Ride the Longest and (some say) Toughest Mountain Bike Trail in the U.S.

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The 144-mile Maah Daah Hey Trial can be used for biking, hiking, or horseback riding

The outfitters and resources profiled below are all related to North Dakota’s Maah Daah Hey Bike Trail, one of the most attractive North Dakota destinations for outdoors people for biking as well as hiking and horseback riding. Some call the 144-mile mostly single track mountain bike trail the toughest in the U.S. The MTB Project website included here has a map showing changes in elevation along the route, a virtual ride, and a photo gallery.

A Brief Intro to the Maah Daah Hey Trail

If you have ever wondered what North Dakota destinations could lure you to the state, the Maah Daah Hey Trail may be the answer. The New York Times called it “the longest and arguably the most grueling single-track mountain biking route in the United States.” The name Maah Daah Hey comes from the Mandan Indians and means, “an area that will be around for a long time.” The 144-mile trail runs from the US Forest Service campground 30 miles south of Medora, ND, to the USFS CCC campground 16 miles south of Watford City, ND. It has eight segments all with distinct topography including plateaus, peaks and valleys, rolling prairie and rivers. It is a complete introduction to the North Dakota Badlands. There are six access points along the trail and 10 campgrounds. The 70,446-acre Theodore Roosevelt National Park is located alongside Interstate 94 near Medora.

The 3 outfitters profiled below provide guided tours or services related to the Maah Daah Hey Trail for bikers traveling on their own. Both of the resources included here provide useful information and images. The MTB Project has a map that shows changes in elevation and a virtual tour.

Dakota Cyclery Mountain Bike Adventures

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Dakota Cyclery Mountain Bike Adventures

Located in Medora, North Dakota, Dakota Cyclery Mountain Bike Adventures is a full-service bike shop that provides short guided rides of from 2-to-5 hours on nearby segments of the Maah Daah Hey Trail. Beginning rider are welcome. The 2-hour “Mountain Biking 101” tour includes instruction on gear shifting and bike handling skills. These short tours include high-quality bikes, helmet, water, snacks, and a savvy guide. Dakota Cyclery leaves multi-day supported tours on the Maah Daah Hey Trail to Escape Adventures and Western Spirit Cycling, both profiled below and both of which they recommend.

Read more about Dakota Cyclery Mountain Bike Adventures

Escape Adventures

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Escape Adventures

Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, Escape Adventures specializes in hiking, climbing, rafting and cycling tours of Western North America. Escape Adventures claims to be the world’s first carbon neutral outfitter and takes pride in the fact that its tours preserve the backcountry areas they visit. It’s a partner in the Leave No Trace program. It calls the Maah Daah Hey Trail “epic” in its traverse of North Dakota’s rugged Badlands and the crossing of prairies teeming with wildlife. It is a ride, Escape Adventures says, that has the geography and scenery to keep the ride challenging for the most experienced bikers.

Read more about Escape Adventures Maah Daah Hey Bike Tour and other Escape Adventure tours

Western Spirit Cycling

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Western Spirit Cycling

Western Spirit Cycling has been guiding trips on the Maah Daah Trail since the trail was first created. Single track experience is recommended for this 5-day ride. Western Spirit Cycling provides all the food and the guides do all the cooking. Support vehicles carry all your gear and camping creature comforts. All shuttles are included from the meeting place on the first day to the end of the ride.

Read more about Western Spirit Cycling’s Maah Daah Hey Bike Trip and other Western Spirit Cycling Tours

Maah Daah Hey Trail Resources

Maah Daah Hey Trail Association

The Maah Daah Hey Trail Association website contains useful information about the trail including the nine trail units with distances for each one, the terrain, campsites, water caches, trailheads and river crossings

Read more about the Maah Daah Hey Trail Association

MTB Project

The MTB project is an REI-related website that contains an interactive map showing the changes in elevation on the trail, a virtual tour, and a photo gallery.

Read more about the MTB Project

Brown's Guide
About Brown's Guide 369 Articles
Brown’s Guides is a website about the top outdoor experiences in America and about the professional outfitters and guides who know them best. BG selects guides and outfitters located in or in close proximity to the Natural Areas they provide activities in. These outfitters know the areas and care about protecting and preserving them in a way that outfitters based in other states never can. Hiking, biking, sea kayaking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and other outdoor activities are indexed on the site. BG has been doing this type of thing since 1972 in books, magazines, maps and on the Internet.

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