Entries Tagged as Utah
During the fall of 2013 I spent a lot of time in the canyon country of Utah. From leading groups down tight, dirty, wet slot canyons to bikepacking across desert mesas and ridgelines, it seemed that every weekend I found myself exploring and experiencing the many wonders of this brutal yet amazingly beautiful country. As the fall progressed I would returnhome to my mountain town thinking about possibilities. An idea was beginning to take shape…
A few years ago we spent our REI dividend on a luxury item: A BOB trailer that we hoped would fuel our desire to try some overnight bike trips. Poor BOB was neglected for three years, collecting dust as he hung upside down from our garage ceiling. Our attempts to use BOB had been thwarted due to schedules, weather, or not being in shape. So, we were determined to try a bike overnight at least once this spring.
I’ve been wanting to take a bikepacking trip for quite awhile now, so with nothing too pressing on my schedule I decided to go for it. I couldn’t get any of the boys to go with me, and it was probably a good thing as it turned into a very difficult ride. I’m not the most meticulous planner; I think deep down I like a sense of adventure, not knowing what is around every bend in the trail.
In preparation for a six-day, 300-plus mile bike tour, I decided to load up my bike and go for a two-day shakedown ride. I wanted to make sure everything worked well with my new bike, new panniers, handlebar bag, etc. Though I had put about 500 miles on the bike I had never ridden it loaded.
This small but mighty mountain range borders the Bonneville Salt Flats, with its famed raceway. Rising steeply out of the salt flats, the Silver Island Mountains' highest peak is over 7,500 feet high. These craggy mountains exhibit many interesting types of rock formations, which we would know more about if we were geologists instead of mountain bikers. But we were there to ride.
Antsy to get out and tour one last time before the snow flew, we were looking for someplace within reasonable driving distance of home in Denver with dry weather and plenty of amenities. When Pete first suggested Utah, I was skeptical, thinking it was all about mountain biking. Sure looks that way when you Google "bicycling and Utah." But after some map-studying and conversations with bike/ped coordinators, we settled on the Salt Lake Valley, from Ogden to Provo.
I have done several overnight bike trips out of Salt Lake City during the past six years. One is relatively short; the other five range from 43 to 53 miles in length. There is quite a bit of climbing to do on the longer rides, a challenge that inhibits many from doing overnight bike tours from Salt Lake. Even the short tour, at 11 miles, requires a modest amount of climbing. Each of the tours that I am describing starts from the base of Emigration Canyon at the northeast corner of Hogle Zoo. Photo this page only by Don Vincent.