There’s nothing quite like the thrill of riding a mountain bike down a challenging trail – but some people like to take things further than others.
This month, we take a look at 6 of the best extreme mountain trails in the world, and they definitely aren’t for the faint hearted or risk averse!
Whilst most average riders will probably want to avoid these technical dangerous trails – they’re perfect if you’re an advanced rider on the search for something to get your pulse racing and push you to the limit. You could also ride an easier trail at night, using night vision goggles this increases the challenge and is a nice dose of novelty.
Attempt at your own risk (and don’t forget to take your Ridersmate with you!).
1. Yungas Road (“The Death Road”) – Bolivia
Yungas Road in Bolivia is a legendary destination for serious mountain bikers. A 40 mile long downhill section on a narrow dirt track that was once known as the world’s most dangerous road, it’s an exhilarating, fast ride with beautiful views of mountains and rainforest.
Whilst the trail itself isn’t as technical as the others on this list, it warrants its place on sheer reputation. The road didn’t get its grizzly moniker “The Death Road” for nothing, and at it’s peak, between 200-300 motorists died travelling the road each year.
Today, it’s much more popular with riders. Expect 40 miles of fast, unbroken downhill on 12ft wide dirt roads, complete with perilous hairpin bends, 800m cliff drops and no guardrail.
2. Cliffs of Moher (“Cliffs of Insanity”) – Ireland
One for the slightly unhinged!
Located on Ireland’s spectacular west coast, the Cliffs of Moher are really popular with tourists looking to experience its stunning natural beauty. More recently, they’ve also gained notoriety as the most dangerous mountain biking destination in the world!
The path along the edge of the cliff is just inches wide in places, with narrow causeways jutting out over the jagged cliff edge. With a 600m drop onto jagged rocks or the Atlantic Ocean and strong sea winds, it’s one for advanced riders only!
If you’re not feeling quite as brave, there are plenty of other less dangerous routes located fairly close to the cliffs, including challenging (but rewarding) trails over rocky terrain.
3. Portal Trail Moab – Utah (USA)
We could have picked half a dozen trails in trails around Moab, Utah for this guide (the Slickrock comes in a close second), but the infamous Portal Trail has it for sheer danger.
One for advanced riders only, there are two particularly hair raising sections, with 3ft wide trails shadowed by a sheer rock face on one side, and a deadly 200ft drop down towards the Colorado River on the other.
It’s so extreme, there are even signs telling you to get off your bike at a couple of points – it’s advice that’s definitely worth heeding!
4. Alp d’Huez – France
This popular ski resort at the heart of the French Alps is also a mountain biking Mecca, complete with over 80 miles of downhill bike lines.
Unpredictable weather (with the potential for year round snow at the top of the trails), rocky terrain and 2,500m of vertical feet of drop provide enough punishment for the most advanced rider, all set against the backdrop of stunning mountain views.
Serious adrenaline-junkies might want to consider the Megavalanche – the longest downhill race in the world. It’s 4 days of training and racing over snowy terrain – just make sure you’ve got your health insurance sorted before you go!
5. The Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
An epic trekking trail that’s becoming more popular with mountain bikers all the time, The Annapurna Circuit in Nepal offers something completely different to the rest of the rides on this list.
If remote riding around the world’s 10th highest mountain isn’t enough, then the tough, technical single-tracks and descending dirt trails should be more than challenging enough for any rider.
6. Gas Plant – Taipei (Taiwan)
Short but sweet, this 3km trail is Taiwan’s most challenging trail. A combination of super-technical climbs and descents, across virtually unrideable rocks and thick vegetation, it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted!
You may be thinking that Taiwan is a long way to travel to for a 3km trail – but think again. The north of the country has a burgeoning mountain biking scene, and there are a number of truly epic trails close to Taipei City. Better start saving.
Stay safe – wherever your adventures take you
Wherever you like to ride, there’s always the chance you’ll fall off!
With Ridersmate, you’ll have the freedom to ride wherever you want, safe in the knowledge that you’ll never be left injured, stranded and alone. When you get home from your epic adventures, you can then share all your favourite rides with your friends on www.ridersmate.com.
Want to discover more amazing MTB destinations? Check out the Top 50 Long Distance Hiking Trails in the USA.