Author Topic: Biking Zion, Bryce, GC  (Read 3004 times)

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Offline carlastor

Biking Zion, Bryce, GC
« on: December 23, 2010, 10:42:16 pm »
We were hoping to do a trip out west to three parks: Zion, Bryce, and the Grand Canyon.  Has anyone done that trip by bike?  Our other option would be to rent a car and make it a camping/hiking trip, like we did in Yosemite.  Any suggestions?


Offline aggie

Re: Biking Zion, Bryce, GC
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2010, 11:56:11 am »
It is fairly easy to bike from Zion to Bryce.  Grand Canyon (North Rim) is a at least a 2 to 3 day bike ride away from Zion.  If you want the south rim it is another day or two.  It may be easier to rent a car to go to the Grand Canyon.  ACA maps (Grand Canyon connector) will take you down to the Grand Canyon.

Offline sam21fire

Re: Biking Zion, Bryce, GC
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2010, 12:05:11 pm »
I've ridden (and driven) through that area many times and it's fantastic on a bike!  North Rim of the GC doesn't open until some time in May depending on the snow and weather, Bryce is the same and both are pretty high in elevation so snow can fall late into the spring.  In the summer the area around Zion and GC's South rim are HOT and don't have many water supply points between major towns. Don't trust the "villages/outposts" that are on the map to be open or have water available.  The climbs eastbound out of Zion Canyon and from Cameron to Desert View Point at the South Rim are pretty tough.  The Park Service has placed some significant restrictions on bikes going through the Zion Tunnel; you'll need to make arrangements to have someone haul your bike through the tunnel unless you make "other arrangements" (the rangers at the tunnel work normal 8-5 duty days).  Late summer/fall in that area has major thunderstorms with flash floods.  North Rim and Bryce in mid Oct depending on weather.

Other than those details riding in that area is normal touring...challenging, beautiful, good shoulders, bad shoulders, good traffic, bad traffic etc etc.  Expect all the usual issues with being around major tourist areas if you go during the summer.

Have a great trip!


Offline carlastor

Re: Biking Zion, Bryce, GC
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2010, 11:04:51 am »
Thanks, Sam and "Aggie" for you help.  That's the kind of infomation I was looking for.  It was kind of you to take the time to reply.


Offline cotterg3

Re: Biking Zion, Bryce, GC
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2010, 11:37:28 am »
I rode nearly the same thing as part of a longer trip this summer. I had a blast.

Ultimately, I think that area is best traveled by car and on foot in my opinion. The roads from vegas to st. george (assuming that is where you fly into) are less than ideal; you are basically on an interstate through the desert for 100+ miles, though there are side roads available. You may want to arrange transportation to st. george if you are on a schedule and time spent on this section ultimately takes away from time in the parks.

Once you arrive in zion, bryce, and GC, the roads ultimately lead you to magnificent views of those parks. However, to explore them further, you must go on foot.

I really did enjoy biking the roads to the grand canyon from the north, to bryce from the east (through escalante region), and around the grand canyon on the east side towards flagstaff (though that may not be part of your itinerary). However, I was more inspired to stay in each of the parks you mentioned and hike for several days then I was riding my bike between them. If you are considering this during tourist season, traffic may be an issue in certain areas.

As a side note: I enjoyed biking flagstaff -> sedona -> jerome -> prescott in AZ, though past that it quickly descends into what I remember as desert hell. Just in case you were looking to extend the ride a little.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2010, 05:13:32 pm by cotterg3 »