Southern Utah National Parks
Zion National Park
Aerial Photo of Zion
Some Highlights of this Tour:
Come to the red rock country! There is no other place in the world like Southern Utah. This area has the highest density of state and national parks in the U.S. for good reason...the area is drop-dead spectacular!
If you are interested in a unique way to see this beautiful Utah landscape, look no further than this tour following Utah's All-American Road, Scenic Byway 12. This famous scenic byway is consistently found at the top of many travel magazine and internet site “Most Beautiful Roads” lists. The pros in the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah ride the entire 130 mile length of the route from Panguitch to Torrey, but we’ve selected this breathtaking slice of the route as one of our favorites. Utah is legendary among mountain bikers for its slickrock singletrack, but the road cycling here is not to be missed either.
Join us on an incredible cycling and hiking journey through the impressive National Parks and Monuments of Southwestern Utah. Highlights include:
- Cycling along Utah’s famed Highway 12 “A Journey Through Time Scenic Byway”
- Cycling in Grand Staircase-Escalante
- Hiking among the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon (A must-do!)
- Biking past the soaring sandstone cliffs of Zion
If you’re looking for an incredible cycling adventure, plus a little hiking to boot, look no further!
Here's a day-by-day tour description:
Sunday (Arrival Day): Meet in St George and Shuttle to Boulder
Arrive independently by plane into or drive to Saint George. Either way our guides will greet you this morning and shuttle you to Boulder, Utah (3-hour shuttle from St George). We'll stay at the Boulder Montain Lodge, a nationally recognized luxury lodge, set on the edge of an 11-acre bird sanctuary. After getting settled in, you may choose to take an optional warm-up ride toward nearby Capitol Reef National Park. Tonight we’ll have our first group dinner.
Lodging: Boulder Mountain Lodge
Monday: Bike Boulder to Escalante
27 miles – 1,500 ft gain & 2,300 ft loss
This morning we will ride along Scenic Byway 12 also known as “A Journey Through Time” as you see the best of Utah’s Canyon Country. This is an easy start to our tour, so take advantage of the leisurely day and enjoy the morning at the lodge before setting off to our next destination, the town of Escalante.
Lodging: Canyon Country Lodge
Tuesday: Bike Esclanate to Tropic
39 miles – 2,600 ft gain & 2,100 ft loss
Today you’ll spend another day on Hwy 12 taking in spectacular panoramic vistas as you ride surrounded by Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Today's ride will be perfect for tandems and provides amazing scenery to boot.
Loding: Bryce Canyon Inn
Wednesday: Bike Tropic to Bryce Canyon
44 miles – 4,300 ft gain & 2,700 ft loss
Today you’ll have the opportunity to ride through Bryce Canyon National Park to Rainbow Point where you can enjoy the panoramic vista of pink cliffs and stroll among the remarkable bristlecone pines. These trees can live to be thousands of years old and their cousins in the Sierra Nevada are the oldest living individual organisms on Earth. Enjoy some down time with a book at the historic lodge this afternoon.
Lodging: Bryce Canyon Lodge
Thursday: Hike in Bryce Canyon National Park
Hikes up to 6 miles
Start the day off right with sunrise at the rim of the Bryce Canyon amphitheater – just steps from your room at the Lodge at Bryce Canyon. After breakfast, we’ll lace up our boots and go for a hike down into the canyon to catch the golden rays of sunlight which beautifully illuminate the hoodoos – columns of rock shaped by the freeze-thaw cycle – for which Bryce has become world-famous.
Lodging: Bryce Canyon Lodge
Friday: Bike Bryce Canyon to Mt Carmel Junction/Springdale
We leave one amazing park behind us and are bound for another as we go from 8,000 feet of elevation down to 5,000 feet to Mount Carmel Junction, due east of Zion National Park before heading to Springdale in Zion National Park. This morning we will start our ride on bike paths and along the northern boundary of Bryce through Dixie National Forest. After that we join Highway 89, which we will ride or shuttle down to Mt. Carmel Junction. Your ride today is many people’s favorite. You’ll start with a ride along iconic Highway 9 where you may see a herd of buffalo, enjoy views of red cliffs and breathtaking geological formations as you enter East Zion and descend past Checkerboard Mesa where there’s a good chance to see bighorn sheep in their native habitat. We’ll shuttle you through the historic Zion-Mt Carmel Tunnel, since the National Park Service prohibits cyclists in the tunnel, but after you’ll get back on the bike again to enjoy a sweet descent into this stunning canyon and along the virtually car-free Floor of the Valley Road for our final few miles of the trip. This afternoon visit the nearby shops or relax poolside before dinner.
Lodging: Desert Pearl Inn
Saturday: Hike or Bike in Zion National Park
Hike 4 miles or bike the canyon floor – 18 miles 700 ft gain & 700 ft loss
This morning you can hike or bike; your choice! For the hikers, we'll get an early start to enjoy time off the bike exploring Zion National Park. You’ll hop on the park shuttle bus then hike to Scouts Lookout where you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the of the rusty red cliffs of Navajo Sandstone all around you. After your hike you’ll be able to spend the afternoon as you see fit. Cyclists will enjoy an easy 18-mile ride along the canyon floor.Visit the nearby shops or relax poolside before we reconvene for the final group dinner.
Lodging: Desert Pearl Inn
Sunday (Departure Day):
After breakfast, you'll have the chance to pack up before we shuttle you back to Saint George for anyone who left their car there. (1-hr shuttle to St George).
We are now taking bookings for this tour. If you are interested in this tour and would like us to send you a booking form, please Contact Us for more information or check out our info page to see what's included on a Tandem Bicycle Tour.
Tandem Bicycle Tours strives to find quiet, paved secondary roads/bike paths for cycling and to avoid busy roads as much as possible. The description listed here is a very good approximation of our trips but hotels and routes may change marginally to improve the trip experience.