Mountain biking in the Pyrenees
Mountain biking in the Pyrenees is something special, and the Spanish side is mainly undiscovered by mountain bikers outside of Spain. Most trails are old hiking trails that connect historic villages, abandoned long ago, and the rides have an epic feel when you venture into the wild terrain of the Pyrenees.
Spanish Utah is a regular stop on many mountain bike holidays in the Pyrenees. The trails here are exceptional, and you can go on endless mountain biking in the Pyrenees on perfect zigzag single tracks for miles on end. The trails wind up and down through the incredible landscape, with vast cliffs of red sandstone carved by the wind that stands high above gorges and strange rock formations. It is an area that is almost only known by Spaniards, and without them, we would never have found these paths that are tucked away in an area of Spain that is not known for mountain biking.
Anyone who sees photos of the area thinks they were taken in Bardenas Real, a nature park where mountain biking is prohibited. Still, Spanish Utah is much more impressive in terms of size and the range of trails where there are no restrictions on the trails you can ride! Utah is suitable for a broad audience, but there are some sections with long-term exposure and some short sections where the technical difficulty is very high.
The Aragonese Pyrenees
Areas known as “Espacio BTT” are some of the best organized. “Espacio BTT” can be translated as an MTB trail centre and its sets of signposted mountain bike routes. Access to these trails is free, and there are usually maps available locally, and the difficulty of the courses has different grades indicated with different colours. You will often also find additional services in the area such as bicycle shops, information centres, maps and a website.
Espacio BTT Alto Gallego and Zona Zero are two of the best mountain bike, centres and both are located in the Aragonese Pyrenees. Valle de Tena offers an incredible variety of cycling routes, and it is part of “Espacio BTT Alto Gallego”. In the northern foothills of the valley the paths are steep and technical, while in the flatter Serrablo valley in the south more accessible, flatter routes are available for those who take their first steps in mountain bike sport.
For whom it may be more
Experienced mountain bikers enjoy steep descents where the adrenaline rushes are enormous. You can also find them in the mountain landscapes of the Spanish Pyrenees. Rabaltueras in Benasque is one of those trails that make every experienced mountain biker dream away. The statistics themselves tell an incredible story: 14.4 kilometres, 21 meters of climbing and 1150 meters of descent. Rabaltueras is perhaps one of the steepest, most persistent slopes with the least amount of climbing you will ever ride in your life.
A little further, you will find the Gallinero trail, a route with equally staggering statistics. 14.5 kilometres while you descend more than 1400 meters. Here you can drop at an impressive speed while the beautiful landscape of the Benasque valley awaits you.
Mountain biking in the Pyrenees