They are Bison, not Buffalo, and Pronghorn, not Antelope, but if you are pedaling around the paved roads of Utah’s Antelope Island State Park, you likely will see plenty of both. Meanwhile, in Southern Utah, Route 128 meanders alongside the Colorado River and mesmorizes riders with views of the otherworldly Fisher Towers, iconic red sandstone cliffs, and the snowy La Sals.
Even if you're not traveling to Utah specifically for road cycling, consider loading up the bicycles onto the roof rack. Many cities are hubs of cycling access and between cycling the scenic national parks, longer tours and top routes below, you're never far from some must-ride asphalt.
Here are Nine Quick Trips and Top Routes through some of Utah's best terrain — many of which are aligned with perennial Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah routes and host cities. In other words, tried and true by cycling enthusiasts.
Bear Lake stands out as a prime destination where cyclists can knock off a satisfying half-century or gratifying full-century and still have plenty of options for a full weekend of family fun.
2. Syracuse to Antelope Island State Park (and around park)
Antelope Island State Park is one of Utah's most active parks, with events ranging from First Day hikes that bring in the new year to the annual Bison Roundup, a true Utah Bucket List adventure, to astronomy programs. Cyclists will love the flat causeway and gently rolling paved roads of the island's east shore — and the chance to cycle with the herds.
A great hill climb up to Promontory Summit provides not only a great workout, but a lesson in history as well. Golden Spike National Historic Site, where the United State’s first transcontinental railroad was completed, has reenactments, steam demonstrations, and additional routes for riding.
4. Salt Lake's Best Rides: Wasatch Boulevard and the Cottonwood Canyons
Challenging rides with beautiful views are the highlight of the Wasatch Boulevard routes. Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons will have your quads burning, but the amazing views of the Salt Lake Valley to the west and the Wasatch mountains to the east make it worth your while.
5. West Mountain Loop (Springville)
The roads around West Mountain have hosted stages of the Tour of Utah for the pros, and annual local road cycling events for amateurs. This route down rolling rural roads, alongside lakes, and through orchards is a staple ride for Utah County road cyclists.
One of Utah’s fastest-growing cities is also becoming a cycling hub, where bike-loving residents pedal to work, road riders can choose from spectacular mountain routes, and a cycling-centric lifestyle makes this family-friendly town a great place to roll in for a ride.
While the dirt roads in the surrounding areas of Richfield are better known and favored by ATV enthusiasts, road cyclists looking for miles of adventure will find scenic byway bike lanes, historic paved rail trails, and rural routes through bygone towns.
The 44-mile trek between downtown Moab and I-70 offers a perfect introduction to Moab as a road cycling destination: rolling hills, sweeping views around every corner, and, in the canyon, a chance for some much-needed shade.
Though it’s just over three hours south of bustling Salt Lake City by car, Parowan Gap feels like traveling back in time, as the narrow mountain pass was used for centuries as a shortcut through the Red Hills. Today, cyclists along the route can see evidence of petroglyphs and other historical elements — and take pride in the fact that they’re riding part of the Tour of Utah.