Catching a ride to the top of a gnarly singletrack descent is tough to beat! If you want to save your legs and instead focus on the downhill enduro-style shredding, look no further than this list of recommended shuttle runs.Less
The Whole Enchilada ranks among the most epic mountain bike rides of all time! This point-to-point route drops a whopping 7,000 vertical feet over 25 miles, and while there is some climbing along the way, all told it's one of most fantastic descents in existence.
Imagine the most epic mountain top views in the world and combine them with beautiful, flowing singletrack, followed by a raucous, high-speed descent down a mountainside ending on the valley floor, and you have the epic Monarch Crest Trail in a nutshell. The Crest is often ranked as one of the best mountain bike trails in the United States, and even the world. It's deserving of that ranking, too, with a roughly 10-mile portion of the trail that hugs the top of the Continental Divide.
The Downieville Downhill is a classic shuttle run of epic proportions! Over the course of 15 miles the trail drops over 4,000 feet of net elevation. Running from the top of a mountain ridge down to the banks of the Yuba River, this epic trail has been a classic ride for decades. In fact, the trail and the town of Downieville are host to a long running race/festival dubbed the “Downieville Classic.”
Flowy ridge top singletrack with jaw-dropping views of Big Cottonwood Canyon and the Park City region make the Wasatch Crest trail the most memorable mountain bike trail in Park City. With such a short shuttle up Guardsman's Pass, it's hard to wrap your head around how quickly you end up in the middle of absolutely nowhere—but soon you're surrounded by nothing besides jagged mountain peaks.
While "Alpine Trail" may sound like a generic name, once you begin associating that name with this epic point-to-point enduro-style shuttle route outside of Oakridge, Oregon, it becomes anything but ordinary! While the grade isn't super steep, the flow of the trail and relatively straight sight lines allow riders to amp up the speed, the massive Douglas Firs whizzing past in a blur of brown and green.
Despite requiring a significant shuttle from downtown Ketchum to reach the starting point for the Osberg Ridgeline Epic, this route still requires over 3,000 feet of uphill pedaling. That 3,000 feet of climbing gets you 5,500 feet of descending, along with a sweet 15-mile ridge traverse with the epic views this trail is renowned for! The views from the top feel like they’ll never end as you pedal around one bald corner and then another, with mountain ridges marching off into the distance.
Mount Lowe is hands-down the Los Angeles-area's premiere legal shuttle run. Along with nearby Mount Wilson, a plethora of singletrack trails and dirt roads descend from the crest of the mountain range all the way down to the outskirts of the megalopolis far, far below. To get to the top, either cajole a friend or family member into driving you up, or book a commercial shuttle from one of several local shuttle companies.
The Cannell Trail, followed by The Plunge, is easily one of the most epic shuttle rides in California, if not the entire USA! This incredible 25-mile shuttle with just 2,000 feet of climbing drops a whopping 8,400 over the course of the entire ride! The Cannell Trail proper, or "Cannell Meadow Trail," passes through a verdant alpine meadow that leaves many riders astonished by its beauty. But as the trail begins to descend, the scenery returns to the dry, rocky, arid California mountains.
The Full Lemmon Drop is easily one of the most epic mountain bike shuttle runs in the United States. Starting on top of 9,157-foot Mount Lemmon, this route connects the best trails in the region into a massive 29-mile route from mountain summit to valley floor. Even though this is a "shuttle run," riders will still pedal up 3,700 feet of elevation… but that climbing scores you a solid 10,000 feet of descending, for a whopping 6,300 feet of net elevation loss.
The O’Leary Mountain Trail is a sublime singletrack trail high in the Cascade Mountains. This euphoric mountain biking experience offers up stupendous views of the surrounding mountain range coupled with endless sinuous singletrack running through a lush Oregon forest. The trees tower overhead, and the steep strip of black dirt allows you to rocket downhill at Mach 10… until you reach some sections of severely-exposed singletrack with a long, long fall below you.