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Pedal from the limestone spires of Bryce Canyon National Park to the high plateaus and hanging gardens of Zion National Park – plus Kolob Canyon, Brian Head, Red Canyon, and stunning Kodachrome Basin. We’ve crafted this tour for stronger cyclists, and routes range up to 85 miles on most days. When you combine that with a plethora of options for exploring the chasms and hoodoos on foot, plus lodging nestled at the parks’ entrances, you’ll find yourself on a most intimate basis with the canyonlands.
Meet in the former cotton town of St. George. Ride from Kolob to Cedar City, Brian Head and Cedar Breaks National Monument.
The trip starts from the former cotton settlement of St. George, Utah (public shuttle is available from Las Vegas). We’ll meet you there on Sunday morning, heading directly to the Kolob Canyons in the northern section of Zion National Park to begin riding. Quiet and peaceful, these radiant red-walled canyons are missed by most car travelers and make the perfect place to start our week. We’ll ride through the canyons of Dixie National Forest, then into Cedar Breaks, once called the “Circle of Painted Cliffs” by the indigenous peoples, and finally to the resort town of Brian Head and our home for the night at Cedar Breaks Lodge.
Ride from Brian Head to Red Canyon, then the Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel. Hike the hoodoos of the Queen’s Garden and Navajo Loop.
Day Two finds us biking through the orange sandstone canyons and dense pine forests of Brian Head into Red Canyon, a glowing oasis of rock tucked into the heart of Dixie National Forest. That afternoon, hike down inside Bryce Canyon, exploring the Navajo Loop and Queen’s Garden – a wonderland of sculpted spires and pinnacles painted in brilliant desert hues. Our lodging for the next two nights is the Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel, a brand-new lodge perched at the entrance to the canyon.
Ride to panoramic Rainbow Point and Kodachrome Basin. Take an afternoon hike to Mossy Cave.
On Tuesday, ride from our lodge out to Rainbow Point, where expansive views stretch all the way to Navajo Mountain and the Kaibab Plateau 90 miles away in Arizona. On the clearest days, the view extends even into New Mexico! Continue cycling on to Kodachrome Basin, a wonder of massive sandstone chimneys shaded in hues of gray, white or red depending on Mother Nature’s mood.
Ride from Bryce Canyon to Zion National Park; add on Coral Pink Sand Dunes to take you over the 100-mile mark.
Wednesday, wake up early to catch an unforgettable sight: the sunrise illuminating Bryce’s hoodoos and bringing them to glowing life. Today’s ride, should you choose to do all of it, is an 85-miler from Bryce Canyon into Zion National Park. (For those who want to put in 100 miles and make it a century ride, you can top it off with a gorgeous out-and-back pedal to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.)
Hailed by Bicycling Magazine as “one of the world’s most beautiful places to ride,” Zion is a visual feast of stunning vistas, soaring red walls and high mesas. The park service does not allow cars into all sections of Zion National Park, though cyclists are welcome. There are frequent (free) shuttle buses for both guest and bicycle from our inn, through town, to the visitor center, and to the valley floor of Zion itself, making it easy to customize your Zion experience to suit your personal desires. Spend two nights here at Zion Park Inn, a handsome lodge just outside the park entrance in Springdale. You’ll enjoy exploring the town, cycling and hiking in the park - and at the end of the day, marvelous views from the inn’s outdoor hot tub and pool.
Hike the dizzying switchbacks of Angels Landing or the cool canyons of the Narrows. Ride to Kolob Canyon.
Thursday brings a bevy of options: conditions permitting, take a river hike (walking sticks and wading boots provided) up the Virgin River and into the famed Narrows slot canyon with its 1000-foot walls and hanging gardens; alternatively, hike up the West Rim Trail to Angels Landing, a rigorous jaunt that rewards visitors with stunning panoramas. Prefer to ride? Explore the rainbow-painted Kolob Canyons, on roads we weren’t able to take in on Day 1. In the afternoon we’re happy to help you schedule a well-earned massage.
Ride from Zion to the dunes of Sand Hollow State Park.
On Friday, take a roundabout route out of Zion National Park, cycling west into the tranquil burgh of Hurricane with its tall trees and small-town feel, to the sparkling waters and red dunes of Sand Hollow State Park, then into St. George. Spend tonight at the historic Seven Wives Inn, original home of one Benjamin F. Johnson, whose seven wives each had their own rooms on the property. Our final celebration dinner is at the Painted Pony, rated Excellent by Zagat’s and hailed by the reviewer as ‘a jewel in the desert.’
Ride a spectacular bike path to picture-perfect Snow Canyon; finish the week with a congratulatory picnic.
Saturday, take a loop ride from our inn out to Snow Canyon – a distinctive valley whose entrance is guarded by two volcanoes. Jet-black lava coats the red Navajo sandstone, making it a photographer’s feast. After a final celebratory lunch, skirt the edge of Dixie National Forest via the glittering waters of Gunlock State Park Reservoir, then shuttle back to St. George for your journey home.
As an optional extra, a person traveling solo on any inn-to-inn trip may reserve a room for his or her exclusive use. This will guarantee you a private room and private bath every night. If you're willing to share a room, there is no extra charge for coming solo, no matter when you sign up for the tour - even if you wind up with a private room by default.