“Battle the uphill while testing your lungs, then go flying on downhill through the beautiful mountains.”
— Kamal Gola
A great 11-mile out-and-back ride along a dirt road. Though the uphill is a bit tough at times, the beautiful views and the amazing ride back down make it worth it! Don't be surprised if you want to head back up the mountain for another lap.
Need to Know
Pantwari is a small town which is getting a lot of business from hikers year after year. They have built basic necessities over time. There are plenty of option for food and lodging. There is a hospital and a clinic as well. This place is 100 kilometers from Dehradun, capital of state Uttrakhand. Reaching Dehradun is easy, it has accessibility by air, train, and buses.
From Dehradun, take a very affordable shared cab to Pantwari. Call Surender +91 9410504149, Suresh +91 9456172822 for shared cabs. Call Pantwari cab union at +91 8958227728 for a separate cab. Carrying bungee cords to tie the MTB over the top of the SUVs would help. Carry cash. The place doesn't take cards.
I discovered this dirt road perfect for mountain biking when I volunteered in these lower Himalayan mountains.
It's a wide off-road doubletrack that one can drive a 4WD SUV all the way up, however, it is popular with bikes and hikers, too. The road is straight uphill, with rocky and muddy patches along the way. The uphill tests the lungs capacity but the scenery throughout makes it worth the effort. The off-road ends at Laser Gaon (Laser Village). If you're in shape, it can take about an hour to make it to the top.
After you reach the village, make a U-turn and fly like an eagle for 5.5 miles back down the road (my personal best is 22 minutes, repeated many times). I do three 11-mile laps in a day, which means three laps climbing up the hill, but the downhill is pure dope. It kills me at the end of the day but it's worth it.
One can also combine the MTB ride with 1-2 day hiking/camping trip to Nag Tibba summit. Rideing all the way to Nag Tibba is not an option.
There is not an option to refill water bottles or to get/buy food along the way but if needed, one can walk into a village for help. Ride with proper preparation. A cab can be called if needed by calling Pantwari Cab Union at +91 8958227728.
Herds of mountain goats are a common sight and mountain dogs are common. There are some resident foxes as well. You'll see lot of beautiful Himalayan birds.
History & Background
This off-road was meant to take hikers towards Nag Tibba but the project never got finished and the work stopped midway after 5.5 miles/9 kilometers.