The Maze - 5 Day Bike Trip | Canyonlands National Park
Located in the most remote district of Canyonlands National Park, the Maze, unique in the world, was made famous by Edward Abbey's The Monkey Wrench Gang.
The vast open skies and magical rock formations are best appreciated from the saddle of your mountain bike. We begin our guided tour of the Maze at Hans Flat with incredible views of the many layers below. Over the next few days we will make our way down the Flint Trail to camp at the Maze Overlook. From here we will hike down into the convoluted canyons which give the Maze its name. Later we will ride to the Land of Standing Rocks, completing our journey with a ride along the Orange Cliffs.
The riding in the Maze includes rolling technical doubletrack. There is a 28 mile unsupported day. The route results in a net descent to finish on the shores of Lake Powell. The Maze is a true Canyon Country mountain biking experience. Give us a call at 800-845-2453. We'll tell you everything you need to know about this spectacular trip. The Maze 5-Day tour is an intermediate guided mountain bike trip in Utah.
We will begin our tour with a shuttle to the Hans Flat Ranger Station, just outside the Maze District. The Maze is the most remote region of Canyonlands National Park and the scenery is incredible. The Maze itself is a network of intricate canyons that carve their way through the Cedar Mesa sandstone. Our route over the next few days will take us around the rim of the Maze. This part of the country was home to the notorious “Hole in the Wall Gang” and is full of interesting history. We will begin our ride along the mesa top with views of Cleopatra’s Chair, Bagpipe Butte, the Land of Standing Rocks and the Maze itself. Next, we will descend the Flint Trail, an incredible example of early engineering. Blasted into the walls of a box canyon it descends nearly 1,000 feet in two miles, making it an exciting, steep downhill. Continuing on to our camp at the top of the Golden Stairs, we will enjoy views down into the Fins and Ernie’s Country, which is where we will be riding during the next few days. TOTAL MILEAGE: 18 miles
Today will begin with a ride through Elaterite Basin, which includes some steep, technical downhills. Then we’ll cruise through Big Water Canyon and on to the Maze Overlook where we will camp for the night. Along the way we’ll pass beneath Panorama Point and contour around Horse Canyon. The view from this camp is unsurpassed with the Chocolate Drops, the White Rim, Pete’s Mesa and the Abajo Mountains all around us. In the afternoon, we will hike down into Horse Canyon to see the Harvest Scene pictograph panel. This panel has human figures painted by the Archaic people of the area and is thousands of years old. TOTAL MILEAGE: 12 miles riding, 3 - 4 miles hiking
From our camp at the Maze Overlook, we’ll begin by riding back towards the Flint Trail. Today we will ride the steep downhills of Elaterite Basin in reverse. Then we’ll swing around beneath Land’s End and ride at the base of the Orange Cliffs until we get to the turnoff to our camp. After a fast descent, we’ll cruise through the Waterhole Flat area to our camp below Teapot Rock. If we are heading to Sunset Pass to camp we will turn up at the Waterhole Flat junction for a late afternoon climb to camp. From either camp we can go on a hike or relax and take in the scenery. TOTAL MILEAGE: 28 miles
Today’s out and back ride begins with some difficult and challenging technical miles in Teapot Canyon. Riders should use caution and many opt for the “walking the bike” technique in places. As we ride through Red Cove and the Fins, one cannot help but appreciate the incredible scenery. Out to the east lies Ernie’s Country and many amazing sandstone formations. In front of us to the north is the spectacular Land of Standing Rocks. Here Lizard Rock, The Wall, The Plug, Standing Rock and Chimney Rock protrude from the ground to create a surreal landscape. After lunch and a bit of exploring we will head back to camp. TOTAL MILEAGE: 28 miles, unsupported
Our last day of this tour takes us back through Waterhole Flat, underneath Gunsight Butte and on to Lake Powell. Though it is hidden from view, our course parallels the Colorado River as it cuts its way through Cataract Canyon, a favorite whitewater haunt of river rafters. The riding is quite fun and technically easy as we cruise along a hard packed dirt road, around numerous corners and past many slickrock pour off canyons. Although there are some climbs, the general trend is downhill. After several miles the road opens up and enters a broad, open valley before ending just above Lake Powell. TOTAL MILEAGE: 35 miles
Itineraries are subject to change due to weather, road conditions, rider safety, and other factors which may affect the logistics of the adventure.
Riding Surface: Four wheel drive jeep roads: packed sediment, ledges, sand and slickrock.
Overall Rating: Moderate/Intermediate
Technical Difficulty: Moderate with some difficult, rocky sections.
Physical Difficulty: Moderate, some long rides, not many big climbs and one unsupported day.
Altitude: 4,000 - 6,000 feet
For travel logistics and a packing list, please download the complete trip itinerary.