Bikepacking the Intermountain Connectors

Bikepacking — yes, you read that correctly — is the adventurous baby of backpacking and bike touring. It consists of riding on natural surfaces (dirt, rock, sand, soil, etc) and overnight camping using knobby tires, backpacks, and flexible fabric bags strapped to a bike to carry your gear. It runs the gamut from gravel bike cruises on quiet country roads to full-suspension riding on technical singletrack, all while letting your bike do the heavy lifting, so your back doesn’t have to.

A landscape view of a biker riding down a dirt road, with mountains on either side. Image via Bikepacking Roots and Aaron Couch

What unifies bikepacking routes isn’t just the unburdened ability to cover long distances, but also its  unparalleled access to wild places. On a bike you can travel faster and further than on foot, while still maintaining the same sense of awe and accomplishment that comes from putting one foot in front of the other. Moving at just five to ten miles per hour, you can truly connect to the places you visit and the people you meet along the way. It’s an incredibly rewarding way to travel, and it’s rapidly gaining popularity.