If you've ever visited Bangkok then you would be forgiven for writing central Thailand off as MTB territory. The trails at Khao E-to(or I-to as it is sometimes spelt) however are just two and a half hours drive outside Bangkok.
Does this sound to good to be true? Well, the remote trails at Khao E-to are technical and challenging for even an experienced mountain biker.
The mixture of singletrack mountain bike trails at Khao E-to offer a range of mtb levels. If you know where to go you can probably find what you are looking for at khao I-to. These maintained jungle trails are both technical and challenging.
The technical Red Trail can be made as technical or as basic as you like, technical jumps can be avoided to suit the rider. It is similar to the Blue trail starting off with the first part of the trail being a great single track loop with technical climbs and rewarding fast flowing single track descent. The first section is the same as the green trail is all singletrack with the same steady riding climb through the jungle along the side of E-to mountain.
This is a section that takes you straight into start of your mountain biking day. This part is quite challenging especially if you have never done this trail before and don't know what to expect, I usually take it easy through here saving my energy for the next part of the trail. Cycle through the tight trees before arriving at the rock for a breath taking view and maybe a photo or two. Keep riding along this mountain biking trail and remember to look out for the signs there a few ways to get lost but most of its fairly straight forward.
The trail then descends and it turns into a larger track which crosses over the road. After a quick fast blast downhill the trail becomes smaller and becomes singletrack before leading you over a small stream which can sometimes be very slippery in the wet. You will probably have to carry your mountain bikes over the stream. The single track continues beneath the enclosed jungle canopy on some muddy singletrack. There is a very steep part to follow which will test your mtb biking technical skills to their limits. Ride up hill again on the trail and you will come out on a wider trail again. Turn left and follow it until you get to the road.
The next ride up the road can be exhausting to say the least. Heat reflecting off the road makes it even harder. It may be a good idea to arrange a lift to the top here. You will know when you get to the top as the road ends. Turn right at the top for the red trail. This is a good place to stop for a while and take a rest in the shade after the up hill climb. The lauching point for the trail is near the large wooden shelter.
From here on the trail is all single track going downhill there are a few jumps and drop offs on the trail.
Don't be put off by thinking this is a full blown downhill trail with 10 foot high berms and 6 foot high drop offs like the ones in Canada and U.K. etc it isn't, it is more like a very technical unbroken singletrack trail. Most of the thrilling jumps can be avoided which would suit the less experienced mountain bike riders. This section can be taken as quickly or as slowly as you like but take care when riding the rocky sections just lean back and enjoy the ride back to the car park.
Finding the Start
To start this trail start from the restaurant. When you come out ot the restaurant car park turn right and follow the road along the side of the lake (the way you drove in). Keep following the road until you get to a road where you have two options turn left or go straight over. Go straight over, keep following the road around some bends until the road starts to climb. Now you must be careful and keep your eyes open for a very small dark green(i think) sign with mtb and a white arrow on it. This will be on your left and its nailed to a tree when you find this sign you will see a small trail next to it going off in to the trees, You can now breath a sigh of relief because this is the start of the single track trail
How about the riding?
We would class this trail as an intermediate to advanced level for mountain bikers. The riding tough and the weather will nearly always be hot so bring plenty of water. The trail is 90% single track with some steep climbs and decents.
When's the best time to ride?
Any time of day is good for this trail. During the rainy seasons some parts of the trail can get a bit boggy.
Car Park, Restaurant, Toilet and shower block, mountain bike club.
How to get there?
Two ways from Bangkok first is to go on the road 305 from Ransit but there is usually traffic on here. We have found following road 1 north and coming off on road 33 is quicker. The trail is at Pratchinburi, Noen Hom at Khao I-to reservoir.