SPONSORED FEATURE: e-visa.co.uk
For many, the USA is the mountain biking Valhalla of the world. To get to the USA, you first need to submit an ESTA application.
Few countries in the world seem as tailor-made for mountain biking as the USA. In this article, we’ll go over some of the country’s prime biking trails, and provide some general tips on how to get there, including how to submit an ESTA application to get to the USA to begin with.
Mountain biking more popular than ever
Recent figures show an explosive increase in the popularity of mountain biking in the USA. According to Forbes, mountain bike trail counts in 2020 showed increases of 100 to 500% compared to the year before. Of course, it’s no secret why this is the case. The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to people spending a lot more time outdoors, as furloughs and working-from-home schemes have given people more free time to indulge in their hobbies.
Mountain biking has proven popular with families in particular. Instead of going out for a nice walk with the family, people are looking for a bit more excitement, and mountain biking seems to be the answer to this. Bike sales have increased massively, with some shops reporting sales increases of over 100%.
Singletrack biking in the USA: Don’t miss these trails!
Biking in the USA isn’t just popular with US citizens. Each year, many tourists head to the country to experience its legendary trails for themselves. This is in part because getting to the USA isn’t really that hard. You don’t need to go to the embassy for a visa application which can take months. Instead, you can submit an ESTA application, which we’ll discuss further below. But first, we’ll go over some of the USA’s best biking areas.
Utah is known for its rugged nature, from desert sand dunes to sprawling pine forests in mountain valleys. Moab takes full advantage of this. Moab has among the oldest and most popular bike trails not just in the USA, but on the planet. From the iconic Slickrock to the Captain Ahab, Moab has countless trails that exemplify the rugged nature Utah is known for. Various mountain biking tours depart from Moab, heading into one of the local national parks or, for the more experienced, high into the Abajo Mountains. There is a reason Moab is known as the “Mountain Biking Capital of the World”.
Lake Tahoe is primarily known as a great place for hiking, but mountain bikers will find the pine forests and the fresh mountain air equally irresistible. Lake Tahoe covers a large area (not surprising considering it’s the largest mountain lake in the USA), but you’ll find the best trails in the South Lake Tahoe area. Highlights include the 6 mile downhill trail of Saxon Creek, the Star Lake Connector which climbs over 1400 feet, and the beginner-friendly Cold Creek Trail.
Grand Valley, Colorado
The Grand Valley encompasses a massive amount of mountain biking trails, the most popular of which are found in Grand Junction and Fruita. While Grand Junction has an established reputation in the biking scene, Fruita is still carving out a name for itself. You certainly don’t want to miss the Lunch Loops of Grand Junction or the 18 Road Trails in the North Fruita Desert. The Grand Valley area as a whole is perfect for a biking holiday.
Palisade Plunge, Colorado
We close of this list with a newcomer to the scene. The small town of Palisade and its surrounding area have never been known as a particularly attractive biking location. However, recent developments have looked to change this image. After 10 years of development and millions of dollars in investments, Palisade now has the longest singletrack downhill biking trail in the USA. It starts all the way at the top of Colorado’s Grand Mesa and goes all the way down to the shores of the Colorado River. The first phase of the Palisade Plunge opened on May 29, 2021.
Getting to the USA: ESTA application
Since most of these places are known for their biking trails, it’s very easy to buy or rent your equipment locally after you arrive. However, one thing you have to arrange before heading to the USA, and even before booking your flight tickets, is your ESTA visa application. The ESTA is the most popular tool to travel to the USA for those that qualify for it. Not everyone does so, as for example a criminal record can disqualify you from applying for one. But if everything is in order, it is highly recommended submitting an ESTA application instead of a visa application, as visa applications can take weeks if not months to go through, and the costs can quickly add up. Not only are ESTA (far) cheaper, they are approved faster as well, often the same day.
To submit an ESTA application, simply fill out the ESTA application form and truthfully answer all the questions. Lying will only harm yourself, as you might be denied entry on arrival even if the ESTA is approved. Once the ESTA is approved, it is electronically linked to your passport. This means that the ESTA is not a paper document you print. All you need to carry with you is the passport you used to apply for it.
This article was sponsored by e-visa.co.uk who supplied copy and images.
e-Visa.co.uk is a professional visa bureau and supports travellers in acquiring a visa for the USA. However, e-Visa.co.uk is in no way part of the US government. It is also possible to directly apply for an ESTA at the US Customs and Border Protection website ($14 per person, via esta.cbp.dhs.gov). In that case, you will be unable to use our support centre, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to resolve urgent issues and answer your questions. We also check applications for common mistakes before submitting them. We do this within 72 hours at the latest, but usually within ten minutes after receiving your payment. If we suspect errors or any incompleteness, we will contact you immediately to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. Our services have already saved many travellers from major problems during their travels. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the entire purchase cost (unless an application for an ESTA USA has been rejected for the same traveller before). Read more about our services.