The Great Western Trail: A Paradise for Bike Trail Riding

The Great Western is a magnificent maze of paths that sprawl across the western United States, extending from Canada to Mexico.

It’s a biker’s paradise, offering over 4,500 miles of trails through diverse, breathtaking landscapes.

  • Vast Expanse: The covers five states: Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. This vast expanse provides a multitude of terrains and environments for riders to explore.
  • Diverse Landscapes: From the arid deserts of Arizona to the lush forests of Idaho, the Great Western offers a variety of landscapes. Each state provides a unique riding experience with its own set of challenges and rewards.
  • Trail Options: The trail network includes both single-track trails for mountain bikers and wider paths suitable for family rides or tours. The trail also comprises paved sections, dirt roads, and technical rocky terrains.
  • Wildlife Encounters: Riders often have the opportunity to witness local wildlife in their natural habitats. Deer, elk, and even bears are common sights along the trail.
  • Historical Significance: The Great Western Trail follows many historic routes, including the path of the Pony Express and parts of the Oregon Trail. It provides an adventurous ride and a glimpse into the past.

Yes, The Great Western Trail is a true paradise for bike trail riding.

Whether you’re seeking a leisurely ride with family or an adrenaline-pumping mountain experience, this trail offers something for everyone.

So, saddle up your bikes and prepare for an unforgettable journey on this remarkable trail.

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The GWT started in 1985, and so far, there are several hundred miles in Utah and Arizona.

Like the Eastern and Western railroads of the old west, the goal is to have both the Northern and Southern sections of the trail meet in the middle, completing a way from Canada to Mexico.

Portions of the route are already created, and when the whole trail is finished, it will cover a total of 4,455 miles through Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana.

Much of this route is mapped out over some of the most beautiful United States scenery.

The landscape of the American West is gorgeous enough from a car or the back of a motorcycle, but riding through miles of Arizona desert or the stunning Utah rock formations on an ATV can be downright spectacular.

The builders of the GWT hope to utilize trails and roads already existing along the route. Doing this cuts down on any new construction that needs to be done.

The Great Western Trail also uses much of the public lands along the way, especially the land deep in the center of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

The trail will also utilize a few National Forests, such as Bitterroot and Salmon National Forests, and a portion that follows the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.

Still, other sections of the trail will wind along the western portion of Yellowstone National Park.

Eventually, when the trail is finished, you will be able to spend a week or so riding the trail and have the ATV trail riding experience of a lifetime.

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on the Great Western Trail

Biking on the Great Western Trail is a unique experience that combines physical activity, adventure, and a deep appreciation for nature.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Scenic Views: The trail offers an array of breathtaking vistas. From mountain peaks to desert valleys, riders are treated to some of the most stunning landscapes in the country.
  • Physical Challenge: Depending on the section of the trail you choose, biking on the Great Western Trail can be a vigorous workout. The trail includes steep climbs, rapid descents, and long, smooth stretches perfect for endurance training.
  • Engagement with Nature: Whether it’s crossing a babbling brook, navigating through dense forests, or spotting wildlife, biking on this trail offers plenty of opportunities to engage with the natural world.
  • Cultural and Historical Exploration: Many parts of the trail trace historical routes. Riders can find markers and signs detailing the historical significance of certain segments.
  • Community Connection: The trail is a popular spot for biking enthusiasts. It’s a great place to meet like-minded individuals, join organized rides, or even participate in races.

To fully enjoy biking on the Great Western Trail, ensure you’re well-prepared. Carry plenty of water, wear appropriate gear, and always check weather conditions before heading out.

Remember, safety should always be your top priority.

Getting Prepped for the Great Western Trail Bike Ride

Before setting out on your biking adventure on the Great Western Trail, it’s essential to be thoroughly prepared.

Here’s a checklist to help you get ready:

  • Bike Inspection: Ensure your bike is in excellent condition. Check the tires, brakes, and gears. If you’re not confident doing this yourself, consider a professional tune-up.
  • Safety Gear: A helmet is a must. Also consider wearing gloves, knee pads, and elbow pads. If you plan to ride in the dark, lights and reflective clothing are essential.
  • Navigation Tools: Carry a trail map and compass. While GPS is useful, having traditional navigation tools is a good backup in case of technology failures.
  • Food and Water: Pack high-energy snacks like trail mix, energy bars, and fresh fruits. Carry enough water to keep you hydrated throughout the ride.
  • First Aid Kit: Include basics like bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, and a compact emergency blanket. Also consider carrying a multi-tool suitable for bike repairs.
  • Weather Appropriate Clothing: Dress in layers so you can adjust to changing temperatures. Don’t forget rain gear if there’s a chance of showers.
  • Sun Protection: Even on cloudy days, UV radiation can be high. Wear sunscreen sunglasses, and consider light long-sleeved jerseys for protection.
  • Leave No Trace: Carry a small trash bag to keep your wrappers and waste. It’s important to keep the trails clean for others.

Remember, preparation is key to enjoying your biking adventure on the Great Western Trail.

With the right gear and provisions, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.

Happy biking!

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