Milk River Loop
Distance: 103 km
Elevation Gain: 720 m
Percent Gravel: 100%
Tire: 33-40 mm
Riding around and crossing over the Milk River is an experience unlike any other. The river parallels the US-CAN Border between Alberta and Montana and is iconic as a stunningly beautiful meandering tributary. As the river makes its way east, just prior to turning south, the coulee carved by rushing glacier waters thousands of years ago, widens to immense proportion. Hoodoos have been carved out of the coulee edges making the landscape an unforgettable sight in the middle of the prairie. It is worth spending some time by the river, to sit and take it all in.
Surrounding the area is a natural grassland, largely dominated by the Alberta Pinhorn Grazing Reserve. This is public land with very rustic dirt tracks. Perfect terrain for a gravel bike, but treacherous terrain for motor vehicles. Outside the rustic tracks and the odd fence, you will not see one human element for much of this route. It is a wilderness escape.
Worth noting that early pioneers considered this area uninhabitable for their livestock and a dead-end for their future. They did not settle here. It is barren, windy, dry and rough. It has not been altered or shaped such as other agricultural land. Riding this route may be relatively flat in elevation and short in distance. However, this is one of the hardest routes you will do if the wind is blowing. Go prepared. If you are training for a sufferfest like DK200, this route will be helpful for conditioning to extreme elements.
This route is high on seclusion, untouched terrain, and harsh conditions. Be prepared for a total escape from the modern world.
NOTE: This route crosses the Milk River - Check Flows. This route contains access across Pinhorn Grazing Reserve, check access requirements. https://open.alberta.ca/publications/pinhorn-provincial-grazing-reserve