If you are going to ride one route across Utah in your lifetime, this is the one.
The Utah Mountains bike tour is a point-to-point bike tour across Utah featuring the rugged backbone of the state. Who knew there were so many mountains in a state known for its deserts and canyons? The route meanders through three National Parks (Capitol Reef, Bryce and Zion), two National Monuments and one state park. Over the course of the tour we ride all 124-miles of Utah’s incomparable Scenic By-Way 12 and two stretches of road that rank up there with the most scenic in North America: The Hogback on Scenic By-Way-12 and the descent into Zion National Park
563 km / 350 mi
All meals included.
Entrance fees .
Shuttles and mechanical support.
Daily additional mileage option.
Night before and after the tour not included.
We now have a limited selection of SCOTT electric bikes for rent $375
Group discount of $200 per person for groups of 4 or more.
The deposit for this tour is $950.-pp.
NOTE #1 : There is a time zone change between Vegas and St. George where you lose an hour.
NOTE #2 : There are now also a limited number of flights into and out of St. George, Utah.
Easy = untrained, normal physical condition Moderate = regular cyclist, good condition Challenging = experienced, well trained
Guided = with cycling guide(s) - support van Self Guided = individual - directions+maps
60-80 km / 37-50 mi
563 km / 350 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
Deluxe, full board
Daily luggage transfers
08 Sep 2019 - 14 Sep 2019 15 Sep 2019 - 21 Sep 2019 26 Apr 2020 - 02 May 2020 03 May 2020 - 09 May 2019 24 May 2020 - 30 May 2020
Scott CR-1 carbon road bikes equipped with Shimano 105 components and geared for mountain climbing (the lowest rear gear is 32 tooth). 49cm, 52cm, 54cm 56cm, 58cm & 61cm bikes are available. Bike rental cost is $275- for the length of a tour
SCOTT electric bikes that can be reserved for our tours. These are road bikes with straight bars that make the slowest rider the fastest rider in the group. Rental Price is $375/week.
If you travel alone a single supplement is charged. With some group tours you can avoid a single supplement by sharing a room with another rider.
Day 1: Scenic Byway 72 to Red River Ranch
Standard, 47 miles with up to 3,170 feet of climbing
82 miles with up to 5,780 feet of climbing
Your Utah Mountains & National Parks Tour begins with a back country bike ride along the eastern rise of central Utah’s Fishlake Mountains. Riders are treated to a quiet scenic byway with little traffic. Numerous viewpoints provide expansive views of the desert 3,000-feet below. This ride is one of Utah’s hidden gems.
On this first day, take it easy and set your own pace. Lunch will be served at the top with panoramic 100-mile views of southern Utah. Next, be prepared for the optional stout climb to Fish Lake. You’ve just ascended 6,400-feet on day one.
From here, descend to tonight’s accommodations at the relaxing oasis, Red River Ranch. The Fremont River flows through the ranch, twelve bison live on site, giant cottonwood trees shade the buildings and the ranch sits beneath towering red rock cliffs.
Day 2: Torrey, Utah to Boulder, Utah
Standard, 41 miles with up to 3,930 feet of climbing
95 miles with up to 7,505 feet of climbing
Today’s destination is Capitol Reef National Park. After touring its ancient pictographs and waterfalls, you’ll ascend Boulder Mountain. Brace yourself – it’s a monster 3,000-foot ascent from the desert to the mountains with a peak elevation of 9,000-feet. From the top of Boulder Mountain, fly down to the oasis of Boulder, Utah.
Are you itching for a massive challenge? Try a taxing 95-mile option with over 7,500 feet of total climbing.
Settle in tonight for a two-night’s stay at the incomparable Boulder Mtn Lodge while enjoying meals at a personal favorite of us, Hell’s Backbone Grill.
Day 3: Long Canyon Loop & Calf Creek Waterfall
Long Canyon Out & Back, 37 miles with up to 3,330 feet of climbing
Calf Creek Out & Back, 25 miles with up to 2,385 feet of climbing
On this day you will explore the extraordinary backcountry of the Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument from our base camp at the Boulder Mtn Lodge.
Choose from a variety of activities, including swimming, canyoneering, hiking and more bike riding. Or just hang out at the lodge and enjoy a quiet day reading, soaking in the hot tub or even a massage.
The planned ride for today is a 37 mile out and back to the intimate confines of Long Canyon, a desert gem. The 400-foot tall canyon walls wingate sandstone tower above you. You can also walk into a hidden slot canyon that’s just off the quiet road. Even though this route is relatively short, be prepared for nearly 3,400 feet of climbing.
After Long Canyon, ride 12.5 miles to the Calf Creek Recreation Area. Change into your hiking boots here. In this enchanting desert oasis with lush vegetation and beaver ponds, you will arrive at the year-round 126 foot cascading waterfall of Lower Calf Creek after a 2.5 mile walk. We will spend a few hours searching Indian ruins and petroglyphs, then observe birds, deer and (if we are lucky) perhaps a mountain lion. Enjoy lunch in the shade beneath the waterfall.
After the 5 mile walking round-trip to the Calf Creek waterfall, you can call it a day or challenge yourself with the 12.5 mile return ride back up Boulder. Upon returning to the resort, take a walk around the adjacent bird sanctuary or enjoy a nap under a large cottonwood tree. We simply love the Boulder Mountain Lodge!
Tonight once again dine at Hell’s Backbone Grill. The gracious owners, Jenn and Blake, are wonderful hosts and their restaurant has received numerous praise, including the New York Times Story.
Day 4: Boulder, Utah to Bryce National Park
40 to 73 miles with between 2,750 and 5,760 feet of climbing
Today the Utah Mountains & National Parks Tour continues west on Utah State Highway 12. This is arguably one of the best cycling roads in the state, maybe the country. It twists and turns and climbs and dives across rough desert and high plateau topography. Today’s ride to Bryce National Park offers 73 miles & 5,760-feet of climbing that will likely turn your legs to mush.
The highlight of Highway 12 is the ridge of Hell’s Backbone – an exposed piece of highway dropping hundreds of feet on either side. Highway 12 traces the northern edge of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, a 1.9 million acre spectacle of multi-hued cliffs and terraces, with distances that defy human perspective. Highway 12 is sure to please.
Tonight’s lodging is outside Bryce Canyon National Park and later on, we will take an exhilarating night hike under the stars inside the park.
Day 5: Bryce Canyon National Park to Cedar Breaks National Monument to Zion National Park
Standard, 53 to 107 miles with between 5,170 to 7,505 feet of climbing
130 miles with up to 8,165 feet of climbing
This day’s ride offers yet another challenge and with a route riding from the desert to the mountains and back to the desert, the ecological diversity of today’s ride is simply off the charts. After departing Bryce Canyon National Park in the morning, you’ll head west for a ride that brings you to the 10,000-foot high elevation mark at Cedar Breaks National Monument. From here, it’s a 6,300′ descent for the next 50+ miles to Mt. Carmel Junction – gravity will be your friend today! We then head due west and upon entering Zion National Park, you will be enthralled by 2,500-foot high sandstone cliffs as we make our way through the park to the small town of Springdale, Utah.
Lower mileage options exist for those looking for less climbing and/or miles by shuttling ahead on the climbs or along longer stretches of open road.
Day 6: Layover in Springdale, Utah
Hiking Options in Zion National Park
Optional Ride, Kolob Canyon Out & Back, 75 miles with up to 6,500 feet of climbing
With a layover day in Springdale, optional on-your-own unguided hiking in Zion National Park certainly beckons and we highly recommend you take advantage of it as Zion offers some of the most scenic hiking of all the national parks. Take the free Zion Canyon Shuttle from Springdale into the park for hiking and then back again when you are finished. The shuttle runs every 10-15 minutes throughout the day, so you will have plenty of time to enjoy your hike.
Some of the trails we recommend in Zion National Park are Angel’s Landing, The Narrows through the Virgin River and Weeping Rock… among many others!
An optional on-your-own out and back 75 mile route from Springdale to Kolob Canyon and back can also be ridden. This route offers tremendous views of Zion from above through a diverse landscape.
Day 7: Springdale, Utah to Virgin River Narrows
Zion Sunrise Ride, 16 miles with up to 1090 feet of climbing
On our final day of the tour, we breakfast early and then embark on an early morning sunrise ride into Zion National Park.
First we will ride a flat 7 miles on a park road closed to private vehicles as bikes rule here. Upon entering Zion, the riding experience is sublime with canyon walls towering over 2,000-feet above the road and early morning sunlight dancing along the tops of the white rock peaks… it is gorgeous! Upon reaching the end of the ride, there will be more options to hike around Zion canyon. Another option instead of the riding or hiking is to relax in the quaint downtown of Springdale.
In the mid-afternoon (Saturday), you can take the shuttle back to our meeting hotel in St. George. Choose to spend a night in St. George, or take the shuttle back to Las Vegas.
If you would like to extend your stay in Zion National Park, you are welcome to do so, but all reservations are on-your-own to make in advance. We will even transport your bike back to the shop and have it shipped for you, if you brought your own wheels.
*Tour itineraries are subject to change and modification based on the group, available accommodations and other unforeseen circumstances including weather, wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, landslides and/or other acts of nature. Please view this itinerary as an outline as to what to expect on this tour.
Map & Routes
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