Join us for this fully supported bicycle adventure through the incredible national parks and monuments of Southwest Utah.
We’ll start the trip by heading into the ethereal shapes and shades of Zion National Park, where we can enjoy the luxury of car-free cycling as we explore the maze of narrow sandstone canyons, striking rock towers, and mesas. Next, we’ll pedal amidst the ghostly hoodoos carved out of the Paunsaugunt Plateau sediments of Bryce Canyon National Park. We’ll take in the spectacular Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and later, in Cedar Breaks National Monument, we’ll reach the high point of our adventure at 10,400 feet above sea level.
Each evening, after the brilliant sun has bowed below the horizon, we’ll enjoy a delicious catered meal. Don’t forget to have a look overhead — the stars and planets seem to shine bigger and brighter in the Utah Canyon Country than almost anywhere else in the U.S.
|Start Date:||Jun 08, 2014||End Date:||Jun 14, 2014|
|Start Location:||St George, UT||End Location:||St George, UT|
|Total Days:||7||Riding Days:||6|
|Average Daily Mileage:||46.7||Surface:||Paved|
|Riders:||38||Elevation Alert:||High Point: 10,400'|
|Airport:||McCarran Intl. (Las Vegas, NV)||Tour Leader:||Daryll Patton|
|Caterer:||KJ Productions (Kathy)||Meals:||Catered meals|
|Accommodations:||Camping, Motel Options||Type:||Supported|
|Physical Difficulty:||Intermediate+||Level of Support:||Fully Supported|
St. George. We’ll meet up in St. George, known as Utah’s Dixie for its temperate climate. After greeting our fellow bicycle enthusiasts and tour leaders, we'll get situated with our first map meeting and orientation in the late afternoon. Don’t forget that St. George is in the Mountain Time Zone, one hour ahead of Las Vegas! After making any last minute adjustments to our bikes with the help of our on-tour mechanic, we’ll fall asleep under the sparkling desert sky.
St. George to Springdale, 43 miles. We'll start off on rolling terrain then hit our first major climb up to Hurricane Mesa. The curious name dates back to the early 1860s when a whirlwind blew off the top of a buggy carrying a group of surveyors led by Mormon leader Erastus Snow. "Well, that was a hurricane," exclaimed Snow. We'll camp tonight at the Zion Canyon Campground, but there's plenty to do in Springdale before we rest. Perhaps we'll check out the Zion Human History Museum or the Zion Canyon Theatre where we can view the history of the Park on a screen that's six stories tall!
Springdale to Hatch, 62 miles. After beginning the day with a climb, it's time to enjoy a shuttle through the 1.1-mile Zion-Mt.Carmel tunnel. When the tunnel was dedicated, on July 4, 1930, it was the longest tunnel in the United States. Later, in Bryce Canyon National Park, you'll enjoy the delicately carved spires that rise in brilliant color as you pedal amidst the ghostly hoodoos carved out of the Paunsaugunt Plateau sediments.
Hatch to Ruby's Inn, 25 miles. Today we'll get a chance to put our tires to the five-mile-long bike path running through magnificent Red Canyon from the Thunder Mountain Trailhead to Coyote Hollow Road. Red Canyon is a little-known gem, a forested area with sixty-million-year-old dark red rock castles protruding up from crimson sand. You'll have the rest of the day to discover the treasures of Bryce Canyon any way you choose; by bicycle, foot, horseback, or even helicopter!
Ruby's Inn to Panguitch, 25 miles. Spend a leisurely morning exploring Bryce, making sure to check out trails taken by old west outlaws and enjoy a rare chance to see the paintings and dwellings of ancient Native Americans. Don't miss the Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument, which begins right near Ruby's Inn and is a very unique region of canyons, arches, plateaus and cliffs. This area, which comprises 1.7 million acres, was designated a National Monument in 1996 and is considered to be one of the least explored areas of the continental United States. We'll have a mostly downhill ride into Panguitch, a mid-sized town completely surrounded by mountains.
Panguitch to Cedar City, 62 miles. Today we'll climb to our highpoint of 10,400 feet, and cruise through Cedar Breaks Monument, resting atop the Colorado plateau. Millions of years of sedimentation, uplift, and erosion carved out this giant amphitheater that spans some three miles, and is more than 2,000 feet deep. A constantly changing landscape, it has been a source of human wonder for thousands of years. When the southern Pauite used to occupy this region, they referred to it as "u-map-wich," which translated to "the place where the rocks are sliding down constantly."
Cedar City to St. George, 63 miles. We’ll complete our loop today, as we head downhill for the first 35 miles, and finish up the ride back in St. George. After lunch it’ll be time to bid farewell to your new friends, but not to your fresh-made memories, which will stay with you long after you’ve made your way home.
"The beauty lingers in the mind and photos."
2012 Tour Participant
"Loved Bryce Canyon, meeting a nice bunch of people, and getting to be on my bike in a beatufiul spot for a week."
2012 Tour Participant
"The national parks were spectacular, that was our motivation for doing this trip. The group dynamics were a bonus-- we made some friendships that were unexpected."
2012 Tour Participant
"Great food, great staff, and great people. ACA allows you to be a kid again; summer bike riding with not a care in the world."
2011 Tour Participant