Though mountain biking is typically associated with desert landscapes, road biking is picking up speed in popularity in our neck of the woods.
With the help of a few employees at the Ranch who live and die by cycling, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite rides in the area.
Come test your lung capacity and go for a ride along some of the most beautiful and varied landscapes in the U.S – canyons, deserts, mesas, buttes, mountains, lakes -there’s no short side of pavement for your cycling needs! But please remember we sit at a very high altitude, so use discretion!
Boulder to Escalante: 28 Mile Ride (one way)
One will quickly learn around these parts that we aren’t messing around when it comes to hills. While one will encounter an almost consistent decline on elevation all the way down to the Calf Creek parking lot, this is where the real fun begins with your uphill battle. Need a pick me up before tackling those hills? Stop in at Kiva Koffehouse for an architectural experience like no other. Sip on some serious caffeine or get your natural buzz on with a freshly made juice. Keep in mind though, they are closed on Tuesdays! Now time to tackle those hills! But you will be rewarded with the option of both the locals and tourists go-to spot for pizza and beer upon arrival at Escalante Outfitters. Get lost along their awesome collection of nature books for sale, I know I do every time! Sit down, relax, and stuff yourself with pizza (devil’s garden is always a grand go to) and your own personal bomber. After a long day’s ride you sure do deserve that Spiral Jetty IPA by Epic Brewing. Before you leave, get a hoot out of the Outfitters liquor closet. Stock up on your alcohol needs before continuing on your journey. If your haven’t learned by now, liquor is hard to come by around these parts!
Torrey to Capitol Reef National Park:
Pre-ride fuel up and get down with breakfast at Castle Rock Coffee. Personally a fan of their loose leaf teas and mouthwatering Machaca Burrito. Don’t forget to stock up your fanny pack with some of their homemade chocolates for the road! Soak up the views all the way to the park. Once you arrive at Capitol Reef it’s only $3 for cyclist to enter. Winning! This is definitely a ride you’ll want to hop off and explore around. Such as, the 240 year old Moenkopi rock formation. Stop in at the visitor’s center for advice on some hikes if you’re really feeling motivated. One of our favorites is the 5.4 mile Sulfur Creek Goose-neck trail. Here you’ll find a slot canyon filled with pools and waterfalls. Dry off your feet and end your day in Fruita to pick your own fruit. Keep in mind, cherries in June, apricots in July, pears in August and apples in September. This leisurely and wanderlust ride is a perfect day escape for all you road trippers out there.
Red Canyon Bicycle Trail: 8 miles (one way)
For a more leisurely fun ride to take with the kids or meander along after a day’s hike in close-by Bryce National Park, this is the perfect gentle ride. Referred to as “Little Bryce”, this must do path travels through Utah’s iconic red canyons. This path is also the perfect trail for some mom power walks or a scenic run. If you’re hoping to get in some more huffing and puffing cardio, you’re in luck. For a longer trek, trail-goers can connect with the rustic Thunder Mountain Trail on the path’s western tip. Think it’s too beautiful to leave? Access to campgrounds is also available.