The Yorkshire Dales – where speed is your friend
We’ve listed a selection of the best mtb routes in the Yorkshire Dales and surrounding areas. Many of the routes can be linked quite easily to take you further and increase the challenge. They are designed in the main as bite size chunks that will provide excellent rides for most abilities.
Our map below shows you exactly where the routes are. Simply pan in and click on a bike and a link will take you to the web page, or click the panels as you read through our great selection of rides.
BARBONDALE MTB – MEDIUM 10.5 MILES
This ride was added to our database to celebrate Natural England’s decision to extend the Yorkshire Dales National Park westward. It’s a short spin, eminently suitable for an evening ride, but could be extended further west to make a longer ride.
BISHOPDALE – MEDIUM 11.2 MILES
A ride that maximizes the extensive bridleways in the area, to bring a finish with an epic 4 mile descent on sweeping tracks.
BARDEN MOOR – MEDIUM 23 MILES
One of the moor interesting (pardon the pun) moorland areas of Yorkshire, with some great sweeping tracks
BOWDERDALE – HARD 24 MILES
A tough full mountain route on the edge of the western dales. One for the real adventure seekers
BUCKDEN TO SEMER WATER – HARD 23 MILES
Excellent climbs and great descents, twisting their way across the Dales, this ride will leave you with big grins all round.
BUTERSETT & DOD FELL – MEDIUM 12.5 MILES
This is an excellent evening ride or one for a slow afternoon. It climbs dramatically up the fellside above Wensleydale on good tracks.
CARPERBY EIGHT – MEDIUM 22 MILES
Your cycle climbing skills and fitness will be tested on this ride. There’s lots of climbing from the start. However, what goes up must come down means that there are some great fast descents
COVERDALE HIGH ROAD – HARD 15.4 MILES
This is a cracking mid-morning or early evening ride over some fantastic Moorland. It has some superb steep and rocky Dales descents along the way.
DALLOWGILL – HARD 25 MILES
The views are spectacular as the routes crosses moorland tracks and rises and falls with spectacular descents all day long.
DENT TO HAWES – HARD 25 MILES
An excellent loop straddling the main watershed of Northern England. The initial climb is brawny but surprisingly do-able and both big descents are to-die-for.
GREWELTHORPE LOOP – MEDIUM 9.4 MILES
This route is a superb winter night ride – so long as all the ice has cleared! The green lanes are safe and fast, and the climb up onto the moor opens up great night skies.
GRINTON MOOR – MEDIUM 12.4 MILES
This will leave you with a great big grin on your face, and remind you to come back again for more of the same. It’s only the distance that stops it being classed as a hard route.
HEALAUGH – MEDIUM 10 MILES
Setting out from Healaugh this route climbs straight away – sorry Garry. The track is however good and allows you to gain height.
HEART OF THE DALES – HARD 36.3 MILES
This is a fantastically varied ride through the heart of the Dales. It packs in five serious climbs and enough teeth-rattling descents to leave the keenest rider satisfied.
HOWGILLS – HARD 14 MILES
These hills provide an unparalleled riding experience – smooth surfaces, stunning views and a wealth of bridleways.
HUTTON ROOF – EASY 8.5 MILES
This corner of Cumbria is massively overlooked in favour of the famous haunts but proves to be pleasant, rolling limestone country.
INGLEBOROUGH ROUND – HARD 26 MILES
Although not our hardest route, it covers some rough ground and takes you into the real Dales, as you circumnavigate Ingleborough.
INGLEBOROUGH DIRECT – HARD 6 MILES
I can categorically state that the last few steppy sections to the summit are totally unrideable to mortals.
KETTLEWELL KILLER LOOP – HARD 21.2 MILES
The riding around here is extremely steep and wonderful. So pack a camera, tubes, tools, a map and off you go!
KIRKBY MALZEARD MOOR – MEDIUM 16 MILES
The mountain biking in this route is superb, tarmac lanes leading into rocky but well defined track around Kirby Malzeard Moor.
LADY ANNE & WILD BOAR – HARD 38 MILES
This is a tough but magnificent loop around the North-Western Dales involving five substantial climbs and some wild, remote trails.
LANGTHWAITE SHORT – MEDIUM 9.4 MILES
A 2 hour ride up and over Swaledale moorlands with steep ascents & descents, starting with a killer climb.
MALHAM TARN – EASY 10.4 MILES
If you’re looking for a great ride for older kids and families in the Yorkshire Dales, between 10 and 25 km, then this is the one.
MASTILES LANE – MEDIUM 14 MILES
One of the classic routes in the Dales, with an awesome descent to finish off, flying down to Wharfdale.
MORESDALE ROAD – MEDIUM 18 MILES
Taking in some of the best tracks that Swaledale has to offer, this uses well defined and accessible moorland tracks, as well as bridleways, to produce a great ride.
NIDDERDALE LOOP – HARD 21 MILES
This ride is an excellent trip out, with some hard climbs matched by superb descents. The climb to Middlesmoor will test all riders, and you may want to stop to enjoy the view at the top – it is fantastic.
NINE STANDARDS – HARD 26 MILES
. The route bestrides the main watershed of northern England so there are a couple of substantial climbs, but these are partly alleviated by tarmac.
NUTWITH WOODS – EASY 9 MILES
A jaunt in the woods that will leave you thirsty for more. Try a few laps of this, or join it up with the Grewelthorpe night loop and head over the moors.
SCAR HOUSE – EASY 4.5 MILES
The track is good and reasonably level, with enough undulation for the odd freewheeling. From Pateley Bridge take the road signed Ramsgill and Lofthouse.
SETTLE LOOP – MEDIUM 18.5 MILES
Steep climbs, rocky trails, and fast descents to die for. This route forms part of a loop within the Pennine Bridleway, but is a superb outing on its own.
SETTLE TO WHARFDALE – HARD 30.6 MILES
This is a fantastic route, bringing together some superb elements: the Settle Loop; Mastiles Lane; and Old Cote Moor – a fantastic three course meal.
STUDLEY ROYAL – EASY 3.4 MILES
Here’s one for the younger members of the family; an easy ride from the Fountain’s Abbey visitor’s centre, through the deer park and back again for Brymor ice cream – the best anywhere.
SWALEDALE MIXED – EASY 10 MILES
We wanted to throw in an easy opportunity for the younger kids to ride a section of the Tour de France and also enjoy some of Swaledale’s great tracks. This way they can make a choice in terms of where they think their cycling lies.
SWALEDALE TWIST & SHOUT – HARD 15 MILES
This is a hard route from the word go. The tracks are great but tricky in places with technical twists. They will shake, rattle and roll you through Swaledale. The superb section of singletrack will make you twist and shout.
THE CAM ROAD – HARD 22 MILES
From the moment that you take to the saddle, the road climbs steeply, leading onto a further 3 1/2 mile climb along the Cam Road. Even the descent into Hawes from Cam Houses takes some technical skill and will test your fitness.
THREE DALES – HARD 24 MILES
Steep climbs on limestone meadows, rocky descents where ‘speed is your friend’ if well controlled, with the odd rolling section thrown in on the Pennine Bridleway.
VALLEY & PINSEAT – MEDIUM 23 MILES
good climbs on road and trail and a great descent on the hard but loose tracks down Pinseat. Flowing tracks along the river make this a great and steady day out and a super intro to riding Swaledale.
WENSLEYDALE WANDERER – MEDIUM 15 MILES
This traverses the hills of splendid Wensleydale, peeking over into Swaledale, before an epic descent of Peatmoor Lane. This and the ‘Carpeby *’ route would make an excellent trip north for anyone.
WHERNSIDE LOOP – HARD 28 MILES
This ride describes a loop around the Cinderella hill, taking in some beautiful Dales scenery and a good variety of under-tyre surfaces. It has climbs to test all riders, and descents to live in the memory for weeks.
WHITASIDE MOOR – HARD 17 MILES
Winding its way across Swaledale, keeping height where necessary, and losing it where it’s fun to do so. It brings in some singletrack that is sweet and secret, due to its hidden nature.