Mountain Bike Trails in Karratha

Living in Karratha within a couple of kilometres to a network of mountain biking trails meant every day we were lucky enough to be able to go for a trail ride through an amazing rugged landscape full of wildlife. We signed up to the Burrup Mountain Bike Club and found a wonderful community and hobby whilst living in the remote region of the Pilbara. While I didn’t have the chance to write about all of the rides, I thought sharing a collection of photos would hopefully show just how amazing this area is to mountain bike. The relatively short distance to town and low elevation makes this area ideal for beginners, particularly as there are plenty of double tracks to start on. That said, this ancient area is naturally shaped by weather and the rocky single track is great challenge. For West Aussies south of Perth, it is amazing terrain and very foreign to the landscape south of Perth. The rocks on the ground in Pilbara are very diverse.

Let me begin by introducing the Karratha Hills. I’m on the trails and the neighbourhood behind me.

Red dirt, rocks and spinifex grass dominates the Pilbara landscape and where tata lizards run ahead of the bike like a trail dog.

Enduring hot summers on the trails meant riding was either very early in the morning or at sunset. A Pilbara winter is mild and an ideal time to squeeze in extra exploring adventures.

Spectacular sunset rides were a wonderful way to close the day.

Rocks of all kinds on the trail but the pointy ones on a ridge line were skill building.

Tracks naturally carved by past rainfall events. Karratha receives its rain during the summer period.

It was recommended while living in the Pilbara to find a hobby and join a club which was easy as we were mountain biking at the time. The Burrup Mountain Bike Club introduced us to so much.

After work rides on trails carved into the hill side.

We found some hairy northshore type features.

and larger rocks to ride on with even more northshore fun.

Some hills had very rutty weathered away 4WD drive tracks to the top, we tried it once on the mountain bikes and it was tough, but this was the view.  It was accompanied with an incredible silence up the top.

During the social race season we kept the Burrup MTB Club race plates on the bikes.

Some days the hills would look like the wild west.

If the rain came or if the sun disappeared, it was exciting. Here rare drops of rain on the Garmin!

Dramatic sun glare most afternoons and beautiful to ride through.

The mountain biking community was resourceful and aside from this berm, bringing out the BBQ trailer after a race was legendary.

Double arrow features were scattered throughout the hills (referring to what laid on the other side)

This is the other side!

A and B lines.

Pilbara style berms here.

There were a few areas to explore on the mountain bike away from the hills, on the other side of town there was the flats behind Nickol and one day I found this track to the airport.

The Baynton 6 hour race was the biggest event for the Karratha mountain bike community and leading up to it everyone would hit the trails at night to practice.

I would never have thought that I would mountain bike at night but felt motivated with all the club members doing it. I learnt how to ride at night and alone which was very empowering for me.

Sometimes there were burnt out cars and boats in the hills

Given the relatively flat elevation, there were a few good drops to be found.

Christmas on the trails.

Very narrow single track.

Wildlife track spotting in the mornings.

Hill climbs on ground that rolls is exceptionally tough work.

Early morning wake up to avoid the summer heat because mountain biking in Karratha is addictive.

Calling through the pump track on the way home from the trails, just for fun.

Hidden Valley, a little oasis in the Karratha hills.

Combining the back hill trails to the modern Karratha look out platform was a bit of a treat.

A quiet meander to the Karratha Airport.

Best to make a swift exit when the summer storms roll in.

Descending on a pit of rolling rocks.

BBQ hill, a fun single track route. Is it true someone rolled a BBQ off the hill? This and Dogs Hollow were great single tracks.

Cycling through a storm drain in one of the Burrup Club social races was just one of many creative ideas by the club.

Meeting at the BMX track for the commute to work.

Features of one of the race rounds to test the leg strength of riders.
Penno Lane was one of the first trails we tried and one that was challenging.   Short pinch dips through dry creeks and the length of riding on rocks.
Of course the flies would return in summer and selfies were doomed. If March flies were around, there was no stopping.
Visiting the Pilbara, check out my other posts here. Don’t forget to bring the bike!


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