LAGBRAU Full Fall Option (10-day)
Oasis Campground / La Salle Mountain Loop
Day 1 of 10 (or Day 1 of 3)
Day 1 - Thursday, August 30, 2012 - THE LA SALLE LOOP RIDE. You will start a ride of 62.4 miles that will lead you southbound through the famous tourist town of Moab from 4,004' and will climb gradually over about 29 miles up the west side of La Salle Mountain then veer to the north side well before the mountain's summit to a roadway summit of about 8,313'. Along the way you will get a great overview of all the unique country you will be riding in for a few days. As you can see from the elevation chart, the second half of the ride will be gradually downhill through the seldom seen Castle Valley northbound until you turn left (westbound) and ride alongside the Colorado River in a beautiful canyon that is the daddy to Canyonlands, the grand daddy to Glenn Canyon (both of which you will enjoy subsequently during this ride), and the great grand daddy to the Grand Canyon, but this is the only canyon where you will be able to ride your bicycles. At our final rest stop about 15 miles from the end of the ride, you will be able to enjoy a wonderful movie museum at the Red Cliff Lodge Resort. You may be surprised to learn how many movies have been filmed in this area. From there you will enjoy a cool shady ride down this beautiful canyon along side the Colorado River...a major lifeline to the west. In the afternoon you will be able to see by vehicle Arches National Park starting just two miles out of town. This will enable you to hike a bit to any of the arches without worrying about your bike getting stolen. The two National Parks in the Moab area do not like and have not been kind to groups of bicyclist lately, but you can ride your bike into Arches N.P. unsupported, but I can tell you were to get water if you wish to do this as an option. Honestly, I think you would prefer the planned ride with good SAG support during the climb, and then the drive into Arches National Park for short hikes to some of the most famous of over 2,000 arches in the park. You will be able to see a lot more area this way before dinner.
Oasis Campground to Dead Horse Point and Back
Day 2 of 10 (or Day 2 of 3)
Day 2 - Friday, August 31st. Dead Horse Point State Park (about 64.2 miles). Ride northbound about 9 miles on a newly paved bicycle trail alongside highway 191 to the turnoff that leads westward to Dead Horse Point State Park and Canyonlands National Park where we will have our first rest stop and then about 15 miles more to our second rest-stop near the turn off to Dead Horse Point. To this point, you will climb gradually from about 4,000' to 6,175' over 24 miles. From here you will proceed southbound slightly down hill about 8 miles to Dead Horse Point State Park. Most think this view of the Canyonlands is even better than that of Grandview Point in Canyonlands National Park. From the Visitor Center you can also look down on the bright blue Potash ponds where potash is mined.
After returning 8 miles to our rest stop crew near the main road, it is 24 miles downhill back to camp and we sill have another rest-stop crew 15 miles away by where the first rest-stop crew was to help guide you back onto the bicycle trail that runs alongside highway 191 into Moab. You have a few options to consider. If your legs are too tired from the first day, you can ride up the climb in one of our vans with your bike in one of our trailers. From Dead Horse Point straight back to camp it is about 32 miles. As an option, you can add about 37 miles round trip to Grandview Point in Canyonlands National Park. They have been very nasty lately to our group and to other groups like ours. They took me to court a few months ago, but the judge through the case out. A few negative types from last year's ride thought I was the reason, but the facts proved otherwise. The fact is they don't like large bicycle groups in those two national parks. They may permit us to shuttle you in from our lunch stop at the Dead Horse Point turnoff, but don't count on it. If you want to see it however, there is water at the Island in the Sky Visitors Center about 6.5 miles from our lunch stop and 12 miles from the end of the road where Grandview Point is, and it only cost $5 to enter Canyonlands National Park on a bicycle. While we cannot sag you in and out or provide water to you inside, they do have water and we will leave a rest stop crew at the Dead Horse Point turn off and a sag wagons to monitor you after you come out of the park.
Another wonderful option this year is to take the Potash Road turnoff from the bike trail alongside Hwy 191 and ride up to 16 miles alongside the Colorado River shaded from the afternoon sun by cliffs that have ancient Indian petroglyphs visible from the road. I will have a rest stop crew there by the Potash Road turnoff to refresh and guide you. If you ride all the way to the end and back, it is about 32 miles fairly flat alongside the Colorado River. It is a beautiful new option LAGBRAUers have ever tried before. Again I will have SAG support to monitor you.
A final option after dinner (available until sold out) is to take the famous "Canyon By Night Boat Tour" whereby they light up the Canyon with 40,000 watt lights to accompany a sound show from a boat that holds only 119 people. It's a lovely ride! More details later.
Needles Point Overlook to Blanding
Day 3 of 10 (or Day 3 of 3)
Day 3, Saturday, September 1st. Needles Point Overlook to Blanding(about 65 miles). After breakfast you will be shuttled about 34 miles south of Moab and about 22 miles westward on the Needles Point Overlook Rd. From there you will be able to see across Canyonlands from the south rim to Dead Horse Point and Grandview Point on the north rim where you were the day before. Then you will ride from this beautiful view that is seldom seen on a road few have been on before back to Highway 191 to my first rest crew. You will turn right and head southbound about 14 miles to the town of Monticello where you can rest and refresh again. During this 14 mile stretch you will climb about 700 ft over a 3 mile distance which is the toughest part of the day. While on 191 there is plenty of shoulder and often two lanes southbound for slow and fast traffic. The speed limit is 55mph and is frequented by semi trucks so please ride single file and be careful. From Monticello it is about 22 miles with one hill to climb and the last 13 miles or so is downhill. When you reach town 191 makes a sharp 90% turn right westward. Four Corners Inn where the hotel-ers are staying is just around that first turn on your right hand side. Within a quarter mile Hwy 191 makes another 90% turn in town southward, and the city park where we will camp is within a half a mile on the right-hand side where the two pavilions and the softball parks are. On the way you will see a Kampark on your right close to the campground. I have made arrangements for those who are camping to shower there. In the afternoon, while in town you may want to ride your bike over to the Dinosaur Museum, and the Edge of the Cedars State Park and Museum to take in the ancient Indian ruins (both are near- bye and in town). You will receive a good group rate at both places.
Blanding to Hall's Crossing
Day 1 of 7
Moab to Green River
Bullfrog Marina to Hanksville
Day 2 of 7
Road to Hanksville
This route will be about 70 miles mostly flat including a ride to Goblin Valley State Park, which was recently rated one of the five most unique state parks in the nation. Boris from Russia/New Jersey (a photographer) said it was his favorite part of the trip, but that year we had to shuttle a group 34 miles out to it.
Hanksville to Torrey
Day 3 of 7
Road to Torrey
Ride 37 miles to Capitol Reef National Park. Include an optional 10 mile scenic drive (up to 20 miles round trip) in the park and then proceed 11 miles to the city of Torrey. Camp or get a motel room. Camping included (Provided by Wonderland Resort and RV Park). Motel Rooms optional and additional.
Torrey to Escalante
Day 4 of 7
Calf Creek Falls
After breakfast in the Wonderland Inn restaurant, cyclists will ride about 33 miles to Boulder (or 41 miles if they take the Teasdale loop). 14 miles up to almost the top of Boulder Mountain is a rest stop with a spectacular view of as much territory as the State of Rhode Island. As you are coming into Boulder, LAGBRAUers will stop for lunch at the Anasazi Indian Museum State Park where they will gain a sense of appreciation for the history of the area and see some more ancient Indian ruins. After lunch, riders will proceed to the famous Hogs Back ridge overlooking the Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument before descending to Calf Creek Falls campground 12 miles away from Boulder. Cyclists are encouraged to hike 3 miles flat to the Calf Creek Falls for a dip in the pool at the base of the Calf Creek Falls and a little beach time on the beach surrounding that pool. Plan on about 3 hours. From the Calf Creek Campground it is about 28 miles to Escalante where lodging is available at the Prospector Inn with reservations and camping will be provided. Wednesday's ride is 58.1 miles with some significant climbs over Boulder Mountain and out of Calf Creek and some serious descending into the Calf Creek area with grades up to 14% that must be taken slowly and with caution for cyclists to be safe.
Escalante to Cannonville
Day 5 of 7
Escalante Grand Staircase
From Escalante to Cannonville (35 miles instead of 53 miles). Instead of including the eighteen mile loop out to Kodachrome State Park as part of the ride, I would like to emphasize that it is optional and the 35 miles from Escalante to Cannonville will be the official ride that day. As Wednesday, the day before this one is widely considered the hardest day of the ride, I want this to be viewed as an easier rest day. Shuttle rides out to Kodachrome State Park to hike is also an option.
Cannonville to Hatch
Day 6 of 7
Bryce Canyon National Park
From Cannonville to Hatch (48 miles). After breakfast, you will start westward on the famous Hwy 12, one of the few scenic byways in the nation to receive the special designation of "All American Road." about 4 miles into the ride after passing through the town of Tropic, you will begin climbing out of Bryce Valley to the plateau where you will enter Bryce Canyon National Park from which you will look down into Bryce Canyon at the famous hoodoos. The grade of that climb out of Bryce Valley gets up to 6% and 7% for a couple of miles, but after that it is mostly flat on top. From the turn off to Bryce Canyon it is about 7 miles to Bryce Point. Before that you can ride into Sunrise and Sunset Points about 3 miles from the Visitors Center for the best view of Bryce Canyon, in my opinion. Strong riders may want to proceed to Bryce Point and beyond for more of the same. From the Visitors Center to the end is about 18 miles with a climb of 1,000' mostly after Bryce Point, but the views are really just more of the same and no better than what you will see at Sunrise and Sunset Points. After leaving the Park you will return to Highway 12 and turn left and head westward past an amazing Wildlife Museum where you can step in and cool off for a minute or two. The group rate is $6.00. Within a half mile from there you will leave the highway and enter an amazing bike trail that will lead you down Red Canyon National Forest for several miles, one of the highlights of the entire ride. When you reach Highway 89, you will turn left and head southward for about 7 miles to the town of Hatch where we will camp at Riverside Campgrounds on the left hand side of the road. The hotel rooms are there also for those who are buying the hotel package.
Hatch to Springdale
Day 7 of 7
For the last day you will have a pleasant ride on hwy 89 down Lovely Long Valley. You will climb slightly about 500' during the first 12.6 miles and then you will descend over 2,000 feet during the next 12.5 miles to Mt. Carmel Junction. Then you will turn right and start climbing westward about 800' over the next 11 miles. We will have our last meal together for lunch before descending into Zion’s National Park. We will be required to shuttle you through a mile long tunnel after we enter the east entrance of the park. This may take some time to wait our turn, but it will be worth the wait as you descend the switchbacks on the west side of the tunnel. After reaching the bottom shortly thereafter you will see a right turn onto a seven mile scenic ride open only at this time of the year to their shuttles and bicycles. If you would like to enjoy one of the amazing hikes like Angel's Landing or Emerald Ponds, or the Subway, you may want to ride straight through the park and leave your bike with my crew at the Springdale Park just past the City Hall. To get there you will take the first right turn after leaving the park. The shuttles to the Vegas Airport and to Cedar City and Salt Lake or Moab will leave the Springdale City Park at 4:30 pm. The Vegas shuttle will arrive in Vegas before 6 pm. The shuttle to Cedar City and Salt Lake City will arrive about 9:30 pm, and the shuttle to Moab will arrive closer in Moab closer to 10 pm.