When it comes to bikepacking there are no limits, it is all about adventure, exploring and embracing the freedom of being on two wheels. If you are after a holiday with a difference, or up for a challenge and an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s time to grab your bike, pack and head off on the trip of a lifetime.
Check out our top 5 Bikepacking Trails below that you won't be forgetting in a hurry!
The Nullarbor Plain- Australia
The famous Nullarbor is a piece of Australia which few of us may cross in our lifetime and is the longest stretch of straight road in the world. Probably not for the faint-hearted, the route is approximately 1675 km long and takes around 8 days to ride and is known for its harsh weather conditions. Although it appears to be a hot, dusty, treeless stretch of road, the Nullarbor does offer a surprising amount of wildlife, including Kangaroos, Emus, Wombats and even Camels and is home to the largest piece of limestone in the world! For those planning to cycle the Nullarbor, make sure you do your research and take plenty of water, food, sunblock and a good camera so you can snap up all the memories. It's also worth a mention that earlier last year, our friends the Tandem Men completed the entire trip by Tandem bike! Impressive.
No.8 Wired- New Zealand
For the scenic-seekers, this New Zealand bikepacking trail is recommended for its breathtaking scenery, epic coastlines, unlimited bushland, and wineries. Covering 241km, a small chunk of the bottom of the North Island this ride is a walk in the park compared to The Nullarbor Plain especially as it only takes 3-4 days to complete. It is recommended that you plan to ride this route in Summer to make the most of it and keep in mind there are plenty of river crossings so it might be a bit chilly on your legs if you ride it in the winter months. It also conveniently forms a figure 8 so you end up exactly where you started. Prepare for river crossings, southerly winds and lots of gates along the way and make sure you leave plenty of time to sample some of New Zealand’s finest wines in the Wairarapa along the way..
The White Rim - Canyonlands National Park USA
The White Rim is supposed to be one of the most spectacular desert trails to visit in Southern Utah which covers amazing landscapes of Canyons, remote deserts and countless red rock formations.Covering a 160km loop, this bike route was once an old road that the Atomic Energy Commission completed to help explore Uranium mining. Today it is more commonly used as a mountain biking, bike packing, hiking and Four Wheel drive route. The ride can be completed in a day or if you prefer to take your time, you can camp at the various campsites along the way and explore the Canyons over a few days. As it is an offroad track, the route length and elevation gain make it strenuous so it is recommended for more experienced riders. Note, that a permit is required from the Canyonlands National Park to enter, so get it sorted first before riding the trail!
The Continental Divide Trail- New Mexico
The Continental Divide Trail, also known as the Great Divide Route is the world's longest off-pavement cycling route and is a scenic trail which runs between Mexico and Canada is 5000 km long. The trail covers a long distance single track trail and has also been quoted as one of the first known bikepacking routes to be attempted as a sport. You may recognise the route as the “Tour Divide”, an annual self-supported bikepacking race in which riders continuously ride for days on end with no outside help apart from the odd accommodation and food stop. It is recommended that you have an intermediate level of mountain biking skill and fitness because there are plenty of rough dirt and gravel roads and it’s certainly not a short ride. The best time to ride is late June, through to mid-October and is vital that you pack well with lots of food and water. Also the route is unmarked, so some form of navigation such a GPS device is essential. If you are considering to ride or to enter the race, check out this links at the bottom of the page for more info.
Los Padres National Forest - CA, United States
Another scenic, but also challenging bikepacking trail to ride is the Los Padres National Forest route. You may have heard it referred to as the Tour De Los Padres, an annual bikepacking race which is said to be challenging both physically and mentally due to the nature of its varying elevations through alpine forests and remote backcountry tracks. This multi-day bikepacking route is roughly 442 km and covers the largest coastal range in California and is comprised of 20% singletrack, 60% dirt road and 20% pavement. The best time of the year to ride is in Spring because it’s not too hot but is also the most beautiful time to see the landscape! GPS is definitely a must as it can be very difficult to navigate without one and shorter routes are available if you don’t wish to do bike the full route.
If you are thinking of heading off on a bikepacking adventure sometime soon, Quad Lock is a great way to attach your smartphone to your bike for GPS navigation and tracking.
What are you favourite bikepacking trails? Let us know in the comments below.
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