Cycling The Divide Mountain Route

Kmatjhwy

Wilderness Wanderer
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Sep 23, 2016
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Now do know that it is only the beginning of winter. But right now am contemplating of possibly cycling the Great Divide Mountain Route from Banff / Jasper in Canada, down to Antelope Wells, New Mexico possibly next year. Now if I do this thing, would maybe start up in Canada in June and end in New Mexico in October or so. Would plan on just taking my own sweet sweet time with cycling south and stopping here and there along the way with hiking, birdwatching, and what all along the way as I see fit. Have been reading about the route and watching videos online about this also. It seems really interesting. Now would indeed see quite abit of country in which I have never seen before. Have seen that the route goes thru via dirt roads all kinds of remote country where I could camp a few days then go hiking in the area. It is still early and pondering all sorts of interesting things for next summer.

So my question is .... Is there anyone here who has cycled this route or knows someone who has and could give me any advice and thoughts on this. It would be appreciated.

If not this then the other alternative is going back into the NW Wyoming Absarokas again and just wandering about and living with the land and the grizzlies all summer like in years gone by. There is just sooooo much that Life offers.
 
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b.stark

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Apr 8, 2015
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I have no advice for you on that route or bikepacking, but I'm wanting to give the sport a try myself sometime this coming year. Wont be trying it out on such a long route though!

If you want some more bikepacking inspiration, check out the YouTube channel of iohan gueorguiev. He started in alaska a few years ago and has spent a lot of time working down the Andes mountains of late. His videos are very good and the scenery in south america has been simply spectacular.
 

Kmatjhwy

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Sep 23, 2016
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Thanks B.Stark. Now I will be checking this guy you mentioned out on Youtube. Now along with my wilderness wanderings, I have been doing Mountain Biking here nearby in the Jackson Hole area I live for sometime. Since I have heard of this Great Divide Bike Route, it somehow has really gotten a grip on me. So am checking it out and pondering this alternative. Thanks again.
 

fossana

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Jan 11, 2018
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I have two friends that have ridden it twice. Their blog is here. I can forward any questions since I was going to contact them soon anyway.
 

LarryBoy

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Jan 4, 2015
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Big disclaimer - I'm not a mtn biker and I haven't ridden the Great Divide route. However I have hiked the CDT, which closely parallels the mtn bike route and sometimes runs concurrent with it. I ran into bajillions of riders on the CDT, and here's my overall, largely uninformed thoughts. Take them with a grain of salt:

The CDT itself is a mixture of truly stunning trail in some places, and truly crappy trail in others. It's a good thing there's that many "perfect ten" places along the trail, or the not-so-great parts would be pretty disheartening. But the problem is - nearly all the stuff I loved about the CDT (aside from the long, and highly scenic CT/CDT concurrency in Colorado) is closed to mountain bikes, generally because of extant Wilderness areas. So if I had to do a route along the Divide but I couldn't go anywhere that was closed to bikes, I honestly wouldn't be very likely to do it.

Obviously things are a bit different on a bike - you can cover distance far more quickly, and therefore the boring parts aren't nearly as long - and nobody goes into it expecting to be able to ride through the stunning alpine terrain of the Winds or the Pintlers - but I just feel like the scenery would be a bit underwhelming compared to expectations. Not to dissuade you at all - there are many other reasons besides "seeing pretty things" to do a long bikepack like the Great Divide route - but just to throw one opinion into the mix.
 

Kmatjhwy

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Sep 23, 2016
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Fossana, Thanks for the posting of your friend's blog. have been looking at it and it might take awhile to go thru the blog. It seems that they really really enjoyed themselves. Guess right now am weighing my options and just pondering everything. See What Happens. But another part of myself want s to just go way back into the NW Wyoming Deep Wilds and just enjoy life with getting away from everything for a good long while. Still have a long winter to get thru so have time to ponder everything. Thanks Again! Life is Great!
 

Kmatjhwy

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Sep 23, 2016
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Larryboy, Thanks for your reply. Hiking a big long trail like the CDT or the Appalachian has never been my style. As for myself, always would go wayyy back into some deep wild places in the Rockies where I could wander, hike, and be for days like the Wyoming Absarokas or elsewhere. This bike route interest me since I heard of this but just going back again into the deep wilds here in NW Wyoming and just be all summer interests me also. See What Happens Life is Great and there is always so much to see and experience in life. I love your posting and blog on your hiking this past summer and year. Good for you.
 

Bob

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Mar 3, 2013
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2,797
Check with the folks at the great divide trail.. Google and fb. It's backpacking but they might help.
 

fossana

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Jan 11, 2018
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Guess right now am weighing my options and just pondering everything. See What Happens. But another part of myself want s to just go way back into the NW Wyoming Deep Wilds and just enjoy life with getting away from everything for a good long while. Still have a long winter to get thru so have time to ponder everything. Thanks Again! Life is Great!

They did, but they're also fine with long distance routes with less solitude (e.g. El Camino de Santiago). I suspect you've already seen the routes on bikepacking.com. There are also a variety of unsupported, informal bikepacking events you could use for route inspiration (e.g. Trans Utah). You might try the r/bikepacking subreddit. In general, I've found the bike forums on reddit to be helpful and not trolly.
 

SteveR

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Sep 22, 2016
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A friend solo cycled the Tour Divide route, more or less (I think that is what you are talking about) over the course of two summers. HIs thing is cycle touring both on and off paved roads, and not what most would think of as "mountain biking". From his description of the route, expect a whole lot of lonely gravel and dirt road riding, some of it amidst beautiful scenery, but also loads of just putting in distance through remote but not so inspiring surroundings. Nonetheless, some people like that, and for the most part, he enjoyed the trip but would not repeat it.
 

Absarokanaut

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I think Larry Boy's point of the "best" being closed to Mt. Bikes is the one of most importance. Knowing you I'd think a thru bike to be not the most appealing option. however, doing certain sections and combining it with hiking would be awesome.

It was great to see you young lady. I am really gonna try and get rid of this fat tire you saw me with the other day. I've been thinking about getting into mt. biking, nothing major but using it to get various wilderness "trailheads" on both sides of the Divide here. I've also thought about a longer [for me] backpack of 4 or 5 nights in the Absaroka this late summer. Maybe the 4 Pass Loop? I'll also be willing when I can to shuttle you back up or from Pacific Creek, Turpin, Angles, Brooks Lake, Double Cabin, etc. No reason I can't enjoy a night or two in the back of the truck dayhiking and then help you out in the bargain.
 

Kmatjhwy

Wilderness Wanderer
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Sep 23, 2016
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Now thanks for everyone's replies. This on cycling the Great Divide Route is just one of a number of options that am pondering for this next coming year. I have all winter to think about and ponder my choices. But in cycling this route the pluses would be in that the route would take me thru so much country that have not seen before. And another is that I would most definitely take my sweet time with biking (no need to hurry) and then hiking around all along the way. And Fossana thanks for all the links.

But there are other options also of just going back into the deep wilds here in NW Wyoming, Northern Montana, or Alaska with enjoying life and just vanishing for the summer in the deep deep wilds. Have all winter to ponder on all of this. There is always sooooo much to life and in life to see and to experience. Wishing Everyone the Best!
 

Kmatjhwy

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Sep 23, 2016
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Fossana and everyone that is interested, Yes when I decide then will let people know on the board here.

There is a number of options that I am considering. Now one of the options is Cycling this Mountain Divide Route which am very seriously considering. Several of the other options is to vanish into the NW Wyoming Wilds all summer or vanishing off into the Greater Bob Marshall Wilds all summer with wandering about and living in the deep wilds enjoying life. Plus some other possible options.

But have not much said this yet but guess okay to say something now. Right soon will be 63 years old. This next year have been seriously contemplating on leaving my work here in Jackson. I still have my health. So once I leave with what I have in the bank and Social Security, am planning on just going into the deep wilds and living with enjoying life. There is still soooo much wild country out there beyond the end of the road. And one doesn't spend money in the deep wilds, especially with also knowing the old indigenous ways of living with the Earth. Thinking in the future of just living in the mountain wilds and such in the north during the summer and the canyons / deserts to the south come winter. Also for many a year in my life, I would only work winters (more like fall to spring), then would hike and wander from spring to fall. The first year in doing this was way back in 1978 when I was only like 21 years old. There have only been a handfull of summers when I haven't hiked and wandered. And the last couple of summers is several of them. Thru the years have had all kinds of exceptional experiences and have been all over the west. But anymore it is not what I have seen but what I haven't seen and still want to see. So with soon being 63 years young, there is still so much that I would like to see and to experience.

Everyone, Life is Grand!!!! Life is Great!!! There is still so much incredible wild country out there beyond the end of the road where once can still vanish for a good long while with experiencing a life that the Mountain Men of old experienced. There is soooo much to see and experience in Life. This is where my own heart is in being in that remaining deep deep wild country. But if this is what you want also then Go for It Also! Wishing Everyone the Best!
 

Nicolangu

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Apr 20, 2021
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1
I have done it with my kids as it was a promise I made to them a long time ago. Amazing views at some tops and a great feeling of freedom along the way. In fact, I am planning to get them on a much more exciting tour around Tokyo whenever we get a chance. I heard that https://biketourjapan.com/ashikaga-self-guided/ arranges some fascinating self-guided tours around iconic parts of the city. It's much better than spending your time in a subway hopping on and off stations, not to mention the amount of commotion by all the people.
 
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James and Amy

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Jun 6, 2021
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We just discovered Backcountrypost and were browsing through some of the posts. We thru-rode the GDMBR in 2007 and wrote a detailed trip report found at: https://doingmiles.com/2007-08-gdmbr/ Some of the geographic information in our report is a little out of date as the actual route itself has been revised over time, but much of the content you may find useful. For us, it was a fabulous and memorable trip that we highly recommend. The ACA mapset is well done and extremely useful for trip planning.
 
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