Hayduke Trail MTB Tour - Lizard Head Cycling Guides
107 Aurum St, Box 855, Ophir, CO 81426 970.728.5891 info@LizardHeadCyclingGuides.com

Hayduke Trail MTB Tour

Please click here to jump to the Overview section with all tour details including pricing.

Hayduke Trail: Utah Mountain Bike Tour: Highlights

Solitude and Silence

The Hayduke Trail MTB Tour, (a.k.a. the Trans-Utah), is one of the American West’s ultimate point-to-point MTB tours exploring the far reaches of southern Utah’s National Monuments and National Parks. The route starts near Big Water, Utah and ends in Moab, Utah. This is Utah’s world renowned “back-of-beyond” landscapes, including the new Bear’s Ears National Monument, Capitol Reef National Park and the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. The Hayduke crosses only a few paved roads in its 440-miles of riding and as a result, offers unparalleled exploration and discovery.

In southern Utah nature throws out the rule book. Rock shaped by 50-million years of water has sculpted a jaw-dropping landscape of weird and wild shapes. This is a region of extremes: of distance, of darkness, of silence.

The Hayduke Trail is considered an MTB Gravel Grinder. What this means is that riding is not an overly technical ride. The trail surface is on small, rugged and remote jeep roads. The riding is downright fun! Prior to riders actually experiencing the Hayduke we often hear that “I want to ride singletrack”, but after riding the Hayduke a cyclist who was a singletrack junkie said to us that they thought it “was the best mountain bike ride they (I) have ever done”.

An E-Duke? Electric-MTB’s?

We will now be offering an E-MTB version of the Hayduke, calling it the E-Duke. We will be announcing a date for fall 2023. The E-Duke will be a good choice for a group of friends with varying abilities.

Join Lizard Head Cycling on this small group cycling odyssey within the serpentine redrock canyons of the Beehive State.

Bicycling: Bears Ears National Monument – This Bikepacking Paradise May Soon Be Filled With Oil Wells

Early MTB Multi-Day Pioneers: First Mountain Bike Traverse of the White Rim Road, Canyonlands UT

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.

Our Best Video of the Hayduke Trail Tour

See More Videos About the Hayduke Trail

The Hayduke Trail MTB Tour was featured in Outside Magazine: The Hayduke Option June 2017

***CLICK HERE to jump to Tour Dates***

***CLICK HERE to jump to Tour Itineraries***

The Hayduke is a journey that explores among the most spectacular terrain in North America; southern Utah’s canyon & mountain country. The Hayduke Trail is named after George Washington Hayduke, a character from Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang.

Dark Skies!

Southern Utah has the darkest skies of the lower 48 American states.

Hayduke Trail

Noteworthy Links and Videos

Outside Magazine: The Hayduke Option

USA Today: Listen to the Bears Ears and protect national treasures

Outside: Watch This Video Below!

Author and adventurer Chris Solomon talks about his week-long tour along the Hayduke Trail with Rick Steves. Chris comes in around the 32 minute mark into the show.

On December 27, 2016 much of the terrain that the 2nd week of our Hayduke Trail MTB Tour passes through was declared the Bear’s Ears National Monument by President Obama. This is a magnificent region of redrock cliffs, mysterious canyons and stone silence.

Celebrate Bears Ears: Welcome to our New National Monument!

Difficulty Level?

“If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.”

The Hayduke Trail MTB Tour is a MTB tour that seeks out backcountry exploration. Tour size is limited to 12 clients. Although the Hayduke tour is challenging in nature, it is not a death march! The tour’s fitness level is aimed at upper-intermediate to advanced fitness levels. The Hayduke Trail MTB Tour is not an overly technical ride; it is a spectacular “gravel grinder” type tour on small, rugged and remote jeep roads. The route can be ridden in 1-week or 2-week segments.

The mountain biking is fun and challenging, but not overly technical.

The daily mileage averages out to about 35-mile segments which vary based on the riding surface and amount of climbing on any given day. Lizard Head Cycling’s guides provide cyclists with a professional level support that includes: meals, water, shelter and mechanical aid. So the bottom line is if you are a experienced mountain or road biker with decent technical skills, this tour is within your ability level.

A Labor of Love
The Hayduke tour project has been a labor of love for Lizard Head Cycling Guides. Our guides love the spirit and adventure of riding in this remote landscape. It is indeed a special bucket-list type grand tour!

Hayduke Trail MTB Bike Tour Kanab, Utah to Moab, Utah:

Ride the Full Two Weeks from Kanab to Moab (12-Days & 440-miles), Week One Only from Kanab to the Henry Mountains (6-Days & 220-miles) or Week Two Only from the Henry Mountains to Moab (6-Days & 220-miles).

  • We offer an 9-Day Hardcore Hayduke with all 440-miles.
  • We also offer the “E-Duke” where all riders are on electric MTB’s.

Please see the Tour Logistics below for further details.

Hayduke Trail MTB Tour: Testimonials

Read what previous guests on our Hayduke Trail MTB Tour have been saying…

I would like to thank Leslie, Liam and Matt for making Andrea and I feel like we were traveling with family. We only had a week or two with them but strangely find that we miss them. Thank you for putting together a trip that brought something amazing and different each day. 12 days of wow, I’m sure you can’t top that but you did each day. (Y)ou drained us physically but you replenished our mental and spiritual being, Thank you. – Michael

I wanted to let you know what a great job Evan, Roy, and Garrison did during our recent week 2 Hayduke trail ride. The meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snacks – were all filling, very tasty, and kept us all energized for each day’s ride. The logistics were very well done – clearly a well oiled machine. The pre-ride checklist I found to be comprehensive such that I felt well prepared both before and during the trip. Erin was very helpful in getting me (the group really) to the ‘starting line’ – thank you Erin! Thanks to you and your team for providing such a positive, fun, and safe experience – well done. – Ryan

Another great Hardcore! Roy and Evan were spectacular throughout the entire trip and are really two fine young men. It was nice seeing some new areas due to the route changes and who knows maybe I will be back for a fourth go at it. Erin was also wonderful to work with throughout the whole process as well. Thanks again! – Chuck

Just back from Hardcore Hayduke…. it was truly an amazing 9 days…. not sure that I really fully envisioned what I was signing up for. Before the trip, I would have said I love to camp and I love to bike…. just not totally sure I love doing them at the same time.

By Day 3, I finally understood that its not all about the bike – the bike is merely the medium through which to experience some of the most spectacular landscapes in the West… probably the US…. and near the top in the world.

I enjoyed the pace and challenge of the Hardcore…. it is truly an epic challenge and adventure.

Roy and Evan were amazing – they formed a great symbiotic duo and provided clear leadership and responsive support throughout the trip – they really thrive off of each other and are inherently knowledgeable and inquisitive about the geology, flora and fauna and history of the area. Truly pleasant, supportive, optimistic, thoughtful, and responsive trip leaders.

One of the many positives to come from the craziness of the last year+ is that as Europe was closed or too much of a hassle to visit, I’ve explored areas of the US that I had never visited…. I’m already looking at my plans for next year and hoping to return for another Lizard Head adventure. – Chuck

Both guides were excellent and complemented each other well. They really developed a rapport with the guests and made everyone feel at ease. Their cooking skills and food selection were excellent. I believe that everyone on the ride had a great time partly due to the professionalism and friendliness of Roy and Evan. – James

First of all, I’m so impressed with your company. I usually am very reticent to sign up for guided trips as I find the guides often are totally burned out and sometimes a bit “rough around the edges” … (b)ut not so with Roy and Chuck.

Roy and Chuck were amazing guides! They worked so hard but still made time to talk with us. I especially liked Roy playing his drum on the edge of Dark Canyon. It still gives me chills as I sat there hearing this “from heaven” type of melody overlooking such beautiful country. Chuck was equally amazing. I loved his en plein air geology lessons and his recital from memory of an Edward Abbey quote under the Milky Way with us all sitting around a fire. It was simply magical.

I am a very slow rider, (b)ut I really like how you organize so slower riders leave sooner and then group up. I never felt any pressure due to the speed of my biking. I enjoyed so much just reveling in the ride versus constant worry about whether I was holding people back. Great work on threading that needle with your clients.

I also liked how the truck was organized. The food was amazingly delicious. I also REALLY appreciate your astute attention to recycling and use of plates and utensils versus throw away stuff.

Bottom line, I would totally recommend your company to anyone. Furthermore, when I plan a trip with a group of friends and want truck support, you will be who I call to arrange that trip and hopefully can secure Chuck and Roy as our guides again.

Take care in all this crazy uncertainty. You all are bright shining lights. – Jody F.

The final week was as wonderful as the first. After the dust has settled and been washed out of my hair and clothes, I find myself looking back at this trip and missing much, even hike/bike up the Henry’s. For me Evan helped make this Hayduke trip a success – always cheerful, helpful and on point. He responds to concerns with care and action. If the opportunity to do another trip with Lizard Head arises, I would be thrilled to see that Evan was one of the guides. Thank you for such an amazing trip, it seems a bit like a dream now but often the best experiences in life feel that way and you know it was special. Hope to see you again in the near future. – Richard

Tim and I want to take this opportunity to tell you how much we enjoyed our trip on the Hayduke Trail. First of all, our three guides were fantastic. Their level of professionalism was top notch. We felt kindness and courtesy from them the entire week. They made us feel cared for and they continued to display attitudes and actions that showed us that we could count on them and trust them.

Thank you for putting together such an awesome route to experience the back country of Utah. The route and the scenery was everything we had hoped for. There were so many times that we had to stop riding just to take in the unbelievable views. We rode the second week of the trip, and our campsites were fantastic. The canyon views on several nights of our camping were incredible.

Thank you once more for providing us with a wonderful experience. – Tim and Pamela

We are back home and had a wonderful adventure riding the 2nd week of the Hayduke trail. Leslie and Evan did a great job, very positive and fun kids to be around. My brother in-law and I had a great time and really appreciate all the hard work (that went into) planning this trip with the food, water, snacks and the beer cooler. – Andy J

The Hayduke was tremendous. I’ve been meaning to let you know how great it was/is. Every aspect exceeded my expectations, especially DeAnne and David. They were professional, kind, courteous, positive, exuberant and, above all seemed to enjoy the trip as much as we did. – James

Li and I joined the ride the last 5 days, and we had more fun than we could possibly have imagined! The ride (and the weather) were enormously challenging, but we were helped greatly by the kindness and companionship of our fellow riders and guides. Thank you all for making the trip so wonderfully memorable for us! – Chris

Just wanted to let you know I had a blast and totally regret not signing up for the full 2 weeks. Your guides are incredible as well as the entire rest of the operation. I want to commend you on a fabulous organized trip. Other than the scenery, the organization is my top conversation I have with other people when asked about the tour. – Paul S.

Hayduke Trail

Riding on Day 1 Hayduke Trail

How The Hayduke Trail MTB Tour Works

The Hayduke Trail MTB Tour is supported by a burly 4×4 pickup that carries water, personal gear, an outdoor kitchen, coolers of food (and beer), tents, spare parts, spare bikes, shade and camp chairs. It is the mothership that meets us in camp. Riders wake in the morning to the echo of the coffee call off the canyon walls, followed by a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon, muesli, fruit, nuts, yogurt, etc. Food is essential and Lizard Head Cycling takes care to deliver high quality ingredients. After breakfast riders pack a lunch and set off on the trail. One guide rides and the other drives the truck. Lunch is enjoyed along the trail with big views of the encompassing back of beyond terrain. When possible the mother ship meets the riders for lunch to offer a resupply.

In the late afternoon we roll into camp and once again meet the support vehicle. At this point before setting up camp the guides and guests often enjoy a celebratory beer. The guides then set up the outdoor kitchen, start appetizers and prepare dinner, while our guests set up their tents and clean their bicycles for the next day. Dinner is enjoyed around the campfire as the stars appear above in the pitch black sky. Life is good! 😀

The Hayduke Trail support vehicle

The mothership in her natural environment

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Hayduke Trail

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Refresh in the cool waters of Calf Creek Falls Hayduke Trail

Refresh in the cool waters of Calf Creek Falls

Hayduke Trail

Spring time in the Henry Mountains: This is just a drift in the trees!

Hayduke Trail

BIG VIEWS on fun double track

Alpine mountain biking through Bears Ears Pass Hayduke Trail

Alpine mountain biking through Bears Ears Pass: Week-Two

Camping with a view! Hayduke Trail

Camping with a view!

The views on Day 8 Hayduke Trail

The views on Day 8

Hayduke Trail

Map sessions are offered each morning

Hayduke Trail

Camping in the Abajo Mountains on week 2

Dark Canon Camp

Hayduke Trail

Hayduke Trail MTB Tour: Photos

Photos from the May 2016 inaugural Hayduke Trail MTB Tour.

Hayduke Trail MTB Tour: Dates

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.

Autumn 2024 Tour Dates

NOTE: Ride the entire Hayduke Trail (12-Days & 440 miles) or segments (6-Days & 220 miles).

  • September 12 to 23, 2024 – Full Two Weeks (12-Days)
    Big Water to Moab (Book Now!)
  • September 12 to 17, 2024 – Week One (6-Days)
    Big Water to Henry Mountains (Book Now!)
  • September 18 to 23, 2024 – Week Two (6-Days)
    Henry Mountains to Moab (Book Now!)

  • October 6 to 11, 2024 – Week One (6-Days)
    Big Water to Henry Mountains SOLD OUT

  • October 16 to 21, 2024 – Week Two (6-Days)
    Henry Mountains to Moab (Book Now!) – TOUR OPENED 4 riders needed to make GO

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.

Why Should you Sign-Up Now and OPEN a Tour Date?
This is the proverbial chicken and the egg conundrum! We need our cyclists to first commit to the date that works for them so that we can commit to that date.

For starters, when you OPEN a date you get to pick your preferred departure date, and there is no penalty if the tour does not run. Once you pick your tour date, Lizard Head closes nearby dates and funnels all additional riders to your chosen date until the tour meets its 6 rider minimum.

BONUS: As an added bonus, we can also hold a spot for you on another tour date of your choosing. There is no fee to switch to another tour date.

In conclusion, if you want a tour to run, we need you to sign up and not wait for others to do the same! Waiting for others may mean that a tour date takes longer or does not confirm. Just Do It! Once a few riders jump into the proverbial waters, others will follow!

Hayduke Trail MTB Tour: Overview

Reptile Rewards

Ability Level: Upper Intermediate (3)  to Advanced (3/4) 
The Hayduke Trail is a spectacular gravel-grinder type tour across rugged and remote backcountry jeep roads.

Tour Size: 5 to 13 riders

Hayduke Tour Cost: $3,350 (12-Day tour), $1,775 (6-Day tour)

Hardcore Hayduke Tour Cost: $2,515 (9-Days)

Tour Discounts: Please see our Reptile Rewards & Tour Discounts page to learn more about Reptile Rewards, Tour Discounts, and Group Discounts. Tour discounts are not stackable with any other discounts or promotions – only the highest valued discount is provided. Please note that for discounts to apply the tour minimum must be met.

Hayduke Tour Includes: Guide service, monster F-350 support truck, all delicious meals, energy food, liquid refreshments, water bottles, shuttles, a special cycling gift, and mechanical support. Alcoholic beverages and massage therapy are additional.

Hayduke Rentals:

  • 6-Day Pedal Bike Rental: $250
  • 6-Day E-MTB Bike Rental $395
  • Camping Gear Rental: $85

Hardcore Hayduke Tour Includes: Guide service to move camp and support the tour on a daily basis, monster F-350 support truck, all delicious meals, energy food, liquid refreshments, water bottles, shuttles, a special cycling gift, and mechanical support. Alcoholic beverages, Scott Spark 930 bike rental ($300) is additional. Full Camping rental for the Hardcore is $85- for the 9-days

Hardcore Hayduke Rentals:

  • 9-DayPedal Bike Rental: $300
  • 9-Day E-MTB Bike Rental $450
  • Camping Gear Rental: $85

Half-Way Lodging: An overnight hotel stay is offered at the Whispering Sands Motel in Hanksville, UT, between the two weeks. For Full 2-Week Riders, this will provide a break from camping for one night between the two legs of the tour. For Week 1 Only Riders, this will be the last night of the tour; we will return you to Grand Junction the next morning. For Week 2 Only Riders, you will spend a pre-night here and then ride out on the Hayduke Trail the next morning. For Hardcore Hayduke Riders, the overnight here will come after riding over the Henry Mountains. This increases the base tour cost by $80/pp for shared accommodations or by $160/pp for private accommodations.

Private Groups and Tour Length: The Hayduke Trail tour can be booked as a private tour with 9 riders or the equivalent thereof. If your riders can “crush it”, full tour length can be reduced from 12 to 9 days by increasing the daily mileage from the current 30 to 40-miles per day to 50 to 60-miles ridden per day.

The Weather: The months of May and September & early October are the sweet spots in this extreme landscape. During these months if there are no clouds, expect average high temperatures in the lower desert (below 6,000-feet) in low to mid 80’s and in the mountains (above 8,000-feet) expect highs in the upper 70’s. During its epic journey the Hayduke MTB tour crosses both rugged canyon country and two mountain ranges with elevations peaking out at 10,000-feet. So the Hayduke is not simply a desert tour!

Camper’s Gear: Rental Tent, Ground-Cot or Pad & Sleeping Bag
One-Week @ $85 and Two-Weeks @ $150. Lizard Head Cycling offers rental of late model camping gear. The rental  tent sleeps 2 comfortably. The ground cots are two inches above the ground and allows campers to sleep on one’s side. The Ground pads are 1.5 inches thick and our synthetic sleeping bags are rated for 20 degrees (warm & comfy in the wild).
**Al la Carte tent rental is $55 for 1 week and $100 for 2 weeks.

Highlights Include: This route across southern Utah includes the Grand Staircase Escalante National MonumentCapitol Reef National Park, the Henry Mountains, the Sierra Abajos, Glen Canyon and Lockhart Basin.

Mountain Bike Rentals

NOTE: The make, model, and specifications of rental bikes may differ from what is described below. Please contact us if you have any specific needs for a rental bike or have any questions about rental bikes.

Mountain Bike Rentals

Lizard Head Cycling Guides is proud to rent the Scott Spark 930, a truly fantastic way to go up or down a mountain. We have been riding mountain bikes for a very long time here at Lizard Head, but we can easily say our rentals are the most fun mountain bikes we have ever ridden. The Spark 930 blends the featherweight lineage of its race focused cousin with the single track chops of a 120mm travel ripper - this bike is up for anything.

The Spark 930 features: Spark Carbon HMF-Alloy Frame, FOX 34 Float Performance 130mm Fork, FOX Nude EVOL/120mm/TwinLoc rear shock, Shimano XT-SLX 12 Speed Drivetrain, Shimano Deore Disc Brakes, Syncros X-25 TR Rims, Maxxis Rekon Folding Tires, plus Syncros Dropper Post. Approx. Weight: 28.88 lbs / 13.10 kg (without pedals)

Mountain E-Bike Rentals

The Strike eRIDE 920 offers SCOTT’s latest technologies together with the newest Bosch motor. Versatile, reliable, and accessible, the Strike puts the accent on the comfort with 150mm of travel, slicker tires, thicker grips and saddle to give you a solid choice for any outing.

Learn more about our Mountain Bike & E-Bike Rentals and Equipment

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

Overall Route Map

Below is an example of the daily routes for this tour and are subject to change based on season, available accommodations, road closures, and other factors. The actual routes will be made available to registered participants before their tour, so please view these routes as a general outline as to what to expect.

Hayduke Trail MTB Tour: Itineraries*

*PLEASE NOTE: Tour itineraries are subject to change and modification based on the group, available accommodations, road construction, road closures, and other unforeseen circumstances including weather, wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, landslides and/or other acts of nature. Also, the distances and elevation profiles shown below may not reflect the actual distances and elevations while on tour as these are provided here to give an idea as to the anticipated mileage and terrain. Please view this itinerary, the distances, and elevation profiles as a general outline as to what to expect while on this tour.

NOTE: Click to view the itineraries below.

Hayduke Trail MTB Tour: Logistics & FAQs

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.

The Hayduke Trail MTB Tour rides through one of the most inaccessible areas in the lower 48 states. As a result we primarily camp at undeveloped campsites each night.

Cleaning Up
We bring solar showers that allow cyclists to clean up while on the Hayduke.

Guides in camp will prepare all meals. Meals include: Dutch oven lasagna, wild salmon, grilled chicken, salads, quinoa, fruits and lots of seasonal veggies. Any dietary preferences or allergies should be noted on the registration form. Each of Lizard Head Cycling’s lunches contains gluten free options.

Ride Difficulty
This custom tour is designed for Upper Intermediate to Advanced cyclists. The terrain ranges from rugged jeep roads, to rocky streams, sand and mountain dirt.

Tour Support
A 4-wheel drive flatbed truck (aka the mother ship) carries luggage, food and equipment in support of the Hayduke Trail MTB Tour. Cyclists pack their lunch and water in their packs.

Electronics & Digital Detox 
One of the best parts about this tour is the opportunity it provides for one to detach from the world of emails and ringtones. For recharging devices we have a battery device for charging smaller devices.

There are also a large variety of high capacity USB battery packs (16000mAh or greater) these at would also work well for multiple recharges of your devices such as those from Anker, RAVPower, and others.

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

If you have not already, now would be a great time to consider adding travel insurance to your tour. You are welcome to use any travel insurance company you would like. We recommend Generali/Trip Mate.

Generally, if contracting COVID causes clients to cancel or interrupt their tour, trip insurance companies would treat it as any other illness as long as it is contracted after the insurance was purchased. Please check your individual plan documentation for details. Please note that quarantine is usually only covered if clients are actually sick with COVID. If a state requires quarantine upon arrival because of standardized state law, coverage is generally not covered. Again, check your individual plan documentation for details.

American Guests - use this link: http://www.generalitravelinsurance.com/get-a-quote.html?partner=LIZA0855

  • The Premium Plan is the only plan which offers Pre-Existing coverage so long as the plan is purchased prior to Final Payment.
  • The Premium Plan is the only plan that offers an optional Cancel For Any Reason - the policy must be purchased within 24 hours of initial trip deposit, the full trip cost must be insured, and if they cancel for Any Reason, it must be 48 hours prior to departure, and the reimbursement for an Any Reason claim is 60% of pre-paid, insured, non-refundable trip cost.
  • Customer Service can be reached at 1-800-874-2442 for coverage questions and policy modifications or to purchase by phone. Agency Code: LIZA0855

Canadian Guests - use this link: https://tripmate.catravelins.ca/?utm_source=lizardhead

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