The Beauty of the Tour Divide

Now that I’m housebound here in rain-soaked Northern California, I can resume posting about the Tour Divide, the 2,700-mile Canada-Mexico adventure of a lifetime I finished five months ago. I even brought the notepad I was scribbling on in my one-person tent under the glow of a one-LED finger light each night just so I could transcribe its daily notes while I’m on vacation.

In July and August, I mainly posted about “look at how ridiculous/difficult/nutso this race was,” so this time I thought I’d begin posting about how scenic the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route is. Here are scenery photos from the Tour Divide. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever done.

The start of the Tour Divide mountain bike race at the trailhead in Banff, AB.  This would be the last time I would see many of the racers. (June 13, 2008)[Day 1, Mile 36] Riding with racer Kevin Hall and, briefly, Andy Buchanan (I think) on a gravel access road near Banff National Park. (June 13, 2008)[Day 2, Mile ~100] Riding again with Kevin Hall through the Canadian Rockies north of Elkford, British Columbia. (June 14, 2008)[Day 2, Mile ~120] Some of the best scenery of the entire race was through the Canadian Rockies. (June 14, 2008)[Day 2, Mile ~120] Rocky trail by a river south of Elkford, BC. (June 14, 2008)[Day 2, Mile ~145] Don't worry, I didn't break the speed limit here in Sparwood, BC. (June 14, 2008)[Day 2, Mile 187] Twilight at Baynes Lake, BC. (June 14, 2008)[Day 3, Mile 247] Approaching the Whitefish Divide in Montana. (June 15, 2006)[Day 3, Mile 257] Beautiful trail through the Flathead National Forest in Montana. (June 15, 2008)[Day 3, Mile 286] Hike-a-bike from this section until I stopped for the night at Red Meadow Lake (2 miles later), where I encountered Kevin Hall in his tent. (June 15, 2008)[Day 4, Mile 317] Whitefish, Montana had nice homes with views. (June 16, 2008)[Day 5, Mile ~425] Riding through grassy meadows straddling between the Swan and Mission Mountains in northwestern Montana. (June 17, 2008)[Day 5, Mile 443] Snow-covered Richmond Peak in northwestern Montana. (June 17, 2008)[Day 6, Mile 540] Sunset over the Helena National Forest in Montana. (June 18, 2008)[Day 9, Mile ~825] Long but rocky descent east of the Medicine Lodge-Big Sheep Creek Divide through "Big Sky Country" west of Lima, MT. (June 21, 2008)[Day 10, Mile 938] Finally made it into northeastern Idaho.  Gorgeous! (June 22, 2008)[Day 10, Mile 954] Flowers all over northeastern Idaho with the Tetons in the distance. (June 22, 2008)[Day 11, Mile 997] Cranky in front of the Grassy Lake Reservoir along the John D. Memorial Parkway through the Targhee National Forest in Wyoming. (June 23, 2008)[Day 11, Mile 1020] Jackson Lake, Wyoming with the Grand Tetons in the distance. (June 23, 2008)[Day 11, Mile 1046] Horses near the Turpin Meadow Campground in the Teton Wilderness of Wyoming. (June 23, 2008)[Day 14, Mile ~1320] Through the Great Divide Basin of southern Wyoming. (June 26, 2008)[Day 15, Mile 1424] Riding by a huge snowbank 30 miles south of Rawlins, WY, near the Sierra Madres.  (June 27, 2008)[Day 15, Mile 1448] Aspen Alley, just 18 miles north of Colorado.  Very beautiful! (June 27, 2008)[Day 16, Mile 1500] Through the Routt National Forest of northern Colorado. (June 28, 2008)[Day 17, Mile 1678] Going towards the top of Boreas Pass (elevation: 11,482 feet) southeast of Breckenridge, CO. (June 29, 2008)[Day 17, Mile 1693] Historic Como, CO, and into South Park. (June 29, 2008)[Day 17, Mile 1767] Descent into Salida, CO with numerous Fourteeners in the distance. (June 29, 2008)[Day 18, Mile 1803] Mellow descent through the Gunnison National Forest just past Marshall Pass (elevation: 10,842') in southern Colorado. (June 30, 2008)[Day 18, Mile ~1875] Going by the Rio Grande National Forest in southern Colorado, towards Carnero Pass. (June 30, 2008)[Day 19, Mile 1971] Approaching Platoro in southern Colorado. (July 1, 2008)[Day 24, Mile 2187] Screaming descent towards Cuba, NM. (July 6, 2008)[Day 25, Mile ~2370] Nice mountain views about 15-20 miles north of Pie Town, NM. (July 7, 2008)[Day 26, Mile ~2510] Going through the wretched Gila Wilderness where I faced mud and monsoons. (July 8, 2008)[Day 27.5, Mile ~2600] Through no-man's land south of Silver City, NM with monsoons again. (July 10, 2008)[Day 27.5, Mile 2624] No more off-roading and just 65 miles to the Mexican border on State Hwy. 81, "The Lonely Highway."  It was also the loneliest finish ever but totally worth it! (July 10, 2008)

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  • Alyssa says:

    Wow, nice photographs! Now I feel compelled to go see the Canadian Rockies… although maybe I’ll wait until summer. 🙂

  • Jim Berridge says:


    Wonderful stuff and thanks for sharing. It certainly looks like it was an incredible journey for you. I can only dream of doing stuff like this, but in the interim your posts are very motivating!

    Good luck for 2009 and I’m looking forward to seeing what your next epic event is going to be!

  • Alene says:

    Felix, This is the first time I’ve seen your pictures! You rode by our cabin when you went through Como. Thanks for posting these! See you back in the Fort after your Mickey Mouse and a half adventure! Alene

  • Fritz Knochenhauer says:

    This whole adventure is so awesome. I’m an oldtimer and bike tourist who has long been an off-roader. How did you go about finding about this “race” and is there an entire map-set for the Rockies? I’m from the S.F. Peninsula, just spent a year in Evergreen, CO at 8,500′ ASL and rode everywhere. But, oh the roads and drivers suck. To offroad the entire area would be awesome. Now, I’m in Davis with dreams of crossing the country in stages…help me out with where to go for a set of maps that describe your journey…wow!

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