Banff to Mexico – Great Divide Mountain Bike Route

4417 km, 2 months

For us this would be quite a change and more of a physical challenge than our previous rides. Unlike other rides some preparation to get fit would be essential.  New bikes with front suspension would be required and a trailer as well.

great divide mountian bike route

Click on map to go to Adventure Cycling for maps

Billed as the longest off-pavement bike route in the world, it criss-crosses the Continental Divide north to south. This route, from a North American perspective, is defined by the word “remote”. It has 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. Taking 70 days to ride that is about 3,000 ft on average per day, with most of that on dirt roads.

Most people ride the route north to south. Southbound riders normally cannot start prior to mid-June nor later than the end of September. Typical times to ride the entire route range from six to ten weeks.

We are thinking of watching the weather and starting as early as possible in the season (easy for us as Banff is an overnight bus ride from Vancouver), and allowing 10 weeks for the ride.

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