No doubts Santa Caterina Valfurva is a popular destination for the most demanding mountain bikers.
Santa Caterina Valfurva and the surrounding valleys offer many alternatives to practice freeride on trails surrounded by pure nature, with narrow and technical trails and a stunning view of the Forni glaciers.
You often have to face many ups and downs to reach the start of the descents. These trails are not for all, but the most experienced mountain bikers will enjoy the most intense taste of fun with a mountain bike.
The classic example is Zebrù pass that can be reached from Santa Caterina through a paved road with steep slopes leading to the Forni hut (2200 m asl). The trail continues along the entire Cedec valley up to the Pizzini hut (2700 m asl). Stop there for a break as the surrounding landscape deserves it. Only two km and a vertical drop of 300 m and you’ll get to Zebrù Pass (3000 m asl).
The descent is long and the first part is very technical and difficult (a part, in particular, deserves attention because a narrow and impervious gulch doesn’t allow mountain bikers to get off the bike). The rest of the Zebrù valley is nice and smooth. Once you get to Baite del Pastore, a wide and dirt road leads to Bormio - surrounded by a natural and protected landscape.
The Dosso Tresero dominates Santa Caterina Valfurva and can be reached as follows: either via the “ponte delle vacche” along a very steep trail - you’ll need to push or carry your bike for several minutes - or via the road leading to Gavia pass, taking the path from the Berni hut to get back to Santa Caterina.
The descent can be via the Romantica, a trail leading back to the town through an infinity (a number close to 100) of very technical hairpin bends full of fun.
Now, and due to the inexorable retreat of the glaciers, you can cycle on the “glaciologico” trail with your mountain bike: it starts from Branca hut and cuts the valley only a few hundred meters from the snow edges of the Forni glacier. The special parts of this path are two Tibetan bridges, to cross the gulches carved by the water. You’ll be back to Santa Caterina Valfurva on narrow single trails full of fun.
Without considering the obvious connection between Santa Caterina Valfurva and Bormio by MTB (they’re connected by a dirt road too) there are connections with the lower part of Valtellina too: the Alpe pass connects Santa Caterina with Sondalo and Tirano. Another connection is the transalp by mountain bike (a tour from Germany to Lake Garda) through Gavia pass, and Viso valley before you get to Pejo and Dimaro.