Signature Bikepacking Roots Routes

The Western Wildlands Route

 

Region: Idaho, Montana, Utah, Arizona

Season: Summer to Early Fall

Miles: 2,700  |  Elevation: 120,000′

Days Out: 40-65  |  Tire Size: ≥ 2.2″”

Difficulty: 5/10 Physical   |  4.5/10 Technical

 

The Western Wildlands Route is a non-technical expedition, immersing riders in vast expanses of wild and public lands in the Intermountain West.

The Pony Express

 

Region: Missouri to California

Season: Spring to Early Fall

Miles: 2,208   |   Elevation: 80,000′

Days Out: 30-55   |   Tire Size: ≥ 2″”

Difficulty: 4/10 Physical   |   4/10 Technical

 

The Pony Express Route follows the famed mail trail from smoother riding in the East to rugged and remote riding in the West, tracing Indigenous and settler history along the way.

The Northwoods Route

 

Region: Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin

Season: Late Spring to Early Fall

Miles: 630   |   Elevation: 25,000′

Days Out: 10-14+   |   Tire Size: ≥ 1.75″”

Difficulty: 4.5/10 Physical   |   4/10 Technical

 

The Northwoods Route circumnavigates the west end of Lake Superior following gravel roads, smooth two-tracks, and rail trails, through thick forests, along countless lakes, and to Isle Royale National Park.

The Bears Ears Loops

 

Region: Central Utah

Season: Late Spring or Early Fall

Miles: 647   |   Elevation: 47,000′

Days Out: 9-14   |   Tire Size: ≥ 2.3″”

Difficulty: 6/10 Physical   |   4.5/10 Technical

 

The Bears Ears Loops immerses bikepackers in the magnificent, immense, complex and threatened landscape in and around Bears Ears National Monument.

The Chihuahuan Connector

 

Region: Arizona and New Mexico

Season: Spring or Fall

Miles: 283   |   Elevation: 11,800′ / 13,800′

Days Out: 4-6   |   Tire Size: ≥ 2″”

Difficulty: 4.5/10 Physical   |  4/10 Technical

 

The Chihuahuan Connector links the WWR near Tombstone, AZ to the GDMBR near Hachita, AZ across broad valleys, tall mountains, and rolling grasslands, past Chiricahua National Monument and the desert oasis of Cave Creek.

The Mogollon Connector

 

Region: Arizona and New Mexico

Season: Late Spring to Fall

Miles: 356   |   Elevation: 25,800′ / 22,500′

Days Out: 5-7   |   Tire Size: ≥ 2″”

Difficulty: 6/10 Physical   |  5.5/10 Technical

 

The Mogollon Connector links the WWR near Forest Lakes, AZ to the GDMBR near Truth or Consequences, NM. It traverses the ponderosa pines of Arizona’s high country, across volcanic fields, past the White Mountains, and through the Blue River Canyon.

The TransRockies Connector

 

Region: Utah and Colorado

Season: Summer to Early Fall

Miles: 947   |   Elevation: 76,100′ / 77,000′

Days Out: 14-22   |   Tire Size: ≥ 2.3″”

Difficulty: 6/10 Physical   |  5/10 Technical

 

The TransRockies Connector links the WWR near Salt Lake City to the GDMBR at Salida, CO across the Wasatch Plateau, the red rock canyons of the Colorado Plateau, the MTB meccas of Moab and Crested Butte, and the majestic Rocky Mountains.

The Teton Connector

 

Region: Utah and Colorado

Season: Summer to Early Fall

Miles: 156   |   Elevation: 13,000′ / 12,000′

Days Out: 14-22   |   Tire Size: ≥ 2″”

Difficulty: 5/10 Physical   |  4/10 Technical

 

The Teton Connector links the WWR near Blackfoot, ID to the GDMBR at Flagg Ranch, WYvia the Snake River Plain, the idyllic Teton Valley, and the rough Big Hole Mountains.⁠

The Bitterroot Connector

 

Region: Western Montana

Season: Summer to Early Fall

Miles: 128   |   Elevation: 7,000′ / 8,800′

Days Out: 2-3   |   Tire Size: ≥ 1.5″”

Difficulty: 5/10 Physical   |   4/10 Technical

 

The Bitterroot Connector links the WWR near Darby, MT to the GDMBR near Wise River, MT by way of stunning Sapphire Mountains, Georgetown Lake, and the small mining town of Anaconda.⁠

The Lolo Connector

 

Region: Western Montana

Season: Summer to Early Fall

Miles: 143   |   Elevation: 11,000′ / 13,000′

Days Out: 2-3   |   Tire Size: ≥ 2″

Difficulty: 4/10 Physical   |   3.5/10 Technical

 

The Lolo Connector links the WWR near Superior, MT to the GDMBR near Seeley Lake, MT on quiet forest roads, climbing above the Clark Fork River to the rugged, scenic Rattlesnake Mountains.

Craters and Cinder Cones

 

Region: Central Arizona

Season: Late Spring or Fall

Miles: 184   |   Elevation: 12,000′

Days Out: 3+   |   Tire Size: ≥ 2.3″”

Difficulty: 4.5/10 Physical   |   3.5/10 Technical

 

Craters and Cindercones follows quiet dirt roads and two-tracks through woodlands and grasslands among 800+ extinct volcanoes, from small cinder cones to the towering San Francisco Peaks.

The Colorado 14ers Loop

 

Region: Central Colorado

Season: Summer to Early Fall

Miles: 192-285   |   Elevation: 28,500′-50,000′

Days Out: 4-9+   |   Tire Size: ≥ 2.3″”

Physical Difficulty: 6/10 – 10/10

Technical Difficulty: 6/10 – 10/10

 

The Colorado 14ers Loop meanders among the towering peaks on a single-track rich route with the option to adventure up some of the summits along the way, by bike or by foot.

The Plateau Passage

 

Region: Nevada, Utah, Colorado

Season: Summer to Early Fall

Miles: 1,218   |   Elevation: 120,000’

Days Out: 30+   |   Tire Size: ≥ 2.3”

Difficulty: 6.5/10 Physical   |   6.5/10 Technical

 

The Plateau Passage traverses the Colorado Plateau from the edge of the Mojave Desert to the colorful peaks of the San Juan Mountains following remote 4×4 and gravel roads and backcountry singletrack.

Orogenesis

A New Way on Old Ground We’re building the longest mountain bike trail in the world. It’s called Orogenesis, and it stretches from Canada to Cabo. Baja to British Colombia.…

 

Bikepacking Roots’ has created the Community Routes Project (CRoP) to showcase outstanding routes created and stewarded by bikepackers specifically for the enjoyment of the broader bikepacking community. These aren’t routes that the steward linked together and rode once, but rather they’re routes that have been developed, refined, and vetted with the goal of creating the most exceptional and rewarding experience possible for others. CRoP route stewards update the routes and resources regularly, and many stewards live near their route(s) and are champions for bikepacking in their communities. 

To find out more about the project, including how to submit a Community Route, click here.

As we build out this collection, we plan to add search criteria to this page. In the meantime, if you are looking for routes in a specific part of the country, check out our Interactive Map.

Rolling Horse

 

Region: NW Colorado

Season: Summer to Early Fall

Miles: 460   |  Elevation: 60,000′

Days Out: 9-14  |  Tire Size: ≥ 2.3″+”

Difficulty: 8/10 Physical   |  7/10 Technical

 

The Rolling Horse seeks to reawaken the intimate cultural connections between the many varied landscapes surrounding northwestern Colorado’s Grand Hogback – a 90-mile-long spine of upturned rock marking the violent geologic meeting of the Southern Rockies and the Colorado Plateau.

Endless Mountains Gravel Bikepacking Loop

 

Region: NE Pennsylvania

Season: April to October

Miles: 430   |  Elevation: 41,622′

Days Out: 4-8  |  Tire Size: ≥ 38-48mm”

Difficulty: 7/10 Physical   |  3/10 Technical

 

Endless rolling gravel roads through northern Pennsylvania’s forests and farmland connecting small towns across the Endless Mountains Heritage Region.

Lost Sierra Bikepacking Route

 

Region: California

Season: Summer to Early Fall

Miles: 250   |  Elevation: 25,000′

Days Out: 4-7  |  Tire Size: ≥ 45mm/1.8″+”

Difficulty: 7/10 Physical   |  6/10 Technical

 

The route is rugged, remote, challenging and awe-inspiring…. but very doable logistically with plenty of camping, resupplies and water along the route.

Escape LA

 

Region: Southern California

Season: Spring / Fall

Miles: 300   |  Elevation: 45,000′

Days Out: 3-7  |  Tire Size: ≥ 2.4″+”

Difficulty: 8/10 Physical   |  8/10 Technical

 

You’ll experience the best cycling Los Angeles and the surrounding area has to offer, “Escape L.A.” cuts a jagged line through the urban sprawl of Los Angeles, challenging the user to rugged, wild terrain nestled comfortably in the modern world.

The Ranchita Rambler

 

Region: Southern California

Season: Fall through Spring

Miles: 57   |  Elevation: 5,583′

Days Out: 2  |  Tire Size: ≥ 2.35 – 3.00″”

Difficulty: 6/10 Physical   |  6/10 Technical

 

The Ranchita Rambler covers the high and low deserts in one go with epic landscapes, the best mom n pop resupply shops you could ask for, and camping in a designated Dark Sky community.

El Lobo Lupus

 

Region: Eastern Arizona

Season: Late May – Early June; September – Early October

Miles: 412   |  Elevation: 32,360′

Days Out: 6-11  |  Tire Size: ≥ 2.4 – 2.6” (2.2” Minimum) ”

Difficulty: 6/10 Physical   |  5/10 Technical

 

This bikepacking loop-us (“lupus”) heads through the high elevation heart of the White Mountains, Blue Range, and Mogollon Rim of eastern Arizona where the Mexican Gray Wolf has been reintroduced.

Grayson Gravel Circuit

 

Region: Virginia

Season: April – October

Miles: 143  |   Elevation: 14,699’

Days Out: 2-4  |  Tire Size: ≥ 38-48+ mm ”

Difficulty: 6/10 Physical   |  3/10 Technical

 

The gravel roads of Grayson County, VA are a hidden gem mostly undiscovered by bikepackers, offering challenge and exploration in remote areas connecting high mountain farmland and forests around the state’s highest point, Mt. Rogers.

The Pine Curtain of Texas

 

Region: East Texas

Season: Anytime except summer (primarily from June-August)

Miles: 280  |   Elevation: 11,100’

Days Out: 3  |  Tire Size: ≥ 38mm ”

Difficulty: 3/10 Physical   |  3/10 Technical

 

The East Texas Piney Woods is a unique region of Texas that is very sparsely populated with people, but it makes up for that with an abundance of Loblolly Pine Trees. If you want to experience a part of Texas that is unknown to even most locals, this route is for you!

Schell Kick Your Ass

 

Region: Nevada

Season: May to June, perhaps April depending on snowpack

Miles: 124  |   Elevation: 11,100’

Days Out: 2-3  |  Tire Size: 2.2″ to Fat Tires”

Difficulty: 5/10 Physical   |  3/10 Technical

 

Prepare to have your perception of Nevada forever transformed. Brace yourself for high alpine passes reaching 9,000 feet, vast desert basins, and landscapes reminiscent of the stunning vistas found in Kyrgyzstan. This adventure will redefine how you see the Silver State.

Pisgah Paddler

 

Region: North Caroina

Season: Fall

Miles: 54  |   Elevation: 3,800’

Days Out: 1-2  |  Tire Size: 2.1″ to 2.4″”

Difficulty: 4/10 Physical   |  3/10 Technical

 

Pisgah Paddler is a beginner-friendly bikerafting loop consisting of a ride through Pisgah National Forest and a float along the French Broad River. Ideal for a 1 or 2 night ride with camping options both off trail and off river. The mostly-gravel route contains steep climbs, winding descents, minor fords, a quick hike-a-bike, singletrack, and a short ride through the town of Etowah. Paddle-in only campsites are available along the French Broad River Paddle Trail, and plenty of dispersed camping can be found throughout Pisgah National Forest. The packrafting section of this route is primarily flat water, perfect for gaining experience.

Roll Call

 

Region: North Carolina

Season: Year Round

Miles: 44  |   Elevation: 4,400’

Days Out: 1-2  |  Tire Size: 40mm-2.4″”

Difficulty: 4/10 Physical   |  3/10 Technical

 

Roll Call is an overnight bikepacking trip starting from The Hub in Brevard, NC. Ridden counter clockwise you will climb up gravel roads and enjoy fast and flowy singletrack descents in the Pisgah National Forest, Ranger District. Camping options are sprinkled throughout the route at campgrounds or primitive riverside tent sites. Great views of Looking Glass Rock and riverside riding make this one of our favorite quick overnights in the area.

The St. Joe Sampler

 

Region: Idaho

Season: Summer and early fall. Must be after snowmelt and before snowfall.

Miles: 138  |   Elevation: 12,200’

Days Out: 2-4  |  Tire Size: ≥ 2.0″”

Difficulty: 6/10 Physical   |  5/10 Technical

 

The St. Joe Sampler is a scenic route connecting rail trails, backcountry roads, and spectacular views. Ride the Montana/Idaho State line high above the canyon before descending down to the Wild and Scenic St. Joe River.

Land Between the Lakes

 

Region: Southwestern Kentucky

Season: Any time

Miles: 63  |   Elevation: 3,700’

Days Out: 1-2  |  Tire Size: 40mm to 2.5″”

Difficulty: 3/10 Physical   |  4/10 Technical

 

Land Between the Lakes (LBL), takes its inspiration from the route for the April Fool’s Gravel Camp, hosted by Gear Up Cycles each spring. Matt Falwell, the event organizer, has come up with a route that Kentucky Cycles dialed up into a great overnight bikepacking route. You’ll enjoy pristine gravel roads, scenic lake-front camping, and abundant wildlife spottings.

State Park Trio

 

Region: Iowa

Season: April to October

Miles: 305  |   Elevation: 9,700’

Days Out: 4-6  |  Tire Size: 1.4”-2.0″”

Difficulty: 4/10 Physical   |  2/10 Technical

 

The State Park Trio route is on lightly trafficked gravel roads with just enough hills to provide beautiful vistas, cemeteries for the history buffs in us all and swimming holes to keep you cool on hot summer days

Tour de Nicolet

 

Region: Wisconsin

Season: April-Mid November

Miles: 365  |   Elevation: 17,000’

Days Out: 5-8  |  Tire Size: ≥ 2.0”+”

Difficulty: 4/10 Physical   |  4/10 Technical

 

The Tour de Nicolet takes riders through the majority of the Nicolet National forest traveling through old logging towns on lesser known roads and paths, following the constant paths of rivers and streams with lakes scattered throughout.

Green Ridge Gravelcoaster

 

Region: Maryland

Season: April to November

Miles: 145  |   Elevation: 14,000’

Days Out: 2-3  |  Tire Size: ≥ 45mm-2.2””

Difficulty: 6/10 Physical   |  4/10 Technical

 

Green Ridge State Forest features countless miles of lightly traveled forest roads punctuated by scenic overlooks and creek crossings; on this in-depth tour of Maryland’s largest tract of public land, you’ll conquer many of the state’s biggest gravel climbs and scream down the corresponding descents.

Michaux-vernighter

 

Region: Pennsylvania

Season: April-November

Miles: 84  |   Elevation: 9,100’

Days Out: 2 (S24O)  |  Tire Size: ≥ 40mm to 2.2″”

Difficulty: 5/10 Physical   |  4/10 Technical

 

Criss-cross the Appalachian Trail on Michaux State Forest’s extensive network of unpaved roads and trails; you’ll enjoy miles of sinuous tree-lined gravel, fast descents, minimal motor vehicle traffic, doubletrack and singletrack segments to spice up the ride, and a refreshing lake near your choice of backcountry, primitive, or developed campsites.

Bikefishing Desert Creek

 

Region: Nevada/California

Season: May to October

Miles: 28  |   Elevation: 2,800’

Days Out: 1-2  |  Tire Size: 2.4”-3.0″”

Difficulty: 6/10 Physical   |  4/10 Technical

 

The Bikefishing Desert Creek route crisscrosses a mountain creek on a pack trail and jeep track in the aspens and pines climbing out of the heat of the high desert.

TransVirginia Bike Route

 

Region: Viriginia

Season: April to October

Miles: 567  |   Elevation: 47,284’

Days Out: 5-9  |  Tire Size: 40mm-2.2””

Difficulty: 6/10 Physical   |  4/10 Technical

 

Ride from DC to Damascus to cross Virginia in 565 miles on mostly unpaved country and forest roads, double track and rail trails. Explore Virginia’s best backcountry riding on this new gravel bikepacking and touring route focused on rideable, non-technical, unpaved terrain intended for multi-day trips carrying overnight gear. The route traverses a variety of challenging climbs in remote areas of VA’s beautiful mountains, national forests and public lands.

The Flint Hills Traverse

 

Region: Kansas and Oklahoma

Season: September to November, March to June

Miles: 475 |  Elevation: 23,500′

Days Out: 5-8  |  Tire Size: 1.75″-3″”

Difficulty: 6/10 Physical   |  5/10 Technical

 

Scenic, rugged, and beautiful rock, gravel and dirt road bikepacking adventures in Kansas. Your travels will take you along the geological spine of the Flint Hills, a distinct ecoregion with the densest coverage of intact native tallgrass prairie in North America.

Capes of the Canyon – South Rim

 

Region: Northern Arizona

Season: Late April – Early June; September – October

Miles: 237   |  Elevation: 11,950′

Days Out: 4-6  |  Tire Size: ≥ 2.5 – 2.8” (2.3” Minimum) ”

Difficulty: 4/10 Physical   |  5/10 Technical

 

The Capes of the Canyon on the South Rim provides a backcountry ride through the southern landscape of Grand Canyon National Park and Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni National Monument. From pinyon-juniper grasslands blanketing the base of Red Butte to towering ponderosa stands along the Coconino Rim that spill to limestone at Canyon edge, this route provides bikepackers an opportunity to see the Grand Canyon region.

Capes of the Canyon – North Rim

 

Region: Northern Arizona

Season: Early Summer, Fall

Miles: 610   |  Elevation: 42,060′

Days Out: 10-17  |  Tire Size: ≥ 2.2″2.5 – 2.8″ (2.3″ Minimum)rdquo;

Difficulty: 7/10 Physical   |  6/10 Technical

 

Ride from the desert base of Vermillion Cliffs National Monument at 3100 feet to the subalpine meadows and sprawling aspen forests of the Kaibab Plateau at 9200 feet. In-between, it weaves a circumference dirt tour of North Rim viewpoints along the edge of the Grand Canyon.

Rollin’ and Tumblin’

 

Region: Southern New Mexico

Season: Late April to September

Miles: 139  |   Elevation: 13,655’

Days Out: 2-4  |  Tire Size: 1.7-2.6””

Difficulty: 7/10 Physical   |  3/10 Technical

 

Primarily using well maintained gravel, this high altitude route offers respite from the summer heat in the surrounding lowlands. Endless climbs along creeks, through aspen groves, and past elk herds, are only broken up momentarily when passing through tiny mountain villages. Climb, descend, repeat.

The Monumental Loop

 

Region: Southern New Mexico

Season: October to March

Miles: 250  |   Elevation: 8,850’

Days Out: 4-5  |  Tire Size: 2.2’”

Difficulty: 6/10 Physical   |  7/10 Technical

 

The Monumental Loop takes in all that Organ Mountain Desert Peaks National Monument has to offer and links it together with dirt roads through the Rio Grande Valley. Small towns full of spicy food break up the solitude of the desert.

Great Rift Dirt Tour

 

Region: Idaho

Season:Late April – Late June and September – October

Miles: 558  |   Elevation: 10,000’

Days Out: 4-6  |  Tire Size: ≥ 2.2″”

Difficulty: 8/10 Physical   |  4/10 Technical

 

Connecting rugged doubletrack and backcountry roads, The Great Rift Dirt Tour highlights the vast terrain of the Sagebrush Steppe on the Columbia Plateau. Over 283 miles, the route skirts expansive lava flows among nearby mountains and traveling deep into the remote high desert of the Snake River Plain. This Idaho bikepacking route is truly a remote, soul-searching odyssey!

Babad Do’ag Backroads

 

Region: Southern Arizona

Season: October to March

Miles: 138   |  Elevation: 7,984“

Days Out: 2-4  |  Tire Size: ≥ 2.2″”

Difficulty: 6/10 Physical   |  6/10 Technical

 

A sampler of everything the Tucson area has to offer from our paved bike paths to a very short section of the AZT trail. The ride can be done in 2 to 4 days depending on how hard to want to push and your ability to carry water. The route allows you to pedal from town without needing any vehicle shuttling for those flying in for some great winter weather.

Queen’s Ransom

 

Region: Arizona

Season: Mid-October to Mid-April

Miles: 225  |   Elevation: 17,000’

Days Out: 4-6  |  Tire Size: 2.4-3.0””

Difficulty: 8/10 Physical   |  8/10 Technical

 

The Queen’s Ransom is a 227-mile bikepacking route around the greater East Valley of metro Phoenix, Arizona. It weaves together many of the area’s popular singletrack trail systems, regional parks, and the Arizona National Scenic Trail amid stunning topography, rolling dirt roads, and challenging terrain….

The Grand Loop

 

Region: Utah and Colorado

Season: Late spring to late fall

Miles: 364  |  Elevation: 39,000′

Days Out: 4-6  |  Tire Size: ≥ 2.4″”

Difficulty: 8/10 Physical   |  7/10 Technical

 

The Grand Loop – one of the oldest bikepacking routes out there and arguably the original bikepacking race route, linking some of the earliest established long-distance mountain bike routes in the country. The Grand Loop is almost entirely dirt, but there’s very little singletrack or gravel along the way.

Toiyabe Crest Trail Loop

 

Region: Nevada

Season: Summer to fall

Miles: 70  |  Elevation: 10,500′

Days Out: 2  |  Tire Size: ≥ 2.3″”

Difficulty: 8/10 Physical   |  7/10 Technical

 

The northern half of the Toiyabe Crest Trail (TCT) is open to bikes, and it’s a must-ride for anyone who loves remote singletrack traversals along the spine of a towering mountain range. This loop begins with a *steep* 4×4 road climb up Ophir Canyon to reach the TCT, followed by 35 miles of mostly singletrack on the TCT.

New Mexico’s Western Highlands Loop

 

Region: New Mexico

Season: Spring to fall

Miles: 285  |  Elevation: 20,000′

Days Out: 4-6  |  Tire Size: ≥ 1.75″”

Difficulty: 5/10 Physical   |  4/10 Technical

 

The New Mexico’s Western Highlands Loop! This 280-mile-long rough “gravel” bikepacking route meanders through the Black, Mogollon, San Francisco, and Gallo Mountains of western NM and the gorgeous Blue River Canyon in easternmost AZ. The loop takes riders on very, very quiet roads (~80% dirt, 20% paved) through almost entirely public lands, linking small communities, passing widely scattered ranches, and traversing a landscape where wolves still roam. Most of the loop is above 7,000 feet in elevation, making it a cool shoulder season ride or a relatively comfortable summer ride passing through beautiful ponderosa pine forests, high grasslands, and aspen glades.

Kofa National Wildlife Refuge Bikepacking Tour

 

Region: Arizona

Season: Winter

Miles: 125/190  |  Elevation: 5,000/12,000′

Days Out: 3-5  |  Tire Size: ≥ 2.4″”

Difficulty: 5/10 Physical   |  5/10 Technical

 

This delightful desert tour is on 100% dirt, 100% public lands, through stunning mountains, and with reliable water sources – it’s a fantastic 3- to 5-day winter bikepacking trip! The long version of the route includes 2-3 opportunities to scramble up desert peaks and hike into deep canyons along the way, and the shorter version bypasses those side adventures.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument High Plateaus Loop

 

Region: Utah

Season: Late spring to late fall

Miles: 170  |  Elevation: 13,000′

Days Out: 3-5  |  Tire Size: ≥ 2.4″”

Difficulty: 6/10 Physical   |  5/10 Technical

 

This 170-mile loop follows the most seldom-traveled and arguably most scenic backcountry roads through Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument through beautiful and remote Colorado Plateau country. Best ridden in late spring or autumn, this loop offers 3+ days of 4×4 riding and solitude.

Alpine #7

 

Region: Montana

Season: Mid-Summer – Early Fall

Miles: 76  |  Elevation: 14,000′

Days Out: 2-3  |  Tire Size: ≥ 2.3″”

Difficulty: 8/10 Physical   |  8/10 Technical

 

Offering some of the most stunning ridge crest riding in the northern Rockies, the Alpine #7 experience is a particularly rewarding (and technical) one. This trail is most often ridden as a series of day rides, but it can also be enjoyed as a bikepack over a few days, as a longer loop combined with part of the Great Divide MTB Route, or an absolutely massive one-day effort.

A Chihuahuan Desert Loop

 

Region: Arizona/New Mexico

Season: Fall/Winter/Spring

Miles: 256  |  Elevation: 11,000′

Days Out: 3-5  |  Tire Size: ≥ 1.75″”

Difficulty: 4/10 Physical   |  3/10 Technical

 

A Chihuahuan Desert bikepacking experience among the Sky Islands, desert grasslands, and diverse valleys of the Arizona/New Mexico borderlands. The route follows gravel roads, quiet pavement, and a few mellow sections of 4×4 tracks. It’s a fast-riding route that can be done on a gravel or mountain bike (just know that Arizona gravel tends to be a bit rougher and bigger than gravel in many other parts of the U.S.).

Routes From Other Organizations

While we are the only national non-profit focused exclusively on bikepacking, there are many other non-profit organizations stewarding the creation of bikepacking routes around the country as well. In addition to our flagship Bikepacking Roots’ Routes and our Community Routes stewarded by individuals, we are excited to showcase and spread the word about high-quality routes that have been created, vetted and are stewarded by other organizations as well. 

Below you will find information about routes we have included in our Interactive Map from some of the organizations that we love. 

We plan to build out this resource in the future. Does your organization steward a bikepacking route(s) or a trail ideal for bikepacking? Reach out if you’d like to see it included here.

Adventure Cycling Association

  • Great Divide Mountain Bike Route: The iconic Great Divide Mountain Bike Route traverses the Rocky Mountains from southern Canada to the Mexico border on mostly dirt roads. The route runs parallel to Bikepacking Roots’ Western Wildlands Routes and our two organizations have collaborated on the creation of six Intermountain Connector routes between the two long-distance trails, expanding the possible itinerary options for all types of bikepackers.

Arizona Trail Association

  • Arizona Trail: The Arizona Trail is the famous cross-state singletrack route created and maintained by the Arizona Trail Association, stretching from the Sonoran Desert to the Colorado Plateau and across the Grand Canyon.

Colorado Trail Foundation

  • Colorado Trail: The Colorado Trail has become known as one of the premier long-distance trails in the country. The trail comprises 567 miles of trail between Denver and Durango and passes through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Colorado Rockies.

Navajo Y.E.S.

  • Chuska MTB Route: Ride across the crest of the Chuska Mountains on rough dirt roads among sheep camps, old growth pines, and high meadows (permit required).

Oregon Timber Trail Alliance

  • Oregon Timber Trail: The Oregon Timber Trail is 670 miles of beautiful backcountry trails and landscapes across the state from California to the Columbia River Gorge.

Save the Maah Daah Hey

  • Maah Daah Hey Trail: The Maah Daah Hey Trail offers 157 miles of almost entirely singletrack traversing the North Dakota landscape across rolling prairies, above the winding Little Missouri River, through wooded draws, and among clay badlands and plateaus adjacent to Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

SingleTrack Samurai Productions (Florida)

  • Various Routes (some routes will be added to the Interactive Map soon): This project is the culmination of over a decade of work by Karlos Bernart to create a network of gravel and bikepacking routes all across Florida. Routes range from overnight trips to the 1,500 mile Florida Divide Trail. Route resources may be purchased for a small fee to support ongoing stewardship of the routes and new route creation.

How to use the map

  • To view a list of all the available layers click on the button on the left that looks like a stack of diamonds. Click on the arrows next to headings to see even more layer options.
  • To make a layer visible click on the eye symbol in the menu. If the eye symbol has a slash through it the layer is not visible. (Each level within the drop-down menu can be toggled viewable or not, so you may need to click on several eye symbols to get a layer to show up.)
  • To pull up different base maps (satellite, topographic, etc.) click on the button on the left with four maps on it.
  • To view the map legend click on the top left button that looks like a list.
    To learn more click on individual features on the map.

These are routes created and stewarded by other non-profit organizations – we recommend them because they are well-refined, updated regularly, and have extensive trip-planning resources available online.

These layers provide information on land ownership and management for trip planning purposes.

When a route passes through large swaths of public lands, dispersed camping is likely allowed. The opposite is true when passing through private lands.

You can also use the map to identify land managers to reach out to for more information, trail status updates, and bike access rules.

For example Wilderness Areas generally don’t allow bikes, Wilderness Study Areas have variable access, and National Conservation Areas are generally bike-friendly and National Park Service administered lands (viewable in the “Federally managed lands” layer) generally allow bikes only where motor vehicles are allowed, with some exceptions. Contact the specific land manager to be sure.

This layer (under the “Lands & Trails” heading) shows Indigenous Nations’ traditional territories. It does not represent the legal or official boundaries of Indigenous Nations. It is not a perfect resource, but a starting place for territory acknowledgement, a way of raising our awareness of Indigenous people and their land rights. For more information and resources visit Native Land Digital.

The USA Current Wildfires are generally updated daily by InciWeb in the US. Not all fires are reported to the InciWeb system, but it’s the best resource available.

This layer shows predicted wildfire smoke impacts for the following day and is updated daily. NOAA has a more elaborate and interactive interface available here on which you can see predictions for smoke impacts a few days into the future.

This map shows areas that have burned in the past ~35 years. For backcountry adventures on less traveled trails, this can be helpful for predicting where you might encounter ash, deadfall, or erosion-prone areas. If you are creating your own route and it passes through an area like this, check in with local land managers about trail statuses.

This map is updated daily by NOAA and shows modeled snowpack depth based on ground observations and computer modeling.

If the model shows patchy snow at a particular elevation, you’ll likely encounter residual snowpack on north- and east-facing slopes.

You can also use this model to compare current snowpack to average in past years – those additional tools are available on NOAA’s website.

This map helps give a sense of whether seasonal streams and stock tanks will have water for drinking.

In our route data, we often describe water sources using language like “generally reliable except in droughts”. Using the “Recent precipitation estimates”, you can pull up the observed precipitation for the past few weeks or months and comparisons of that precipitation to average for the same time periods. You can determine if an area has been particularly dry or wet over the past few months and get a more informed idea of whether or not seasonal water sources may be available.

It also helps predict “death mud”. See the “Death mud map” for more information.

This map makes it easier to predict where you might encounter such mud if it rains and you’re on trails or unimproved dirt roads. The map isn’t perfect (since it’s based on a different soil property), but it’s a start.

Green areas are likely to be smooth sailing when wet. (But please don’t ride on muddy trails if you’re leaving a rut behind you!)

Gray areas require a little topographic interpretation – if an area is gray AND is a valley, a mesa top, or relatively flat topography gray means death mud is likely when wet. Gray areas of rugged, higher topography like mountain ranges and foothills are much less likely to have widespread death mud.

Blue and yellow colors on the map are less useful for predicting mud or lack thereof. We’ll keep working on tools for this kind of prediction to see if we can come up with something better.

This project was made possible with support from our partners at: