At a Glance
XC / Trail
Blue (More difficult)
This a 15km track through rolling desert terrain in the West MacDonnell National Park, just north of Alice Springs, is the perfect introduction to mountain biking in the Red Centre. The West MacDonnell Mountain Bike Track (the West Macs Track) is mostly flowing, with some technical sections (hilly terrain, sand and rockgardens). There is usually a B-line.
This 15km track was originally built by NT Parks and Wildlife in the 90s. It used to be known as ‘the Hell Line’ because it was so overgrown and rocky. It has been rebuilt by local rider Ronn Slusser, with support from the NT Parks and Wildlife and the Central Australian Rough Riders in 2013. The West Macs Track starts on Lovegrove Drive, near the railway tracks, and ends on Smith St, 5km north of town. (To find the trailhead, see below.)
The track takes riders past the historic Old Cattle Yards, and has several spots to stop and take in the view. The recent revamp added parking for bikes and tired riders at key photo spots (at around the 5km, 9km and 12km marks).
While the West Macs Track is just on the edge of town, there are no short-cuts back from the trail. The riding in Alice Springs is hot and dusty, and there are no taps or streams on the trail, so bring enough water to last the distance.
The rocks and thorns in Alice Springs are hard on mountain bike tyres, so carry a spare tube and repair kit. The local mountain bikers also recommend putting sealant in your tubes or going tubeless.
Finding the Trail HeadFlow Nation
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Ride north out of town along the Stuart Highway.
Turn left onto Smith St and continue for 1.8km.
Turn left onto Lovegrove Drive and turn right as soon as you cross the railway line.
Follow 4WD track that runs parallel to the railway line for about 1km, until you see a green post with a mountain bike sign on it, on your left, just before you reach the motorbike tracks. (This is the Railway Track.)
Follow the mountain bike signs on the Railway Track for about 3km, until you reach a fork in the track.
Take the righthand track and follow it to a gate (100 metres).
This is the West Macs Track trailhead. The sign marking this trailhead has a map of the route.