When to Go

Plan the Length of Your Trip

The average bikepacking trip should be based around riding between 25-75 miles (40-120 kilometers) per day, depending on the weight of your load, the difficulty of the terrain, weather conditions, and the length of daylight hours. Here is a detailed pace chart directly from the Salsa Bikepacker’s Guide.

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Pace Chart

Novice Mountain Biker

Route Type
Moving Time
Avg Speed (mph)
Miles Per Day
Elevation Per Day (feet)
Pavement
3-5
8
24-40
3,500
Doubletrack
3-5
6
18-30
3,000
Singletrack
3-5
3.5
10-18
2,000
Rugged Trail
3-5
2.5
7-13
1,500

Weekend Shredder

Pavement
4-6
9
36-54
4,500
Doubletrack
4-6
7
28-42
4,000
Singletrack
4-6
4
16-24
3,500
Rugged Trail
4-6
3
12-18
3,000

Relaxed Bikepacker

Pavement
5-7
10
50-70
7,000
Doubletrack
5-7
8
40-56
6,000
Singletrack
5-7
5
25-35
5,000
Rugged Trail
5-7
4
20-28
4,000

Motivated Bikepacker

Pavement
7-10
11
77-111
8,000
Doubletrack
7-10
9
63-90
7,000
Singletrack
7-10
6
42-60
6,000
Rugged Trail
7-10
5
35-50
5,000

Ultra Racer

Pavement
16+
11
176+
13,000+
Doubletrack
16+
9
144+
11,000+
Singletrack
16+
6
96+
9,000+
Rugged Trail
16+
5
80+
7,000+

Pace chart from Salsa Cycles The Bikepacker's Guide written by Kaitlyn Boyle and Kurt Refsnider.

Where The Weather Suits You

Riding in the right season can make all the difference between enjoying your tour… and surviving it. Considerations to take into account include seasonal snow and summer thunderstorms in the Rockies, monsoon rain in New Mexico, and baking desert temperatures in southern Arizona. All these factors can thwart your progress at best, and put you in danger at worst. Likewise, plan your overseas trips to ride in sync with the local seasonal weather patterns, and the prevailing wind directions, where possible. They’ll be a lot more enjoyable that way.

Check back soon for a detailed regional weather chart.