United States Bicycle Route System and the Redrock Bikeway
In this part of the country, it's a rare day that isn't ideal for a bicycle ride. On two wheels, the West Desert comes alive with unexpected diversity of terrain and native flora on a road that is better experienced in slower motion. The winding beauty of the All-American Road Scenic Byway 12 engages with the landscape in an astonishing interplay of engineering and natural splendor that you need to see in person to fully appreciate. Then, southeastern Utah's indigenous spirit blends with cinematic places. You'd be stopping the car frequently anyway. This is better on a bicycle.
Bikepacking on the All-American Road Scenic Byway 12 (USBR 70). Photo by Larry Price.
Imagine being able to ride your bike anywhere in the country — all on safe and well-maintained designated bike routes. That’s the goal of the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS), a developing, national network of publicly-owned bicycle routes that are numbered, signed and officially approved. Adventure Cycling Association is a national nonprofit that coordinates the project, which will eventually span 50,000 miles. U.S. Bicycle Route 70 and 79 are Utah's first additions to the USBRS, and these routes combine to create an incredible border-to-border tour of Southern Utah that’s a must-visit for touring cyclists.
USBR 79-70, the Redrock Bikeway
The high-desert country combines the iconic slickrock scenes of the Colorado Plateau — known for its singletrack scene among mountainbike enthusiasts — with the stark beauty of the Mojave Desert and the Basin and Range. Summers are warm, but that doesn't deter the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah UCI-sanctioned bicycle stage race. But then, these same landscapes produce cooler mornings and crisp evenings with plenty of high-elevation escapes. Oh, and when touring by bicycle, getting to those higher elevations is a whole other story — and half the fun.
Adventure cyclists are already familiar with the high desert country of Southern Utah thanks to the Western Express, a 1,582-mile path from San Francisco to Pueblo, Colo. that crosses through some of Utah's most scenic landscapes. The 506-mile (one way) Southern Utah route begins in Garrison, a tiny, unincorporated community at the Utah-Nevada border as USBR 79 (S.R. 21). After crossing some of Utah's most scenic landscapes, Utah's segment of the USBR passes into Colorado on USBR 70 (S.R. 491) 17 miles east of Monticello. Eager to help stand up the U.S. Bicycle Route, we set out to explore some of the roads. Read more about explorations along The U.S. Bicycle Route: An Incredible Border-to-Border Tour of Southern Utah.
Maps and More Information
- Learn more about the Western Express and see the Utah segments on the map by clicking on the "details" of segments two and three.
- See the full National Corridor Plan, and learn more about the Adventure Cycling Association.
- Start planning your bike touring getaway today — you’ll get a lot of value for the amount of stories you’ll be able to tell when you get home.
- Map: Adventure Cycling Association
Road Rules and More Places to Ride
Whether you're new to road cycling or a seasoned pro, it never hurts to brush up on the rules and etiquette of the road. A favorite? "It benefits all bicyclists to ride courteously." Read about Utah Cycling Laws, bicycle parking, how to ride with traffic and more.
Click here to discover more places to take your road bike and mountain bike, as well as maps and other resources from Bike Utah.
Road Cycling Utah
Utah is filled with iconic places. When it comes to the best road biking, Utah is more than iconic. Hit the asphalt amid powerful red rock scenery, ascend majestic mountains and explore cities and towns.
Cycling the Road to Mighty
This itinerary is the weekend warrior’s dream, with options to push yourself to test your endurance and your physical limits or shorter routes to keep it real.