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Top 10 Bike Trails in Utah

Map of top 10 trails to bike in Utah.

Utah is well-known for its national parks and trails, making it an excellent location to explore on two wheels! With so many fantastic route options, it’s hard to pick a few, but here are ten of the best trails and road routes recommended by cyclists.

1. Veyo Loop – Ivins, UT

Sunset at Veyo Loop.

The Veyo Loop is a classic road ride for cyclists in southern Utah. The 43-mile route is popular for various bike races, featuring the stunning scenery Utah is known for and a maximum elevation of 4,699 feet. Start your ride at the City of Ivins’ Fire Lake Park off Old Highway 91, where there are public bathrooms and free parking. As you bike the loop, you’ll take on some moderate hills and encounter some vehicle traffic, but the route features wide shoulders that are safe to ride. Definitely take the time to enjoy your surroundings! You’ll ride past red canyons, beautiful ancient cinder cones, sparkling lakes, and the gorgeous alpine mountains of the Pine Valley.

Tips: Many cyclists recommend stopping at a famous pie shop in Veyo called Veyo Pies, where you’ll find just about every kind of delicious pie under the sun.

2. Candy Mountain Express Bike Trail – Marysvale to Elsinore, UT

Cyclists on bike path.

The Candy Mountain Express Bike Trail is a paved 8-mile route that follows a section of the former Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad line. It winds through the Sevier Canyon, offering fantastic views of rock formations, the Sevier River, and historical remnants of the old mining days. With only 250 feet of elevation change, this bike route is very family-friendly and has a few bathrooms along the way. It ends at Big Rock Candy Mountain Resort, where you’ll find lodging, RV camping, refreshments, and more restrooms. Unlike the red rocks that likely come to mind when you think of Utah, you’ll see some different scenery here. The gray rocks surrounding this route result from volcanic ash and pumice that was once ejected from a nearby volcano.

Tips: The nearby Fremont Indian State Park is a worthy side trip featuring incredible artifacts, petroglyphs, and pictographs left behind by the Fremont Indians. Consider driving there unless you want to take on the extra miles and navigate the vehicle and RV traffic on the way there.

3. Flaming Gorge–Uintas National Scenic Byway – Manila, UT

Flaming Gorge.

This popular cycling route in northeast Utah leads you through the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, a magnificent and scenic region of the state. If you ride this route, be prepared to cycle at a high elevation the entire time and dress for cooler temperatures if you head there in the spring or fall. The whole route is 75 miles, but of course, you can cycle just a portion of that and still enjoy plenty of its magnificent colorful canyons, geological features, dense forest, and scenic vistas while you ride. 

Tips: The byway also features signs along the side of the highway that provide fascinating information about the area’s geology and wildlife.

4. Ogden River Parkway – Ogden, UT

Bike path at Ogden River Parkway.

The Ogden River Parkway is a paved 4.7-mile trail that runs through the middle of Ogden. It’s best for a relaxed bike ride and appeals to cyclists of all experience levels and ages. This flat nature ride begins at Ogden Canyon and follows the Ogden River to its confluence with the Weber River. One of the four main sections of the Centennial Trail, the Ogden River Parkway also meanders through natural wetlands, past ponds, and connects several of the city’s best parks and attractions, including the Ogden Botanical Gardens and Big Dee Sports Park.

Tips: After cycling, you can enjoy the popular restaurants, museums, shopping, and swimming areas in downtown Ogden, just a few blocks south of the Ogden River Parkway.

5. Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail State Park – Park City to Echo Reservoir, UT

Historic Union Pacific Bike Trail.

The Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail is a historic rail trail and state park. It features 28 miles of picturesque riding through the Wasatch Mountains, wetland meadows, and small towns of Wanship and Coalville. Originally a route to transport coal and silver ore via train, the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail State Park was Utah’s first rail trail and remains a popular outdoor recreation area for cyclists, walkers, runners, and horseback riders. While you cycle, it’s not uncommon to spot a variety of wildlife, including beavers, foxes, deer, bald eagles, herons, and moose along this route.

Tips: This trail is mostly gravel but has a few asphalt sections.

6. Scenic Byway 12 – Panguitch to Torrey, UT

Scenic Byway 12 road.

Scenic Byway 12 is a designated “All-American Road,” which means it offers unique features you can’t find elsewhere. Quite possibly one of the most epic bike rides you’ll ever complete, this route is a significant tourist attraction in Utah and a popular road cycling destination. The 122-mile route leads you through the stunning Dixie National Forest, connecting Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef national parks. It boasts sights like impressive red rock arches, the “stairs” in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, deep canyon drops, gorgeous aspen and pine groves, and so much more. There are plenty of scenic overlooks and areas to pull over and stop to soak up the views, so definitely bring your camera with you.

Tips: A stunning bike ride on Scenic Byway 12 also offers access to several state and national parks, including Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Kodachrome Basin, Escalante Petrified Forest, and Anasazi State Park Museum.

7. Red Canyon Bicycle Trail – Bryce Canyon National Park, UT

Mountain biker overlooking canyon.

The Red Canyon Bicycle Trail is an excellent alternative to the busy Scenic Byway 12 if you’re not too keen on all the motorized traffic you’ll encounter along that road. Both cycling routes wind through the incredibly scenic Dixie National Forest but offer different experiences. The Red Canyon Bicycle Trail parallels the scenic byway and features more than 8-miles of paved trails, carving its way through the red rocks of Little Bryce, an area named after Bryce Canyon National Park nearby. Pine forests and soaring cliffs will surround you as you ride for a one-of-a-kind cycling experience you won’t forget.

Tips: For more mileage, the western edge of Red Canyon Bicycle Trail also connects with the Thunder Mountain Trail.

8. Moab Canyon Pathway – Moab, UT

Paved bike path at Moab.

The Moab Canyon Pathway is a paved, 13-mile trail that follows Old Highway 191 near Arches National Park. The route leads you over the Colorado Riverway Bicycle/Pedestrian Bridge, a stunning structure with breathtaking views of the rust-colored cliffs of Moab Canyon. The trail continues through the canyon until its end at Highway 313, but you can also take an offshoot from the pathway to enter Arches National Park. At the north end of the pathway, you’ll also have access to the Gemini Bridges Trailhead, a 16-mile mountain biking trail. Perfect for beginners, families, and cyclists of all experience levels, this paved trail is an amazing way to experience Utah’s breathtaking canyon scenery.

Tips: Once you reach the end of Moab Canyon Pathway, you can also continue on Highway 313 and bike to the nearby Dead Horse Point State Park or Canyonlands National Park. The ride is challenging, so be prepared to sweat!

9. Wasatch Boulevard – Salt Lake City, UT

Wasatch Blvd road.

Wasatch Boulevard is the main road in Salt Lake City that runs north and south from I-80 at Parley’s Canyon to the foothills above the Salt Lake Valley. You can use the paved Bonneville Shoreline Connector Trail to connect to Wasatch Boulevard from the University of Utah area. Once you’re on the main throughway, you’ll have several options for fantastic rides through the area, including access to the massive Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. Both are quite the trek and offer challenging climbs with impressive views.

Tips: Wasatch Boulevard is a busy road with plenty of traffic, so be cautious and ride carefully.

10. Parowan Gap – Cedar City, UT

View of road biking loop at Parwan Gap.

The Parowan Gap is a 50-mile road biking loop about three hours south of Salt Lake City. The ride begins and ends at Cedar City (a popular tourist destination) and is a highly desirable ride among history buffs and cyclists alike. Centuries ago, the same route was used by the Fremont and Anasazi people as a shortcut through the Red Hills. Today, you can still see the ancient petroglyphs they left behind as they traveled through, depicting humans, animals, and more. The town of Cedar City is also home to two bike shops, festive local events, and plenty of restaurants and shopping opportunities to explore.

Tips: Although Highway 130 has a large shoulder, it disappears on Gap Road. Use caution when cycling this road route.

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Sources:

  1. https://trails.greaterzion.com/trails/veyo-loop 
  2. https://www.utahmountainbiking.com/trails/bigrockcandy.htm 
  3. https://www.flaminggorgecountry.com/Flaming-Gorge-Uintas-National-Scenic-Byway
  4. https://www.visitogden.com/things-to-do/self-guided-tours/ogden-river-parkway/
  5. https://www.visitutah.com/articles/cycling-the-centennial-trail
  6. https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/historic-union-pacific-rail-trail/discover/ 
  7. https://www.visitutah.com/articles/the-all-american-road-scenic-byway-12
  8. https://www.utah-trails.com/Red-Canyon-Bicycle-Trail
  9. https://www.discovermoab.com/moab-canyon-pathway/
  10. https://www.visitutah.com/things-to-do/Road-Cycling/best-rides-salt-lake
  11. https://www.visitutah.com/things-to-do/Road-Cycling/southwestern-utahs-Parowan-Gap-Loop 

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