Part 7: Climbing back up to 9,000 feet (2,500m) elevation. A low temperature of 24F/-5C and a temporary illness forced me to find indoor accommodation for two nights. I took full advantage of the park's hiking trails while awaiting replacement bike parts, then camped a third night.
This spring I rode my bicycle across southern Utah to view the spectacular remote desert landscape and explore seven national parks: Colorado NM, Arches NP, Canyonlands NP, Capitol Reef NP, Grand Staircase-Escalante NM, Bryce Canyon NP and Zion NP. My friend Ross and I left April 30 from Breckenridge, Colorado, and took 3 weeks to ride nearly 1,000 miles / 600 km to Zion National Park in Springdale, Utah — taking in the sights and spending some quality time on the road and in camp, plus a few “rest days” in Moab, Utah.
The ride was mostly fantastic — amazing scenic landscapes and no traffic — but came with some challenges: very long and strenuous climbs over mountain passes, temperatures ranging from below freezing to 95F/35C, isolation from people and civilization, long distances between bike shops, the steep dirt/gravel Burr Trail, and long stretches without access to food (and no real supermarkets) or water (I carried over 2 gallons and still had to ask car tourists for water a few times).