Utah Mountains & National Parks Bike Tour with Lizard Head
107 Aurum St, Box 855, Ophir, CO 81426 970.728.5891 info@LizardHeadCyclingGuides.com

Utah Mountains & National Parks Bike Tour

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Utah Mountains & National Parks Bike Tour: Highlights

The Utah Mountains bike tour is a point-to-point bike tour across Utah featuring the rugged backbone of the state. Who knew there were so many mountains in a state known for its deserts and canyons? The route meanders through three National Parks (Capitol Reef, Bryce and Zion), two National Monuments and one state park. Over the course of the tour we ride all 124-miles of Utah’s incomparable Scenic By-Way 12 and two stretches of road that rank up there with the most scenic in North America:  The Hogback on Scenic By-Way-12 and the descent into Zion National Park (this short list includes Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun-Road). The lodging on our Utah Mountains tour is spectacular!

Although the Utah bike tour is well-suited for Intermediate to Advanced cyclists, there is plenty of challenge for those who seek it.  For example the optional ride on Day 6 up Kolab canyon offers 5,000-feet of climbing in just 15-miles.

All the while on the Utah bike tour we take time to explore Utah’s hidden waterfalls, slot canyons and secluded side roads.

In the summer this the Utah bike tour stays cool with a peak elevation of 10,200-feet (Cedar Breaks National Monument). There are a number of great swimming hole opportunities and for the finale the route descends nearly 10,000-feet to Zion National Park. The lodging and food on this tour are among our favorite locations.

Is it too Hot in Utah in the Summer?
Not at all!  Utah is hardly the flat desert many believe it to be, it has mountains and our Utah Mountains bike tour rides along at elevations from 6,500-feet up to 10,000-feet. With every 1,000-feet of elevation the temperature is 4 to 5 degrees cooler. So the heat is moderated (like it is in Colorado) due to Utah’s significant elevation. For example Moab sits at 4,500-feet and is usually 15 to 20 degrees warmer than the Utah Mountains tour region.

Additionally in July and August this region of Utah receives afternoon rainfall on almost a daily basis. One would not expect this in a “desert”, but Utah topography creates cloud cover that is great for bike riding because it cools the atmosphere. And finally on warm weeks, we depart early in the morning to ride when it is still cool.

The New Yorker: Why Two Chefs in Small-Town Utah Are Battling President Trump

PBS News Hour Weekend: Utah restaurateurs fight Trump cuts to national monument

Lizard Head Cycling Guides is a proud member of the Grand Staircase-Escalante Partners in support of their commitment to education, stewardship and restoration of the full National Monument.

Calf Creek Falls, Utah

Calf Creek Waterfall

Utah's Highway 12

The Curvaceous Curves of Utah’s Highway 12

Southern Utah’s Canyon Country

Southern Utah’s Canyon Country

Capitol Reef National Park

Capitol Reef National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park

Zion National Park

Utah Mountains & National Parks Bike Tour: Testimonials

Read what previous guests on our Utah Mountains & National Parks Bike Tour have been saying…

It was truly a memorable trip with our family. We were incredibly lucky with the weather and got to enjoy full days of climbing with breathtaking views and unbelievable descents, wonderful lunches and dinners, and an opportunity to meet a great group of cyclists (3 of whom were local in our CA community!). Our kids got to see what we are passionate about; they are all great cyclists and were at the head of the pack each climb! The guides were all fantastic; always there to answer questions, provide feedback and prepare great food. I was particularly touched by their attention to Shelley’s birthday celebration; they made it special and could not have done enough to make it a very memorable event. I know Eli was one of the newbies on the team…he is a keeper for sure: funny, engaging, helpful, great interpersonal skills and just a phenomenal addition to your team. – Ed B.

It is as if the Utah Mountains and National Parks tour has put together all the most beautiful places. Wow! Everyday is just as delightful, but in a different way. There are the big ticket, bucket list rides in Bryce and Zion and Utah scenic byway 12. Then there are the hidden gems Capital Reef, Long Canyon, Hell’s Backbone Bridge, the bike path out of Bryce. There’s hiking and swimming. Hotels are great. Food either at restaurants or cooked by the guides was awesome. Definitely looking forward to my next Lizard Head trip. – Sonya

Our trip through the Utah Mountains and National Parks exceeded our expectations. The thoughtful planning, routes, accommodations, and food were amazing. But most of all, I’d like to offer the most sincere compliments to our guides, Chuck and Steve. They went above and beyond each day, often working late into the night. They handled difficult situations with diplomacy and grace, and adjusted details to the group whenever necessary. Both were extremely impressive! I look forward to another trip with Lizard Head, hopefully next year! – Katherine

Thank you for a most enjoyable time on my just completed Utah Mountains Tour. Leslie and Dan provided excellent support, but the route was really the star, and quite wonderful; challenging, but not killer, beautiful, pretty safe, and unique. I will never forget descending into Zion (or the painful leg cramps I suffered on the second summit of Boulder Mountain!). – Mark

[Lizaed Head guides] Dan and David were very experienced and professional. For a young man Dan has leadership skills beyond his age and David has fun war stories. Thanks for putting on a great ride. – Jan

This country is beautiful and very uncrowded … It has been wonderful week and Steve has been a terrific guide. Thanks for organizing it all. – Diane

Thank you all for a truly memorable trip! Our guides were terrific; creative, flexible, and full of warmth and energy. They are also excellent cooks! And what fun to share such an exhilarating experience with a group of equally flexible, energetic, and adventurous people. We thoroughly enjoyed your company. – Leslie

[T]his is the second Lizard trip and we can confirm that the quality has been consistent across the two. We appreciate the thoughtfulness and the lively spirit of our guides, the high quality of our bikes, and the quality of our accommodations and food. Only the best! Keep up all of these!! [O}ur group of people from all walks of life made this trip a hugely enjoyable experience and a lasting memory. – Monica and Marius G.

I had a good time and Dan and David may have changed my mind about climbing – where before I strongly disliked it, now I am merely ambivalent about it. 🙂 – Susan

Great people- great guides – great time – life is a series of moments and the past week had been a special series – happy trails until we meet again. – Rich

Utah Mountains & National Parks Bike Tour: Dates

Also consider our 6-DAY Boulder, Bryce & Zion tour which is almost the same as the 7-DAY Utah Mountains & National Parks tour; the difference is that the Boulder, Bryce & Zion tour is 1-DAY SHORTER.

Potential tour dates are listed below and not all tour dates will run. Lock in your preferred tour date early as unopened tour dates will be closed. Please see the Spring/Autumn Tour Calendar and the Summer Tour Calendar for confirmed departures. Any unopened date can be a Custom Week (9 riders required). Please contact us via email or call 970.728.5891

To easily register for a particular tour, please click the Book Now! link after the tour date listed below. This will select the tour name and the appropriate date on the registration form.

2022 Tour Dates

  • April 24 to 30, 2022 (Book Now!)
    A new moon on April 30, 2022 means dark stargazing skies at night!
  • May 8 to 14, 2022 (Book Now!) – TOUR A GO!
  • May 15 to 21, 2022 (Book Now!)
  • May 22 to 28, 2022 (Book Now!)
  • May 29 to June 4, 2022 (Book Now!)
    A new moon on May 30, 2022 means dark stargazing skies at night!
  • September 4 to 10, 2022 (Book Now!)
  • September 11 to 17, 2022 (Book Now!)
  • September 18 to 24, 2022 (Book Now!)
  • September 25 to October 1, 2022 (Book Now!)
    A new moon on September 25, 2022 means dark stargazing skies at night!

Tour Status Notes: NO STATUS = Date Set, no riders have signed up. TOUR OPENED = Tour Opened, rider minimums not met. TOUR A GO! = Tour is Go, rider minimums met. SOLD OUT = Tour Full, rider maximums met.

2022 Utah EPIC Tour Dates

Two Week Combined Tours of 14-Days/13-Nights

What is the Utah EPIC Tour?

The Utah EPIC tour combines the 6-Day Redrocks Canyon tour for the first week and either the 6-Day Boulder, Bryce & Zion (BBZ) tour or the 7-Day Utah Mountains & National Parks tour for the second week creating what we consider the American West's most iconic two-week bike tour. If in your lifetime you were going to ride one incredible tour in the American West, the Utah EPIC is the one!

Tour Cost: $5,595 per person shared occupancy, or $6,590 per person single occupancy.

Tour Includes: 13-nights of exceptional lodging, all meals (except 2 dinners, 2 breakfasts, and 1 lunch), guide service, entrance fees, daily lunch en route, energy food, liquid refreshments, shuttles and mechanical support. Additional Costs: Alcoholic beverages & massage therapy.

Flying Logistics: Fly into Grand Junction, Utah (GJT) for the first week and then at the end of the second week, fly out of either St. George, Utah (SGU) or Las Vegas, Nevada (LAS). NOTE: Additional post tour logistical details for the Boulder, Bryce & Zion (BBZ) and Utah Mountains & National Parks are provided on those tour's web pages and/or in your tour confirmation email.

Driving Logistics: Drive to the start in Grand Junction, Colorado, ride both weeks to end the tour in St. George, Utah. At the end of the tour we recommend renting a car or flying back from St. George or Las Vegas to Grand Junction. When available, Lizard Head Cycling Guides can provide a return shuttle back to Grand Junction via the Lizard Head van. This shuttle is 8-hours in length and starts immediately at the conclusion of the trip at 2pm on the final day.

Tour Logistics: At the end of the first week on Friday after riding the 6-Day Redrock Canyons tour, the cycling ends deep in Glen Canyon which is followed by a 50-minute shuttle to Hanksville, Utah where Utah EPIC riders are lodged at the Whispering Sands Motel.

  • If the second week of your Utah EPIC tour includes the Utah Mountains & National Parks tour: On Saturday Utah EPIC cyclists will ride from Hanksville, Utah to Torrey, Utah and stay the night in Torrey (lodging included). Then on Sunday at approximately 11:00 am, Utah EPIC cyclists meet the other riders for the start of their Utah Mountains & National Parks tour.
  • If the second week of your Utah EPIC tour includes the Boulder, Bryce & Zion (BBZ) tour: On Saturday Utah EPIC cyclists will ride from Hanksville, Utah to Torrey, Utah and stay two nights in Torrey (lodging included). Sunday is a layover day in Torrey, Utah and then on Monday at approximately 11:00 am, Utah EPIC cyclists meet the other riders for the start of their Boulder, Bryce & Zion (BBZ) tour.

Both tour options end in St. George, Utah at the end of week.

NOTE: If you have friends who want to join for just 1-week of the Utah EPIC, they can join for either the first or second week. Please contact us for more details: Info@LizardHeadCyclingGuides.com or 970.728.5891

Tour Status Notes: NO STATUS = Date Set, no riders have signed up. TOUR OPENED = Tour Opened, rider minimums not met. TOUR A GO! = Tour is Go, rider minimums met. SOLD OUT = Tour Full, rider maximums met.

Utah Mountains & National Parks Bike Tour: Overview

Reptile Rewards

Tour Length: 7-Days Cycling/6-Nights Lodging
NOTE: The 7-day Utah Mountains & National Parks Bike Tour can be shortened to be a 6-day tour by departing early on Day 6. The tour cost is reduced by $250.

Starting & Ending Town: St. George, UT. Fly in and out of Las Vegas, NV. Shuttle service available through the St. George Shuttle.

Total Miles: Standard distance 250-350 miles, E.F.I. distance 533 miles. (Can I keep up on this tour?)

Ability Level: Upper Intermediate (3)  to Advanced (3/4)

Group Size: 6 to 15 riders

Tour Cost: $3,250 per person. Group discount of $200 per person for groups of 4 or more.
Please see our Tour Discounts Policy.

Single Room Supplement: Add a total of $595 to the Tour Cost for a private room for 6-nights. Add $300 if willing to share with a same sex rider and none are available.

2022 Special Offers: Register for a 6-Day or longer 2022 Spring tour by December 21, 2021, and receive a $125 tour discount plus a $50 bike rental discount. Or, register for a 6-Day or longer Summer or Autumn 2022 tour by December 21, 2021, and receive a $200 tour discount plus a $75 bike rental discount.
(NOTE: New reservations only. Not stackable with other discounts.)

Non-Riding Spouses & Partners on Tour: If a non-riding spouse or partner would like to join you on tour and they have their own transportation, they can stay in your room for the cost of the tour's single room supplement. Non-Riding spouses and partners can join a tour's meal plan of three meals a day for $85 per day.

Flying to the Utah Mountains Tour:  Clients fly into Las Vegas, Nevada and shuttle to St. George, Utah.  St. George is 1.5 hours from Las Vegas, Nevada (LAS) airport. Regular shuttle service is available between Vegas and St. George on the St. George Shuttle. 435.628.8320. The St. George shuttle service delivers passengers to their shuttle base which is about a mile from the Courtyard Marriott meeting hotel. Before arriving at the shuttle base passengers should call the Courtyard Marriott and ask for their shuttle vehicle to pick them up at the St. George Shuttle base.

NOTE #1: There is a time zone change between Vegas and St. George where you lose an hour.

NOTE #2: There are now also a limited number of flights into and out of St. George, Utah.

Post Tour Logistics: The Utah Mountains tour ends in St. George, Utah on Day 7. Lizard Head Cycling coordinates a 12:30pm Saturday return shuttle from Zion National Park back to the St. George Shuttle base (435.628.8320) and/or meeting hotel in St. George, Utah (1.15 hour). Cyclists wishing to continue onto Las Vegas (1.5 hrs from St. George) on Day 7 should make their own shuttle reservation with St. George shuttle.  A 2:30pm or later shuttle reservation from the St. George Shuttle base to Vegas is recommended.

NOTE: When shuttling to Vegas there is a time zone change where you gain an hour! So if one depart St. George at 3pm, one arrives at 3:30pm Vegas time. As a result, same day return flight reservations can be made at 5pm or later.

NOTE: If cyclists wish to stay an extra day in Zion, we suggest they stay another night (Saturday) and take one of the regular shuttles between Zion and St. George on Sunday.

Non-Riders: Non-cycling guests are very much welcomed on this tour as there are plenty of activities to be enjoyed other than riding a bike. The cost for a non-rider is the same as for a riding guest. See below for more information on non-riders.

PLEASE NOTE: The first three nights of the Utah Mountains tour stays at two of our favorite lodges, the Boulder Mountain Lodge and Red River Ranch. On very limited occurrences at these first two lodges single room supplement guests will have a private room with separate entrance, but may have to share a Jack & Jill bath with one other guest. This infrequent arrangement is due to the room variations at these boutique lodges. Although we could stay in standard hotels that offer basic private rooms and private baths for everyone, we feel the lodging experience at both these highly regarded lodges offers an overall improvement to our tour experience. 🙂

Utah Bike Tours Includes: Lodging, all meals, guide service, entrance fees, daily lunch en route, energy food, liquid refreshments, shuttles and mechanical support.

**Alcoholic beverages, bike rental  & massage therapy are additional.

Lodging for 6 Nights (subject to change): Spectacular Lodging!

Meeting Hotel and Ending Hotel reservations and costs are NOT included unless specified otherwise. Guests are on-their-own to make reservations at the Meeting Hotel or Ending Hotel, or other nearby hotels.

Ability Level: Can I Ride This Tour?

Definition of Ability Levels
= Intermediate (2/3) Rides and/or takes spin classes 1 to 3 times a week for a total of 50 or more miles.
= Upper Intermediate (3) Rides and/or takes spin classes 2 to 4 times a week for a total of 75 or more miles.
= Advanced (3/4) Rides and/or takes spin classes 3 to 5 times a week for a total of 100 or more miles. Has ridden multi-day tours and done a century ride.
= Expert (4) Rides 4 or more times per week totaling 150 or more miles. Rides E.F.I. with regularity. Has done numerous multi-day tours, century rides and races.

How Fit do I Have to Be?
If one month prior to the tour, you can ride 2 to 3 times a week equalling a total of 75 or more miles a week, you'll do just fine. We like to jokingly say that "one is ready for a Lizard Head Cycling Tour when they are finished with tour" and this is true! The only way to simulate a week long bike tour is to go on a week long tour.

Our average rider age is 55 years. These are bike tours, not races so we take our time to stop, take pictures and see the sights. We have all day to reach our destination and most riders take "bumps" at some points. We offer reduced mileage options for each day. Of course if someone wants to ride E.F.I. (Every Freaking Inch), we love to show them all the extra climbs, loops and hidden canyons that can be included!

Do the Bump!
Daily mileage options allow cyclists of varying abilities to enjoy this tour. One of our favorite options is to give cyclists a "bump" via the support vehicle, or a 10 to 20 mile lift down the road representing an hour of pedal time. After the bump the rider is "off the front" and riding at his or her own pace without feeling they are being left behind the group. They'll then have time to linger and take in the spectacular scenery. All cyclists come together in time for lunch. Afterwards, cyclists can take another bump and/or continue riding.

Seamless Mileage Options
Lizard Head Cycling Guides designs multiple mileage options for each tour – something we're well known for in our business. This technique is similar to heliskiing in that one does not ski everything, they ski the best. 🙂

Slow or Fast?
Many cyclists who sign up for our tours have worried themselves silly about not being able to keep up, but then they're surprised to find that all the worrying was about nothing. They do just fine! Slow and Fast only exist relative to other cyclists. Speed does not matter as long as one is moving on the bike. As long as one is moving, they are truly going fast enough.

If you have questions about your ability to ride this tour, please contact our office via email or call us at 970.728.5891 - we'll more than happy to guide you!

Please also see this blog post for more information.

Road Bike Rentals

The Scott Addict 10 Disc was designed from the ground up with those longer days in mind. With geometry that is less focused on racing and more on enduring, the Addict 10 will be your go to when you’re looking to put the miles in.

The Scott Addict 10 Disc features: Carbon Frame and Fork, Shimano Ultegra 2x11 Drivetrain, 34x32 Compact Gearing, 30mm Tires, and Hydraulic Disc Brakes. Approx. Weight: 16.89 lbs / 7.66 kg (without pedals)

Learn More: Click Here to learn more about our Road Bike Rentals including pricing.

Road E-Bike Rentals: Click Here for more information on our Road E-Bike Rentals including pricing.

Couples Bike Rental Discount: Sign up as a couple and receive one free Road Bike Rental per couple for a one week tour. ($250 value. Pedal bikes only. E-Bikes excluded.)

Tandems and Recumbents Lizard Head Cycling Guides happily accommodates both tandem and recumbent bikes on our tours.

If you have any further questions, please read more on our Rental Bikes FAQ page. You can also email us at info@lizardheadcyclingguides.com or call us at 970.728.5891

Meals On Tour

Lunches: Lizard Head Cycling Guides prepares healthy lunches to keep you going. We will serve you fresh organic fruits and veggies, salads, hummus, sandwich fixings, nuts, gourmet cheeses and of course plenty of salty/sweet snacks such as chips and cookies. We pride ourselves on being able to cater to specific dietary requests, so rest assured that you will be able to get the nutrition that works for you during the week. Gluten Free, Dairy Free or a someone who loves it all – we will keep you well fed during the tour!

Dinners: Lizard Head Cycling sources our favorite restaurants in each town that we visit. Our guides focus on establishments that offer fresh and local ingredients. Guests choose whatever they desire to eat off the menu: including appetizer, salad, entree and of course dessert... yum! :) Also, while on tour if a guest wants to dine early before the group and go to bed, this is fine. We understand that on some days sleep is the most important post-ride element.

Additional Activities: Slot canyon hiking, swimming, waterfalls, massage, and yoga.

Overall Route Map

Riding the Utah Mountains & National Parks Bike Tour

Ability Level: Upper-Intermediate to advanced cyclists.

The details: Following the example of the local Utah wildlife, our Utah Mountains & National Parks Tour moves to the cooler temperatures offered in Utah’s high country during the summer season. This cycling excursion completes the western exploration of Utah that started with our Whiterock Canyons Tour (central Utah).

The mountains of south central Utah provide all the challenge a cyclist could want. This tour delivers a combination of car free roads, jaw-dropping scenery and plenty of climbing and descending. Easily accessible mileage options allow you to decrease the challenge.

We’ll throw in some afternoon hikes too, such at to Calf Creek’s 126-foot high waterfall (shown above) and the Virgin River Narrows in Zion National Park (see picture on Day 7).

This comprehensive bike tour features a smorgasbord of natural resources including Capitol Reef, Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument, Cedar Breaks National Monument, Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park… the best Utah has to offer!

The weather: You’ll often hear people say, “It’s a dry heat” when describing the desert Southwest’s temperatures in the summer. It’s true, but don’t let that intimidate you when you come riding with us. In the summer highs range from the 70’s to lower 90’s. Afternoon clouds and rain are common in the summer and serve to cool things down quickly.

Why choose this tour? If you’ve longed to see Utah’s “greatest hits” of natural wonders, this is the tour for you. From the popular Bryce and Zion National Parks, to the less-known Cedar Breaks and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments and Capitol Reef National Park, you’ll see it all!

What is the difference between the 7-day Utah Mountains & 6-day Boulder, Bryce and Zion? These are essentially the same tours. The difference is that the Utah Mountains has a day on the front end riding in the Fish Lake Mountains to Torrey, Utah and then a 1/2 day in Capitol Reef National Park on the morning of Day 2.

Is This Tour Good for Non-Riders?

Yes! Non-riders very much enjoy the Utah Mountains & National Parks tour when they are flexible, easy going and are up for some riding and hiking. We even have e-bikes (electrically assisted bicycles) available if a non-rider chooses to do some low effort riding.

Also, since the Utah Mountains & National Parks tour’s lodging is relatively close together, this reduces the time spent in transit between hotels for non-riders. Some Utah Mountains tours also have a second support vehicle and as a result, the amount of time spent transferring for non-riders will be reduced since the second support vehicle will be able to jump ahead.

Additionally, the Utah Mountains & National Parks tour spends two nights each in the same hotel for nights 2 & 3 and nights 5 & 6, thus non-riders do not have to transfer at all.

Plenty of world-class hiking options also exist for non-riders from the lodges on each day of the Utah Mountains tour. For example: On Day 3 guests hike 6-miles round trip to 120-foot Calf Creek desert waterfall and Day 5 has another truly amazing hike into Bryce Canyon National Park.

Utah Mountains & National Parks Bike Tour: Itinerary*

*Tour itineraries are subject to change and modification based on the group, available accommodations, road construction, and other unforeseen circumstances including weather, wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, landslides and/or other acts of nature. Please view this itinerary as a general outline as to what to expect on this tour.

Day 1: Fish Lake to Torrey, Utah
41 miles with up to 1,400 feet of climbing

Your Utah Mountains & National Parks Tour begins with a back country bike ride from Fish Lake, a high alpine lake located in the Fishlake/Southern Wasatch Plateau region of south-central Utah, where riders are treated to quiet Scenic Byway 72 with little traffic. Numerous viewpoints provide expansive views of the desert 3,000-feet below. This ride is one of Utah’s hidden gems.

From Fish Lake, descend to tonight’s accommodations at the relaxing oasis, Red River Ranch. The Fremont River flows through the ranch, twelve bison live on site, giant cottonwood trees shade the buildings and the ranch sits beneath towering red rock cliffs.

Elevation Profile: +1400 ft / -3400 ft

Day 2: Boulder Mountain Ride – Torrey to Boulder, Utah
Standard: 46 miles with up to 2,900 feet of climbing
E.F.I.: 95 miles with up to 6,505 feet of climbing

Today’s 1st destination is Capitol Reef National Park. From our lodging in Torrey, we descend through a Redrock amphitheater to the Fremont River canyon where it cuts through the main geologic feature of the National Park, the Waterpocket Fold. The Fold is a wrinkle in the earth’s surface that extends for nearly 100 miles, creating a dramatic landscape of rugged cliffs and canyons, natural bridges, arches, and distinct formations in the heart of red rock country. This warp in the Earth’s crust is a classic monocline: a steep fold on one side of otherwise horizontal geological layers and it is about 7,000 feet higher in the west than on the east.

In the park we ride past ancient pictographs and depending on the season, enjoy fruit from the park service’s historic fruit trees. After lunch, for the second destination of the day, we shuttle or ride back to Torrey for the ascent of Boulder Mountain! Brace yourself – it can be a soul crushing 3,000-foot ascent to Boulder Mountains’s life-affirming 9,300-summit!

All in all, the 36-mile route from Torrey to Boulder climbs the Aquarius Plateau (a.k.a. Boulder Mountain) with spectacular views far below of Capitol Reef National Park, the Waterpocket Fold and the Henry Mountains. This is what Utah’s famed canyon country is all about. From the top of Boulder Mountain, fly 15-miles down to the oasis of Boulder, Utah. This is Lizard Head Cycling owner, John’s, favorite location in Utah.

Settle in tonight for a two-night’s stay in Boulder.

Read a New York Times Story about Hell’s Backbone Grill & Highway 12.

Torrey to Capital Reef, 23 miles – Elevation Profile: +770 ft / -2130 ft

Standard Torrey to Boulder, 46 miles – Elevation Profile: +2900 ft / -3740 ft

E.F.I. Torrey to Capital Reef to Boulder, 95 miles – Elevation Profile: +7505 ft / -7815 ft

Day 3: Long Canyon Loop & Calf Creek Waterfall
Long Canyon Out & Back: 35 miles with up to 3,330 feet of climbing
Calf Creek Out & Back (Optional): 22 miles with up to 2,385 feet of climbing

On this day you will explore the extraordinary backcountry of the Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monument from our base camp in Boulder.

Choose from a variety of activities, including swimming, canyoneering, hiking and more bike riding. Or just hang out at the lodge and enjoy a quiet day reading, soaking in the hot tub or even a massage.

The planned ride for today is a 37 mile out and back to the intimate confines of Long Canyon, a desert gem. The 400-foot tall canyon walls wingate sandstone tower above you. You can also walk into a hidden slot canyon that’s just off the quiet road. Even though this route is relatively short, be prepared for nearly 3,400 feet of climbing.

After Long Canyon, ride 12.5 miles to the Calf Creek Recreation Area. Change into your hiking boots here. In this enchanting desert oasis with lush vegetation and beaver ponds, you will arrive at the year-round 126 foot cascading waterfall of Lower Calf Creek after a 2.5 mile walk. We will spend a few hours searching Indian ruins and petroglyphs, then observe birds, deer and (if we are lucky) perhaps a mountain lion. Enjoy lunch in the shade beneath the waterfall.

After the 5 mile walking round-trip to the Calf Creek waterfall, you can call it a day or challenge yourself with the 12.5 mile return ride back up Boulder. Upon returning to the resort, take a walk around the adjacent bird sanctuary or enjoy a nap under a large cottonwood tree. We simply love the Boulder Mountain Lodge!

Tonight we’ll dine at Hell’s Backbone Grill. The gracious owners, Jenn and Blake, are wonderful hosts and their restaurant has received numerous praise, including the New York Times Story.


Long Canyon Out & Back, 37 Miles – Elevation Profile: +3330 ft / -3330 ft

Calf Creek Out & Back, 25 Miles – Elevation Profile: +2385 ft / -2385 ft

Day 4: Boulder, Utah to Bryce National Park
40-miles with 2,000-feet of climbing
E.F.I.: 73 miles with between 2,750 and 5,760 feet of climbing

Today the Utah Mountains & National Parks Tour continues west on Utah State Highway 12. This is arguably one of the best cycling roads in the state, maybe the country. It twists and turns and climbs and dives across rough desert and high plateau topography. Today’s ride to Bryce National Park offers 73 miles & 5,760-feet of climbing that will likely turn your legs to mush.

The highlight of Highway 12 is the ridge of Hell’s Backbone – an exposed piece of highway dropping hundreds of feet on either side. Highway 12 traces the northern edge of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, a 1.9 million acre spectacle of multi-hued cliffs and terraces, with distances that defy human perspective. Highway 12 is sure to please.

Tonight’s lodging is outside Bryce Canyon National Park and later on, we will take an exhilarating night hike under the stars inside the park.


Elevation Profile: +5760 ft / -4790 ft

Day 5: Bryce Canyon National Park to Red Canyon to Zion National Park
Standard: 57-miles
E.F.I. Option: 73-miles
Segment #132 or 48-miles
Segment #2 15 or 25-miles

Today offers a two-segment ride from the high point of Bryce Canyon National Park through the spectacular Red Canyon and then into Zion National Park.

On segment #1 we ride to Sunrise Point, the top of Bryce Canyon National Park, for a spectacular early morning view. From the top of the park we ride mostly down through the park and onto the Red Canyon Bike Trail, a marvelous bike path which descend 7-miles to the Red Canyon visitor center. NOTE: This first segment’s mileage can be reduced by 16-miles with a shuttle to the top of the park.

From the Red Canyon Visitor center we shuttle to Segment #2. NOTE: The shuttle is 22-miles long along a road that can be a bit busy. If riders wish to ride this section, they can do so.

Segment #2 offers 15 or 25-miles with 1,400-feet of climbing and 2,700-feet of descending. The ride starts from Mt. Caramel Junction and proceeds into the west entrance of Zion National Park. Jaw dropping sights await including: Checkerboard Mesa, 2,000-foot high sandstone walls, the Zion Tunnel, deep canyons and the switchbacks into the town of Springdale, Utah!

Segment 1 – Elevation Profile: 16 mi +360 ft / -1150 ft

Segment 2 – Elevation Profile: 25 mi +1430 ft / -2720 ft

Day 6: Layover in Springdale, Utah
Hiking Options in Zion National Park
Optional Ride: Kolob Canyon Out & Back, 75 miles with up to 6,500 feet of climbing

With a layover day in Springdale, optional on-your-own unguided hiking in Zion National Park certainly beckons and we highly recommend you take advantage of it as Zion offers some of the most scenic hiking of all the national parks. Take the free Zion Canyon Shuttle from Springdale into the park for hiking and then back again when you are finished. The shuttle runs every 10-15 minutes throughout the day, so you will have plenty of time to enjoy your hike.

Some of the trails we recommend in Zion National Park are Angel’s Landing, The Narrows through the Virgin River and Weeping Rock… among many others!

An optional on-your-own out and back 75 mile route from Springdale to Kolob Canyon and back can also be ridden. This route offers tremendous views of Zion from above through a diverse landscape.

Kolob Canyon Out & Back, 75 miles – Elevation Profile: +6500 ft / -6500 ft

Day 7: Springdale, Utah to Virgin River Narrows
Zion Sunrise Ride: 16 miles with up to 1090 feet of climbing

On our final day of the tour, we breakfast early and then embark on an early morning sunrise ride into Zion National Park.

First we will ride a flat 7 miles on a park road closed to private vehicles as bikes rule here. Upon entering Zion, the riding experience is sublime with canyon walls towering over 2,000-feet above the road and early morning sunlight dancing along the tops of the white rock peaks… it is gorgeous! Upon reaching the end of the ride, there will be more options to hike around Zion canyon. Another option instead of the riding or hiking is to relax in the quaint downtown of Springdale.

In the mid-afternoon (Saturday), you can take the shuttle back to our meeting hotel in St. George. Choose to spend a night in St. George, or take the shuttle back to Las Vegas.

If you would like to extend your stay in Zion National Park, you are welcome to do so, but all reservations are on-your-own to make in advance. We will even transport your bike back to the shop and have it shipped for you, if you brought your own wheels.

Well Done!


Utah Mountains & National Parks Bike Tour: Logistics & FAQs

Lodging on the Utah Mountains & National Parks Bike Tour: The Utah-Mountains & National Park Bike Tour includes lodging from Sunday night through Friday night (6 nights).

Pre & Post Tour Lodging: Riders are responsible for their own lodging on the night prior to and post tour. Lizard Head Cycling’s meeting hotel is in St. George, Utah. Contact us for details.

Bike Rental: Lizard Head Cycling rents Scott CR-1 carbon road bikes equipped with Shimano 105 components and geared for mountain climbing (the lowest rear gear is 32 tooth). 49cm, 52cm, 54cm 56cm, 58cm & 61cm bikes are available. Bike rental cost is $275- for the length of a tour.

Bike Shipping

Lizard Head Cycling recommends shipping with BikeFlights.com. Bikes can be shipped either to our partner bike shop in each meeting town for professional assembly or directly to the meeting hotel for self-assembly. Bike boxes can generally be left at the meeting hotel during the tour. Bikes shipped across the continental US should be shipped 8 days prior to your tour.

Meals on Tour: All meals from lunch on the tour’s first day (Sunday) through lunch on departure day (Saturday) aside from dinner on Day 5.

Breakfasts and dinners are in restaurants where clients either order off the menu or choose from a buffet. Our fresh lunches include salads, local fruit, vegetables and meats are served in roadside parks by the Lizard Head Cycling Guides. Any dietary preferences or allergies should be noted on the registration form.

Each of Lizard Head Cycling’s lunches contain gluten free options.

If on any given night a guest is tired or not feeling particularly social, they can choose to eat early and retire. Lizard Head Cycling enjoys hosting its guests for meals each evening, but understands some of us may just need to lie down after a day in the saddle. A meal should not feel like marathon after a big day on the bike.

How the Shuttle Works – Tour Support: A 15-passenger van and trailer that carries luggage, food and equipment supports Lizard Head Cycling’s tours. Cyclists keep a day bag that is accessible within the support vehicle. On trips with more then 13 riders a second support vehicle may be employed.

The vehicle will sag and then pass riders to set up aid stations every 15 to 25 miles. This allows cyclists to linger at the back and then take a ten-mile, fifteen-mile or whatever mile “bump” forward to catch-up or get ahead of the group. Energy food, drink mixes, and fresh fruit are available throughout each stage.

It is not uncommon for cyclists on Lizard Head Cycling’s tours to ride their first century with us. Many are surprised by their ability to pedal the majority of miles offered. We have all day to reach the destination. If you have any questions about your ability to ride with us, please contact us today (970.728.5891 or Info@LizardHeadCyclingGuides.com).

The Daily Schedule: Cyclists ride their own pace. Lizard Head Cycling does its best to support riders in their varying desires and efforts. Cyclists can either use our tours to simply support their tour experience or to engage in a guided experience along the route.

Q-sheets with directions, profiles and locations of aid stations are given out for each stage.

General Tour & Cancellation Policies

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with all of our tour and cancellation policies, which can be found by clicking here.

Travel Insurance

Lizard Head Cycling Guides highly recommends clients purchase Travel Insurance through TripAssure. A policy can be purchased individually through the sales link below.

The estimated cost for a 50-year old buying insurance for a $2,500 tour ranges from $100 (standard plan) to about $200 (cancel for any reason plan).

Lizard Head Cycling Guides Custom Sales Portal Link is:


  • The best options for our clients are either the Asset or Bridge plans.
  • The Asset-Plus & Complete plans both include a Cancel-For-Any-Reason option.
    • As a result these plans cost more.
    • The Cancel-for-Any-Reason option is only available when insurance is purchased within two weeks of initial deposit.
  • For information on Coronavirus, please click here.
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