The spring and summer months call for perfect biking weather. Speeding down trails, busy city streets, or long stretches of highway is one of the best ways to take in this gorgeous country. You get to stretch out your legs, see some fantastic views, and find adventure in the ride as much as the destination. There are easily hundreds of cycling trips you can take throughout the United States, but here are the top five we think you should tackle first.
1. The Big Island, Hawaii
One of the unique parts of the big island of Hawaii is all the different landscapes. In a short bike ride, you can come across volcanoes, rainforests, the ocean coast, lush coffee plantations, and more. In addition, the island is incredibly cyclist-friendly, with plenty of different routes you can take.
If you want to explore the island with short, one-day cycling trips, check out our top six biking routes on the big island.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a multi-day biking route, consider booking a biking tour. Big Island Bike Tours offers a six-day cycling tour across Kohala, Hawi, Waimea, Kona, Holualoa, Wood Valley, Red Road, and Mauna Loa. The tour is all-inclusive, so all you have to do is show up and ride. Along the way, the tour promises you’ll conquer massive volcano climbs, stop and have delicious cuisine, and see breaching whales.
2. The San Juan Islands, Washington
If you do any research into the best cycling trips globally, the San Juan Islands will often show up on many lists. This is because these quiet islands have so much to offer. Visitors get to experience the friendly communities with incredible scenery, farm-to-table dining, and a thriving art community.
We recommend taking the ferry to each island and making this a three-in-one cycling trip. Start at San Juan, which is the biggest of the three islands. The roads on this island include flat country paths and some roller-coaster hills, giving you a varied ride. End your evenings at the Roche Harbor Resort Dining area for some fresh seafood or local ice cream.
Next, make your way to Orcas Island, which is perhaps the most challenging cycle route of all three islands. The Orcas has some great trails to conquer – such as Turtleback Mountain and Mount Constitution. Make sure you stop by the Orcas Farmer’s Market to grab some fresh local produce and treats.
End your tour riding through Lopez. This island is the flattest, making it an excellent, relaxing way to end your trip. While you’re visiting Lopez, you can stop at the Lopez Vineyard & Winery and go on a whale-watching trip.
3. Palisade, Colorado
Palisade, Colorado is home to the “Fruit & Wine Byway,” a route that is “a favorite of automobile travelers and bicyclists from around the world.” As you bike throughout this 25-mile loop, you’ll pass the beautiful countryside of orchards, vineyards, orchard fields, lavender fields, and more. In total, this route has more than 50 fruit, garden, and wine fields.
You can complete the entire loop in one ride or break it up into shorter rides so you can make stops at the wineries and fruit stands along the way.
Download a map of the full trail and all its stops here.
4. Glacier National Park, Montana
You can bike through many of the national parks in the United States. Glacier National Park in Montana makes our top cycling trips list because of the fantastic views and relatively easy ride.
Cyclists are permitted on all roads throughout the park but are not allowed on trails, except for three exceptions. The trails that are open to cyclists are:
- The paved path from Park Headquarters to Apgar Village,
- The Fish Creek Bike Path
- The old Flathead Ranger Station trail
We recommend sticking to the “Going-to-the-Sun Road,” which is a nearly 50-mile road through the Rocky Mountains. On this road, you’ll see waterfalls, breathtaking mountain views, valleys, and wildlife. The ride climbs about 3,000 feet, but the progress is gradual, so the ride is manageable for intermediate and experienced cyclists.
5. The Oregon Coast
The Oregon Coast Bike Route is a 370-mile cycling trip following the – you guessed it – the Oregon coast. This route is a cyclist’s paradise – it offers great views the entire ride, is a combination of hills and flat stretches, and gives plenty of opportunities to stop at iconic Oregon landmarks.
Experts recommend taking the route from North to South to take advantage of the wind pattern.
We recommend adding some of the must-see spots to your ride, including the 1906 shipwreck remains at Fort Stevens State Park, the Three Capes Scenic Loop, and the Oregon Dunes Recreational Area.
This list has rides for every type of cycling trip – from short one-day routes to multi-day excursions. All you have to do is pick a spot, get your bike in shape, and get out on the road!