My tour

The needles/ trails of the Ancients


id trail-of-the-ancients-2015_o

The Needles District of Canyonlands National Park is one of the most remote regions in the USA. More then 800 years ago the Ancestral Puebloans developed a flourishing civilization in these canyons. This mountain bike adventure offers a unique historic perspective into the region.

Mountain bike
6 days
230 km / 143 mi
$ 1,623.-
  • Needles District Canyon Lands
  • Ancient Indian ruins into Ruin Park.
  • Hike slot canyons
  • Traverse Lockhart Basin
  • Mostly dirt road and double track route
  • Please plan on arriving in Moab at least one day prior to your trip departure; day one of your itinerary starts at 8 a.m.

    Deposit for this tour is $500.-pp.



Mountain bike
6 days
Easy = untrained, normal physical condition
Moderate = regular cyclist, good condition
Challenging = experienced, well trained
Technical level
Easy = unpaved roads, almost flat
Average = narrow paths, steep climbing
Difficult = barely used trails, rocks
Guided = with cycling guide(s) - support van
Self Guided = individual - directions+maps
Daily distance
20-40 km / 12-25 mi
Total distance
230 km / 143 mi
Deluxe = 4-5 star hotel or excellent B&B
Basic = 1-2 star hotel/motel or B&B
Camping = tent, sports hall or campus
Camping, full board
Luggage transport
Daily luggage transfers
09 Apr 2023 - 14 Apr 2023
16 Apr 2023 - 21 Apr 2023
23 Apr 2023 - 29 Apr 2023
30 Apr 2023 - 05 May 2023
07 May 2023 - 12 May 2023
14 May 2023 - 19 May 2023
21 May 2023 - 26 May 2023
28 May 2023 - 02 May 2023
27 Aug 2023 - 01 Sep 2023
03 Sep 2023 - 08 Sep 2023
More 2023 start dates: Sept. 10, 17, 24, Oct. 1, 8.
Moab (08.00)
Moab (16.00)
Airport at start
Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT)
Airport at finish
Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT)

Prices *Please note the prices are subject to change depending availability*

Price per person / please note the prices are subject to change depending availability
The tour price per person
$ 1,623.-
Camping gear rental
We rent high-quality camping gear for all of our camping tours. These include a tent, sleeping pad, raised cot, sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner, full size pillow, and ground tarp.
$ 108.-


Included / Not Included – campgrounds

Day 1: Newspaper Rock to Ruin Park

After meeting and tour orientation in Moab we head to the Southeast entrance of Canyonlands National Park where we make a stop at the historic Newspaper Rock. From here, a short shuttle takes us to one of the last working ranches in the country, the Dugout Ranch. We ride from the ranch, through Cottonwood Valley, and to our camp which overlooks the Needles District of Canyonlands NP. Time permitting, there will be an evening hike into the park to see the remote Wedding Ring Arch.
Total Mileage 18 miles/ 2440 ft gain. Camping Big Pocket Overlook

Day 2: Beef Basin to Ruin Park

We awake to the silence only the remote desert can provide, and of course, to the delicious smells of hot coffee and breakfast only guides can prepare. Today we discover the extreme backcountry as we ride over the foothills of the Abajo Mountains and drop 1,800 feet into Beef Basin to our camp at Ruin Park, an archaeologically rich area. If you’re up to do more riding, you will have the option to do so or the rest of the day is yours to explore the many ancient secrets of the area.
Total Mileage easy: 19 / 2047 ft gain total mileage moderate 31 miles / 2826 ft gain. Camping Ruin Park

Day 3: Ruin Park to the Colorado River Overlook

An epic ride takes us from Ruin Park to Chesler Park, located in the Needles District, where we take a break from the bikes and hike the canyons that made the area famous. This hiking experience can only be found in few other places in the country. The trail follows a long stretch of connecting “joints” and deep, narrow crevices in a massive rock expanse; some passages are only 2-3 feet wide.
Total Mileage easy: 32 miles / 1395 ft gain moderate: 41.4 miles / 1877 ft gain + 5 mile hike option. Camping Hamburger Rock.

Day 4: Indian Creek to Lockhart Basin Road

From camp, we make our way back through Indian Creek to the base of the Canyonlands Overlook. Our trail weaves through a wonderland of goblin-style rocks that have cut their way out of the Cutler sandstone and you are able to see the broken monoliths of Windgate Sandstone which look like ancient Egyptian pyramids. We’ll have plenty of time today for an 8 mile optional ride to swim in the Colorado River.
Total Mileage 30 miles / 1505 ft gain. Camping near Lockhart Canyon.

Day 5: Lockhart Basin

The day starts with a climb on eroded jeep track into the beautiful backcountry of Lockhart Basin. As we come around Channel Change Gap, we see our first view of Moab, located up the Colorado River. Our ride climbs and descends through many washes. After a final descent, we climb to Chicken Corners, our camp for the night. Looking down to the Colorado Rover and across the Elephant sandstone to Dead Horse Point, the views from camp are sure to take your breath away!
Total Mileage easy 18.5 miles / 1420 ft gain moderate 25 miles / 1977 ft gain. Camping. Chicken Corners

Day 6: Hurrah Pass to Moab

After breakfast, we begin a big climb up Hurrah Pass and into the Moab Valley. The climb culminates on top of a beautiful overlook that gives us an impressive view of the Colorado River Canyons. We finish our journey with a final ride into Moab, arriving around 4:00 p.m.
Total Mileage 23 miles / 2492 ft gain

* This is a general itinerary and may vary. The tour operator reserves the right to make changes
due to weather, local conditions, government intervention, or any unforeseen reasons that may
affect the quality of the trip and/or safety of the participants. Inns are subject to change .


Two Guides
All meals starting with lunch on the first day through lunch on the last day, Snacks and non-alcoholic beverages
Support Vehicle
Backcountry permits, licenses, park fees,
First Aid
Bike Maintenance
Community Gear
Souvenir Shirt

Not included:

Airfare to and from our departure point
Lodging before or after the tour
Personal Camping Gear, (Personal Camping gear rental: includes a tent, sleeping pad, raised cot, sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner, full size pillow, and ground tarp. $108.-)
Rental Bike, see PDF file below,
Gratuities to Guides

Campground Details

Night 1: Big Pocket Overlook
Night 2: Ruin Park
Night 3: Hamburger Rock
Night 4: Near Lockhart Canyon
Night 5: Chicken Corners
We choose well-maintained public campgrounds with scenic vistas and comfortable arrangements. You’ll move seamlessly from one day of your trip to the next, camping outdoors and enjoying wildly healthy, delicious homemade meals.

The majority of our selected campgrounds feature indoor facilities and showers. Conversely, in more remote backcountry camping scenarios, we’ll provide portable toilets and private solar showers.

You will be riding and sleeping at elevations over 4,000 ft for this trip. Weather predictions in this area are often unreliable due to the elevation, so it is best to be prepared for cold evenings and inclement weather. Please use the following locations when checking the weather online: Moab, UT

Map & Routes



stumpy-elite650 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Full Suspension
Santa Cruz Tallboy 29er Full Suspension


Bike rentals 2
Activities, the Needles
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