Southern Utah Road Bike Tour

Explore Bryce, Zion and Escalante on your road bike

TripAdvisor Certificate of ExcellenceSouthern Utah is full of treasures best seen from the vantage point of a bicycle. Over 5 days, visit the most famous and unique spots in Southern Utah including the whimsical hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park, the unbelievable rock formations of Kodachrome State Park, the undisturbed natural beauty of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and the towering sandstone cliffs verdant valley of Zion National Park.

Why travel with AOA? – Find out more

Price: $1,495 pp

Activity: Cycling, Hiking, Camping

5 Days, 4 nights

Difficulty: Moderate

 

Southern Utah Road Biking Trip

Trip Details

Price – $1495 pp
  • Price is per person
  • Book a 2018 trip online and use the code NIFTY50 for $50 off per person

 

 

Trip Rating (1 – 5)

Fitness – 3

Comfort – 3

Solitude – 2

Guest Participation – 4

Click here for an explanation of AOA’s trip ratings.

 

Where to Meet

START: 7:00am. Meet your guide in the lobby of the Hyatt Place in Las Vegas (CLICK HERE for map). Or meet in St. George at 10:30am (inquire for details).

END:  Drop-off at Hyatt Place in Las Vegas on Day 5 (usually between 3pm and 4pm).

GUESTS: 2 min to 25 max (most trips have 10-12 guests)

 

Included

  • 4 nights camping (2 in Kodachrome Basin State Park and 2 in Zion National Park)
  • Basecamp Group Gear (personal mess kit, kitchen equipment, hand washing statement, dish washing station, solar shower, camp chairs, etc.)
  • Round-trip ground transportation from Las Vegas or St. George
  • All park entry fees, permits and camping fees
  • Meals starting lunch Day 1 through lunch Day 5, water and snacks
  • Ride support/aid stations during rides, rider cue sheets, GPX files in advance (upon request)
  • Professional Wilderness First Responder certified guide/mechanic

Not Included

  • Personal insurance and expenses
  • Air transportation to and from Las Vegas or St. George
  • Pre- or post-trip lodging
  • Breakfast Day 1
  • Dinner Day 5
  • Tent (available to rent from AOA)
  • Sleeping pad (available to rent from AOA)
  • Sleeping bag (available to rent from AOA)
  • Day hiking pack (available to rent from AOA)
  • Bike and helmet (available to rent from AOA)
  • Personal cycling kit
  • Gratuities to AOA Guides

*Please see the “Rentals & Add Ons” tab below for a list of available gear rentals and purchase options.*

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When’s the best time to go on this trip?

A:  The areas we visit in Utah are generally at higher elevations so the warmer months of the year are ideal. If we’ve had a rainy winter season, the spring wildflowers can be amazing. If you’re sensitive to heat, avoid July and August. If you’re sensitive to cold, avoid the very early season trips and the very late season trips. Otherwise, the plateaus and canyons of southern Utah are wonderful destinations from mid-May through late September.

Q: What can I expect from the cycling routes in Zion, Bryce, and Escalante?

A: All of the routes are pre-scouted by our guides and cover terrain that is equally beautiful as it is inviting for cyclists. We’ll  be on well-maintained roads, streets and pathways that range from quiet country routes to public roadways with wide shoulders and minimum traffic. Elevation change is moderate on most days, with some noticeable climbs for those interested in challenging themselves. Mileages vary and are always adjustable with the help of our support vehicle or park shuttles. SAG support is usually available every 12 to 15 miles (19 to 24 km). Guests generally travel at a group pace (10 to 15 mph or 16 to 24 kph), but have the ability to rest on demand or push themselves to achieve a goal, knowing that the guides are nearby to assist in any way needed.

Q: What can I expect from the hiking trails in Zion, Bryce, and Escalante?

A: Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks both have well-maintained trails book-ended with trailheads sporting modern conveniences (like restrooms and drinking water). Grand Staircase-Escalante is more remote but our guides know where to stop for restrooms and will brief you on what to pack for each hike. Many trails on this itinerary are steep, given their location in “canyon country,” where you are routinely hiking up and down. All the trails are approached by our guides with the whole group in mind. Slower and faster paces are available, although we do strive to find a group pace that allows everyone to enjoy the hike together whenever possible. If at any time you would like more or less of a challenge, are concerned with an aspect of a hike or route, or simply are curious about other option, just ask your guide!

Q: What sort of accommodations are included on this trip?

A: We will be staying in public campgrounds in or near the National Parks we’ll be visiting. These campgrounds have restroom facilities and running water, although Watchman Campground does not have showers so we will walk to pay showers just outside Zion National Park for this part of our stay. Your AOA Guides will set up a kitchen in which they will prepare all meals, which will be restaurant quality, served hot, with fresh produce to compliment.

Rentals & Add Ons

 

Gear Rental

  • 4-Person Basecamping Tent ($55 per tent)
  • Inflatable sleeping pad ($35 per, sleeping pads add insulation and are required on AOA trips)
  • Trekking poles (complimentary upon request)
  • Sleeping bag and linen set rental ($35 per bag/set)
  • 30 to 40 liter daypack ($25 per pack)
  • Trekking poles (complimentary upon request)
  • Bike rental is available through AOA. See the “Bike Rentals” tab below.

Optional Additions 

*A bike and helmet are not included with the cost of this trip.*

  • Bike building/packing/tuning ($125) when you ship to AOA – Find out more
  • Purchase: 3-liter Camelbak reservoir/bladder ($35 per)

Optional upgrades, additions, and rentals subject to tax (7.95%).

Trip Dates

Dates

2018 Trips 

  • May 21-25
  • June 4-8
  • June 18-22
  • July 9-13
  • July 23-27
  • August 13-17
  • August 27-31
  • September 3-7
  • September 17-21

Due to permit availability the trip dates listed here are tentative and cannot be guaranteed until 6 months prior to departure.

To see all multi-day guided tours, visit our Adventure Tour Calendar.

Bike Rental

Bike Rental Options

This trip does not include a rental bike. AOA offers rental road bikes in various performance levels. Each road bike rental includes a helmet and flat repair kit, and can be set up to your basic fit requirements. You are welcome to bring your own pedals and saddle to use with our rental bikes.

Reservation & Cancellation Policy

Reservations, Payments and Cancellation

Southern Utah cycling tours are very popular and advanced planning is often necessary. We recommend making your reservations at least 3 to 5 months in advance. We can accommodate last-minute bookings provided space is available, so please call our office to check. Each trip requires a minimum number of participants for departure. Arizona Outback Adventures (AOA) reserves the right to cancel scheduled trips that do not meet minimum sign-up requirements.

We strongly recommend that you purchase “travel insurance”. This is a valuable tool that will protect your trip investment.

For more details please see our comprehensive Trip Policies and Payments page.

We recommend Travel Guard insurance.

 

Trip Itinerary

Overview

Enjoy cycling through at Bryce Canyon and along scenic Utah Highway 12 through the wild landscape of Escalante National Monument. After seeing the area around Bryce the adventure turns to Zion National Park. Cycling the Zion Park Road and exploring the surrounding canyons takes you on a surreal journey through time. Often called “a Yosemite dressed in red”, Zion offers a green valley floor surrounded on three sides by thousands of feet of sheer red rock.

Nights are filled with laughter around the dinner table, reliving memories from the day’s rides and hikes, and colorful sunsets that morph into black skies that magically become aglow with stars.

Check out Visit Utah’s short video for a glimpse of what night skies are like in Kodachrome Basin State Park – where we camp for two nights of this trip.

DAY 1: DEPART LAS VEGAS – KODACHROME BASIN STATE PARK

After meeting our guides and fellow cyclists in Las Vegas or St. George, we travel north through the Mojave Desert toward the high-elevation plateaus of the Bryce Canyon area in southern Utah. Just as we begin to see the famous hues of red this area is known for, we turn off the highway into Red Canyon State Park. Here we enjoy a delicious guide-prepared picnic lunch before we don cycling gear, get fit to our bikes, and begin our first ride of the adventure. Paralleling Scenic Byway 12, the Red Canyon Bicycle Trail passes through canyons of red and white stone, towering in formations high above us, and winds through regal stands of ponderosa pine to our campground on the Paunsagunt Plateau.

  • Cycling: 32 miles
  • Meals: Breakfast on own, lunch and dinner included
  • Lodging: Established campground in Kodachrome State Park

DAY 2: ESCALANTE NATIONAL MONUMENT

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is true wilderness and the largest U.S. National Monument! After breakfast we load up and shuttle to today’s starting location, a viewing point for Powell Point – the highest plateau in North America.  From here we saddle the bikes and head off on Utah Highway 12, stopping at the unique Kiva Koffeehouse, perched on the cliffs above the Escalante River.  This road, with panoramas of vast slickrock “oceans” and scenic canyons was voted one of Americas top 10 most scenic highways.

Our action packed exploration continues this afternoon hiking along the Escalante River’s clear flowing waters and picturesque canyon will make you want to build a cabin here.  So it will be no surprise when your guide leads you to ancient petroglyphs and the Anasazi Ruins on this world-class hike.

  • Cycling: 32 miles
  • Hiking: 5-8 miles
  • Meals: All meals included; breakfast at camp, lunch on the trail, dinner in camp.
  • Lodging: Established campground in Kodachrome State Park

On this trip you will camp at Kodachrome Basin State Park campground- enjoy hot showers, picnic tables, and large camp sites.

DAY 3: BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK – ZION NATIONAL PARK

After breakfast we will break down camp and drive a short distance to our morning hike at Bryce Canyon National Park. The Visitor’s Center is our staging area and starting point for an unbelievably beautiful ride. Following quiet and meandering park roads, we’ll make our way out to Rainbow Point where we’ll take in a breathtaking view of Bryce’s famous amphitheater of hoodoos (precariously eroded red rock formations crowded together into a puzzle of towers). We’ll stretch our legs and get up close to these mysterious hoodoos on a hike through the Navajo Loop. Your guides will explain how these rock towers and fins form through a process of erosion caused by rain water and frost wedging. After our inspiring tour through Bryce Canyon, we make our way to Zion National Park.

  • Cycling: 18-36 miles
  • Hiking: 3-5 miles
  • Meals: All meals included; breakfast at camp, lunch on the trail, dinner in camp.
  • Lodging: Established campground in Zion National Park

    A walk through the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park. Photo by: Konrad Bratke

DAY 4: ZION NATIONAL PARK

Zion and the surrounding area is a treasure trove of majesty to uncover and what better way to see it then from the seat of a bicycle.  We begin this day with a scenic bike ride along the quiet park roads taking in the towering wonderland of cliffs, valley and hanging gardens.  Our journey takes us along the Virgin River, pedaling beneath shady Cottonwood and Sycamore trees, featuring lush greenery, bluebird skies, and awesome views of the red canyon walls above.  The road ends at the Temple of Sinewava, the trailhead for the world famous Narrows.

The Narrows are a National Park Classic because of the stunning beauty and uniqueness of the terrain, on this hike we will wade through knee to waist deep water of the Virgin River while 2000 foot Navajo Sandstone towers overhead on either side of us.  After our hike we turn around for a nice downhill cruise back into camp, or for a more challenging ride try the steep “tunnel climb”. Tonight we celebrate our week of adventure and relaxation with a final dinner.

  • Cycling: 16-23 miles
  • Hiking: 3-5 miles
  • Meals: All meals included; breakfast at camp, lunch on the trail, dinner in camp.
  • Lodging: Established campground in Zion National Park
Explore Zion National Park by road bike and foot with AOA

Explore Zion National Park by road bike and foot! Photo by: Lucas Fellers 

DAY 5: ZION NATIONAL PARK – LAS VEGAS

After breakfast, we head to Zion National Park for a finale hike to Angel’s Landing! We begin the day’s hike strolling beneath shady cottonwood and sycamore trees by the Virgin River’s edge. Soon we begin the ascent, our goal will be to reach the top before the desert sun peaks over the canyon wall. Angel’s Landing is not just a hike; it is the pre-eminent trail of our National Park System and the perfect grand adventure to cap off our fantastic week of exploring the gems of Southern Utah.

The trail ascends 1,488 feet in 2.5 miles to the 5,790-foot summit of a monolith perched partway between the river and the canyon rim. It is flanked on three sides by the erosive North Fork of the Virgin River below. The payoffs to landing on this perch are sweeping north-south views of the Virgin River Gorge, Cathedral Mountain, Observation Point, Cable Mountain and the Great White Throne looming high above Angel’s Landing. After descending back to the canyon floor it is customary to take a cool plunge in the Virgin River and relax under a cottonwood tree for a picnic lunch, recounting the fun and adventure we enjoyed during the week. Waving farewell to Zion, we arrive back to the bright lights of Las Vegas between 3:00 – 6:00pm.

  • Hiking: 5 miles
  • Meals: Breakfast and Lunch included; breakfast at camp, lunch on the trail
  • Lodging: On your own

 

Check out this trip’s route

Click here to see the routes we bike in Southern Utah on this trip.

 

Tips for planning a trip to Southern Utah

If you’re planning a trip to Southern Utah, hiking the Escalante River should definitely be on your list. On the Escalante River you’ll find less crowds, incredible scenery as you follow the river along the canyon, and endless miles of slot canyons to explore.

In Zion National Park, the hiking trails are diverse with shady riverbanks to high overlooks. Make sure to check out these four trails that travel through the best places for hikers to visit in Zion.

If you’re going to hike some of Utah’s infamous Slot Canyons, you might want to take these 3 vital tips along with you.

On both our Southern Utah Road Biking trip we spend a good amount of time exploring the beautiful Zion National Park. Here’s a guide to what it’s like cycling in Zion.

If you’re in Bryce Canyon National Park, you’ll be sure to check out the overlook of the main Bryce Canyon Amphitheater, but the best way explore this park is with a few hikes. Make sure you check out the 3 best hikes in Bryce Canyon National Park.