Set out on a cycling adventure-of-a-lifetime in Bryce Canyon and Zion, two of Utah’s Mighty 5 national parks. Pedal through majestic landscapes and hike to secluded treasures for an unforgettable experience. In the evenings, stay in comfy, upscale tents—complete with king-size beds, ensuite bathrooms, and wood-burning stoves—at Under Canvas Bryce Canyon and Under Canvas Zion, where you’ll sleep under the stars immersed in Utah’s unmatched natural beauty.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Thanks to its high-altitude desert climate, Bryce Canyon provides a cool and refreshing biking experience, with temperatures frequently in the 70s and 80s. Bring your bike or rent one in Bryce Canyon City, a 15-minute drive from camp, then get ready to visit two of the country’s most incredible national parks, with these can’t-miss stops along the way.
Pedal to Sunset Point via the Shared Use Path
Kick off your adventure on this car-free, paved, multi-use path, which stretches for five miles and connects the Visitor Center with overlooks including Sunrise, Sunset, and Inspiration points. As the day fades, make your way to Sunset Point, where the setting sun sets the canyon aglow. With Bryce Canyon Shuttles running every 15 minutes and equipped to transport two bikes each, getting around with your gear is easy.
Hike Queen’s Garden Trail
Stretch your legs with a stroll to Queen’s Garden, a popular Bryce Canyon hike that takes you through a hoodoo amphitheater. This easy one- to two-hour hike, known for its vibrant pink, orange, and white spires, descends into Bryce Canyon Amphitheater. Combine it with the Navajo Loop for a longer 2.9-mile round trip, which starts at Sunrise Point, ends at Sunset Point, and takes two or three hours to complete.
Ride through Red Canyon
Known as “Little Bryce,” this 15-mile round trip journey is renowned as one of Utah’s most scenic routes. Wind through striking red canyons, starting at Ruby’s Inn and extending to Thunder Mountain Trailhead along Highway 12. It’s a non-motorized alternative to the busy highway. Enjoy a mostly downhill ride from Ruby’s Inn or, for a scenic loop, start at Thunder Mountain, pass through Red Canyon, and return via the five-mile Coyote Hollow Trailhead with a downhill stretch.
Hike the Rim Trail
This 5.5-mile one-way trail along the top of Bryce Canyon connects all of the scenic overlooks from Fairyland Point to Bryce Point, offering spectacular views of the canyon’s spires. Hike the entire trail starting from Fairyland Point or Bryce Point, or tackle it in shorter segments, with the option to use the shuttle for return trips. Most of the trail between Sunrise and Sunset points is paved or well-trodden, with some sections accessible by wheelchair. Wooden benches along the path provide perfect spots to rest and enjoy the stunning scenery.
Check out our guide to Bryce Canyon Bike Trails for more route options.
Zion National Park
Prepare to be awe-struck by Zion’s majestic beauty, a true hiker and biker’s paradise. Pedal along Zion’s Scenic Drive, your gateway to exploring the park’s wonders. Bring your bike or easily rent one from a nearby outfitter in Springdale to enjoy all Zion offers.
Bike the Virgin River Rim Trail
Perched atop the Markagunt Plateau, this 32-mile-long single-track trail welcomes hikers, bikers, and horseback riders to trace the Virgin River. Situated at over 9,000 feet in elevation on the Colorado Plateau, it offers a cool retreat from the summer heat, winds through aspen and pine forests, and offers plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting. Along the route, marvel at landmarks like Strawberry Point, Pink Cliffs, Cascade Falls, Navajo Peak, and Navajo Lake, with breathtaking views along the way.
Hike to Cascade Falls and Navajo Lake
Take a break from biking on the Virgin River Rim Trail with an easy 1.2-mile hike to Cascade Falls. This out-and-back trail leads you to a stunning 200-foot waterfall and offers a serene spot for reflection. Afterward, take a leisurely lap around Navajo Lake for a refreshing swim surrounded by lava fields before journeying back to where you started.
Pedal by Checkerboard Mesa
Spin past Checkerboard Mesa, a natural marvel etched and sculpted over eons. Its iconic grid-like pattern is a testament to nature’s enduring artistry—and offers a striking introduction to the wonders of Zion.
Hike The Narrows (Bottom-Up from Temple of Sinawava)
Trace the watery path of the Virgin River as it meanders through the breathtaking canyon it sculpted over millions of years. Be prepared for wading, walking, and possibly swimming, surrounded by towering sandstone walls. The length is flexible; it can be a short adventure or extend up to 10 miles, ending at Big Spring. Expect a mix of awe and challenge on this unique and popular hike.
Cycle the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive Route
Embark on a beautiful seven-mile out-and-back ride in Zion National Park, starting from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center and ending at the Temple of Sinawava shuttle stop. Here, you can pedal back or hop on the free shuttle. If you plan to cross the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel, remember that bikes aren’t allowed, so you’ll need to hop on the shuttle for that section. Be mindful of shuttles, as they won’t pass cyclists; you’ll need to pull over and stop to let them through. There are also handy bike racks at major shuttle stops and trailheads so that you can explore on foot.
Pedal the Pa’Rus Trail
Experience the Pa’Rus Trail, a 1.75-mile scenic path from the Zion Canyon Visitor Center to Canyon Junction along the Virgin River. Offering stunning views of The Watchman peak, this trail is a cyclist’s delight, providing a serene alternative to UT-9. Shared with pedestrians and leashed pets, it features twists, bridges, and wildlife, and requires a slower pace. Remember, pedestrians have the right of way, so pass with care.
Relax in Style at Under Canvas
After each day’s adventure, recharge with two-night stays at both Under Canvas Bryce Canyon and Under Canvas Zion. Evenings bring relaxation and connection, with delicious meals, s’mores around a campfire, and unforgettable star-filled skies.
Prefer to leave the planning to experts? Join Backroads for its five-day, four-night Utah’s Bryce & Zion Glamping Multi-Adventure Tour. This all-inclusive package covers stays at both Under Canvas Bryce Canyon and Under Canvas Zion, meals, snacks, expert guides, van shuttles, private tours, and high-quality biking equipment