Wednesday, 12 February 2014 07:12

Epic Trail Spotlight – Maah Daah Hey Trail

On the Trail
Maah Daah Hey Trail

Epic Trail Spotlight – Maah Daah Hey Trail, North Dakota


The Maah Daah Hey Trail isn’t as well known as the trails in Colorado and Utah but anyone who has had the good luck to visit it will know that it can only be described as awesome. It’s now rated as one of the best mountain biking trails in the country. The trail covers close to 100 miles of stunning singletrack running through extremely diverse terrain in North Dakota’s remote western Badlands. Named for a Mandan Indian phrase meaning “an area that has been around or will be around for a long time”, the trail system uses the turtle marker to symbolize firm determination and patience.



The trail begins a few miles south of Medora at Sully Creek State Park and ends at CCC campground near the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The trail connects both the North Unit and South Unit, although biking is not allowed in the parks themselves. Alternate bike trails have been constructed to bypass the parks. The entire trail is open, however, to hikers and horseback riders. The trail is remote and riders or runners will need to be well prepared physically and armed with maps and supplies for bike repair, weather, and fueling. Campgrounds are located near the trail every 20 miles or so.


Epic- Riding the entire trail in a day is possible and is an epic adventure that should only be attempted by expert level riders with trail experience. The wicked trails and stunning scenery will be more than worth the fight and you’ll be able to say you’re one of the very few who made it in a day!


Endurance-  With support this trail can be completed over as many days as it takes to enjoy the the ride.


Day ride – The trails leading from the Summit Campground are some of the most fun and can be done in a day.



The north end of the trail begins at the US Forest Service CCC Campground in McKenzie County, located 20 miles south of Watford City, off Highway 85.


Logistics: Shuttle services in the area are available to transport riders to different points in the trail.


Length:  96 miles


Elevation: Between 2000′ and 2700′


Terrain: Extremely varied clay singletrack.


Riding season: Extreme temperatures in winter and summer, definitely try to go in the fall or summer.



Dakota Cyclery in Medora, North Dakota – full service shop that includes mountain bike rentals or even trail guides. They also offer a unique service where they will drop your supplies at designated spots in locked trailers and you carry the key.