Gravel Riding Grades 

Victoria’s High Country is home to mild to wild gravel cycling routes for all levels of riders. The Ride High Country Gravel Difficulty Rating System assists you in choosing a gravel route that matches your gravel cycling skill level, experience, bike type and interests. The grade of a gravel route also gives you an insight into the gravel surface and elevation gain you can expect on the ride. Ride High Country's gravel route grades follow the same system as skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking - Easiest/Green, Intermediate/Blue, Advanced/Black and Expert/Double Black.

Developed by Ride High Country, pedal with confidence knowing that the Ride High Country Gravel Difficulty Rating System is endorsed by the National Sporting Organisation AusCycling.


  • Easiest

    • Suitable for a beginner gravel cyclist with basic handling skills.
    • Mostly fire roads, rail trail and off-road bike paths with a gentle gradient, smooth surface and free of obstacles.
    • Predominantly flat to rolling terrain with gentle climbing.
    • Smooth and hardened surfaces.
    • Mixed finishes of bitumen, chip seal with tiny gravel chunks or compacted dirt.
    • Suitable for most bicycle types and tyre widths.
    • Wheelchair bike accessible.
  • Intermediate

    • Suitable for developing multi-surface cyclists with a moderate fitness level.
    • Maintained dirt or gravel roads/tracks with moderate gradients, variable surface and minor obstacles.
    • Moderate climbing with some steeper sections.
    • Packed dirt or gravel surfaces.
    • Possible sections of rocky or loose tread, potholes and washboard.
    • Suitable for gravel bikes, hardtail mountain bikes and sturdy all-rounders with tyres 35-38mm recommended.
    • Adaptive MTB accessible.
  • Advanced

    • Suitable for experienced gravel cyclists with good skills, used to physically demanding routes.
    • Infrequently maintained gravel roads and smooth to chunky gravel tracks with variable surfaces and unexpected obstacles.
    • Features steep descents and climbs.
    • Variable and challenging surfaces.
    • Obstacles may include exposed rocks, rain ruts, water crossings and mud/sand bogs.
    • Designed for gravel bikes and hardtail mountain bikes with tyre width 38-42mm.
  • Expert

    • Widely variable terrain, challenging and hard going.
    • Walking may be necessary.
    • Routes may include deep ruts, rock gardens, very steep climbs and fast descents.
    • Unmaintained fire roads, tracks and trails with highly variable surfaces in remote locations.
    • Rough gravel with severe obstacles, rocky features and potential exposure.
    • Good quality, well maintained gravel or hardtail mountain bikes with 42mm+ tyres are highly recommended.


Difficulty Place