Listen to the Music & Let it Ride: The Best Pre-Ride Tracks for West Coast Mountain Biking

Music is instrumental to so many moments in life–no pun intended. Especially when it comes to movement and exercise, we often default to pulling up our favorite Spotify playlist to help get pumped up and ready to exert ourselves. Unsurprisingly, there is a good reason why music can affect our performance.

The National Center for Health Research released an article that delves into why music has such a positive effect on working out. In short, the tempo provides rhythmic cadence for movement, and our favorite tunes can release “happy” chemicals in our brain to help contribute to overall stamina. And let’s not forget how vital pre-exercise music is for getting us psyched to move.

Now that mountain biking season is here, we challenge you to turn up the music, push out of your comfort zone, and explore some of the most exhilarating trails that our favorite destinations have to offer. Whether you’re a new rider looking for a thrill, or have plenty of experience under your belt, we’ve compiled the perfect pre-ride tunes to prepare you to conquer the trail!

The Holy Roller Trail is ideal for beginners. [Photo Credit: Adam Phillips]

Enjoy the beautiful scenery on the The Wasatch Crest Trail and don't forget your headphones.

Park City, Utah | Your Rock Music Playlist

For the Newbies - Holy Roller

Why We Love This Trail: Enjoy an easy downhill ride and admire spectacular views of Deer Valley.

Top Three Pre-Ride Tunes:
“Slow Ride” by Foghat
“Safari Song” by Greta Van Fleet
“When I Come Around” by Green Day

For the Adventure Seekers - The Wasatch Crest Trail

Why We Love This Trail: A true classic—enjoy views of both Big Cottonwood Canyon and Park City as you traverse this stunning ridgeline.

Top Three Pre-Ride Tunes:
“Long Train Running” by The Doobie Brothers
“Even Flow” by Pearl Jam
“The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World

For the Experts - Black Forest

Why We Love This Trail: A true challenge, the last bit of the trail is extremely steep, but truly exhilarating!

Top Three Pre-Ride Tunes:
“Cult of Personality” by Living Colour
“Fly by Night” by Rush
“Joker and the Thief” by Wolfmother

Check out all the epic views along the Little Smoky Loop. [Photo Credit: Tom Robson]

For a more experienced rider, try the Inyo Craters Loop while enjoying your playlist. [Photo Credit: Mammoth Lakes Trail System}

Mammoth Lakes, California | Your Dynamic Duos Playlist

For the Newbies - Little Smoky Loop

Why We Love It: A smooth ride, complete with soft terrain and epic views.

Top Three Pre-Ride Tunes:
“Cruise Remix” by Florida Georgia Line, featuring Nelly
“Angel” by Shaggy and Rayvon
“Under Pressure” by David Bowie and Queen

For the Adventure Seekers - Inyo Craters Loop

Why We Love It: The trees found along this trail are some of the oldest Jeffrey Pine Trees in the world.

Top Three Pre-Ride Tunes:
“It Takes Two” by Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock
“Crazy in Love” by Beyonce and Jay-Z
“Scream” by Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson

For the Experts - Shotgun

Why We Love It: A true downhill trail with plenty of opportunities to pick up speed and kick up some dirt.

Top Three Pre-Ride Tunes:
“Rain on Me” by Lady Gaga, featuring Ariana Grande
“Walk this Way” by Aerosmith and Run-DMC
“Time of Our Lives” by Pitbull, featuring Ne-Yo

See all the beauty that South Lake Tahoe has to offer on the Power Line Trail. [Photo Credit: Tahoe Adventures]

Boogie down the Tahoe Flume Trail for extraordinary sights. [Photo Credit: Travel Nevada]

Lake Tahoe, California | Your Roller Disco Playlist

For the Newbies - Power Line Trail

Why We Love It: Enjoy a relaxing 7-mile round trip ride in the beauty of South Lake Tahoe.

Top Three Pre-Ride Tunes:
“It’s Your Thing” by The Isley Brothers
“Hooked on a Feeling” by Bo Donaldson
“Let’s Groove” by Earth, Wind, & Fire

For the Adventure Seekers - The Triangle

Why We Love It: A perfect tour de Tahoe that starts on the North Shores of Truckee and takes you south for an epic ride.

Top Three Pre-Ride Tunes:
“Voulez-Vous” by ABBA
“Car Wash” by Rose Royce
“Get Down On It” by Kool & The Gang

For the Experts - Tahoe Flume Trail

Why We Love It: Put your expertise to the test with rocky terrain and steep inclines while enjoying the beauty of Tahoe.

Top Three Pre-Ride Tunes:
“Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry
“Move Your Feet” by Junior Senior
“You Should Be Dancing” by Bee Gees

The Colorado Rockies make mountain biking worthwhile and so does our playlist.

The River Trail is great for teaching your kids how to mountain bike. [Photo Credit: D L via MTB Project]

Breckenridge, Colorado | Your Pop Throwbacks Playlist

For the Newbies - River Trail

Why We Love It: A family-friendly trail, great for all skill levels, even the kids.

Top Three Pre-Ride Tunes:
“Sir Duke” by Steve Wonder
“MMMBop” by Hanson
“No Scrubs” by TLC

For the Adventure Seekers - Gold Run Road

Why We Love It: Choose your own adventure! This trail connects with several other trailheads depending on how far you're willing to pedal.

Top Three Pre-Ride Tunes:
“Spice Up Your Life” by Spice Girls
“Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince
“We Got The Beat” by The Go-Go’s

For the Experts - Broken Wheel

Why We Love It: For experts only—prepare for a mandatory jump that’s perfect for adrenaline junkies.

Top Three Pre-Ride Tunes:
“Freeze Frame” by The J. Geils Band
“U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer
“Livin’ la Vida Loca” by Ricky Martin

The sights of Leverich Trail and the sounds of our incredible playlist.

A little bit country in Big Sky, Montana with our biking playlist. [Photo Credit: Kevin Winnn]

Big Sky, Montana | Your Country Playlist

For the Newbies - Buck Ridge

Why We Love It: A round-trip of 16 miles, you’ll enjoy scenic views and plenty of wildlife.

Top Three Pre-Ride Tunes:
“Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” by Waylon Jennings
“If It Makes You Happy” by Shania Twain
“Alright” by Darius Rucker

For the Adventure Seekers - Leverich Trail

Why We Love It: Add some unique sights into the mix. During your ascent, keep your eyes out for the old abandoned mine along the trail.

Top Three Pre-Ride Tunes:
“Blame It On a Backroad” by Thomas Rhett
“House Party” by Sam Hunt
“Boondocks” by Big Little Town

For the Experts - Hyalite Creek Trail

Why We Love It: Climb over 2,000 feet in elevation and admire the gorgeous waterfalls along the way.

Top Three Pre-Ride Tunes:
“Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go)” by Dierks Bently
“Pickin’ Wildflowers” by Keith Anderson
“Boot Scootin’ Boogie” by Brooks & Dunn

An excellent way to get outside in Taos is to mountain bike and sing your favorite songs.

Rock out to the tunes while you enjoy Taos mountain biking trails. [Photo Credit: Tresha Barger]

Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico | Your Alternative Playlist

For the Newbies - Green Chile

Why We Love It: A smooth 4-mile descent through the stunning woodlands of New Mexico.

Top Three Pre-Ride Tunes:
“Steady, As She Goes” by The Raconteurs
“Call Me” by Blondie
“Let’s Dance to Joy Division” by The Wombats

For the Adventure Seekers - Overlook Trail

Why We Love It: Reach over 11,000-feet above sea level and admire sweeping mountain panoramas.

Top Three Pre-Ride Tunes:
“Someday” by The Strokes
“Mony Mony” by Billy Idol
“Another Brick in the Wall" by Pink Floyd

For the Experts - Ox Cart

Why We Love It: A stunning ride around the Rio Grande Gorge—an unforgettable experience in New Mexico.

Top Three Pre-Ride Tunes:
“Electric Feel” by MGMT
“Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes
“I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by The Darkness

Ready to take your mountain bike for a spin and crank up the radio? Tag us on social media @naturalretreats and use the hashtag #openthedoortomore and let us know what playlist was your favorite. Happy trails!