Don’t look down: Scariest mountain bike trails in the world

Cliffs of Moher
photo by Victor Lucas

Beginners usually try to avoid difficult and dangerous trails, and it’s smart to do so. If you’re an experienced MTB rider and have a thirst for adrenaline, check out these extreme trails, which you’ll definitely love.

The White Line, U.S.A.

The White Line trail is named after a distinctive scar on this sandstone cliff that a mountain biker has to stick to or they face a gigantic fall. The worst part? You have to head vertically down the cliff to get to the trail that brings you back.

The Death Road, Bolivia

Yungas Road, or ‘the death road’, as it’s more commonly referred to, isn’t strictly a bike trail, but it continues to make it onto the bucket list of many a mountain biker or eager backpacker looking to earn their bragging rights.

With only one brief uphill interruption, the road boasts a massive 64km of downhill dirt track, so it’s not hard to see its appeal. But with its sheer drops, treacherous hairpins and a very sketchy surface, you’ll soon be reminded why it’s been dubbed the world’s most dangerous road.

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

This trail narrows to just four inches wide with a whopping 600ft drop straight down into the North Atlantic. Strong winds have been known to sweep people off the rocky edges. Even with slightly foggy heads from one too many pints of Guinness the night before, they managed to avoid falling to their death. Would you give it a go?

Radwanderung, Austria

The Radwanderung is a trail that hugs one side of the Garnitzenklamm Gorge in Austria. You have to navigate the path on a series of bridges, boardwalks and exposed singletrack.

Apparently you can see all the way to the Mediterranean from the top but that would mean wrenching your eyes away from the trail in front of you and there is no way we would be doing that!

Higher Maritime Alps, France

An area renowned for its mountain bike trails, the south west Alps is said to have steep enough terrain to satisfy even the most extreme rider. This is a claim that mountain biker James McKnight looks to have proved when he ventured onto this trail in the higher Maritime Alps that seems to transcend extreme and take it to a whole new level.

“I don’t know how to describe the trails up in the Higher Maritime,” says James, “but some of the words that come to mind are ‘inaccessible’, ‘slightly treacherous’, ‘technically demanding’ and ‘discreet’.”

The Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

Riders have an opportunity to ride around the world’s 10th highest mountain through rocky and snowy roads and see unbelievable sights.

Portal Trail, U.S.A.

Very technical with extreme exposure. There are signs that say riders were killed on the trail – likely by falling over the cliff. Do not ride this from the bottom up, but use this route to finish riding Gold Bar Rim or Poison Spider (for a loop). Bring a camera and pay attention.


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