The Maze - 5 Day Canyonlands Bike TripShuttle Included • Locally Owned • Small Group Sizes
Duration: 5 days
Moab, Utah; Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Mountain Biking the Maze - 5 Day Canyonlands Trip
Located in the most remote district of Canyonlands National Park, the Maze, unique in the world, was made famous by Edward Abbey's The Monkey Wrench Gang. The vast open skies and magical rock formations are best appreciated from the saddle of your mountain bike.
We begin our guided trip of the Maze at Hans Flat with incredible views of the many layers below. Over the next few days, we will make our way down the Flint Trail to camp at the Maze Overlook. From here we will hike down into the convoluted canyons which give the Maze its name. Later we will ride to the Land of Standing Rocks, completing our journey with a ride along the Orange Cliffs.
As we ride through this remote and primarily untouched landscape, we will learn how to travel gently and with minimum impact. This is nature at its biggest and finest. The riding in the Maze includes rolling technical doubletrack. There is a 28-mile unsupported day. The Maze is a true Canyon Country mountain biking experience. Western Spirit Cycling is an authorized concessioner in Canyonlands National Park.
Read more about this incredible adventure in our blog post: Exploring the Maze with Western Spirit!
- Road Surface: Four wheel drive jeep roads: packed sediment, ledges, sand and slickrock.
- Overall Rating: Intermediate
- Technical Difficulty: Moderate with some difficult, rocky sections.
- Physical Difficulty: Moderate, some long rides, not many big climbs and one unsupported day.
- Altitude: 4,000 - 6,000 feet
RIDING TYPE | Intermediate
TRIP DURATION | 5-Days
SEASON | March – May / September – October
*Dates Subject to change*
We will begin our tour with a shuttle to the Hans Flat Ranger Station, just outside the Maze District. The Maze is the most remote region of Canyonlands National Park and the scenery is incredible. The Maze itself is a network of intricate canyons that carve their way through the Cedar Mesa sandstone. Our route over the next few days will take us around the rim of the Maze. This part of the country was home to the notorious “Hole in the Wall Gang” and is full of interesting history. We will begin our ride along the mesa top with views of Cleopatra’s Chair, Bagpipe Butte, the Land of Standing Rocks and the Maze itself. Next, we will descend the Flint Trail, an incredible example of early engineering. Blasted into the walls of a box canyon it descends nearly 1,000 feet in two miles, making it an exciting, steep downhill. Continuing on to our camp at the top of the Golden Stairs, we will enjoy views down into the Fins and Ernie’s Country, which is where we will be riding during the next few days. TOTAL MILEAGE: 18 miles
Today will begin with a ride through Elaterite Basin, which includes some steep, technical downhills. Then we’ll cruise through Big Water Canyon and on to the Maze Overlook where we will camp for the night. Along the way we’ll pass beneath Panorama Point and contour around Horse Canyon. The view from this camp is unsurpassed with the Chocolate Drops, the White Rim, Pete’s Mesa and the Abajo Mountains all around us. This afternoon, we will hike down into Horse Canyon to see the Harvest Scene pictograph panel. This panel has human figures painted by the Archaic people of the area and is thousands of years old. TOTAL MILEAGE: 12 miles riding, Approx. 6 miles hiking
From our camp at the Maze Overlook, we’ll begin by riding back towards the Flint Trail. Today we will ride the steep downhills of Elaterite Basin in reverse. Then we’ll swing around beneath Land’s End and ride at the base of the Orange Cliffs until we get to the turnoff to our camp. After a fast descent, we’ll cruise through the Waterhole Flat area to our camp below Teapot Rock. If we are heading to Sunset Pass to camp we will turn up at the Waterhole Flat junction for a late afternoon climb to camp. From either camp we can go on a hike or relax and take in the scenery. TOTAL MILEAGE: 28 miles
Today’s out and back ride begins with some difficult and challenging technical miles in Teapot Canyon. Riders should use caution and many opt for the “walking the bike” technique in places. As we ride through Red Cove and the Fins, one cannot help but appreciate the incredible scenery. Out to the east lies Ernie’s Country and many amazing sandstone formations. In front of us to the north is the spectacular Land of Standing Rocks. Here Lizard Rock, The Wall, The Plug, Standing Rock and Chimney Rock protrude from the ground to create a surreal landscape. After lunch and a bit of exploring we will head back to camp. TOTAL MILEAGE: 28 miles, unsupported
Our last day of this tour takes us back through Waterhole Flat, underneath Gunsight Butte and on to Lake Powell. Though it is hidden from view, our course parallels the Colorado River as it cuts its way through Cataract Canyon, a favorite whitewater haunt of river rafters. The riding is quite fun and easy as we cruise along a hard packed dirt road, around numerous corners and past many slickrock pour off canyons. Although there are some climbs, the general trend is downhill. After several miles of cruising, the road opens up and enters a broad, open valley before ending just above Lake Powell. TOTAL MILEAGE: 35 miles
Why Book with Western Spirit
We love biking and traveling as much as you do! For over 30 years, we’ve been in the business of bike guiding and we’ve honed every little detail to give you the highest quality bike trip on the market. We’ve cherry-picked the best mountain bike trails and road rides so you can immerse yourself in the stunning landscape of the American West. We go the extra mile to make sure you have the most fun on your bike!
At Western Spirit, our staff is the heart of our company. Our guides love what they do, and are dedicated to providing you with a memorable vacation. Each of them has received extensive training in backcountry travel, cooking, natural history, and first aid, not to mention their cycling and mechanical skills. They are committed to helping people experience the outdoors and have a wealth of knowledge to share. Their attention to every detail leaves you free to enjoy the riding.
It’s our philosophy that everyone in our busy world needs to get outside more. We know it’s tough to squeeze it all in, but with Western Spirit we’re here to make it as easy as possible. Our friendly office staff is just a call away to help you find the perfect trip for you. We believe in getting away from it all, spending rejuvenating time in nature, and most of all, having a lot of fun!
MEETING PLACE AND TIME
Moab, UT This trip will meet at 7:00 AM MST at the Aarchway Inn, 1551 North Riverview Drive, Moab, Utah. You will need to spend the night before in Moab.
We will be happy to pick you up at your hotel; please call us Monday - Friday, 9 - 5 to schedule your pickup.
We will return to Moab between 4:30-5:30 PM on the last day.
The trip price includes food and drinks for the trip, guides, support vehicle, campsites, permits, and any entry fees into national parks and public lands.
WHAT WE PROVIDE: ✓ meals, snacks, water, electrolyte drinks, non-alcoholic drinks ✓ camp mugs, all kitchen and dining ware ✓ 1 cycling water bottle ✓ camp chairs ✓ dry bags to pack your gear ✓ solar showers ✓ sunscreen & bug spray ✓ bike stand and lube ✓ guides bring their own tools ✓ first aid kit with basic medications
Not included are: rental fees (bikes and camping gear), alcoholic beverages, gratuities for your guides, and applicable sales tax. If you would like to bring alcoholic beverages we will store them for you at the appropriate temperature.
Should you need to cancel for any reason, we will apply the following cancellation policy:
- For cancellations prior to 60 days before departure, a $50 handling fee per person is retained and the remainder of your deposit is refunded.
- For cancellations 60-31 days before departure, 50% of your trip fees are refunded. For cancellations 30 days or less before departure, no monies are
We have to strictly adhere to our cancellation policy to run our business, we’re sure you understand. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you purchase trip insurance to protect your investment. We recommend CSA Travel Protection (our producer code is 82945124). You can also call them at 800-348-9505.
How many people are on a trip?
Most of our permits allow us to take 13 guests and 2 guides, although many trips are smaller than our maximum allowed. Our Maze permit in Canyonlands National Park is more limited with only 7 guests and 2 guides to maintain the remote wilderness experience.
Can you accommodate my dietary restrictions?
Yes, no problem! We are happy to accommodate dietary restrictions, and we do it frequently. Our guides are masters at making sure everyone is satisfied. Please let us know when you fill out your forms so our guides can accommodate you and your needs. It is good to be specific (e.g., vegetarian but prefer tempeh over tofu) to help the guides with meal planning.
Do you rent bikes?
Yes - for mountain bikes, we use the Specialized Stumpjumper ST 29ers. For road bikes, we use the Specialized Diverge E5 Elite. All our rental bikes come with flat pedals, a helmet, and one water bottle cage. We provide the water bottle and all the bike repair gear.
If you’re renting a bike from us, you do not need to show up early. Please meet at the scheduled time and we will fit you to your rented bike then.
All Western Spirit rental bikes come with flat pedals. If you have clipless pedals (e.g., SPD, Crank Brothers, etc.), you’re welcome to bring them along with your shoes. We swap out pedals all the time!
Do you rent camping gear?
Yes! We rent tents, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads. Sleeping bags are thoroughly washed between trips. The following prices are for the whole trip:
2-person tent – $40 Sleeping bag – $35 Sleeping pad – $15 Total $90
When camping, where do I go to the bathroom?
It’s not a glamorous topic, and we know this can be a subject of concern and embarrassment for some. We make it as easy and sanitary as possible! If we’re camping in designated campsites, we use the pit toilets available in the campgrounds. If we’re camping in the backcountry, we obey by the pack-it-in-pack-it-out rule. We set up a portable toilet lovingly called “the groover,” and put it in a private location with a stunning view. We provide a hand wash system for clean up.
Will I be able to take a shower?
We offer solar showers which are a nice way to rinse off and refresh yourself, but it is not enough water to take a full-fledge shower. The showers are not private, so please bring a swimsuit and your own towel. Showers are dependent on water resources, which may be restricted if it’s a hot desert trip. Some campsites have streams and lakes available for swimming. We also recommend wet-wipes to refresh after a fun day on the bike.
What if I'm traveling by myself?
Please join us! We get solo travelers all the time and going on a bike trip is a great way to meet like-minded people. Many of our guests end up as lifelong friends after a Western Spirit trip.
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