Biking Arches and Canyonlands National Parks
Cycle through a kaleidoscope of colors in Utah’s national parks, where you’ll learn about “painted” rocks, geological history and the unique adaptations of desert flora and fauna.
Program No. 2270RJ
6 days
Starts at
Getting There
See travel details and required documents

At a Glance

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.
Activity Level
Moderately Challenging
Biking 10-30 miles daily on 24-speed hybrid-style bicycles over paved roads with moderate traffic. Rolling hills, easy-to-moderate climbs, some steep grades. Bring own helmet. May bring own bike (or bike seat or pedals) if approved in advance. Elevations of 5,000-7,000 feet. Hiking up to four miles on varied terrain.
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • 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.

General Notes

The National Park Service has announced there will be major road construction during 2017 in Arches National Park. This will create road closures frequently and with short notice. The impact may cause modifications or substitutions to the daily Road Scholar activities on those days scheduled to be in Arches National Park. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Featured Expert
All Experts
William J. Bertschy
Bill Bertschy is president of the Mountains and Plains Institute for Lifelong Learning and Service, founded in July of 2008. The Institute organizes and manages a variety of educational travel and service programs, working with organizations including Rocky Mountain Nature Association, Road Scholar, and others. Bill retired in 2008 after 35 years serving as the director of the Pingree Park Campus of Colorado State University. Bill received a PH.D. from the University of Northern Colorado in Higher Education Administration. He also received a M.Ed. and B.S. from Colorado State University. He belongs to several professional organizations and serves on two non-profit Boards of Directors including the Poudre Heritage Alliance. He served 1997-2005 on the Fort Collins City Council, and was Mayor Pro-Tem. Bill has traveled extensively worldwide and has led educational travel groups of students and others to Mexico and East Africa, most recently completing a service project in Tanzania that provided fresh water to a primary school serving 400 students. He has lived in Fort Collins for most of his life and is a native of Colorado.
Dan Urich
William J. Bertschy
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