Most mountain biking trails are developed for day-trippers and feature only short loops or out-and-back pathways. Wouldn’t it be great if you could hop on your bike and ride off into the wilderness night after night? Well, you can. Check out this collection of some of the best overnight mountain biking trails and tours in the United States.
North Dakota, Mah Daah Hey Trail
When most people hear the phrase, “multi-day mountain biking tour” their brain doesn’t conjure images of the badlands. But North Dakota’s Mah Daah Hey Trail is quickly becoming one of the most popular biking trails in the country. Unlike most trails, The Mah Daah Hey was constructed with mountain bikes in mind. It is 97 miles long and winds through the grassy, beautiful badlands of North Dakota and follows the Little Missouri River. This trail is less technical than most overnight biking trails so it would be no problem to bring a trailer along. You might want to bring one since there is no hut system constructed; just you, your bike, and your gear facing the forest head on.
Idaho, Coyote Yurt
Nestled in the Sawtooth Mountains at 8,700 feet lies Idaho’s Coyote Yurt. From this yurt, bikers have access to multiple trails within the mountains. The trails in this area are well known for their long, flowing descents, so make sure you’ve either got a good pair of breaks, or a good pair of balls. There are two Yurts under the Coyote Yurt name and they both serve up massive, hardy meals throughout the day for weary bikers. You can also bring your own food if you’d rather not splurge.
Montana, Thompson Guard Station
Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Thompson Guard Station provides mountain bikers with access to the vast expanse that is the Helena National Forest. The Thompson Guard Station is a single cabin with a wood stove for both heat and cooking that sleeps eight people. From the parking lot, it’s only a half mile to the hut, so you’ll be able to get in a warm-up ride before dropping off your gear and hitting the trail for the rest of the day. There are many trails that can be biked from the Thompson Guard Station, but your trip would be incomplete if you didn’t take the 17-mile trip to White Sulfur Springs to bathe in the hot springs.
Colorado, San Juan Huts
The 12 San Juan huts that make up this bucket list-worthy route are accessible through Colorado and Utah by way of two different 215-mile trails. The hut system is made up of a number of different structures, including a sheep-herders cabin. Considered the original hut-to-hut bike ride, the trails connecting the San Juan huts have been around since 1988 and stretch from either Telluride to Moab, or Durango to Moab. Both trails cross some of the most scenic and bikeable areas of the southwestern landscape. The trip takes about a week, unless you’re a more elite biker and want to participate in the annual 200-mile race.
Oregon, Cascade Huts
Mount Hood is Oregon’s highest and most-likely-to-explode volcano, so you better see it while it’s still intact. The Cascade Huts are scattered around the biking trail that circumnavigates Mt. Hood, providing beautiful views of the Columbia Gorge and the Meadows of Mount Hood itself. The trail is 137 miles long and takes about 4 days to complete. If you are looking for more of a challenge the trail can be extended with more rugged, technical side-trails that are accessible from the service roads. The huts sleep about 8 people comfortably, but there is always a lot of camping in the Mt. Hood area if you feel like pulling along a trailer or some saddle-bags.
Colorado, Backcountry Biker Huts
The Backcountry Biker huts in Colorado are perfect for mixing your hardcore, dirty, and scenic, adventure with a bit of luxury at the end of the day. The trails between these huts traverse ionic slick rock canyons and have been said to be the best overnight backcountry biking routes in the country. The trails can be biked in 3 to 4 days and no matter which route you choose, you’ll end up at the Gateway Canyons Resort where there is a spa and a restaurant. But the accommodations don’t start at the end of the trail. If you pay a little extra, you can have your gear, food and beer bounced forward to each hut before you arrive. You will also be able to tune your bike properly every night as each hut is fully equipped with bicycle maintenance rooms.