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There’s something really gratifying about setting off on long-distance bikepacking routes. I guess thru-hikers feel the same way: you travel from point A to point B with everything you need strapped to your back (or bike frame). To be fully self-sufficient out on the trail or road is a great feeling.
I’ve done a number of bikepacking trips from short overnights to multi-day long-distance adventures and it has become one of my favorite ways to explore the world. I’m constantly researching and dreaming up new trips!
In this post, I share a handful of long-distance bikepacking routes on my bike-it list that I hope to check off in the future.
Which ones are on your bucket list?
North American Bikepacking Routes
Vancouver Island in British Columbia is one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited, so it’s no surprise that the Tree to Sea Loop is on my bike-it list.
This 650-mile loop traverses through the rugged north end of the Island through dense forest and along remote coastlines with plenty of options for side trips to extend the adventure.
I’ve had my eye on the Maah Daah Hey trail for a while now and I just need to do it.
This 160-mile trail traverses through the remote badlands of North Dakota. But don’t think it’s going to be barren! The route traverse through diverse prairies, lush woodlands, and crosses the Little Missouri River several times.
The challenge lies in few resupply stops, though, so you need to be we prepared.
South American Bikepacking Routes
I’ve visited Peru for a mountain biking trip in the Sacred Valley, but I’d love to return to explore more of the backroads and mountain passes. It’s such a beautiful and friendly country!
The Northern Cordillera Blanca bikepacking route takes riders through the rugged and dramatic landscape of the Andes. But unlike many mountainous areas in Peru – and South America – this route is reasonably accessible, especially by bike.
European Bikepacking Routes
I first visited England during the summer of 2017 and I instantly fell in love with the country. The wide open fields, the beautiful stone buildings, the lovely gardens, and the farm fresh food – it felt like home.
I’ve been dying to go back to the UK and I think the Great North Trail is what’s going to get me there. The route starts in central England’s beautiful Peak District and travels north through a variety of different landscapes all the way to the tip of mainland Scotland in the north.
The route is 738 miles and it sounds like an epic adventure! If you want to make it even more epic, you can add additional miles by adding on the Dark + White Peak Peek or The Capital Trail or even return via the Pictish Trail.
“The TransDinarica is 2,000 kilometers, rolls across eight countries, and stays off the beaten path in Europe’s wildest region. Crazy. Stunning. Completely immersive. It is the next challenge in your mountain bike experience.”
What!? 2,000km and 8 countries?! That sounds amazing! This route is going to happen someday.
Once completed in 2024, the TransDinarica will start in Slovenia and wind its way down through the southern Adriatic countries of Croatia, Bosnia & Hercegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia.
I don’t think the route is well-established yet, but I’m always up for an adventure.
I’ve actually visited Estonia on a 10-day cruise through the Baltic Sea, but it’s one of those countries where I knew I wanted to return. Estonia is absolutely beautiful, especially its capital city of Tallin.
There’s a 240-mile bikepacking route called The Swamp Thing Trail that runs the length of Estonia and it has me wanting to jump on a plane right now!
Known as the Land of Fire and Ice, Iceland is an intriguing place. While most visitors stick to the paved road that circumnavigates the island, there is a bikepacking route that cuts right through the middle from North to South.
The Iceland Divide is no joke, though. Rated a 9 out of 10 for difficulty, this bikepacking route requires careful planning and preparation since the interior of Iceland is incredibly desolate and remote. There are huts, though, which makes it slightly less formidable.
It’s a challenge I’d love to tackle, though. Who wants to join me?
This is the ultimate bikepacking route through Europe. Starting at the northern tip of Finland, it winds its way through Scandinavia, Germany, France, Spain, and finally Portugal. What an amazing trip!
The only problem (at least for me as an American) is that visitors can only stay in Western Europe for three months (90 days). That means I’d probably need to do it in two parts, which dulls the appeal.
Asia Bikepacking Routes
Kyrgyzstan has been on my radar ever since I saw its stunning landscapes, soaring mountains, and open grasslands. It is a gorgeous country! And the people are supposedly just as beautiful.
The Tian Shan Traverse runs from the west side of Issyk-Kul’ all the way to the main city of Bishek. Along the way there are high mountain passes, wet marshlands, river crossings, and grassy singletrack, and wide dusty roads.
It sounds like an adventure of a lifetime!
Oceania Bikepacking Routes
Western Australia was never a real draw to me until I discovered this route. The Munda Biddi trail is a 1,000+ km (660mi) route that runs from the city of Perth in the north to Albany in the south.
Munda Biddi means “path through the forest” in the local Noongar Aboriginal language and the trail looks just that – a thousand kilometers through Western Australia’s Darling Range and Eucalyptus forests. I feel giddy just thinking about it.
One of the best parts about this long-distance bikepacking route is that the logistics are pretty easy to plan.
There are well-spaced huts and campgrounds as well as frequent small towns for resupplying and there is a Munda Biddi app to make navigation easy when cell service is limited.
My brother and sister-in-law honeymooned in New Zealand with their mountain bikes and one of the highlights of their trip was bikepacking the Old Ghost Road.
This route is an old gold miner’s road that has been converted into a hut-to-hut bikepacking route on the South Island.
The whole route is only 53 miles, but it is supposedly breathtakingly beautiful and rugged. Plus you get to sleep in a bed at night since it’s hut-to-hut!
Tasmania has been at the top of my list of places to visit for a long time. Even before I got serious about mountain biking (Blue Derby in northern Tasmania is supposed to be amazing), I have wanted to explore this fascinating place.
Tasmania is home to the Tasmanian Devil, wallabies, delicious wine, snow-capped mountains, beautiful coasts, and tasty local food.
The Trans Tasmanian Trail is a long-distance bikepacking route that traverses the whole state from north to south and sounds like one of the best ways to experience Australia’s island state.
Looking for more bikepacking inspiration? Check out these related blog posts:
What are some long-distance bikepacking routes on your bike-it list? Have you don’t any of the ones listed above? Leave a comment below!