Bikepacking the Transnevada in Southern Spain

location Europe, Spain
  • Distance

    302 Mi.

    (486 KM)
  • Days


  • % Unpaved


  • % Singletrack


  • Difficulty (1-10)


  • % Rideable (time)


  • Total Ascent


    (12,706 M)
  • High Point


    (2,343 M)
Chunky rock descents, 4,500' heart-valve tearing climbs, and almost impassable hike-a-bikes make up a route that is as punishing as it is beautiful. A must for any self-loathing bikepacker’s bucket list.
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A scant 30 kilometers due north of the touristy Mediteranean beaches, the Sierra Nevada juts straight out of the Earth in massive spires of wildflower covered peaks. The autonomous range was designated a national park in 1999 and is the largest in Spain.

In 2011 a gnarly web of doubletrack, single track, gravel and footpaths were adopted by Andalucia Tourism and supported by the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA). The effort resulted in a well documented, and extremely well signposted, 450 kilometer route that encircles the jagged range in eight named segments.

We were fortunate to land here right in the midst of a mild late spring when wildflowers were at their peak, the crisp mountain sky held back moisture from the sea, and chilly mornings made coffee extra special. The riding was epic.

Route Development: As noted, the TransNevada was created by Andalucia Tourism and supported by the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA). NOTE: We have ridden parts of this route twice. Although never in its entirety, I included the GPX for the whole route as recorded and pieced from other riders. If anyone has insight on the section from Granada to La Calahora (clockwise), please let us know!
  • Highlights


  • Must Know


  • Camping


  • Food/H2O


  • Las Alpujarras (the quaint white towns scattered on the hillsides of the Sierra Nevada)
  • Tapas: In the province of Granada, they still practice the tradition of free tapas with the purchase of a drink. We almost didn’t pay for a single meal during our time here. Just order a beer and get a snack!
  • The alpine scenery of the Sierra Nevada range
  • I recommend visiting in the spring when the wildflowers are in full swing and the sky is crystal blue
  • For alcohol stoves, the only option id pharmacy grade rubbing alcohol. Kind of pricy, but works well. There are small pharmacies in most of the Alpujarras.
  • There are plenty of opportunities for wild camping in the Sierra Nevada.
  • We also found a couple campgrounds in the Alpujarras.
  • Plenty of food options in all of the all of the Las Alpujarras… both shops and restaurants. Load up on beer and tapas.
  • There are quite a few streams, springs and historic fountains along the way. Most, if not all, need filtering though.

Terms of Use: As with each bikepacking route guide published on, should you choose to cycle this route, do so at your own risk. Prior to setting out check current local weather, conditions, and land/road closures. While riding, obey all public and private land use restrictions and rules, carry proper safety and navigational equipment, and of course, follow the #leavenotrace guidelines. The information found herein is simply a planning resource to be used as a point of inspiration in conjunction with your own due-diligence. In spite of the fact that this route, associated GPS track (GPX and maps), and all route guidelines were prepared under diligent research by the specified contributor and/or contributors, the accuracy of such and judgement of the author is not guaranteed. LLC, its partners, associates, and contributors are in no way liable for personal injury, damage to personal property, or any other such situation that might happen to individual riders cycling or following this route.





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