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Great Divide Mountain Bike Route

Between the Parks

GETTING TO MONTANA IS EASIER THAN EVER

TRIP DETAILS

Bike the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, an off-pavement route that crisscrosses the Continental Divide for 2,768 miles from Banff, Alberta to Antelope Wells, New Mexico. This multi-day ride consists of dirt roads and steep mountain passes that cover over 200,000 feet in elevation gain. 

The Montana Route: Roosville > Whitefish > Seeley Lake > Lincoln > Helena > Butte > Polaris > Lakeview

Total Montana Distance: approximately 700 miles

 

TRIP DETAILS

Resources

Adventure Cycling developed and mapped the 2,768.4 mile GDMBR. Check out their site for details, logistics, packing tips, GPS, maps, and much more. 

Bikepacking also has some great tips on gear planning, resupplying, lodging, and transportation. 

Resources

About

The Montana section of the GDMBR starts at the Canadian border. Ride south through mountains and forests near Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Watch for bears, elk, moose, deer and other wildlife. This is some of the toughest downhill terrain on the whole route. Continue south dipping into the capital city, Helena, and mining town, Butte. Zigzag across the Continental Divide through wide-open mountain valleys all the way passed Yellowstone National Park

Photo by Ellen van Drunen 

About

Logistics

Many sections of the route are very remote with limited cell service, so traveling in a group of three or more is highly advised. With towns spaced every two to three days, there are limited services for lodging, supplies, groceries, and necessities. This route is best traveled between mid-June until mid-October. 

Logistics

Terrain

The terrain is 90 percent off-pavement and consists of dirt roads, gravel roads, trails, and single tracks. Montana has some of the toughest climbs because the route is constantly gaining elevation or descending steeply. 

Photo by Ellen van Drunen

Terrain

Weather

Snow, hail, and cold rain can occur along the route, especially at high elevations in Montana. Adventure Cycling developed the route North to South due to steep downhill sections and weather conditions. However, it can be ridden the other way depending on time of year, rainfall, wildfires, and extreme weather. Here's a south to north example route from the Bicycle Junkies. 

Weather

Gear

This ride is extremely hard on bike equipment. Due to the weight of gear and steep, rough downhill sections, some bike parts may need to be replaced along the course of the route. It is also crucial to pack appropriate gear including a freestanding tent, warm sleeping bag, water filter, and waterproof accessories such as pannier covers or dry bags to keep all gear dry. 

Photo by Ellen van Drunen 

Gear

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