Redding is known for its world-class trails and diverse terrain. Our area is an excellent destination for any type of mountain biking enthusiast: cross-country lovers, all mountain fanatics, downhill junkies, and freeride chasers. However, not many beginner mountain bikers know the distinction between terrain and the types of bikes that best fit these separate styles. As an intro to style or a brief refresher for veteran riders, we’ve detailed the five types of mountain biking below.


Cross-Country—This is the most common form of mountain biking. Cross-country involves riding for extended periods of time through trails. It doesn’t often involve extreme obstacles (as other forms of mountain biking might), but still requires significant control in order to maneuver through the trail. Most cross-country trails involve long periods of climbing and descending, incorporating winding paths and banked turns for efficiency. Though Redding has terrain for all forms of mountain biking, this is the most abundant and popular.


All Mountain—This is an action-packed, variable adventure involves more varied terrain than cross-country biking. It involves riding through the mountain’s natural terrain. The trails are not easy to maneuver, and this form of biking often includes drops and jumps. It requires a great deal of skill, control, and confidence, and the trails are incredibly unpredictable and adventurous.


Downhill—Downhill riding has one goal: speed. Unlike cross-country trails that involve curves and snaking paths, downhill trails are often straight down through the mountain terrain. Most riders don’t even use a specific trail; they use their focus and control to get down as fast as possible. In this case, bikers don’t ride up the mountain; they either walk up or take a lift.


Dirt Jump—This type of riding is exactly what it sounds like. Rather than riding through trails on a mountain with different types of terrain, the sport is done in a dirt park consisting of jumps. Dirt jumping is about tricks and air. This is the least common form of mountain biking in the Redding area, but riders can still find or make their own jumps using the available terrain.


Freeride—Freeride is closely related to downhill mountain biking and dirt jumping, but it emphasizes tricks rather than speed. Riders use their creativity to use the natural terrain and special features built into the trail. This can include anything from ladders and ramps to beams and jumps. This is the most versatile mountain biking discipline; depending on your personal riding style, you may go for speed, jumps, or creativity.


Most people come to Redding, CA for one reason: Skiing. Mt. Shasta Ski Park, one of the most coveted ski destinations in Northern California, is just a thirty-minute drive from downtown Redding. Of course, who wouldn’t want to ski while here? Just east of Interstate 5, the ski area lies around 6 miles south of the volcano’s summit. With a total skiable vertical of 1,390 feet and 425 acres of skiable land, this is a great place to spend a winter day. However, our little town has much more to offer. Our favorite? Mountain biking.


We started this project in conjunction with some other folks in Redding tourism. Sure, this is a great destination in the winter, but Redding is a great destination in every season. Surrounded by mountains, miles of hiking, a roaring river, and access to several national parks, Redding has established itself as a four-season town. Though we are interested in the abundance of mountain biking opportunities, our city is full of museums, public art pieces, world-class architecture, and music venues. With something to offer for every visitor and resident, Redding is a wonderful destination in every season.


Thus, this site serves several purposes. Primarily, we want mountain biking enthusiasts (both locals and tourists) to use our trail reviews to plan trips. Additionally, we will host a database of nearby bike shops should you want to replace parts, shop locally, or meet other mountain bikers. You may come to Redding for the skiing, but we hope you stay for the biking.



Mayor Brent Weaver is hoping to reclaim Redding as a must-see mountain bike destination. In highlighting some of the area’s trails, he and the city hope to see a surge in cycling enthusiasm.


Redding’s cycling and mountain biking roots run deep. In 1981, the city hosted what is believed to be the world’s first organized mountain biking race—the Whiskeytown Downhill. With 36 miles of sinuous trails through the Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, the race drew 76 races. Most came from California, but several travelled from out of state from places like Oregon, Washington, and Nevada.


By 1986, the race had grown in popularity. Organizers reported 503 racers at the start line. The spark had been lit—word was spreading throughout the cycling community of challenging descents, technical climbs, and scenic creek crossings. This race brought riders from California, but also from other American states. Some riders even travelled from Europe.


Though the Whiskeytown Downhill has been replaced with the Lemurian Shasta Classic, people still travel from around the world to ride these incredible trails. To celebrate the city’s cycling history, the mayor has introduced the Mayor’s Mountain Bike Challenge. This challenge features 14 trails in the area—five beginner, five intermediate, and four expert trails.


For years, cyclists from California and the western United States have been travelling to Redding for unparalleled riding. In posing this challenge, the city hopes that riders from the Pacific Northwest—who may be waiting for their local trails to thaw after the winter—will visit and ride in the Redding area.


Want to know what mountain biking looks like in Redding, CA?