The Maah Daah Hey Trail offers 157 miles of almost entirely singletrack traversing the North Dakota landscape across rolling prairies, above the winding Little Missouri River, through, wooded draws, and among clay badlands and plateaus adjacent to Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
Disclaimer: This route and associated information is just a starting point for your preparation, and your safety is your own responsibility. Although this route, its GPS track and waypoints, route data, and the route guide were prepared after extensive research, their accuracy and reliability are not guaranteed. Check for current conditions, route updates, detours, use common sense, obey local laws and regulations, and travel with alternative means of navigation. The Backcountry Bike Challenge and its creators and contributors will in no way be responsible for personal injury or damage to personal property arising in conjunction with following this route or utilizing any of the route resources provided on this website or via RWGPS.
The Maah Daah Hey Trail (MDHT) is a 150-mile point-to-point trail through the badlands country of western North Dakota above the Little Colorado River and adjacent to Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The trail offers an unforgettable adventure traversing a rugged section of the Great Plains on what feel like endless miles of singletrack up and down countless hills and draws along the way.
This trail, most popular with mountain biker and horse riders, is well marked, well signed, has 11 small campgrounds along the way, and 8 water caches (you must stock these yourself). There also are long running and mountain bike races held on the trail each year.
The entire length of the trail is mowed annually by dedicated volunteers from the Save the Maah Daah Hey non-profit organization.
Near the northern end of the trail, the official MDHT enters a small Wilderness area where bikes are prohibited, so the route here includes a short dirt road detour around that Wilderness area. Note that the Maah Daah Hey 100 and 150 races use a different detour that crosses private property.
The Maah Daah Hey Trail Association’s website offers a wealth of trail details, trip planning information, and an interactive route map, so we highly recommend spending some time browsing their resources. Print guidebooks and paper maps are also available – see the “additional resources” section below for more information.
What is the origin of the name of the trail? In the words of the MDHTA, it
. . . comes from the Mandan Hidatsa Indians; Tribal member Gerard Baker of the Mandan Hidatsa developed this name for the trail. In the Mandan Hidatsa language, one word or phrase can describe a picture, feeling, or situation. In this case, the phrase means “Grandfather” or “an area that has been or will be around for a long time.”
This version of the MDH bike route crosses private property near the northern end to bypass a section of official MDH that goes through Wilderness closed to bikes. Riders MUST contact Ben Lange (701-863-6725), the landowner, before riding the private section of the route to arrange paying a $10/person access fee. His house is right along the route. Waypoints/POIs are included in the route information for riders wishing to bypass the private property (~8 miles longer and mostly on dirt roads with just a few turns).
This version of the MDH bike route crosses private property near the northern end to bypass a section of Wilderness closed to bikes. Riders MUST contact Ben Lange (701-863-6725), the landowner, before riding the private section of the route to arrange paying a $10/person access fee. His house is right along the route. Waypoints/POIs are included in the route information for riders wishing to bypass the private property (~8 miles longer and mostly on dirt roads with just a few turns).
MDHTA Trail Regulations are as follows:
This is a multi-use trail opened to non-motorized users. Bikes yield to hikers and horses.