FATMAP by Strava

Great Divide Mountain Bike Route

Banff National Park


Whitefish Mountain Resort

Park City and Deer Valley

One of the most epic bikepacking routes in the world.

Also in Alberta, CanadaBritish Columbia, CanadaArizona, United States of AmericaIdaho, United States of AmericaNew Mexico, United States of AmericaUtah, United States of America

Gravel Biking Extreme

4398 km
28 km
28 km
1 day +
Low Point
817 m
High Point
3.6 km
Great Divide Mountain Bike Route Map

The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) is hands-down one of the most famous bikepacking routes in the world. Covering about 2,745 miles, the route runs from Banff, Alberta, to Antelope Wells, New Mexico (on the US/Mexico border). Riders will climb over 200,000 grueling vertical feet along the way from Canada to Mexico. Roughly tracing the spine of the continent, the GDMBR traverses some of the most stunning landscapes on Planet Earth. The sub-ranges of the Rocky Mountains change dramatically as riders pedal from north to south. And other landscapes are mixed in, too, such as the wide-open wasteland of Wyoming's Great Basin and the arid desert of New Mexico.


When ridden as a race, the route is referred to as the "Tour Divide." A grand departure for the Tour Divide happens from Banff every June.

The Tour Divide is "the mother of all bikepacking races," said Ulrich Bartholmoes, aka "Uba," winner of the 2023 Tour Divide. "It's the oldest one, it's one of the most prestigious bikepacking races." This epic event has almost singlehandedly spawned the entire sport of bikepack racing, with routes proliferating around the planet.

While some mountain bikers have derided the Tour Divide as a "gravel bike" race, the truth is very different. The true GDMBR features several punishing singletrack climbs and descents, some of which test the boundaries of what can be considered "rideable." Even so, the vast majority of the route follows gravel roads of some variety, ranging from smooth and well-graded to steep and filled with boulders.

Consequently, many riders opt for a gravel bike instead of a mountain bike or something in between. In fact, several popular bikes have been built from the ground up specifically for the GMBR/Tour Divide, such as the Salsa Cutthroat, which features drop bars and wide tires.

Many possible detours and reroutes exist, which can be adopted if you're touring the route instead of racing. Some of these detours make the route much more gravel bike-friendly, whereas others could add even more singletrack (although few riders opt for these options).

Note that the difficulty ratings assigned on FATMAP are technicality ratings, not aerobic difficulty ratings. Thus, the GDMBR receives a "moderate" mountain bike rating and an "extreme" gravel biking rating. But the difficulty of actually completing the route? Nothing could be more "extreme"!

Successfully pedaling the entire GDMBR is the accomplishment of a lifetime! Whether you complete it in two weeks or two months, a ride of this scale will spawn stories you'll tell for the rest of your life.

Sources: AdventureCycling.org Bikepacking.com Scott Morris / topofusion.com Ulrich Bartholmoes




2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

between June and September