North Dakota-Maah Daah Hey Singletrack Mountain Bike Tour Overview
While the name North Dakota may conjure up images of brutal white-outs and bitter cold, summers here are perfectly comfortable. With average temperatures in the upper 70s, the Maah Daah Hey Trail consistently provides a powerfully enjoyable experience.
Located adjacent to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the 144-mile long Maah Daah Hey Trail is one of the lengthiest stretches of continuous trail in America. From the northern unit to the quaint town of Medora, we spend five days riding beautiful and remote singletrack.
The Maah Daah Hey translates into an “area that will be around for a long time.” So isolated and rarely visited are the Dakota Badlands that they seem more like rich African savannah than western North Dakota.
From rolling prairie to endless red-baked buttes, the Maah Daah Hey crisscrosses the least commercial unit in the national park service. Accordingly, no national park outside Alaska is better suited to pure, backcountry trekking and wildlife encounters.
In this, the Serengeti of the Great Plains, a day on the trail might bring you face to face with bison, elk, bighorn sheep, wild horses, pronghorn antelope, coyote, and wild turkey. Here, even the animals have heritage; the mustang herds that gallop through the Park actually descended from the Sioux Indian chief Sitting Bull.
Besides big horizon and mega fauna, our Badlands tour offers top-caliber riding. Crossing a variety of terrain, the Maah Daah Hey affords plenty of challenges for even experienced riders.
Day 1-2: Meet in Medora. Shuttle to trail just outside Theodore Roosevelt NP. An introductory ride takes us on a great sampling of the Badlands. Shuttle to camp. Ride Bennett Trail through high prairie grasses and wooded draws. Spend the evening in good company under a bright blanket of stars, taking in the coyote calls that punctuate the night’s stillness
Day 3-4: Ride Devil’s Pass. Spectacular views across the Little Missouri River Valley eventually give way to the river itself. Camp near Teddy’s own Elkhorn Ranch. Continue on to Buffalo Gap and Wannagan Creek where we enjoy quick descents on buff singletrack mixed with petrified Cypress trees. Camp near Wannagan Creek.
Day 5: Ride Buffalo Gap along the outskirts of the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Finish in Medora.