|Boreas Pass, Central Colorado|
One big reason this is a popular route for adventurous road bikers is that you can literally ride the trail from Canada to Mexico and the scenery along the way is obviously both diverse and spectacular.
The bike route geography varies from scrub desert to alpine mountain. Elevations also vary to a large degree. Over the vast majority of this bike route, the cyclist will either be ascending or descending. The cycle tail literally offers something different each day and I think this is one of attributes that make this route one of the best mountain biking routes you'll discover.
Being about 2,500 miles in length, the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route is the world's longest. I should point out that there's an excellent book published about the trail. Cycling the Great Divide, by author Michael McCoy, gives an excellent description of the trail and is a good read if you plan on either taking on the entire trail or just a portion of it.
About 80% of the bike route is made up of county, Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management dirt and gravel roads. The remainder is a combination of paved roads, four wheel drive tracks and single track trails.
A north to south route along the Great Divide goes through a variety of climates. For those starting out in the northern section, the window of cycling this portion runs from about mid June to the end of September. The best authority on learning about and enjoying riding the Great Divide Bike Route is the Adventure Cycling Association. The Adventure Cycling Association is credited with establishing the bike route. The association offers maps, information about services available along the way and invaluable tips that will help make your journey both safe and as comfortable as possible.The association also suggests that would be trail cyclists also consult U.S. Forest Service maps as well.
|Northern New Mexico scenery|
Further south you'll pass over the Jemez Mountains, east of Santa Fe, and through the town of Cuba New Mexico. After this segment, the bike route passes Chaco Mesa and the Cibolo National Forest. The landscape is of pinon studded plateaus, arroyos, tall volcanic plugs, and abandoned ranches.