This page and series of blog posts follows Mark Watson and Hana Black’s transcontinental cycling journey, following the length of the Americas: from Deadhorse, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina. A distance of over 46,000 kilometres.
We were on the road for nearly four years, stitching together a route that stayed off paved highways and in the back country and mountains as much as possible, generally following the American Cordillera, linking together the classic bikepacking routes, and researching our own routes for the vast sections between. Some of these we have published here and on Bikepacking.com.
We started on June 6, 2016 with the arctic Dalton Highway and the Denali, Taylor and Top of the World Highways. Then crossing Canada via the Klondike, Alaska, Stewart Cassiar and Yellowhead Highways, through to the Icefields Parkway which we followed down to Banff. From there we joined the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route through the cold fall months right through to Hachita, New Mexico; just short of the Mexican border.
We then headed west across the deserts of South Western USA to San Diego, arriving in early December 2016. The incredible Baja Divide came next followed by a circuitous route through Mexico’s altiplano and the southern Sierra Madre. From Chiapas we crossed into Peten, Guatemala then to Belize and back into Guatemala, which we crossed from east to west into the highlands. A cross country adventure through Honduras followed, then Nicaragua (briefly), Costa Rica and Panama.
In late Nov 2017 we flew to Cuba to ride then Ruta Mala (3 weeks), and then to Colombia where we spent 4.5 months. The Trans Ecuador and Tres Volcanes Mountain Bike Routes took us through to Peru (mid 2018) and its incredible mountains. We ended up spending a year there, riding the the classic bikepacking routes, as well as creating our own Camino del Puma (which entered Bolivia briefly) in the south of the country and exploring a route to the jungle NW of Cusco.
Three months in Bolivia saw us visit the Cordillera Apolobamba, and following bikepacking routes to, and beyond, La Paz. We finished off Bolivia with the Lagunas Route into Chile and San Pedro de Atacama, where we then picked up the incredible Ruta de los Seis Miles (early December 2019) which took us through the Argentine puna.
From the end of the Seis Miles (Barreal, Argentina) we spent early 2020 zigzagging back and forth over the Andes between Argentina and Chile a further five times until we reached the Carretera Austral near Coyhaique, Patagonia.