One of the advantages of a bike trip is the flexibility of the daily itinerary. It can vary widely from one trip to the next based on group desires, Mother Nature, and courtesy for other groups in the area. With that being said, it is important to know that flexibility is limited a bit by NPS assigned campsites. What you should come prepared for is 15-30 miles of riding per day with the option for additional activity when appropriate. This typical itinerary illustrates a bike trip through the Orange Cliffs unit of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Day 1: Meet group at Holiday River Expeditions headquarters at 7:00 AM Mountain Time in Green River, Utah. You can buy any last minute items from our accessories store at this time (see our packing checklist for a list of items you can find at our store). Before leaving our headquarters, each guest along with a Holiday guide will perform a pre-trip inspection of your bikes. If you are providing your own bike, please make sure that it is in good repair, we recommend a complete service by a professional shop prior to the trip. Guests with bikes’ that fail our inspection will be asked to rent a Holiday bike for $170.00/person. From there, a 3 hour van ride will bring us to the Hans Flat ranger station, a remote NPS outpost and the Maze district headquarters. North Point, our camp for the first night is just a few miles away. We will ride an out and back on a rough 4 wheel drive road to Panorama Point. The views are breathtaking and the ride is fun and fast out to the overlook, with a bit more climbing back to camp. This totals about 22 miles for the day, more riding and hiking is available.
Day 2: The ride begins with about 12 miles, rolling up and down through pinyon pine and juniper forest at 6500 feet in elevation. Along the way, stop and explore an old ranching/mining camp, probably used first in the 1890’s. Then a left turn drops off the edge of the mesa we have been riding along all morning. This is a steep descent on a rough, rocky, and loose road with some of the most difficult riding on the trip. There is certainly no shame in walking this short stretch. It is under a mile long, but takes you back through 20 million years in geologic time to an area the old timers call “Under the Ledge”. After that, another 10 miles of similar riding will bring up to camp right on the western edge of the Maze district at the top of Teapot Canyon.
Day 3: After a relaxed morning of exploration, ride to Sunset pass and check out large deposits of petrified wood, evidence of ancient tropical swamps. For the rest of the day, pedal through the drainages that feed lower Cataract Canyon from the north. Finish the day camping 1400 vertical feet above the Colorado River.
Day 4: The final day of riding will consist of about 25 miles. It is generally a gentle slope down to highway 95 at the Hite Bridge on the upper end of Lake Powell. A 2 hour scenic drive will bring us back to Green River around 4:30 in the afternoon.
As mentioned earlier, this is a sample itinerary and should not be thought of as the trip you will experience. It is intended to give an idea of what the trip will be like. It could also be exactly what you do. Keep an open mind, be flexible, go with the flow, and enjoy!
***The Bicycling: The Maze bike route is the most technically challenging route we offer. This undeveloped dirt road has steep downhills, loose rocks, sand, and ruts. Riders who have no off-road bicycling experience, or who are not athletic will most likely find this trip too challenging. All riders should prepare for the trip by riding their bike on a regular basis prior to the trip.