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9 Days   •   1140 Miles

Higher Octane

Gear up or work with local outfitters and skilled guides. Plan ahead for river permits.
SALT LAKE CITY

Ready for the most adrenaline-inducing, heart-hammering adventures Southern Utah has to offer? Whether you’re into bombing single track, charging Class V rapids, tackling hidden trails or jumping out of planes — we've got nine days of thrills for you to cross off your bucket list.
 
Bikers of both the mountain and road varieties will delight in this itinerary. On two wheels you can hit the ground literally rolling at 11,126 feet and drop for 33 miles tackling one of the most unforgettable mountain bike rides anywhere. You can cycle one of the world’s most beautiful stretches of pavement along famed Highway 12. Hit up the technical trails of the Magnificent 7, or the playful, imaginative trails of the Amasa Back. And there’s more where that came from.
 
With paddles you can dive right in for the best short white water trip in the West, dropping into Class III and IV rapids through Westwater Canyon of the Colorado. Or go for the big one at the confluence of the Green and Colorado rivers where you’ll take a wild ride through Class IV-V rapids in the legendary Cataract Canyon.
 
On foot, you can plunge yourself (and a guide) deep into the Fiery Furnace at Arches, a labyrinth of twisting and turning canyons and gorges. Climb to the hidden Moon House ruins, tucked deep into cliff sides, or the cliff’s edge Navajo Knobs with its 360-degree vistas. Wander through the Fairyland Loop of hoodoos at Bryce Canyon or the maze of canyons at the Doll House in Canyonlands. Or even head underground to the spectacular 1.4-mile-long Bloomington Cave.
 
Still fired up? Take to the sky with a tandem jump from an airplane for the best views of Moab.

Day 1

San Rafael Swell to Green River

100 Miles

It’s not exactly on the way. But savvy single-trackers won’t bypass an opportunity to ride the dips and turns of the Good Water Rim Trail in the San Rafael Swell. It’s a UtahMountainBiking.com editor’s pick. Of course, if you’re here for the riving rafting, best get started. Rafting the Green is a multi-day affair. The same is true of the Colorado River (see Day 4). Otherwise, fuel up at Ray’s Tavern and ready yourself for the ride, jump, hike, and adventure of your life. Overnight in Green River or Moab.

Day 2

Green River to Moab

75 Miles

Is it possible to mountain bike one of the greatest singletrack downhill rides, sky dive and sneak in a classic hike all in a day? Today’s a great day to find out. Overnight in Moab through the next three days.

Day 3

Kane Creek Road to Arches National Park

75 Miles

So much trail, so little time. Both Magnificent 7 and Amasa Back are top Moab rides, and it can be hard to pick. The best conditioned riders may want to tackle both, or save the extra time to explore Arches National Park along with your previously booked tour of Fiery Furnace.

Day 4

Colorado River or White Rim

100 Miles

As mentioned on Day 1, if this trip is about the rapids, you’re probably already riding them. Of course, there is the popular Moab Daily stretch if you want just a taste of the mighty Colorado. Otherwise, keep pumping those legs on the bucket-list White Rim Trail. Make no mistake, for expert riders, the trail can be completed in a day. One long, incredible day. If you're a beginner mountain biker or looking for a slower-paced journey, we suggest to break it up with a support vehicle.

Day 5

Moab to Cedar Mesa

175 Miles

Spend some time in the remote Cedar Mesa. There are plenty of overnight, backcountry options, but here are a couple of shorter hikes — though not hikes to be taken lightly — to introduce you to the landscape and save time to either take on the loop hike of Natural Bridges National Monument or drop south on S.R. 261 to Mexican Hat (with the right gear you can climb this namesake rock feature) for a killer steak. On an alternative route from Moab down U.S. 191 to U.S. 163 you could start your day on the Wildcat Trail of Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park then head north on S.R. 261 for a hike in the Cedar Mesa area. Overnight in Mexican Hat or camp at Natural Bridges National Monument.

Day 6

Cedar Mesa to Escalante

220 Miles

Navajo Knobs is a front country hike that works its way to the top of a ridgeline for killer views over Capitol Reef National Park. You’ll have covered 9.5 miles by the time you complete this out-and-back. From here, tour the Hell’s Backbone Road and consider a short hike into the Box-Death Hollow Wilderness or see a portion of the All-American Road Scenic Byway 12 on two wheels. Overnight in Escalante or Boulder.

Day 7

Hole-in-the-Rock to Thunder Mountain

175 Miles

With a high-clearance vehicle, drive to the end of the Hole-in-the-Rock Road (there are also great trails along the way). Here, you’ll scramble down a cut in the rock. Because this is an unpaved road that gets pretty rough, this trip can take the better part of the day. Leave early to squeeze more in or stay on Highway 12 and head toward the Bryce Canyon area for a great hike in this classic Utah national park or a very cool ride through the appealingly named Thunder Mountain. Overnight near Bryce Canyon City or Panguitch.

Day 8

Zion to St. George

160 Miles

There are many ways to see the stunning slot canyons of Zion National Park. Most visitors peruse the landscape from the Mouth of the Narrows. Those prepared with the right equipment or an outfitter can go the more technical route. It will take the better part of your day. Another option is to head straight for Gooseberry Mesa. You won’t be left wanting for Zion scenery and you’ll enjoy the diversity of trails. Either way, plan time for Gun Barrel Steak and Game in nearby St. George to cap the day’s adventures.

Day 9

Snow Canyon to Sand Hollow

60 Miles

Can you trad climb a wall, power an OHV over a dune, and spelunk a cave all in one day? Today’s a good day to find out. Of course, you can also pick one of the two incredible state parks and devote your day to it. We’ll leave that choice up to you.

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