The History and Background
The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route was established in 1997 by the Adventure Cycling Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting bicycle travel. Inspired by the Continental Divide Trail for hikers, the route was designed to provide a challenging and immersive experience for cyclists. It follows the Continental Divide of the Americas, which separates the drainage basins of the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.
The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route traverses a wide variety of terrains, including rugged mountain passes, remote forests, expansive grasslands, and desolate deserts. The trail passes through five U.S. states—Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico—and offers cyclists the opportunity to explore numerous national parks, forests, and wilderness areas along the way.
One of the most remarkable aspects of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route is the abundance of breathtaking scenery riders encounter throughout their journey. From the towering peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the vast plains of Montana, from the colorful canyons of Utah to the enchanting landscapes of the New Mexico desert, the route showcases the natural beauty and diversity of North America.
The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route presents cyclists with various challenges, both physical and logistical. The trail includes steep climbs, technical descents, rough terrain, and potentially unpredictable weather conditions. Adequate physical fitness, bike handling skills, and proper equipment are essential for a successful and safe ride.
Planning and Logistics
Before undertaking the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, thorough planning and preparation are crucial. Considerations include route navigation, accommodation options (camping, motels, or hostels), water and food resupply points, bike maintenance, and safety measures. The Adventure Cycling Association provides detailed maps and resources that can greatly assist in planning the journey.
Timing and Seasonal Considerations:
Choosing the right time to ride the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route is essential. The trail is typically open from late spring to early fall, though weather conditions can vary significantly along the route. Cyclists should be aware of potential hazards such as snowfall, extreme heat, thunderstorms, and wildlife encounters, and plan their itinerary accordingly.
Community and Camaraderie
While the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route can be a solitary adventure, many cyclists enjoy the sense of community and camaraderie that develops along the trail. Interacting with fellow riders, sharing experiences, and offering assistance fosters a unique bond among those undertaking this epic journey.
The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route is an awe-inspiring cycling adventure that offers riders the opportunity to immerse themselves in the stunning landscapes of North America. From the physical challenges to the cultural experiences and the unforgettable encounters with nature, this route provides a once-in-a-lifetime experience for cyclists seeking an extraordinary adventure. By planning carefully, staying prepared, and embracing the journey, cyclists can embark on an unforgettable odyssey along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.My Full Experience Bikepacking The GDMBR