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Escalante Road Tour
- Sep 15, 2014 - Sep 19, 2014
On this spectacular road ride, we will visit Bryce National Park as we cycle along the northern border of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, then over Boulder Mountain to Capitol Reef National Park and beyond. This area is sparsely populated and so are the roads, making it a wonderful place to ride. Because of the optional mileage on most of the days, this tour works for both advanced riders who want the full challenge and strong intermediate riders who want to test their legs.
The geology of this area is world famous and you will see why as pedal our way through this remote and lovely area.
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Escalante Road Tour Itinerary
MEETING TIME AND PLACE
This tour will begin at 7:30 AM MST at the Lexington, 850 South Bluff St., St. George, Utah, 435-628-4235. You will need to spend the night in St. George because none of the shuttle services from Las Vegas or Salt Lake run early enough.
ENDING TIME AND PLACE
We will return to St. George between 3:00-4:00 PM on the last day. You will have time to catch a shuttle back to Las Vegas, but not to Salt Lake.
We begin by shuttling up to Cedar Breaks National Monument. Here we are high on the Colorado Plateau with incredible views of the Cedar Breaks amphitheater. The formation runs for three miles and is over 2000 feet deep. This area is home of the bristlecone pine, some of which are over 1,600 years old. From here we will drop down to Panguitch Lake for lunch. Our afternoon ride takes us on the bike path along beautiful Red Canyon and the fabulous Hoodoo Formations of Bryce Canyon National Park, our home for the night. TOTAL MILEAGE: 53 miles
After a hearty breakfast, we will begin our journey to Boulder, Utah and the fabulous Boulder Mountain Lodge. We will head east away form the park through Kodachrome Basin. The geology of this area will continue to amaze you as the colors and styles of the rock seem to change along the route. We will ride through Escalante and around the canyons of the Escalante River and up to an amazing hogback. Here the road traverses a narrow ridgeline with dramatic views off both sides. You simply have to stop a few times along this section to take it all in. Dinner tonight will be at the world famous Hell’s Backbone Grill, where our friends Blake and Jenn make the most amazing meals from all local ingredients. TOTAL MILEAGE: 73 miles (shuttling available)
Today we will do an out and back ride on the famous Burr Trail through Long Canyon. This road started out as a trail, developed by John Burr back in the late 1800s. He was a cattle rancher and created this trail to move his cattle between his summer and winter ranges. The red Wingate Sandstone rises straight up on both sides of the road as you drop off the plateau. The road turns to dirt after 35 miles, so we can either ride back to the lodge or do some shuttling if legs are tired from yesterday. Ultimately the road continues all the way to Bullfrog, passing through Capitol Reef National Park and the Waterpocket Fold. Another wonderful night (and dinner!) at the lodge awaits. TOTAL MILEAGE: 35 - 70 miles
Today we begin with a good long climb away from the desert and on to the shoulder of Boulder Mountain. The road twists and turns as we leave the pinion pine and juniper of the high desert and reach the alpine slopes. Views from the top include the Henry Mountains, the last range in North America to be explored and current home of a small herd of buffalo. The aspen trees will be spectacular as we crest the summit and begin the descent back down to the town of Torrey. Once in Torrey we’ll head east to Capitol Reef National Park where the road hugs the bends of the Fremont River. After checking out the visitor center we’ll return to Torrey. We will dine at the Café Diablo, another one of our absolute favorites. TOTAL MILEAGE: 38 miles, optional 20 miles
Our last day will begin with a short shuttle to a lovely ride in Fishlake National Forest. An enjoyable climb will bring us back up into the aspens. Riding along this uncrowded road is a great time to reflect on each day’s ride. Passing through the colorful aspens we will continue around Fish Lake before we end the trip with a perfect descent. After one last lunch, we will head back to St. George. TOTAL MILEAGE: 30 - 35 miles
Accommodations may be changed due to availability. Itineraries are subject to change due to weather, road conditions, rider safety and other factors which may affect the logistics of the trip.
Overall Rating: Intermediate/Advanced
Physical Difficulty: Moderate to Advanced
Altitude: 5000 - 9500 feet