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Biking Arches and Canyonlands National Parks

Program Number: 2270RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/20/2013 - 10/25/2013; 10/19/2014 - 10/24/2014; 4/12/2015 - 4/17/2015; 10/18/2015 - 10/23/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Moab, Utah
Price starting at: $1,244.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Bicycling; National Parks Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 10; 5 Breakfasts, 0 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Pedal your way through rock monuments created in eons past on this incredible bicycle journey. Descend from the scenic La Sal Mountains into the deserts and canyonlands while learning about the natural forces that shaped these markers of time from before the era of dinosaurs. Hike up to the arches and mesas of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and ride past spectacular unnamed formations. Enjoy the vista from Grandview Overlook, and return to Moab, east-central Utah’s outdoor adventure gateway and preferred backdrop of many Western films.




Highlights

• Witness the stunning Island in the Sky and Needles districts of Canyonlands National Park and learn about flora and fauna adapted to the harsh climate.
• Experience the view and thrilling, all-day descent from the peaks of the La Sal Mountains into Moab.
• Learn from experts about the volcanic activity and erosion that created the “painted” rocks and arches.



Activity Particulars

Quality 24-speed hybrid-style bicycles are provided including back rack and small pack. Bring bicycle helmets, water bottles, optional panniers, bicycle clothing and wind-rain-sun protection. Participants may bring own bicycles if approved in advance. Participants may also bring own seats and/or pedals if desired. Bicycling 10-30 miles daily at elevations from 5000' - 7000'. (increased mileage opportunities available). Rolling hills, easy to moderate climbs, some steep, on paved national and state park roads/highways with moderate traffic. Hikes up to 4 miles to arches and special features compliment the rides. Must demonstrate good biking ability; proficiency/safety test is conducted.



Coordinated by Mountains and Plains Institute.




Moab

Site of a busy Colorado River crossing before the construction of the railroads, the town of Moab grew into an important mining community with the discovery of potash, manganese, oil and gas deposits in the early 1900s. Today Moab is a gateway to Arches and Canyonlands national parks and a popular base for mountain bikers and off-roaders.



Accommodations
Comfortable lodge with swimming pool centrally located in Moab.
Meals and Lodgings
   River Canyon Lodge
  Moab, UT 5 nights
 River Canyon Lodge
Type: Hotel
  Contact info: 70 West 200 North
Moab, UT 84532 USA
phone: 435-259-8838
web: www.rivercanyonlodge.com
  Room amenities: mini fridge, microwave in rooms, mini coffee maker
  Facility amenities: Swimming Pool, hot tub, wireless Internet access in lobby, large parking lot for RV's
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call for information Reserve directly with hotel
  Check in time: 2:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call for information Reserve directly with hotel
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
It is very important that you check-in by 2 PM for bicycle fitting, safety check. You will be staying at River Canyon Lodge that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast. Check-out at 11 AM. You will be staying at River Canyon Lodge the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Acknowledgement of Risk Form and Bicycle Fitting Form to be mailed back to Mountains and Plains Institute office Please bring National Parks Senior or Annual Pass
  Parking availability:
No charge
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Moab, UT
  Nearest highway: US191
  Nearest airport:  Moab or Salt Lake City, UT; Grand Junction, CO
  From End of Program
  Location: Moab, UT
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Moab from Grand Junction, CO airport (GJT)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Moab Luxury Coach
phone: 435-940-4212
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call for rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

2 hours by shuttle service 

 

Distance:

 

113 miles

   

Moab is in Southeast Utah, 33 miles south of Interstate 70 on Highway US191. Grand Junction Airport (GJT) is 113 miles from Moab. www.moabluxurycoach.com/index.html In addition to the shuttle service above, many persons choose to rent a car and most major rental car companies are available at GJT. If flying, we strongly recommend that you arrive a day early due to erratic schedules and possible flight delays at all points.

 

Moab from Salt Lake City (SLC)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Moab Luxury Coach
phone: 435-940-4212
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call for rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

6 hours minimum by shuttle 

 

Distance:

 

234 miles

   

Moab is in Southeast Utah, 33 miles south of Interstate 70 on Highway US191. Salt Lake City Airport (SLC) is 234 miles from Moab. www.moabluxurycoach.com/index.html In addition to the shuttle service above, many persons choose to rent a car and all major rental car companies are available at SLC. If flying, we strongly recommend that you arrive a day early due to erratic schedules and possible flight delays at all points.

 

Moab, UT (CNY)

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
See below
phone: See-bel-ow 0 x00 00000
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Distance:

 

18 miles

   

Moab is in Southeast Utah, If flying we recommend as the most convenient choice that you arrive/depart from Moab airport (CNY) via Denver (DEN) via Great Lakes Air. We strongly recommend that you arrive a day early due to erratic schedules and possible flight delays at all points. Taxi Services that serve the Moab Airport:Moab Taxi: 435-210-4297, Moab Luxury Coach: 435-940-4212 and Moab Coach: 435-259-8294. Call in advance to reserve. Enterprise Car Rental is also located at the Moab Airport.

 
Driving Directions
  Moab From All Directions Moab from Denver: Moab is a 6-7 hour drive from Denver. The best route is I-70 West to Utah State Highway 128 South (Exit 202 off of I-70 in Utah), then left onto Utah State Highway 128 into Moab. You can go twenty-two miles further on I-70 to Exit 180 and go south on US 19, 33 miles into Moab. They’re about the same time; however, State Highway 128 is one of the most spectacular drives on the planet. Moab from Salt Lake City: Moab is a 234, 4.5 hour drive from Salt Lake City. Take Interstate 15 56 miles South to Provo, UT and US Highway 6. Take US 6 south 123 miles to the Junction with Interstate 70. Travel East on Interstate 70, 24 miles to Junction with US Highway 191, traveling South on US 191 33 miles to Moab. Moab from Las Vegas: Moab is 7 hours, 461 miles from Las Vegas, NV. Take Interstate 15 North 247 miles to Junction with Interstate 70 East. Travel East I-70 for 182 miles to Junction with US Highway 191 traveling South on US 191 33 miles to Moab. . Meet at the hotel address: 71 West 200 North.
Elevation Note: 4,000-6,400 feet

Equipment Requirements: Bicycle helmets, water bottles, optional panniers, bicycle clothing and wind-rain-sun protection
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Bicycle Fitting and test ride; Introductions/Schedules/Program Information
(Sunday, October 20)

Note: Maximum Distance on test ride 6 miles on Bike Paths and city streets; minimal elevation gain or loss; Moab is at 4,025 feet



   
 Arrive To: Independent arrivals by 2 PM. Early arrival essential due to fitting for bicycles and short ride to test equiment and make any adjustments.
 Dinner: We will travel to a local restaurant to enjoy a delicious meal and continue getting to know one-another.
 Evening: Mandatory orientation in hotel meeting room. Welcome to Moab! We'll have an informative overview of the program to come plus an opportunity to meet the program staff and your fellow participants during an introductory get-acquainted session. We’ll review the updated schedule, cover responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.
   
Accommodations: River Canyon Lodge
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Canyonlands National Park-Needles District
(Monday, October 21)

Note: Riding distance 32 miles; elevation gains and losses of 500 feet over rolling terrain on state highway and national park paved road. Maximum elevation is 5,000 feet.



   
 Breakfast: Each morning we have the luxury of walking (or taking the van) down the street to the Moab Diner for breakfast, a Moab favorite. There's no doubt you'll walk away satisfied with extensive menu choices and prompt, friendly service.
 Morning: All day bicycle ride with scheduled stops. Sag wagon monitors group and is available for assistance. We begin our biking adventure in the southern Needles section of Canyonlands National Park. Here we see the older rock of the Colorado Plateau, which is carved by erosion into monuments, balanced rocks, needles, spires and intricate canyons. There are Native American ruins and petroglyphs, plus an abundance of wildflowers.
 Lunch: Lunches are on own due to being flexible during ride. Participants should bring desired lunch and ride snacks, food. Supermarkets also in walking distance of hotel.
 Afternoon: Continue all day bicycle ride with scheduled stops. Sag wagon monitors group and is available for assistance. The Needles District forms the southeast corner of Canyonlands National Park and was named for the colorful spires of Cedar Mesa Sandstone that dominate the area. The views back to Island in the Sky dominate the views to the North and give meaning to the cryptic name
 Dinner: Prepare your tastebuds for the full experience this week, we plan dinners at different area restaurants to give you a nice variety and plenty of choices.
 Evening: Free Time
   
Accommodations: River Canyon Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: Canyonlands National Park-Island in the Sky
(Tuesday, October 22)

Note: Riding distance 25 miles; elevation gains and losses of 500 feet over rolling terrain on national park paved road. Maximum elevation is 6,250 feet. Optional hikes, total hiking distance for all 3 hikes is 1.5 miles



   
 Breakfast: Each morning we have the luxury of walking (or taking the van) down the street to the Moab Diner for breakfast, a Moab favorite. There's no doubt you'll walk away satisfied with extensive menu choices and prompt, friendly service.
 Morning: All day bicycle ride with scheduled stops. Sag wagon monitors group and is available for assistance. We venture west of Moab this morning for a ride through Canyonlands National Park's Island in the Sky. This mesa Plateau rises over 1,500 feet above the canyon floor of the Colorado and Green Rivers. Our ride through the park includes several brief walks to expansive vistas, including the Mesa Arch, Grand View Overlook, and Upheaval Dome.
 Lunch: Lunches are on own due to being flexible during ride. Participants should bring desired lunch and ride snacks, food. Supermarkets also in walking distance of hotel.
 Afternoon: Continue all day bicycle ride with scheduled stops. Sag wagon monitors group and is available for assistance. Canyonlands National Park encompasses a wilderness of countless canyons and fantastically formed buttes carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries. The Rivers divide the park into districts: Needles, Island in the Sky, and the Maze. These areas share a primitive desert atmosphere, but each offers different photo opportunities. The Island in the Sky District is so named because of sheer canyon cliffs that surround a plateau that dominates the sky rising out of the surrounding high desert.
 Dinner: Prepare your tastebuds for the full experience this week, we plan dinners at different area restaurants to give you a nice variety and plenty of choices.
 Evening: Free Time
   
Accommodations: River Canyon Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: LaSal National Forest and Mountains
(Wednesday, October 23)

Note: Riding distance 27 miles; elevation loss on morning ride 1,500 feet; after lunch ride the gains and losses are 500 feet over rolling terrain on county paved road, some packed gravel on approach to picnic area. Maximum elevation is 6,800 feet.



   
 Breakfast: Each morning we have the luxury of walking (or taking the van) down the street to the Moab Diner for breakfast, a Moab favorite. There's no doubt you'll walk away satisfied with extensive menu choices and prompt, friendly service.
 Morning: All day bicycle ride with scheduled stops. Sag wagon monitors group and is available for assistance. We trade in the canyons and spires of Arches and Canyonlands today for a ride among the Douglas fir and pinion pine forests of the Manti La Sal Mountains east of Moab. Edward Abbey fans will remember this area as one of Abbey's favorite escapes from the desert heat that grips Moab during July and August. While the heat won't bother us in April and October, the relatively lush flora along today's route provides a nice contrast to the rugged beauty of the past several days. Although there are rolling hills along today's route, it is not a difficult ride, as we will shuttle up into the mountains and then pedal back down into Moab.
 Lunch: Lunches are on own due to being flexible during ride. Participants should bring desired lunch and ride snacks, food. Supermarkets also in walking distance of hotel.
 Afternoon: Continue all day bicycle ride with scheduled stops. Descend into Moab after lunch. Sag wagon monitors group and is available for assistance. The La Sal Mountains, which are part of Manti-La Sal National Forest. Attaining heights of nearly 13,000 feet, these alpine mountains are the second highest mountain range in Utah.
 Dinner: Prepare your tastebuds for the full experience this week, we plan dinners at different area restaurants to give you a nice variety and plenty of choices.
 Evening: Join us in the hotel meeting room for an optional presentation on the geology of the Moab area.
   
Accommodations: River Canyon Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Arches National Park
(Thursday, October 24)

Note: Riding distance 15 miles with optional additional 5 miles; elevation gains and losses of 600 feet over rolling terrain on national park paved road. Maximum elevation is 4,900 feet on Delicate Arch Hike. Optional hikes, total hiking distance for all 3 hikes is 5 miles.



   
 Breakfast: Each morning we have the luxury of walking (or taking the van) down the street to the Moab Diner for breakfast, a Moab favorite. There's no doubt you'll walk away satisfied with extensive menu choices and prompt, friendly service.
 Morning: Today we tour Arches National Park. We start by hiking to some of its most spectacular arches, followed by a bicycle tour of the park. Make sure to bring your hiking shoes today! We begin with a shuttle to Delicate Arch, where we'll enjoy a moderate hike to the arch and fantastic views of the Manti La Sal Mountains to the south. From there we drive to the northern area of the park, where we will take another hike to the longest arch "Landscape Arch". After lunch in Devil's Garden we shuttle to the Windows to start riding. As we reach the park Visitor Center, you are free to continue riding back into Moab, or catch the van to shuttle into town.
 Lunch: Lunches are on own due to being flexible during ride. Participants should bring desired lunch and ride snacks, food. Supermarkets also in walking distance of hotel.
 Afternoon: Bicycle ride with scheduled stops. Sag wagon monitors group and is available for assistance. Arches National Park is a landscape of contrasting colors, landforms and textures unlike any other in the world. The Park has over 2,000 natural stone arches, in addition to hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks.
 Dinner: Tonight we have a special closing dinner with a "million dollar view" at the Sunset Grill. The Sunset Grill is in the former home of Uranium King Charlie Steen. In the early 1950’s Moab was a small farming community. Arches and Canyonlands were places only a lucky few experienced. In 1952, Charles A. Steen, geologist and prospector, put Moab on the world map.
 Evening: Free for packing and relaxing after a busy biking experience.
   
Accommodations: River Canyon Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Departures
(Friday, October 25)
   
 Depart From: Program ends after breakfast. Check-out at 11 AM.
 Breakfast: Each morning we have the luxury of walking (or taking the van) down the street to the Moab Diner for breakfast, a Moab favorite. There's no doubt you'll walk away satisfied with extensive menu choices and prompt, friendly service.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness


Author: Edward Abbey


Description: "A passionately felt, deeply poetic book. It has philosophy. It has humor. It has its share of nerve-tingling adventures...set down in a lean, racing prose, in a close-knit style of power and beauty." Edward Abbey lived for three seasons in the desert at Moab, Utah, and what he discovered about the land before him, the world around him, and the heart that beat within, is a fascinating, sometimes raucous, always personal account of a place that has already disappeared, but is worth remembering and living through again and again. The classic drama of a year alone as a ranger in a national park. "This book may well seem like a ride on a bucking bronco."--New York Times Book Review





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