Mountain Biking In Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a paradise for mountain bikers, filled with beautiful trails and fantastic downhill slopes. The twin peaks of Doi Suthep and Doi Pui are the main bases of Mountain Biking in Chiang Mai. The legendary trails here lure bikers from all over the world. The 1600 meters summits can be seen from all over the town. And the slope begins at the edge of the city, ensuring a great biking experience form the beginning.

Both for the first-timers and the Pros, the trails offer a great view of the landscape. As you drop through the mountain, the rolling green trees and the jungles fading away to the west will give you the adrenaline rush you are looking for. The birds-eye view of the city and beyond can be seen as you drop down through the trees and come around the eastern flank.

You can ride through the surrounding area, and you will find a maze of single-line tracks and jeep trails linking through. Most routes go through Hmong Hill tribe villages, and some go towards the Buddha’s Footprints down to the Botanical Garden in the Mae Sa Valley.

Here are the Best Trails for Mountain Biking in Chiang Mai

1. Doi Pui North Ridge

This 1890 meters long trail offers a great view of Doi Poi. With 289 meters decent, it is one of the Best single track ridges in Chiang Mai.

The first 100 meters of the trail are steps carved in the dirt. From there the road goes through the pine forest along the north ridge of Doi Poi. The ride becomes very steep here. A small mistake, and the consequences can be harsh. So the steep sections are usually walked.

The trail ends on a concrete road towards Khun Chang Kien Hmong Village. From there many options are available to decent in Chiang Mai.

How to Reach

Shuttles are available from Chiang Mai to Sun Koo. From there, no permanent road available. You will find an abandoned National Park Checkpoint. Lift your bike over the gate and ride for almost 20 minutes and you will cross the Doi Poi Summit.

NOTE: The Trail is unsanctioned, so use it at your own risk.

2. ATV

This 6.6 km long trail is no joke even for expert bikers. So make sure your fitness is up to the mark. With a descent of 1044 meters, this trail is decent and technical with some super steep drops and loose rocks. The top section of the trail is wet and slippery but dries up quickly. The landscape of the trail is beautiful with lush green forests in the backdrop.

How to Reach

Shuttles are available from many local shops in Chiang Mai. Alternatively, you can hire yourself a RED Taxi to drop you to the Doi Suthep Summit. Also, many mountain biking organizing companies offer shuttle services to the summit point.

3. Bamboo Trail

Bamboo trail (5.5 km) is probably one of the most popular trails in Doi Suthep, and it justifies its popularity with fast and flowy trails. With quite a few jumps and technical challenges, Bamboo Trail is all set to get your heart racing.

The trail starts from the Sriwichai Road, near Bhubing Palace and ends at Wat Pong Noi Temple near Canal road. The trail begins with a series of drops followed by a forest flow with plenty of roots and ruts, a short steep and a majestic view of the neighbouring Ob Khan National Park.

The soil is loamy and ideal for trees to grow. You can see several trees across the trails and some dangerously low hanging bamboo trees on the trail.

4. Gee House Trail

This 5.4 km trail is one of the many trials in Doi Suthep National Park. This trail is best ridden as a shuttle run. It starts at the very steep and straight section, followed by a mix of flow trails. Beautiful scenery can be seen down here. There is a Buddhist monastery at the end of the trail.

How to Reach

The trail starts with a steep drive to the temple and summit of Doi Suthep. From there a couple of access roads approaches the starting point.

5. Scout Camp

With only 2967 meters long this trail is pretty aggressive. The single track flows nicely with some difficult off-camber sections, steep carves and rock gardens. This trail is similar to Gee House Trail.

How to Reach

From Khun Chang Kien Hmong Village, a dirt road leads towards the three-way junction. From there a ride through uphill road take you to the starting point.

6. Buddha Footprint trail

With a distance of 3801 meters, Buddha Footprints offer a bit of everything. The trail starts with a single track, and quickly converts to a hike-a-bike which leads to the top of Doi Pha Klong,

'Buddha Footprint', a steel platform is located on the top of Doi Pha Klong. From there you can get a beautiful bird's eye view of the region. From there the road continues downhill leading to Mae Ram area. From there you can quickly return Chiang Mai either by trail or by road.

How to Reach

Hire a shuttle taxi from Chiang Mai Zoo to Ban Hmong Doi Poi. There is no particular road but a ride through Ban Hmong Doi Poi’s flower garden can take you to the starting point of the trail.

7. Chom View Starwayz

Only 1680 meters long, This Trails drops pretty quickly form Chom Viewpoint to Royal Project Reservoir. The single-track trail starts with a few short drops and enters into forest with lots of roots and ruts along the trail. This trail got featured in the 2018 International Chiang Mai Enduro Race.

How to Reach

The trail starts from the Chom View Point. Shuttles are available from Chiang Mai Zoo although many people prefer biking up the 6 km road.

Apart from these, there are many trails in Chiang Mai like Campline, Crazy Dust, Doi Thu  Artery, Minion Rush, Missing Link, etc.

Tips for Mountain Biking in Chiang Mai

  • Always wear protective gears i.e. Helmets, knee and elbow pads,full-finger gloves to prevent scratches and small injury.
  • A light raincoat is essential for wet and cold weather in Thailand.
  • Drink water. This is a high-intensity activity. So always carry a bottle of water.
  • Carry high energy snacks(Nuts, Chocolates,). The more energy you have, the more control you have.
  • Keep a basic first aid box with your group having some tape, gauze, antibacterial power.

This post was published by Arnab Ghosh

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