Maze Super Special 6-Day MTB/Hike Tour
Canyonlands National Park
Visiting the depths of the backcountry in the Maze District of Canyonlands National Park is a rare treat! This trip is designed for fit intermediate Mountain Bikers who also like to hike – this itinerary maximizes your opportunity to cover as much of this extremely remote region of the Park as possible in a 6-day period.
We’ll hike across historic trails and ride on rugged 4×4 roads with technical descents, demanding climbs and unmatched scenery – traveling overland by bike and foot through one of the most isolated and remote regions in the country – a wild land of winding sandstone canyons, monolithic spires and expansive mesas.
This trip is a “Must Do” for all fit desert mountain biking enthusiasts!
A rich history can be found in the Maze. Ancient Puebloans (aka Anasazi) wandered these canyons, left their cryptic artwork and structures then disappeared seven centuries ago. Spanish explorers were the first Anglos to see this amazing country in the 1700’s, and since then, numerous long forgotten cowhands and miners have worked this land, barely eking out a living. They all left something in their passing and contributed to the cultural richness that is only found in very special places like The Maze.
This trip is yours for exploring canyons, viewing ancient ruins, sleeping out under the stars, learning about the region’s cultural and natural history and taking in spectacular views. Our meals are delicious, and our Guides are seasoned experts who will help you make this the BEST week of desert backcountry travel you’ve ever had!
Duration: 6-day MTB Tour
Included in cost:
- Food – lunch on the first day to lunch on the last day
- Support Vehicle
- National Park fees, including campsites
* Optional add-ons (not included in cost)
- Full suspension MTB rentals
- Camping equipment – tent $45, sleeping bag $25, sleeping pad $25, full kit $85
We meet the group for a pre-trip orientation at 5pm in Moab on the evening before the tour and it typically lasts an hour. Introductions, trip details, rental equipment, questions and last minute trip purchases can all be taken care of at this time. You will also be provided with 2 Dry Bags for packing your personal equipment for the trip.
* FACE MASKS ARE REQUIRED WHEN 6′ APART SOCIAL DISTANCING IS NOT POSSIBLE, INDOORS, AND INSIDE VEHICLES
You must bring your mountain bike to the Pre-Trip Meeting for inspection by your Guides. If you will be a late arrival, or unable to attend the pre-trip meeting, or need help picking up your rental mountain bike from a local bike shop, then please let us know as soon as possible!
Pre-trip orientation meetings are held at our Magpie Cycling Headquarters at 711 N. 500 West, Moab, UT.
DAY 1: We meet at 7am in Moab to load all personal gear on the 4WD Gear Vehicle. We’ll depart Moab by van for the trailhead (3-4 hrs) where our adventure begins with a day hike into Horseshoe Canyon – home of several world famous “Barrier Canyon” style Rock Art Panels including the Great Gallery with the Holly Ghost. After our hike, we have a short van shuttle to Hans Flat Ranger Station where we’ll embark on our short ride to our first scenic layover camp at North Point. (Hike 4-6mi, Bike 2-3mi)
DAY 2: After a delicious hearty breakfast, we’ll a pack a big lunch then head out for a full day of adventure! Today’s ride is a scenic & challenging out-and-back ride on the High Spur accessing Panorama Point & Cleopatra’s Chair – one of the distant landmarks seen from the White Rim Trail. Between these two points of interest lays a rustic hiking trail that accesses more remote bird’s eye viewpoints looking into the Maze and Island in the Sky Districts of Canyonlands National Park. (Bike 23mi, Hike 2-9mi)
DAY 3: Rested & ready! We’ll break camp after breakfast and ride south across Gordon Flats before we descend the infamous Flint Trail then into Big Water Canyon on our way out to the Maze Overlook where we’ll park our bikes and hike down a historic foot path that leads into Pictograph Canyon. A short and challenging hike will take us to the famous Harvest Scene rock art panel where you can peacefully contemplate the significance of these ancient images. (Bike 25mi, Hike 4mi)
DAY 4: After another delicious breakfast, we’ll break camp and climb out of Big Water Canyon, ride across the base of the incomparable Orange Cliffs, stop for lunch, and then descend across Waterhole Flat to our final layover camp with fantastic views. (Bike 22-25 miles)
DAY 5: Rested & ready again, we’ll pack lunches and ride deeper into the Maze through Upper Teapot Canyon towards The Land of the Standing Rocks. This will be a truly unforgettable day of riding with Historic Cowboy Camps & Ruins to see along the way! (Bike 12-40mi, Hike 2-12 miles)
DAY 6: We’ll ride a fast rolling route through several canyons and enjoy one more lunch together before we meet our van for the trip back to Moab. We typically return by 6pm. (42miles)
ITINERARY CHANGES MAY BE MADE DUE TO LOCAL CONDITIONS OR BY DISCRETION OF THE GROUP LEADERS.
Moab, UT is the beautiful gateway town to Canyonlands National park. We suggest making lodging or camping arrangements as soon as you book your trip with us. You can fly right into Moab at Canyonlands Field Airport, which is just 20 minutes North of town. The next option is Grand Junction, CO, just under 100 miles/2 hours away. If you fly into Salt Lake City, you should anticipate a 4.5-hour drive to Moab. We recommend you lodge in Moab before your trip and the night your trip ends. There’s so much to see here!
Q: DO I NEED PREVIOUS MOUNTAIN BIKE EXPERIENCE? Yes, the terrain in the Maze is rough in spots and the area very remote. This trip is suitable for fit intermediate to advanced riders. We will give a complete orientation prior to the start of the ride. All of our Guides are experienced riders and great coaches. Daily, we discuss and demonstrate cycling techniques and safe riding skills to help improve your ability on the mountain bike.
Q: HOW MANY MILES PER DAY? Our Maze Super Special 6 Day has mileages ranging from 12-42 miles per day riding and 2-12 miles per day of hiking.. Extra riding and hiking is available from camp for those who wish to extend their day.
Q: WHAT KIND OF SHAPE DO I NEED TO BE IN? The more fit you are the more fun you’ll have! It all comes down to being in good general health, being accustomed to regular exercise outdoors and controlling your pace. If you ride at a comfortable pace for 4-6 hours per ride you will do fine on the trip. Everyone rides at their own pace so there is plenty of time for photos and relaxing.
Q: WILL I NOTICE THE ALTITUDE? Moab lies 4,000 feet above sea level; most of our tour is between 4800’-6000’. If you live near sea level you may feel a slight difference; everyone adjusts at different rates. The quickest way to adapt to the altitude and dry air is to make an extra effort to drink plenty of water and eat salty foods when you arrive and throughout the day during your trip. It is dry here, so plan to drink lots of water, salt your food and snack frequently.
Q: HOW IS THE FOOD? We prepare healthy & hearty delicious meals! Our outstanding menu reflects the nutritional needs that mountain biking and outdoor living requires. Our meals are prepared using Local & Regional Organic Ingredients; lean meats, fresh fruits & veggies, and whole grains as well as enough sweet treats to satisfy! We also bring snack bars & electrolyte replacement mix.
Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian, Vegan and other dietary requirements or requests can be accommodated with advance notice.
Q: WHAT ABOUT BEVERAGES? We provide Orange Juice, Fresh Moab Coffee, Black & Herbal Teas, Vitalyte (an electrolyte replacement mix) and plenty of yummy water. If you want to bring beer, wine, spirits, soft drinks or extra juice, we request you bring aluminum cans or plastic containers only! We typically have room for four beverages per person, per day, in our cooler. Wines & Spirits must be transferred from glass bottles to a plastic or metal bottle with a tight fitting screw cap lid.
Q: WHAT ABOUT TIPPING? While not expected, it’s certainly appreciated for a job well done. 20% is customary in the service industry.
Q: WHO COMES ON MAGPIE CYCLING’S TRIPS? Typically we have a spirited mixture of singles & couples as well as friends & family traveling together. Many have joined us on numerous adventures in the past. All seem to share the common bond of an appreciation for the outdoors & an active lifestyle. We’ll gladly supply references and the make-up of any trip that you are interested in joining.
Q: ARE CHARTER TRIPS AVAILABLE? Yes, any of our trips can be chartered by your Private Party! You bring the group and we’ll take care of the details! Custom itineraries are available: dates, amenities, activities, etc are negotiable. To schedule a Charter Trip call 435 259-4464.
Q: WHO ARE THE GUIDES? All trips are lead by our Professional MTB Guide/Instructor Staff; Mike Adler, Mike Rundle, Eric Boxrud, Trevor Ohlstein, Julia Franz, Joe Auer and of course, the owners, Mike Holme & Maggie Wilson. Our Staff have a wealth of knowledge about the local area and a comfortable style bringing people together like a group of friends having fun on an amazing adventure vacation.
Q: WHERE DO WE LEAVE OUR CAR? At the Pre-Trip Meeting we’ll give you a map and directions to where we’ll meet the following morning to launch our trip. This is where you’ll leave your car parked during the trip.
Q: HOW LONG ARE THE VAN SHUTTLE RIDES? There is a very scenic 3 hour van shuttle ride to start the tour. We’ll depart Moab early in the morning and stop at least twice in route. The return van shuttle ride at the end of the trip will take another 3 hours (including stops).
Q: WHAT ARE THE ACCOMMODATIONS LIKE? All Maze multi-day Tours are camping trips! The campsites are primitive and designated by the National Park Service. We bring a portable toilet and ample water for basic personal hygiene.
Q: IS CAMPING GEAR AVAILABLE FOR RENT? Yes! MAGPIE CYCLING has rental camping gear available (tents, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads). Advanced reservations are essential!
Q: WHERE DO WE STAY BEFORE AND AFTER THE TRIP? For your convenience and safety, we recommend that you stay in or near Moab before and after your trip. Visit DiscoverMoab.com for a complete listing of accommodations in Moab.
At the Pre-Trip Meeting you’ll receive 2 Drybags (10L, and 110L), water & dust proof bags. The large bag is for your clothes, sleeping bag & sleeping pad; it’s carried on top of the gear vehicle and is not easily accessible during the day. The small bag is for extra clothing & items you may need during the day and don’t want to carry on your bike. The small bag is carried on the gear vehicle and easily accessible when you’re near the gear vehicle. Finally, your Hydration Pack is for items you need with you while riding; water, snacks, sunscreen, camera, rain jacket, etc.
PLEASE NOTE: We have limited space on the gear vehicle; follow the equipment list carefully! Bring only what you’ll need for your trip; excess clothing and gear can be left in your hotel or car.
April, May, Sept & early Oct trips usually have cool nights (35-55F), warm sunny days (65-95F) and the possibility of some wind & thunderstorms. In March, early April & late Oct expect colder nights (30-45F), clear to partly cloudy days (60-80F) and the possibility of some wind & thunderstorms. We suggest dressing in layers, with good Gore-Tex rain gear as the top layer.
EQUIPMENT LIST: MULTI-DAY DESERT TOURS
This equipment list was compiled from personal guiding experience and updated with guest feedback from mountain bike trips beginning in 1985. It’s not meant to overwhelm, but to educate & prepare you for the varied conditions we’ve experienced in the field. By taking time to thoroughly go over this list, you’ll begin to insure the quality of your trip. Items are available for rent, with advanced reservations.
Bike Helmet (rental bikes come with helmets) – Sunhat, Baseball Cap or Visor – Eye Protection (if prescription, bring a spare pair) – Hydration Pack (minimum 70 oz resevior and capacity for snacks etc) – Cycling Gloves – Closed Toed Shoes – Sunscreen and Lip Screen (light colored clothing also works)
Sunglasses – Bandanna – Base Layers (synthetic or wool, avoid cotton!) – Down Jacket – Ski Hat (Wool or Fleece) – Cycling Shorts – Shorts – Long Pants – Gore-Tex Rain Suit – Sandals – Earplugs (for sleeping) – Headlamp or Flashlight (with new batteries, spare bulb and extra batteries) – Personal First Aid Kit (Include anti-Inflammatory, anti-acid, Band-Aids, topical antibiotic, Aloe Vera gel, athletic tape or Second Skin, cold/sinus meds, eye drops, personal & prescription medications), hiking poles.
Toilet Kit (normal toiletries in small travel sizes) – Wash Cloths (1 per day for your daily “desert shower”) – Insect Repellent (Citronella works well on gnats)
Camera – Book – Personal Journal or Pencil & Paper – Binoculars – Small Musical Instrument – Beverages (CANS ONLY PLEASE, 4 cans per person per day, transfer wines and liquors from glass to a plastic bottle with secure screw-top lid)
You can rent all items in Italics from Magpie Cycling Adventures with advanced reservations – Tent (with rainfly, stakes, poles, stuff sack, ground cloth/foot print & 50 ft. 1/8″ Nylon Cord to secure tent in places where soil is thin) – Sleeping Bag with stuff sack – compact bag with synthetic fill, rated 20-30F – Sleeping Pad (Thermarest self inflating pad)
MOUNTAIN BIKE RENTALS
Advance reservations are necessary! Many different brands and styles of Full Suspension Mountain Bikes are available for rent from Moab’s local bike shops. We’re happy to make a reservation for you from the Poison Spider Bicycles fleet, as well as pick-up & return the bike before & after the trip. We’ll need to know your height and inseam to insure that we reserve a bike in your correct size.
Poison Spider Bicycles Full Suspension Mountain Bike rental rates for a 7-day rental are approximately; $345 Standard, $421 Mid-Range, and $496-534 High-End.
Or, you can make a rental bike reservation at your shop of choice, pay that shop directly and transport (pick-up and return) the bike to our staging/parking area before and after the trip.
IF YOU RENT A BIKE consider bringing the following items from your personal bike; your own comfortable mountain bike seat (without the seat post), your own clipless pedals and your own MTB shoes with cleats.
IF YOU BRING YOUR OWN BIKE Full Suspension is Highly Recommended! Your bike must be in excellent repair! Service all systems: brakes, drive train & wheels. Magpie Cycling assumes no responsibility for the condition of your personal bike and reserves the right to deny usage of bikes considered unsafe by your Guide! Our tools are for minor adjustments & repairs while on the trip.
SHIPPING YOUR BIKE – send it FedEx or UPS to Magpie Cycling, 711 North 500 West, Moab, UT 84532. Clearly mark exterior of box; “Please Assemble” or “Please Hold for Magpie Cycling”.
WHAT TO CARRY WHILE RIDING MY BIKE – All you need to carry is your Hydration Pack with at least a 100 oz. reservoir, MTB multi-tool, flat repair kit, food, and a rain jacket. The 4WD Gear Vehicle travels behind the group carrying the camp food, first aid, cold beverages and group & personal equipment to the evening’s campsite.