10 Best Snowy Mountain Bike Rides | PedalChef

Key Takeaways

  • Snow biking transforms the winter landscape into an adventurous playground.
  • Suitable trails range from groomed tracks to backcountry adventures.
  • This emerging sport offers rides for various skill levels and preferences.

Craving an adventure with a twist of winter?

Imagine crunching through fresh snow on your mountain bike.

Who says bikes are just for the summer?

Winter is a wonderland not just for skiers, but for mountain bikers too.

Get ready to explore the most exhilarating snowy trails from the comfort of your two wheels.

You're in for a treat as we reveal must-ride snowy destinations that offer a unique biking experience.

I've pedaled through powder and glided over groomed tracks to bring you the real scoop on these winter bike paradises.

By the time you're done, you'll be as hooked on snow biking as I am.

So, are you prepared to roll into the world of snow biking with me?



Fat Pursuit (Idaho, USA)

Have you ever dreamed of biking through a winter wonderland?

Well, pack your warmest gloves and brace yourself for the Fat Pursuit!

This snowy adventure is nestled in the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, in Island Park, Idaho, where you'll carve your path through some of the most fantastic winter scenery around.

The Fat Pursuit isn't your average bike ride—the chill of the sub-zero temperatures and the deep snow make sure of that!

Here's what to expect:

  • Temperature and Terrain: Prepare for the cold, and don't forget your fat bike because you'll be riding on snow-covered trails.
  • Race Lengths: Choose your challenge—either a 60km sprint or the ultra-endurance 200km journey.
  • Scenery: The remote trails offer an intimate encounter with nature's undisturbed beauty.

Imagine this: You're riding alongside evergreens dusted like sugar cookies, under a crisp blue sky, your breath visible in the air.

You're tackling the elements, proving your mettle—and maybe befriending a fellow rider or two along the way.

And yes, this is a race, but it's also a testament to human endurance and a love letter to the great outdoors.

With participants on bikes, skis, and even on foot, the Fat Pursuit is a celebration of winter survival skills and self-sufficiency.

So, are you ready to leave mere tread marks in the snow and instead imprint your spirit on the grand expanse of Island Park?

On your mark, get set, pedal!

Arrowhead 135 (Minnesota, USA)

Ever imagined biking through a winter wonderland?

The Arrowhead 135 invites you to do just that!

Spread across 135 miles in the frosty realm of Northern Minnesota, this race is not just about endurance, but also about strategy and survival.

  • Distance: 135 miles
  • Location: International Falls to Tower, MN
  • Terrain: Snowy trails
  • Transport options: Bike, Ski, or Foot

Embarking from International Falls, often called the "Icebox of the Nation," you'll make your way to Tower, Minnesota.

The conditions?

They're as unpredictable as they can get.

Sub-zero temperatures, snow-clad paths, and the solitude of the Arrowhead State Trail.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Self-support: Yes, it's all on you to carry your gear, food, and water.
  • Choosy transportation?: Absolutely! Tackle the trail on a bike, skis, or even on foot.
  • History: It started with 10 hardy souls in 2005 and has grown to welcome around 150 starters in recent years.

Remember, the Arrowhead 135 is a test of will as much as it is of physical stamina.

This isn't a casual Sunday ride; it’s an expedition where your mettle will be tested against the elements.

So, pack smart, dress warmer, and keep those spirits high!

Have you got what it takes to pedal through a snowy paradise?

Then gear up for the Arrowhead 135 – an unforgettable ride that's sure to leave you with epic tales of adventure.

Stay strong, stay warm, and most importantly, stay safe.

Happy riding!

Snow Bike Festival (Gstaad, Switzerland)

Have you ever imagined riding your bike through a winter wonderland?

Well, dust off your fat bike because the Snow Bike Festival in Gstaad, Switzerland, is the ultimate snowy mountain biking adventure!

Nestled in the Swiss Alps, this 3-day stage race is a perfect blend of challenging trails and breathtaking scenery.

Why should you head to Gstaad for the festival?

It's not just about the race; it's an experience.

  • Scenery: Gstaad's snow-capped mountains offer stunning views that'll make you feel like you're in a postcard.
  • Challenge: With a variety of stages, you'll test your mettle on both technical terrains and enjoy cruisey scenic routes.
  • Atmosphere: Join a community of 140 riders from over 16 different countries, sharing the thrill and camaraderie.

Thinking about accommodation?

Rest assured, Gstaad has cozy options that cater to a good night's sleep after an exhilarating day.

Here's what you can't miss:

  • Fat Biking Joy: The festival is renowned for its fat bike-friendly courses, ensuring you have the right traction for snowy conditions.
  • Professional and Amateur Races: Whether you're there to win or just for fun, there's a spot for you.
  • Mixed Conditions: Encounter everything from pristine conditions to challenging snowy slopes. Every turn is a new adventure.

Riders in the previous editions have left with stories to tell, from the joy of a 19km race to 'tougher than it looks' segments, making every pedal worth the effort.

So mark your calendar, the next Snow Bike Festival is an opportunity for both the mountain biking enthusiast and the winter sports aficionado.

Don't forget to take a moment between stages to soak in the alpine air and snap some photos; it's an event you'll talk about for years to come!

Tuscobia Winter Ultra (Wisconsin, USA)

Ever dreamt of biking through a winter wonderland?

Well, have you heard about the Tuscobia Winter Ultra?

This is not just any bike ride; it's an ultra-endurance event that will test your mettle.

Imagine yourself pedaling over 80 or a hefty 160 miles of snow-dusted trails, through the serene yet challenging landscapes of northern Wisconsin.

Sounds thrilling, right?

Here's the scoop:

  • Routes: Choose between an 80-mile one-way adventure or a daring 160-mile out-and-back.
  • Location: It all starts in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, sliding on the Tuscobia and Wild Rivers State Trails.
  • Self-Sufficiency: This is a true test of endurance. Bring your gear and embrace the elements, because it's all on you!

Now, let's talk logistics:

  • Qualification: The 160-mile trek requires you to have previously completed a qualifying event. And get this, finishing this race qualifies you for the Iditarod—Yep, that Iditarod!
  • Weather: Wisconsin winters are no joke. Sub-zero temps or surprise thaws? It's all part of the experience.

So, are you up for the challenge?

Remember, this is more than just a race; it's a journey.

And whether it's the biting cold or the camaraderie of fellow riders, the Tuscobia Winter Ultra is sure to leave you with icy tales to tell!

Pack smart, dress warm, and charge those bike lights.

Who knows, joining the ranks of these winter warriors could be the frosty feat you've been seeking!

Fat Bike Birkie (Wisconsin, USA)

Have you ever craved the thrill of biking through a winter wonderland?

Well, the Fat Bike Birkie in Wisconsin is your perfect chance!

Imagine powering through a mix of grassy ski trails and machine-made snow, surrounded by the serene beauty of snow-covered trees.

Why is this event a must?

  • It's one of the largest fat bike events on the globe!
  • You get to ride on the renowned American Birkebeiner ski trails.
  • Options to choose from: a robust 47km challenge or a spirited 21km route.

What can you expect?

  • A landscape that seems like it was whisked straight out of a holiday card.
  • A course that's equally divided between open grass and meticulously groomed snow.
  • A community of riders sharing the same chilly glee of snow biking.

Be prepared!

Here's what to know:

  • Distances:
  1. The Big Fat: 47km
  2. The Half Fat: 21km
  • The terrain is a playful split of ski trail and snowy track.

Don't just take my word for it, though.

Riders often rave about the exhilarating experience and the impeccable trail conditions at the Birkie.

Whether you're in it to compete or just to soak up the atmosphere, you're in for an unforgettable ride.

So, zip up your warmest jacket, grab your fat bike, and meet your fellow snow enthusiasts.

Are you ready to pedal through the powder?

24 Hours in the Old Pueblo (Arizona, USA)

Have you ever imagined pedaling your mountain bike under a snow-dusted desert sky?

Well, you don't have to just dream about it—every February, the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo makes it a thrilling reality!

Set in the Sonoran Desert, just a bit north of Tucson, this event is one of the world's largest 24-hour mountain bike races.

Picture this: you're racing through a landscape where the cacti are frosted with snow—quite the contrast, right?

  • Course Elevation: Ranges from 3500ft to 4200ft
  • Terrain: Mix of snowy patches and desert tracks

Epic Rides organizes this spectacular event, complete with a bustling pop-up tent village making it feel like a mini city in the middle of nowhere.

Food, bike vendors, and a sea of support crews create an electrifying atmosphere.

You'll need to strategize to stay at your best for a whole day's ride.

Proper fitness, nutrition, and equipment decisions are crucial.

Remember, though:

  • Permits: An Arizona State Land Department recreational use permit is usually required, but not during the event weekend. Celebrate the ride without any permit hassles!

Got your lights ready and layers sorted?

Then join in on this unique combination of endurance challenge and desert beauty—it's an experience the mountain bike community raves about.

Race through the night, take in the clear starry skies, and emerge a triumphant rider by sunrise.

Ready to ride the cold, wild desert?

Iditarod Trail Invitational (Alaska, USA)

Are you ready for a frosty challenge that will test your mettle?

Let’s chat about the Iditarod Trail Invitational in Alaska.

Imagine pedaling 350 miles across some of the most beautiful, yet demanding snowy landscapes North America has to offer.

And yes, it's as thrilling as it sounds!

Here's what you're up against: endless stretches of powdery snow, temperatures that can make your teeth chatter, and the kind of solitude that makes you feel like the last person on Earth.

But, hey, isn't that the kind of adventure you're looking for?

The Iditarod Trail Invitational boasts being the longest winter ultramarathon, and just being a part of this event is a badge of honor.

You’ve got two distances to choose from:

  • 350 miles to McGrath
  • 1,000 miles all the way to Nome if you're feeling extra gutsy

Can you believe that in 2024, over 100 participants took part?

Among these adventure seekers, 67 were cyclists like you, ready to conquer the snow.

And let me tell you, the gear they pack is as heavy-duty as it gets.

You'll be sharing the trail with some serious endurance junkies – skiers and foot travelers, all embracing the chill.

And remember, in races like this, preparation is your best friend.

Make sure your bike is up for it, your layers are plenty, and your spirit is unbreakable.

So, are you excited to add your name to the list of warriors who've taken on Alaska's wild side?

Grab your fat bike and start training; the Iditarod Trail Invitational awaits!

White Mountains 100 (Alaska, USA)

Hey there, adventure enthusiasts!

Ready to tackle some real winter terrain?

Let me paint you a picture: you're cruising through 100 miles of Alaska's pristine snowy landscapes, where the chill on your face is as exhilarating as the sense of accomplishment you'll feel.

The captivating White Mountains 100 takes you deep into the White Mountains National Recreation Area, just a stone's throw from Fairbanks.

Imagine yourself pedaling through this winter wonderland, where:

  • The scenery is postcard-perfect, with snow-laden trees and quiet, white valleys.
  • Wildlife sightings are more than just a possibility; they're practically part of the package.
  • You're testing your mettle against Alaska's unpredictable weather, which can throw sunshine, snowstorms, or even the northern lights at you.

But that's not all.

Here's what you can expect:

  • Date of the Event: Typically held in late March when Alaska is still a winter paradise.
  • Start and Finish: Wickersham Dome Trailhead - a launchpad to an unforgettable circular route.

Gear up for some fun terrain, featuring:

  • Snow-packed trails that challenge your riding skills and endurance.
  • Sections of glare ice, making sure you stay alert and your reflexes sharp.
  • The notorious ice overflow, which might just make you think of an icy garden hose run amok.

Before you set off, remember this isn't your average ride in the park:

  • Registration is required, and it tends to fill up because, well, who doesn't want to bike in a place that sounds like an adventurer's dream?

Embrace the chill and be part of something incredible.

Is your spirit of adventure tingling yet?

Because the White Mountains 100 is a journey that's bound to become a highlight in your book of memories.

Ready to ride?

Yak Attack (Nepal)

Have you ever dreamed of mountain biking where the Earth meets the sky?

Well, buckle up, because the Yak Attack in Nepal is about to take you there!

Not just any trail, this is the highest mountain bike race on the planet, bar none.

Picture this: you're pedaling across a frosty 400km landscape with the Himalayan giants watching over you.

At elevations reaching a jaw-dropping 5,400 meters, you'll feel like you're riding with the gods!

Trust me, the views are as staggering as the altitude.

  • Distance: 400km
  • Max Altitude: Over 5,000 meters
  • Views: Snowy peaks and rugged trails

Curious about the trail conditions?

You'll navigate through potential snow and may even face freezing temperatures, especially as you approach Thorong La Pass, the zenith of the race at 5,416 meters.

Don't worry, though; what goes up must come down.

The descent promises to be just as exhilarating as the climb.

What should you expect?

  • A hefty 400km distance that will test your mettle.
  • Breathtaking landscapes that look plucked from a fantasy novel.
  • Challenges that include freezing temperatures and thinning air.

Why challenge yourself with Yak Attack?

It's simple.

It's not just about biking; it's about overcoming what you thought were your limits.

So, get ready for an adventure that's way more epic than any story you've heard.

Plus, the bragging rights?


Can you just imagine the tales you'll tell? "That time I biked through the clouds..." Yep, it's that good.

Engadin Snow Bike Race (Switzerland)

Ever dreamed of cycling through a winter wonderland?

Well, why not make that dream a reality with the Engadin Snow Bike Race in the breathtakingly picturesque Swiss Alps!

This exhilarating event is more than just a race; it's an unforgettable experience where the rush of cold air hits your face, and the crunch of snow under your tires becomes the rhythm of your ride.

Raring to go?

The Engadin Snow Bike Race circles through the enchanting Engadin Valley, a true gem in the crown of Swiss natural beauty.

Picture this: you, on your bike, conquering groomed trails as powdery snow hugs the earth and technical singletracks that challenge every muscle in your body.

Imagine the sense of achievement as you navigate the terrain, surrounded by the majestic silence of the snow-clad mountains!

Here's what you'll absolutely love about this race:

  • The variety of trails – from smooth and fast to twisty and technically demanding.
  • The stunning snowy landscapes that look like they are straight out of a fairy tale.
  • The sense of community among fellow winter biking aficionados embracing the chill.

Don't fret about the cold; the sheer excitement and the physical challenge will keep you warm.

Remember, it's not just about speed; it's about precision, control, and reveling in the alpine splendor that envelops you.

So, are you ready to pedal your way through snowdrifts and create stories you'll tell for years to come?

Get your gears ready for an adventure at the Engadin Snow Bike Race — it’s a pedal-pushing playground that guarantees an adrenaline-pumping ride through Switzerland's winter magic!