A Guide To The Best Mountain Bike Racing Series In The US

mountain biker on the Cascadia Dirt Cup best Mountain Bike Racing Series in the US Oregon Mountain Biking Enduro Image courtesy of: Race Cascadia

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While mountain biking has been around since the 1970’s, it still has more of a grassroots feel compared to road cycling. Road bike races have formal institutions like the Tour de France while the downhill mountain bike race series’ are more regionalized. So, what does that imply for mountain biking fans? It means you can see professional caliber racing in your own neck of the woods! Here’s a guide to the Best Mountain Bike Racing Series out there across the US.

What’s Downhill Mountain Biking?

best Mountain Bike Racing Series in the US Cascadia Dirt Cup Oregon Mountain Biking Enduro
Kim Hardin ripping past the hecklers on the final stage of Day 2 in Post Canyon.  She took home another top step on the box, matching her husband Nick Hardin, with back to back wins at the opening round of the CDC. – Image courtesy of: Race Cascadia

Before we jump into the racing series’, we want to first explain the differences between each mountain biking discipline.

  • Cross-Country – The most popular of all the mountain biking events. It involves competitors racing point-to-point via a defined course where the person with the fastest time wins. The XC trails can range from fire roads to winding narrow singletrack.
  • Downhill – This is THE event for adrenaline junkies. People who feel the need… the need for speed! It involves jumping off cliffs, rock gardens, and everything else a mountain trail can throw at them. Full-face helmets, body armor, and chest protectors are the normal uniform for these competitors.
  • Enduro – A combination of downhill and cross-country into one event. This is the all-mountain event. Click here to read the full explanation of this awesome match-up.

If you want to learn more about mountain biking, get tips on gear, and find hidden vacation spots for two wheeled fun, check out our mountain biking guide:

Ultimate Guide To The Best Mountain Bike Racing Series in the US

Now that you’ve got a grasp on the different types of events, let’s talk about what are the best racing circuits in the US. This list does NOT contain any of the one-off races but rather the true regional race competitions out there.


The Northwest Cup – Pacific Northwest

Race Type: Downhill

The Pacific Northwest is home to what many consider to be the most prestigious downhill mountain bike racing series in the country. With more than a decade under its belt, the series covers six races over five venues.

best Mountain Bike Racing Series in the US Washington Mountain Biking mud
Action from round 1 of the Northwest Cup downhill race in Port Angeles, WA – Image taken by: Ty

GRT Dry Hill (Port Angeles, WA)
April 12 – 14, 2024

GRT Dry Hill (Port Angeles, WA)
May 17 – 19, 2024

Tamarack Bike Park (Donnelly, ID)
June 21 – 23, 2024

Whitefish Mountain Bike Park (Whitefish, MT)
June 28 – 30, 2024

Silver Mountain Bike Park (Kellogg, ID)
August 2 – 4, 2024

Championship (TBD)
September 6 – 8, 2024


Cascadia Dirt Cup – Pacific Northwest

Race Type: Enduro

The Cascadia Dirt Cup is the Northwest’s premiere Enduro mountain bike race series and not just for the races, but also as an incubator for the NW MTB community to grow. How? This Enduro series does it by making each event available to all levels AND by donating their proceeds to local trail stewards. In addition to the funding, they also contribute over 1,000+ hours of trail work through the Work-Eat-Shred program. A great series with a great cause! And with 2024, it brings back a MONSTER of races.

Mountain biker covered in mud riding on the Cascadia Dirt Cup best Mountain Bike Racing Series in the US Oregon Mountain Biking Enduro
Image courtesy of: Race Cascadia

Post Canyon Enduro (Hood River, OR)
May 18 – 19, 2024

North Slope Enduro (Olympia, WA)
June 1 – 2, 2024

Raging River Enduro (Snoqualmie, WA)
June 29 – 30, 2024

Gailbraith Enduro / NW Tune Up Festival (Bellingham, WA)
July 13 – 14, 2024

North Mountain Enduro (Darrington, WA)
July 27 – 28, 2024

Capitol Forest Summer Classic (Olympia, WA)
August 9 – 11, 2024

Tiger Mountain Enduro (Issaquah, WA)
September 14 – 15, 2024


Eastern States Cup – East Coast

Race Type: Enduro

What Cascadia Cup is for the PNW, the Eastern States Cup is for the East Coast. The MAXXIS Eastern States Cup (i.e. ESC) began in 2010 as a USA Cycling Eastern Regional Downhill MTB Championship Series, with two USA Cycling State Championships. Over the years, they’ve continued to expand. As part of this series, in 2013 they added what is now the Stan’s Enduro Series. Events from Rhode Island to New Hampshire and everything in between, this is THE series for the East Coast.

Powder Ridge, CT
May 5, 2024

Glen Park, PA
June 9, 2024

Jiminy Peak (MA)
June 23, 2024

Killington (VT)
June 30, 2024

Arrowhead Rec Area (Claremont, NH) – Outbound Night Enduro
July 14, 2024

Thunder Mountain, MA
July 21, 2024

Burke Mountain, VT
July 28, 2024

Sugarloaf, ME
Aug 18, 2024

Woodstock, VT
Sept 8, 2024

Thunder Mountain, MA
Sept 22, 2024

Monteau, NH
Oct 6, 2024

Arrowhead, NH
Oct 20, 2024

Intermountain Cup – Utah

Race Type: Cross-Country/Endurance

The Intermountain Cup or I-Cup is a great event for beginners and pros alike. For beginners, the course is approximately seven miles long or one lap. At the other end of the spectrum, the elite racers are tested with a three lap, 21 mile race. The major events happening this year are as follows:

best Mountain Bike Racing Series in the US Utah I-Cup Solitude Ski Resort Summer
Chris Allaire Memorial at Solitude, in the Intermountain Cup (I-cup) – Image by: Brian Thomas

Three Peaks Classic (Cedar City, UT)
May 18, 2024

Soldier Hollow (Heber, UT)
July 13, 2024

Rage at Snowbird (Snowbird, UT)
August 10, 2024


The Leadville Race Series – USA

Race Type: Cross-Country

The Leadville 100 mountain bike race has been held in Colorado since 1983 and is considered one of the TOUGHEST mountain bike races in North America. It’s also considered one of the hardest to get into. Similar to the Mt. Baker Legendary Banked Slalom, there are now qualifying events that racers can enter all across the United States to gain entry to this hallowed race.

best Mountain Bike Racing Series in the US Leadville 100
The Silver Rush 50, one of the stage races to get into the Leadville 100 – Image taken by: Tyler Ford

Lutsen 99er (Lutsen, MN)
June 29, 2024

Silver Rush 50 (Leadville, CO)
July 7, 2024

Tahoe Trail MTB (Northstar, CA)
July 20, 2024

Leadville Stage Race (Leadville, CO)
July 26-28, 2024

THE LEADVILLE TRAIL 100!!! (Leadville, CO)
August 10, 2024


The Lost Sierra Triple Crown – California

Race Type: Cross-Country, Downhill, Enduro

The Downieville Classic has been around for years and is considered one of the 10 best mountain biking races in the world. This classic as of 2017 has become part of the Lost Sierra Triple Crown brought to you by the Sierra Buttes Trail Foundation. A mixture of gravel and pavement, it’s a true test of every discipline in one race series. As of 2024, the first leg of the series (Grinduro) was forced to cancel due to rising costs but good news is that the SBTF are bringing a new race to the forefront – Mountains to Meadows Trailfest. Will it be the third race? Time will tell.

Downieville Classic Recap 2017 Splash Kaboom Redbull
No matter how graceful you are, it all ends in a SPLASH! – Image taken by: Local Freshies®

Grinduro (Mt Shasta, CA)

Lost & Found (Lake Davis, CA)
June 15, 2024

Downieville Classic (Downieville, CA)
July 11-14, 2024

Mountains to Meadows Trailfest (Quincy, CA)
September 19-22, 2024


As you can see, each of these races is open to you as a rookie or an experienced rider. So, plan a trip and become part of your region’s mountain biking community. And as always, let us know if we should add a biking series to this list.

2 thoughts on “A Guide To The Best Mountain Bike Racing Series In The US

    1. Frisbee,

      We try our best to research but alas sometimes we miss some so a mega thanks for letting us know about this race. We’ll be sure to add them to our 2021 race schedule for the best mountain bike racing series in the US.

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