Cycling the Great Divide


From August 14 till September 11, 2019 route GD


In 1998, the American Adventure Cycling Association developed and published the world’s longest off pavement cycling route and called it “The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route”. The original route starts in Banff, Canada, zigzags along the Continental Divide, climbs over isolated passes and finishes in Antelope Wells at the border of Mexico, having traversed the province of Alberta and the states of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.

Introductory Text according to Adventure Cycling’s website:

Note: 1 mile is about 1.6 km; 1 meter is 3.3 feet

“The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) is Adventure Cycling’s premier off-pavement cycling route, crisscrossing the Continental Divide in southern Canada and the U.S. This route is defined by the word “remote.” Its remoteness equates with spectacular terrain and scenery. The entire route is basically dirt-road and mountain-pass riding every day. In total, it has over 200,000 feet of elevation gain. Nearly 2,100 miles of the route is composed of county, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Canadian provincial unpaved roads. The remainder is 60 miles of single track trails and 950 miles of paved roads including close to 50 miles of paved bike paths

The route is geographically divided into five regions. The diverse nature of the regions makes for an incredible visual, sometimes spiritual experience. The route offers something different every day — whether it be riding conditions, scenery, points of interest, or folks along the way. It is a route to be enjoyed for its diversity.

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Introduction according to the-Great-Divide: (which is a co-operation between Bike Adventures LLC based in Aspen, Colorado and the organised bike tour company Bike-Dreams based in The Netherlands):

“The American cycling Dream: crossing the United States by bicycle. Many riders have cycled the United States from East to West or the other way around. Of course, a great achievement.

It is probably a bigger challenge to traverse the United States from North to South over the dirt roads of the Rocky Mountains, following the Continental Divide. The divide of roughly 2,800 miles between Canada and Mexico splits the North American Continent in two. Drops of rain that fall on your left side flow into the Atlantic or the Gulf of Mexico. Drops on your right side will find their way to the Pacific. The drops of sweat from your brow will evaporate in the thin air of the Rocky Mountains or fall to the trail and eventually make their way to one of the two great Oceans. This is the trail of “The Great Divide”!!!
The Great Divide takes you through a wide variety of terrain and geographic features. You cycle through isolated river valleys, mountain forests, wide open grasslands, high desert, alpine wilderness, and, at the end of the ride, a section of the Chihuahuan Desert. Along the way you can expect to meet cowboys who drive their cattle across the prairie. You will cycle through pristine woods full of deer and elk, and of course there is always some trepidation that you may stand face-to-face with a grizzly bear. Colorado’s Indiana Pass is the highest point on the route at 11,910 fe

Great_Divide_Mountain_Bike_Route_2We have included some well deserved rest days to relax, but also to make site trips to wonderful national parks like Glacier NP and of course world’s first national park Yellow Stone.

It’s not without reason that National Geographic listed the ride as one of the 100 best American adventures. The magazine qualified The Great Divide as “solitude that frays the edges of your brain, and a sense of what the country would look like if wilderness were the rule, not the exception”.et.

We organize “The Great Divide” as a fully supported tour which means that your luggage is carried in one of the support vehicles; accommodation is arranged; breakfast, lunch and dinner are prepared; and one of our team is a bike mechanic to keep your bike in good condition.

The entire route is basically dirt/forest road and you can expect to cross one or more mountain passes each day. Unpredictable mountain and desert weather conditions can bring rain, snow, high winds, and temperature extremes. So you must be prepared and bring your mountain bike, rain gear and don’t forget your bear-spray.
We have cyclists from all over the world on the “The Great Divide” which creates an exceptional atmosphere and camaraderie during as well as after the bike ride.

Great_Divide_Mountain_Bike_Route_3This is a bike expedition over the rooftop of the United States. It will make a lasting impression propelling you forward in your life with a great feeling of achievement, with new friends from across the planet and with a new sense of purpose – fit in body and mind! Raindrops may fall on your left or on your right, but the best drops will fall on the trail. Drops of sweat on the trail of The Great Divide.”

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Great_Divide_Mountain_Bike_Route_4 Great_Divide_Mountain_Bike_Route_5


























We decided to book four weeks, i.e from Canmore to Steamboat Springs. See in underneath excel sheet some of our stats we did:

Great Divide stages