Montana offers countless opportunities and endless vistas for creating your own cycling adventure. Check the Visit Montana website for 38 scenic tours around the state. You’ll find detailed information and downloadable maps for each tour. They’re graded by difficulty and length, so you can find just the right adventure. So throw your bikes on the rack and head for the Big Sky Country.
North Dakota’s varied topography offers mountain bikers many choices for riding. From 1 million acres of rugged buttes in the Little Missouri National Grasslands to the rolling hills of the Turtle Mountains, North Dakota has many areas for mountain biking, including the Maah Daah Hey Trail, waiting to be discovered. With its low traffic and excellent country roads, North Dakota is great for cross-country bike trips. For particularly scenic treks, check out North Dakota’s designated scenic byways and backways (backways are non-paved surfaces and more suitable to off-road bicycles).
South Dakota is an undiscovered gem for biking but organizations like the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) are taking notice. In 2000, IMBA gave South Dakota one of only two “A” grades for its trails. Whatever kind of ride you’re looking for, they’ve got it: strenuous mountain climbs, leisurely rides on old railroad beds, fun fat-tire outings and serious road rides.
George S. Mickelson Trail is the premier trail within South Dakota’s state park system, this 109-mile jewel stretches the length of the Black Hills. Hard-core mountain bikers love riding “The Hills.” Nearly all of the 1.2-million-acre forest is open to bikers, except Black Elk Wilderness Area.
Despite the astonishing rise of the Teton Range, which practically jumps 7,000 feet straight up from the floor of Jackson Hole, mountain biking in Wyoming is not entirely built around hill climbs. True, the valley’s 6,200-foot elevation can initially test you if you’re coming from sea level. But as the pavement rolls behind your bike it’s the ruggedly beautiful panorama that’s breathtaking, not the pedaling. Bicycling is a great way to see the outdoors, take in the fresh air, or simply get around town. With miles of open highway for the cross country riders and a full range of mountain trails for the adrenaline junkies, you’ll want to strap a rack or three to the bumper and point your vehicle towards cowboy country.
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