Bike touring is one of the best ways to really see a range of terrain.

Get on your bike and ride. Photo: Asya Vee/Unsplash

You’re moving slowly enough that you can absorb it, but fast enough that you can cover ground.

And while carrying all your gear on two wheels might feel a little intimidating at first, there are options for everyone.

If you want dirt: Oregon Timber Trail

The newly completed Oregon Timber Trail links 668 miles of trail — much of it singletrack and all of it prime for bikepacking. Connected and built by a group of Oregon bike lovers, this is its first year, but there’s already a wealth of information and a lot of ways you could ride it if you don’t want to tackle nearly 700 miles.

If you want to bring the whole family: The San Juan Islands

The San Juans from above. Photo: Jeff Gunn/Flickr

The mellow, rolling San Juan Islands, off the coast of Washington, are prime bike touring terrain, especially for beginners. There’s plenty of camping, cute towns to stop in and chances to spot whales. And it’s much easier to get on the ferry with a bike instead of a car.

If you want solitude: The Denali Highway

Get away from it all on the Denali Highway. Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Want to really get out there? The 135 miles of the Denali Highway, which cuts through the Alaska Range, is your jam. It’s mostly gravel, lightly traveled and gets you into deep, wild wilderness.

Most of it is public land, so you’ll have tons of options for places to stay. Bring a bunch of tubes; you’re far from anywhere.

If you want rolling hills: Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge views. Photo: Ashley Knedler/Unsplash

The 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic byway that rolls across the ridgetops of Virginia and North Carolina. There are hardly any flat spots, so expect to be climbing or flying downhill.

There’s easy camping all along the parkway, along with some places where you can stop to pick up food. The views are worth all the hill grinding.

More bikepacking inspiration

How to turn your mountain bike ride into an overnight adventure

Insider tips for photo-worthy bikepacking in Costa Rica

These guys bikepacked 100 miles across Baffin Island's frozen tundra; video