At 2,745 miles, the Great Divide Mountain Bike Ride (GDMBR) is the longest off pavement route in the world. Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) provides detailed maps for cycling routes all over the country and recently they added a 400 mile segment from Banff to Jasper that extends the route. Check ACA out. They are an incredible resource for bike travelers.
There’s over 180,000 feet of elevation gain on the ride from Banff to Antelope Wells which is the equivalent of almost six times the elevation of Mount Everest. The route travels up and over the Divide 32 times and rarely strays more than fifty miles away from it. And the road surface? It’s divided very unequally between dirt, single track and pavement.
Approximate miles in each country/state are:
Canada: 257 miles
Montana: 710 miles (Dang did we ever spend a lot of time in Montana when we road across it in 2018. Looks like we are going to end up criss crossing this state on bikes in our lifetime. What a stellar state to do it in.)
Idaho: 72 miles
Wyoming: 489 miles
Colorado: 545 miles (new state for us!)
New Mexico: 710 miles (another new state for us!)
Highlights of the route, terrain and logistics can be found here on the ACA site where they explain, “As a rule, if you’re not riding uphill, then you’re headed downhill.”
Hills. Hummmm. Not my strength. Oh well. If you only do what you know you can do you, you don’t do very much.
Although COVID protocol prevented us from entering Canada we were still able to complete our ride in 2021! To see what the first day looked like click here and for a wrap up of our journey, click here.