start at $33 a night.