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. They consist of steep up and downhill sections with sandy soil combined with rugged rocks and rock slab drop offs. The tracks are tough and technical but as with most good flowing single track, a less experienced rider can creep through, while more experienced riders can up the wattage and in doing so up the difficulty level.
There are three different trails and you could make a couple of days out of it if you wanted. There is a good place to stay not far from Khao I-to called Grand Garden which is marked on the map and also a bike shop just incase you need any spares.
We have to choose our words wisely on this one. We could say it is the easiest out of the three as it's nearly all single track but we're not going to.
The green trail consists of two great loops of fast flowing single track. It can be quite technical at times but keeps rewarding the rider with smooth flowing single track descents.
The green trail is probably the easiest out of the three trails as it cuts out the exhausting up hill climb on the road and there's an opportunity half way to stop at the restaurant and have a well earned break.
The first part of the trail is all singletrack with a steady climb through the jungle along side the mountain. This section is rooty and a few rock slabs with some drop offs. The first section has you riding between the tight trees before arriving at the rock for a breath taking view. Continuing the on the singletrack trail up the mountain. As the trail then descends it turns into a Double track fire road and cuts over the road. The trail then becomes thinner and turns into singletrack once again before crossing over a stream. The next part continues down some muddy singletrack followed by a very steep section which will test your technical skills. There is a leg burning up hill singletrack climb followed by a left turn onto a fire road. The fire road continues back up the mountain before popping out on the road. Next is a steep road climb before turning right and the off roading starts again. The next part is a bone shaker it's very rocky consisting of small rocks and boulders. Crossing another stream there is an uphill climb before emerging on the last part of the red trail.
This trail will lead you back to the car park and the start of the second loop.
The second loop is also nearly all singletrack which twists and winds through a more dense part of the jungle. The trail takes you over a couple of streams, through long grass, under and over fallen tress and around rock formations. When trail comes out at the rock formations continue on until you reach a fire road turn right and head up the hill and 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?
The riding can be fairly technical at times. We would class this trail as an intermediate level for mountain bikers. The riding can be hot so bring plenty of water.
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.