Riding Bootleg Canyon with Kids

Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park - Boulder City, Nevada

Mountain biking Bootleg Canyon with kids: Just 30 minutes southeast of Las Vegas lies Boulder City, Nevada. This small town sprouted from the desert as a result of needing to house contractors building the Hoover Dam. The construction of the dam was a WPA project from FDR’s New Deal agenda enacted to bring the county out of the Great Depression.

Fast forward to the late 1990s and a local by the name of Brent Thomson spearheaded the trail building in the western mountains bordering the city. Along with the help of many friends, this trail network would become the Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park. Unfortunately, Brent passed away in 2009 – but his love for mountain biking has evolved to become a unique destination for mountain bikers all over the world.

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Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park - Boulder City, Nevada

Helpful Resources For Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park

Getting To Bootleg Canyon MTB Park

If you’re approaching from the north, you’ll have to go through Las Vegas on I-15. Once in Vegas, after exit 42 just hop on I-515/I-11 south and take that to Nevada Hwy 93.
Once in Boulder City, you access Bootleg by taking a left turn on Veteran’s Memorial Drive and another left on Yucca Street.
All Mountain Cyclery - Boulder City, Nevada

All Mountain Cyclery

1601 Nevada Highway
Boulder City, NV 89005

Website: www.allmountaincyclery.com
Phone: 702-453-2453

Visit the website for weekend shuttle information from October – May.

DVO Suspension Winter Gravity Series

Winter Gravity Race Series

900 Canyon Road
Boulder City NV 89005

Website: www.downhillmike.com

A 3-part mountain bike race series featuring DH, Enduro, and Dual Slalom events. Events are Jan – March.


Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park Trail Map

Bootleg Is A Warm MTB Winter Wonderland

We visited Bootleg Canyon for the first time a little over 3 years ago as an escape from Salt Lake City’s dreary and cold “Inversion” season. Inversion is a cleansed word describing SLC’s pollution problem and this usually occurs in the months of January and February.

The novelty of being in the sun, enjoying 50º-60º temperatures, AND riding mountain bikes with the family in the dead of winter is strong incentive for loading up the mini van and hitting the road. More than once, the weather has been so favorable, we have camped at nearby Lake Mead in January and February. It can be windy at times with gusts reaching well over 20 mph. For optimal riding, be sure to check the weather in advance.

Bootleg Canyon bike sculpture
Camping at nearby Lake Mead - MTB road trip to Bootleg

When you approach the zone via Canyon Road/Yucca Street from the “downtown” area, you’re greeted by a wonderfully crafted metal mountain bike sculpture designed by a local shop by the name of Ornamental Iron Works. The bike is about 12 feet long x 8 feet tall. And, because it’s a mountain bike, it featured faux full suspension. The sculpture is an appropriate preface of what’s to come. Some of the trails at Bootleg require big-time skills.

Be prepared to ride at Bootleg Canyon MTB Park

Be Prepared To Ride At Bootleg

Riding Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park will make you better – but you better be prepared! The terrain can be steep, exposed, and sharp rocks grace almost every trail. Be sure your bike is in excellent working condition. You are going to need your brakes and suspension, so make sure they are ready to go. Make sure your tire pressure is correctly set – or at the very least, you will get a flat. You could also tear a tire, dent a wheel, or smash a derailleur.

For first time visitors, we recommend wearing a full-face or enduro helmet with removable chin bar when riding Bootleg. Gloves are also a must. Knee-pads, elbow pads, butt-pads, neck braces and chest protectors are also common protective gear at Bootleg Canyon. These should be a requirement if you are going to ride the downhill trails.

We would strongly recommend a full-suspension mountain bike for riding Bootleg. If downhill mountain biking is your specialty, there will be plenty to do.

Mountain Biking With The Family At Bootleg Canyon

There are no lifts to get you to the top of the trails. You can pedal, self-shuttle, or get a paid shuttle on most weekends. The graded, unpaved road from the base of the hill next to the restrooms and large parking areas is most commonly used to reach the top of the mountain. If you are going to the start of the downhill trails, you will hike-a-bike for about .25 miles up from where the graded road ends.

Pedaling up to Bootleg MTB trails
Bootleg Canyon shuttle

Some of the trails at Bootleg Canyon are challenging to say the least. If you are going to ride here with smaller kids, an adult with at least strong intermediate skills needs to pre-ride all the trails you intend to ride with the little ones. There is plenty to keep a young family busy, but it will be best if you plan ahead and make your itinerary based on your group’s riding ability.

When you are at the top of the graded road, you can see Las Vegas. While looking at the city, the hike-a-bike trail to the downhill trails is on your left. And, the trail Boy Scout is towards your right.

There are options for getting warmed up when riding Bootleg with your family. To get acquainted with the dirt, take a ride on the trail Desert Cruise and return to the base area on the River Mountains access road/trail.

Boy Scout and East Leg

When you’re ready to dial it up a notch, head up Red Mountain Access Road via pedal power or shuttle and try East Leg. Or, head to the top of Red Mountain Access Road and ride Boy Scout. Both Boy Scout and East Leg are gobs of fun and are rated as intermediate trails.

Boy Scout is one of our personal favorites because it’s features consist of everything we like about riding mountain bikes in the desert: fast corners, challenging but passable technical sections, tough turns, narrow lines, and even a few climbs. When you ride this trail over and over, you’re going to get better at mountain biking. You will ride it a little faster, clean a technical section with a bit more flow and finesse, transition to a climb in the correct gear, and so on.

kid on full-suspension bike at Bootleg Canyon MTB Park

Inner Caldera, West Leg, Girl Scout, Mother

Other intermediate trails include Inner Caldera, West Leg, Girl Scout, Mother, and a handful more. Explore these trails. Have a good time riding in this Southwest mountain biking mecca. Similar to some experts no longer calling Pluto a planet, the IMBA once designated Bootleg Canyon as one of its EPIC rides. Once you visit and ride Bootleg in person, you can judge the retracted designation for yourself.

Mother and son riding Inner Caldera trail at Bootleg Canyon MTB park
Mom rides Bootleg Mountain Bike Park with young son

Downhill Trails

The trails Sidewinder, Snake Back, and Ginger are a few of the advanced downhill trails in the park. These tracks are tough. There’s a reason why all the pictures of the downhill trails only feature the kids. Mom and dad just don’t have the skills for these.

You get to the top of the downhill tracks by shuttling your downhill bike or pedaling your trail bike to the top of Red Mountain Access Road. Then, you have about a .2 mile hike-a-bike/pedal to the start zone. All the downhill trails split off of Sidewinder. If you can ride the fist 150 feet of Sidewinder, you’re going to have a good time on these downhill trails. Again, ride within your skill-set and hunt out the downhill trails that make you happy.

Kid with protective neck brace on downhill mountain bike trail - Bootleg Canyon
Riding downhill mtb trail at Bootleg Canyon
Riding the hourglass on a full-suspension enduro bike at Bootleg Canyon

Racing At Bootleg Canyon Mountain Bike Park

In the months of January, February and March – you and the family can race at Bootleg Canyon. Enduro, Downhill and Dual Slalom races are offered to riders age 6 and up. “Downhill” Mike Scheur is the Race Promoter for the events and his team does a great job running the show.

Downhill Mike Scheur

Downhill Mike, Says…

“Bootleg is great for families because there are so many there. If there was only one family at our events, it may be hard to convince others to come. However, these families seem to know each other and are very welcoming to new families just getting into the scene. They not only make you feel welcome and at home – but they are helpful as coaches and as resourceful as one can become for the sport and way of life.”

Mountain biking mom
Mountain biking family
Downhill racer

These races are a lot of fun and a great way to ease the winter-time blues. Last year, our whole family raced one of the enduro events. You may even see some of the pros. Mountain bike racers Rachel Strait, Logan Binggeli, Cody Kelley, and Mitch Ropelato often make appearances here to kick off their seasons. Even World Cup overall champion downhill rider Aaron Gwin shows up once in a while to get his groove on. For more information and registration, visit www.downhillmike.com.

Current Trail Stewards And Other Features At The Bike Park

“Brent Thomson was not alone in his efforts when building trails”, exclaims Mike Scheur. “Dan Haskin is the acting Trail Boss at Bootleg. His brother Jeff and others started on the trails back when the sport was in it’s infancy. The local bike shop, All Mountain Cyclery and Dan Haskin have been providing maintenance and building some new stuff, too. Our crew, Bootleg Canyon Gravity Racing, works on all race trails before and after each event.”

Mountain biking kid on wood skinny
Bootleg Canyon Welcomes You - sign
Advanced jump line at Bootleg Canyon mountain bike park

Near the main base area, there are a few jump lines you’re free to session. Just treat it like a sledding hill and be on the lookout for oncoming downhill traffic prior to dropping in. Northeast of the base area, there is a see-saw feature, wood skinnies, small gap jump and a couple more senders. North of the metal bike sculpture near the entry of the bike park, there is another advanced jump line. On your left as you enter the park, there is a pump track.

Bootleg Canyon Truly Offers Something For Every Mountain Biker

With it’s proximity to Las Vegas, Bootleg Canyon is very accessible compared to many other riding destinations in the Southwest US.

This zone has earned its place on our winter month road trip itinerary year after year. We eagerly look forward to riding its challenging and unique terrain when the temperatures drop at our home and the local trails are covered in snow. When you visit Bootleg, you’re going to have plenty to do. You can easily enjoy a long weekend with the family so you can experience all this great zone has to offer mountain biking families.

We highly recommend visiting Bootleg Canyon with kids for families that want to get some sunshine in the winter months. Check out our Trails and Destinations page for more ideas for family mountain biking adventure.

Tips For Selling Your Used Mountain Bikes

How to sell used mountain bikes - featured image
How to sell used mountain bikes - featured image

Tips For Selling Your Used Mountain Bikes – Spring is almost here and a lot of us will need to upgrade a kid’s mountain bike this season. Our youngest is growing into and extra small adult sized bike and we are actually looking forward to shopping around. In order to buy a new bike, we need to get rid of his old one. Over the years, we have been through this experience quite a bit. Do these tips apply to selling any complete used bike? You bet!

CALCULATE the the real cost of your used bike using this tool we built.

Cleaning up a used bike

Make Sure The Bike Is Safe And Functional

This may require a tune-up either done yourself or by your local bike shop. If you get a professional tune-up, put that information in your ad. Make sure all the bolts are tightened properly. If you need to replace brake pads or do a brake bleed – get it done. Make sure the bike shifts smoothly. This may require a new derailleur cable and adjustment. If you think new tires are in order, throw on a pair or replace those slow-leak tubes. Perhaps, the dreaded brake rotor rub is making an appearance. If so, center those brake calipers. If the suspension needs servicing, you either need to get it done or address the issue in your ad and adjust your price accordingly.

You certainly don’t want to have a potential buyer’s child taking the bike on a test ride and experience a mechanical issue which could affect their kid’s safety. They will think you’re a clod and you will be frowned upon.

Clean Up That Used Bike

NEVER take a bike to a car wash and use the high pressure sprayer. High pressure water will get into bearings, remove the grease and damage these parts. Just use a bucket with water, a dish washing brush, toothbrush and closths. Clean the drivetrain and give the chain a fresh dose of chain lube. On a bike we sold last year, there was a lot of scraped off paint due to a lock cable rub from transporting the bike. I color-matched a strip of vinyl to cover a most of the blemishes. When we sold the bike, I was sure to let the buyer know what was done and showed her before-and-after photos.

Take Good Pictures

Now your bike is all cleaned up, it’s time for a photo shoot. A decent smartphone will work fine for this task. Chances are you’re not a professional photographer, but you can put a little effort into getting decent photos. Make sure the bike is well lit. Don’t shoot into the sun or take photos where highlights wash out the details on the bike. Lean the bike against a tree so no one is in the picture. If you prop the bike up with a stick so it’s obscured by the rear wheel or it blends into the background, you get bonus points.

Take a lot of photos and choose the best ones. Your pictures should fill the frame well. If you’re shooting photos with a smartphone, for the love of Semenuk, hold it in landscape orientation. For the featured photo, get a shot of the full bike on the drivetrain side. Take pictures of the components that matter most: the brake levers, the rear derailleur and cassette, suspension, cranks and pedals (if included), brakes, saddle and seat post, wheels and tires. A total of 6-10 photos should do the trick. Importantly, if there are any major blemishes, be sure to include those in your shot list.

How to sell used kids bikes - full shot
How to sell used kids mountain bikes - shifter detail

Write An Informative Headline For Your Ad

This is really simple and important. It will lead to selling your bike faster. At the very least, include: the year the bike was made, brand, model, frame size and wheel size in your headline. For example, the headline “2014 Small Acme Coyote, 20in Wheels” is worthy of a Pulitzer Prize. It’s that easy. If you are allowed to make a longer headline, see what you can get away with. Adding “Upgrades” or “Like New”, or calling attention to a new tires or grips could help you out.

Include The Specifications And Upgrades In Your Long Description

Be brief and specific. Most parents looking for kids’ bikes are experienced mountain bikers. Moms and dads like you know the difference between various brake sets, wheels, suspension forks and everything else. When we list all the features of a bike we start with drivetrain specs, wheels, and move all the way to the saddle and cockpit. Be sure to include the standover height of the bike because regardless of frame size and tire size, this is the measurement that matters most.

Be Honest About The Overall Condition Of The Bike

I bought a bike a few years ago with some small stickers on the head tube and top tube. Duh – little did I know these decals where covering small chips in the paint. This was not a deal breaker, but I was a little bummed out over this. Is a bike really in “great shape” if the bottom bracket is chunky or the pulleys on the rear derailleur are worn out? Communicate all major blemishes scratches and dings on the bike. We like the statement “normal wear and tear”. It shows that the bike has been used, but it’s not used up.

When selling a bike last year, I color matched a piece of vinyl to the frame so I could cover rubbed spots on the down tube from a cable lock. I was sure to show these photos in my ad. And, do we put protective tape on our bikes now? You bet we do.

Bike for sale with blemishes
Covered down tube on mountain bike for sale

Do A Little Research And Set Your Price

Breaking news – people want the most bike for the least amount of money. It can be competitive. We set our prices on used kids’ mountain bikes by finding the competitor/similar bike with the lowest reasonable price and setting our price lower. For us, it’s just not worth responding to all inquiries and haggling over price, when and where to meet. If you’re not in a hurry to sell your bike, set a higher price and see what response you get. If you can wait weeks or months, good on ya.

Post Your Bike For Sale And Communicate With Responders

One of our local television news stations has an online marketplace where we get most of our bikes. Craigslist and local Facebook groups are also an option for mountain bike transactions. Your local bike club or trail organization may have an online buy/sell section. At our BMX tracks, people bring bikes for sale and tape on a cardboard sign with info and a phone number.

When we post online, we get texts more than phone calls. The first text always asks if the bike is still available. From there, detailed communication can begin. No matter how a series of communication with a potential buyer ends, always thank them for responding to your ad and thank them for their time.

Beware Of Scammers

We only sell our bikes in-person for cash. More than once, we have gone through a round of communication only to find that a buyer wants to buy a bike with a money order or digital transaction. This just won’t work. We block phone numbers from respondents who repeatedly want to negotiate a transaction via mail or the internet. Don’t be afraid to do this. Value your time and move on to real, earnest candidates.

Meet people in public places

Meet Potential Buyers In-Person At A Safe Public Place

If you don’t know the buyer, meet her/him at a place where there will be plenty of people around. Go ahead and bring an adult friend or family member with you if you think it will make you feel more safe. We have met our bike buyers at: a furniture store parking lot, restaurant parking lots, and a hardware store vestibule. Many of these places have security cameras, so that’s a bonus.

Always have an agreed upon price prior to meeting your buyer, but be prepared for additional negotiations. If a potential buyer sees the bike and wants to negotiate a lower price based its condition or anything else, it’s up to you to accept the lower price or refuse to sell. If a child will be test riding a bike when you meet someone, bring a helmet in case the potential buyer forgot to bring one for the kiddo.

We hope these tips help you sell your kids’ used mountain bike or your used bike. Selling a bike is often a necessary step to acquiring a new one. If you’re patient and follow these steps, you’re chance of getting a bike sold will increase. Good luck!

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Kids’ Mountain Bikes

Kids mountain bikes, featured image


The best mountain bike for your kid is going to be based on their size and your budget. We have assembled this list of categories to help you find a bike that will make both of you happy.

Kids mountain bikes by age group

Bikes For Kids By Age Group

A lot of new families are excited to start their children’s cycling adventures together as soon as possible. This requires a suitable balance bike. After the balance bike serves its purpose and children are ready to move on to a pedal bike, variants such as wheel size and standover height need to be factored in to your choice. And, as you kid gets older and more experienced, she/he can take advantage of all the options available on full-sized mountain bikes.

Balance bike for 1-3 year olds

Your kid’s first bike should be a balance bike. These bikes are easy to control and build confidence.

Here are options for your child’s first pedal bike with saddle heights 15 inches to 25 inches tall.

Mountain bikes for 4-5 year old kids

All these kids’ mountain bikes have 16 inch wheels. One option even has fancy hydraulic disc brakes.

Mountain bikes for kids 5-8 years old

The best 20 inch wheel kids’ mountain bikes are light and feature drivetrains with multiple gears.

Kids mountain bikes for 8-11 year olds

Choose from purpose built bikes suitable for cross-country, downhill and enduro mountain biking.

Mountain bikes for kids 11-14 years old

These bikes are the last stop before your kid gets their first hand-me-down bike from mom or dad.



Full-suspension mountain bikes for descending and climbing


Cross-country mountain bikes for jr. devo and high school racers


Full-suspension bikes designed to take a beating

Kids bike database


Our database of kids’ mountain bikes will allow you to get a glimpse of what’s available from manufacturers around the world. You can filter your search by wheel size, suspension options, cost, standover height and many other options. We have added hundreds of bikes so you can see the combinations of features which will help you choose the best trail bike for your child.