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5 Days Adventurous Mountain Bike Tour in North Dakota, USA
This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences

This listing has no upcoming availability. Check out these similar experiences


(No availability) 5 Days Adventurous Mountain Bike Tour in North Dakota, USA

Billings County, North Dakota, USA

Epic Mountain Bike Tour USA

With many types of terrain, and 100% singletrack, there are plenty of challenges to keep things interesting for even the most experienced riders. North Dakota's winters may be downright cold but its summers offer a refreshing escape from the heat. With average temperatures in the upper 70s, the Maah Daah Hey Trail will keep you cool while providing a challenging and beautiful ride. There are also opportunities for close encounters with wildlife including mule deer, coyotes, bison, and golden eagles. If you are looking for the perfect getaway with epic riding, great scenery, and abundant wildlife, this Maah Daah Hey tour is unbeatable.

Key information

  • Trip type: Guided
  • Lodging: Point to point
  • Terrain: Primitive (rough) singletrack
  • Difficulty level: Moderate (Cyclist needs to have a good level of fitness, the terrain is mostly hilly or unpaved but they will ride on flat terrain sometime, 31-45 miles per day)
  • Total distance: 110 miles / 177 kilometers
  • Average elevation: 1996-2703 feet
  • Vacation type: Mountain biking and adventure cycling
  • Type of bike: Mountain bike (225 USD)
  • E-bike: Not available to rent for permit reasons (it's not possible to ride e-bikes anywhere, there are specific trails accepted)

Highlights

  • 5 days of mountain biking
  • Biking along various singletrack trails
  • 2 experienced guides and bike maintenance
  • Community gear and a souvenir shirt
  • Support vehicle during the tour
  • Camping gear and first aid
  • 4 nights' accommodation
  • Daily meals and snacks

Skill level

  • Intermediate

Styles


5 days with instruction
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Accommodation

During this tour, you will be accommodated inside three-man tents. You will stay at campsites with no running water and pit toilets, such as Magpie Campground. Expect scenic and serene campgrounds, starry skies or full moons, and warm, cozy campfires. There are no shower facilities, but solar showers will be available. Cell phone service is very spotty with all the carriers. Escape Adventures offers high-quality camping equipment because they know that a good night’s sleep is the key to a good day’s ride. You may rent all or part of their camp gear package.

Program

Itinerary

Day 1: CCC Trailhead and new singletrack (16 miles / 26 kilometers)

You will meet Escape Adventures in Medora at Dakota Cyclery at 09:00 and then be shuttles for about an hour. At the CCC Trailhead, you will have lunch and go through a quick safety orientation before riding a prime-cut section of the Maah Daah Hey. This out-and-back is a great sampling of the badlands and a perfect warm-up! Then it's into the van for a short shuttle to your camp for the night.

Day 2: Bennett Trail or Cottonwood Trail (22 miles / 35 kilometers)

Today you will ride the Bennett Trail or the brand new Cottonwood Trail, before joining the Maah Daah Hey Trail at mile marker 75. On your way to lunch, you will track south through high prairie grasses and wooded draws. When you reach Beicigel Creek Road, you will stop to meet the van and enjoy lunch before continuing on to Magpie Campground. There, you will spend the evening in good company under a bright blanket of stars, taking in the coyote calls that punctuate the night's stillness.

Day 3: Devil’s Pass, Little Missouri River (20 miles / 32 kilometers)

Don't forget your camera today! As you make your way to Devil's Pass, it's hard to believe that this trail was once an old cattle road; nowadays it's is a fairly narrow passage for you. You will reach a crest and are treated to fantastic views as you peer out across the Little Missouri River valley. From here you drop down, eventually reaching the foot of the river itself; a quick wade will bring you to the other side. Riding on, you will meander through shady cottonwoods and climb up to the van and your lunch spot. After the break, eight more rolling miles will bring you to your camp near Teddy's own Elkhorn Ranch. Here it is easy to see why Roosevelt was so in love with this land, and so committed to protecting it.

Day 4: Buffalo Gap to Wannagan Creek (20 miles / 32 kilometers)

Today you will enjoy ripping fast descents on buff singletrack mixed with shaded, sustained climbs as the trail winds through juniper and ash trees. You will also weave your way through ancient sun-bleached stumps of petrified cypress trees before descending to your camp near Wannagan Creek.

Day 5 | Buffalo Gap and South Unit (32 miles / 51 kilometers)

A big day of riding awaits you as you finish up your epic adventure in the badlands! After a delicious breakfast, you will skirt the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and link up with the Buffalo Gap Trail. This trail will lead you back to "civilization" in the funky wild west town of Medora. You'll finish the tour with lunch at a local park as you say goodbye to your new found friends. You will return to Dakota Cyclery at around 14:00.

Note

This trip includes riding on primitive (rough) singletrack with very little van support during the rides. It’s a true backcountry experience with little contact to civilization. Escape Adventures recommends having some previous singletrack experience and a good camera. They also recommend arriving in North Dakota at least 12 hours prior to your departure time in order to have time to rest before the tour.

Intermediate:

  • can cycle for 3 - 4 hours
  • average riding experience
  • little assistance required
  • comfortable with extreme curves and leans
  • average experience with unsurfaced roads
  • steep ascents and descents

Preparing your mountain bike tour

For optimal physical preparation, Escape Adventures recommends that you ride at least several hours per week during the month preceding the tour. During the tour, you will be on your bike every day, and they can assure you that an unprepared bottom is a sore one! If you can’t ride your bike or don’t own one, take a spin class at your local gym a few times a week. Your level of fitness does affect how much you enjoy your tour. Check the average daily mileage and level of strenuousness, then train appropriately.

Bicycles

Escape Adventures rents quality bicycles from Specialized and Santa Cruz. If you would like to rent a bicycle for your trip, Escape Adventures will fit you with a high quality, durable, and safe ride. The mountain bikes are full-suspension, lightweight, and adjustable.

All bicycle rentals are equipped with flat pedals, a tire repair kit and pump, and a complimentary water bottle. Helmet, gloves, seat pack, and SPD pedals are available upon request and are included in the rental price. Please specify your individual needs when confirming your reservation. If you are leaving a familiar bicycle at home, Escape Adventures highly recommends bringing your saddle and pedals. Your guides will be happy to install them for you during orientation.

Full suspension mountain bike - Specialized Stumpjumper 650b

The Specialized Stumpjumper is the best bang for your buck! This bike features 150 millimeters of front and rear travel, which is plenty of cushions to soak up any bump in the trail. You can visit the Specialized site for more information. Individual components on rental bikes may vary slightly. Please call Escape Adventures for more information.

Support vehicle

For more than a decade, Escape Adventures has been designing their custom fleet of 4×4 trucks, vans, and trailers with rack systems made exclusively for backcountry adventure touring. The support vehicle and driver becomes your own personal support system, bringing you food and drink, carrying your gear safely through the mountains, and lending a bench for a soft ride at your convenience. The exclusive fleet is custom built to go further in the backcountry so you can see places you never knew existed.

Fitness

If you’re a flatlander, you may find yourself gasping for air at 1996-2703 feet - the higher you go, the less oxygen the atmosphere contains. In addition, a decrease in barometric pressure makes it more difficult for your body to absorb the oxygen that is available. As a result, your body is less able to transport oxygen through the bloodstream and you may develop a condition called altitude or mountain sickness.

Most people only experience mild symptoms - headache, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, and shortness of breath. Rarely, symptoms can be quite serious, such as swelling in the lungs and brain that can be more serious if not properly and quickly treated. Shortness of breath is often a preliminary symptom of altitude sickness, and 8,000 feet is high enough for it to develop. The most common symptom is a headache. While you may not notice any symptoms at rest, this can change quickly when you begin even moderate exercise.

Recognizing and treating symptoms early is the key to preventing the more serious aspects of this problem. The faster you ascend, the less chance you give your body to adjust. A mild case of altitude sickness very closely resembles a hangover, a good reason not to drink alcohol the first day or two after your ascent. Alcohol causes dehydration, which worsens altitude sickness. It’s important to drink plenty of nonalcoholic and decaffeinated beverages to stay well hydrated.

A slow ascent is one way to prevent mountain sickness, but this may not be practical if you’re flying in or only have a few days. Because overexertion is the main cause, it’s a good idea to take it easy for a few days until your body can acclimate. A diet high in carbohydrates (70 to 80 percent) helps increase blood oxygen levels and alleviates some of the symptoms. A high-fat diet does the opposite. Make your trip to the mountains enjoyable. Take it easy the first few days, stay well hydrated, get plenty of rest, eat well and don’t go out too hard. If you start to experience a headache, fatigue, nausea or shortness of breath, it’s time to stop or rest. Keep your guides well informed of your symptoms, they have experience with altitude sickness and can help you make decisions about your care.

Location

The cycling tour will take place in North Dakota, USA. It will start and end in Medora. You will bike along the Maah Daah Hey Trail, Bennett Trail or Cottonwood Trail, Devil’s Pass, and Buffalo Gap Trail. The Maah Daah Hey's ninety-six continuous miles of singletrack traverse North Dakota's rugged badlands and weave through prairie teeming with wildlife. But riders aren't drawn to North Dakota just for the scenery; the Maah Daah Hey offers world-class mountain biking, so remote and unique you’ll be amazed you haven’t heard more about it!

Food

Your guides prepare all the food on the camping trips, starting with lunch on the first day through lunch on the last day. Expect to eat only freshly prepared foods at each meal. You will eat three meals a day and always have fresh vegetables and fruit available. Breakfast favorites include blueberry pancakes, huevos rancheros, and crepes. Lunches include delicacies such as Greek salad, veggie-feta wraps, and pasta.

Appetizers, like bruschetta, stuffed mushrooms, and crudité complement elaborate salads and pastries. Dinner entreés, such as polenta lasagna, steak, salmon, and deep dish pizza are delicious when baked in a Dutch oven or grilled over an open fire. Desserts range from pineapple upside down cake to chocolate fondue. If you have special diet requirements, Escape Adventures can accommodate with prior notice. Vegans and vegetarians are no problem.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Organic
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 5 days of mountain biking
  • 2 guides
  • Camping gear
  • Bike maintenance
  • Community gear
  • A souvenir shirt
  • Support vehicle
  • First aid
  • 4 nights' accommodation
  • 4 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 4 dinners
  • Snacks

What's not included

  • Airfare to and from the departure point
  • Lodging before or after the tour
  • Gratuities to Escape Adventures guides
  • Taxes and fees

How to get there

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Dickinson Airport (DIK).

Arrival by shuttle

A shuttle service is available from Bismarck to Medora called Rim Rock Stages on the "Fargo-Billings Route". Also, Dakota Cyclery can often provide shuttles with advance notice.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
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