Moab   |  Andrew Burr

Winter Mountain Biking

If you love mountain biking in the spring and summer, why not give it a try during the winter this year? In Southern Utah, mountain biking happens all year long thanks to the mild weather and various trails. With some simple prep and the right gear, you can comfortably enjoy your favorite activity throughout the winter season.

Mountain Biking Winter in Southern Utah

What to Wear to Keep Warm

Just like with any winter sport, mountain biking in winter requires proper weather-resistant gear. Breathable layers, waterproof shoes, warm gloves, and a good jacket are essential to keeping warm and dry on potentially muddy trails. Everyone has their preference on brands, colors and styles. Stick to what you know and like, but use this checklist as a starting point: 

Thermal Base Layer: Look for synthetic or wool long-sleeved base layers for the best insulation and comfort. 

Water-Resistant Pants: Look for pants or tights with a water-resistant outer layer and thermal fleece lining inside.  

Breathable (Warm) Jacket: Look for water and windproof jackets with protected, waterproof pockets. Other features to look for include underarm venting and a helmet-friendly hood. 

Waterproof Socks and Shoes: Look for wool or synthetic fabric socks with an extended cuff for extra coverage. For shoes, you’ll want a sturdy pair of high-top mountain biking boots made of premium waterproof materials like rubber and neoprene. 

Insulating Waterproof Gloves: Look for lightweight insulating gloves that aren’t bulky since you want to maintain full use of your hands. While fingerless gloves might seem more accessible, full coverage gloves will protect your hands from the cold or potential injury. 

Insulation Under Helmet: To keep your head warm underneath your helmet, you can wear a lightweight cycling cap, head wrap, or bandana. 

Biking On Muddy Trails

Mountain biking in winter means wet, muddy trails. While a little bit of mud is just a part of mountain biking, riding on extremely wet, muddy terrain is not recommended. Mud creates a slippery, unstable riding surface that will slow you down.

If the ground is soaked, your bike will eventually sink right into the ground. All of this can cause serious damage to your bike’s wheels, brake pads, chains and gear cables. 

Riding on muddy trails can also cause permanent damage to the terrain. From large gouges and ruts, to long-term erosion, it’s best to avoid a trail if its extremely muddy. To keep Utah mountain biking trails in pristine shape, use TrailForks or check national/state park websites for trail conditions ahead of time.

More responsible travel tips

Winter Mountain Biking Trails

Southern Utah is home to hundreds of mountain biking trails, so no matter how experienced you are, you’ll have plenty of options. Below are winter trail suggestions around Moab, St. George and Cedar City.

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Top 5 Rules of the Ride: How to Mountain Bike Responsibly on Utah Trails

Written By Paula Colman

3 minute read

Mountain biking is one of Utah’s most popular activities enjoyed by riders of all ages and skill levels. Be able to fly down that flow trail by, first, understanding and respecting the rules of the ride.

How To Mountain Bike Responsibly

Weather to Expect in Southern Utah

Southern Utah is associated with an arid, desert climate, but the region still experiences cold temperatures and winter weather patterns. Be prepared ahead of time so you know how to pack for your trip. (Read: "How to Stay Warm in Southern Utah This Winter")

Guide to Winter Weather in Southern Utah 

St. George (Greater Zion): Trails rarely have snow and ice, but are muddy after significant precipitation. Averages 62/39 F (16/4 C) in the winter months.

Moab: Trails rarely have snow and ice, but are muddy after significant precipitation. Averages 56/35 F (13/2 C) in the winter months.

Cedar City & Bryce Canyon Area: Trails can have snow and ice. Muddy/damp trails are common after snow and rain. Averages 51/28 F (11/-2 C) in the winter months.

Winter Mountain Biking in Southern Utah

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