White Rim Trail Mountain Biking
About This Trip
A must in any mountain biker’s rites of passage is the White Rim Trail. Riding on a sandstone bench through a land called “Island in the Sky” you will pass Mussleman Arch, Monument Basin, Turks head, Candlestick Tower, and White Crack, a perch 1000 feet above the confluence of the Green and Colorado rivers in the center of Canyonlands … some believe the center of the universe. If you only had time for one mountain bike trip in your life, this should be the one.
WHITE RIM TRAIL HIGHLIGHTS
- Mountain bike through the “Island in the Sky”
- Stand 1000 feet above the confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers
- The one mountain bike trip for your bucket list
Day One: Meet group at Holiday River Expeditions headquarters in Green River, Utah. A two-hour van ride to the head of the Shafer Trail marks the start of the trip. The first day’s ride will take the group down the switchbacks of the Shafer trail before cutting back south toward Musselman Arch. The trail continues to wind southward as it follows the meandering course of the Colorado River. Camp on this evening is made at or near Lathrop Canyon.
Day Two: Our ride will take us over undulating roads past the white, sandstone-capped monoliths of Monument and Twin basins. A short out and back to White Crack provides us with a vast view of the heart of Canyonlands. In the afternoon, up to Murphy’s Hogback, the first of this trips’ three challenging uphill stretches. After conquering the hill we will set camp for the night.
Day Three: The snaking trail has turned back north and is following the contours of the Green River. We ride around the labyrinths of Soda Springs Basin where views of the Green River and thickest parts of the White Rim sandstone provide a stunning backdrop. Passing Candlestick Tower before reaching Potato bottom, where we will camp for the night.
Day Four: This morning we will tackle the challenging Hardscrabble incline and visit prehistoric Indian ruins at a lookout point above Fort Bottom. After descending from Hardscrabble Ridge to river bottom, we will follow the Green River to Mineral Canyon where the final climb awaits. Our vans will meet us for a 2-hour drive back to Green River.
*On a 3 day excursion, you can expect the same trail but a couple gear-shift up in pace. While the first day remains the same, day two will lead you a bit further along, finding your campsite near the epic Candlestick Tower. The third day will finish out with the few extra miles to Potato Bottom and the final climb out.
Beginning of the trip: Upon your arrival at Holiday River Expeditions headquarters (7:00 a.m., Mountain Time), we will issue your bags. You can buy any last minute items from our accessory’s store at this time (see our packing check list for a list of items you can find at our store). Before leaving our headquarters, each guest along with a Holiday guide will perform a pre-trip inspection of your bikes. If you are providing your own bike, please make sure that it is in good repair, we recommend a complete service by a professional shop prior to the trip. Guests with bikes’ that fail our inspection will be asked to rent a Holiday bike for $160.00/person. We will then take a two-hour van ride to the embarkation point.
After the trip: We will meet our van at Mineral Canyon and we will take you back to our headquarters in Green River (2 hour van ride). Our expected time of arrival back at our headquarters is 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
The Bicycling: The White Rim bike route is a technically challenging route. This undeveloped dirt road has steep downhills, loose rocks, sand, and ruts. Riders who have no off-road bicycling experience, or who are not athletic will most likely find this trip too challenging. All riders should prepare for the trip by riding their bike on a regular basis prior to the trip.
Medical emergencies: Our guides are trained in first aid and carry first aid supplies only. REMEMBER to bring your own prescription medicines. ALERT our guides to any medical problem you might have such as diabetes or allergic reactions. Wilderness expeditions are a long way from hospitals, doctors, and pain-relieving medicines. Evacuations to modern medical care are uncertain, and protracted. In case of evacuation and/or medical treatment beyond first aid, expenses incurred are the responsibility of the participant.
Cancellation Policy: If cancellations are made prior to 90 days before the trip, monies will be refunded less a $50.00 service charge per person. If cancellations are made within 90 days and outside of 45 days of the trip date monies will be refunded less a $100.00 service charge per person. Cancellations made within 45 days of the trip date are non refundable. Prior to 45 days to the trip date we will transfer reservations to another trip in the same year with a $25.00 service charge per person. All policies will be enforced and we strongly recommend trip cancellation insurance. Cancellation of a trip is very unlikely, but we reserve the right to cancel any trip due to river or weather conditions or the lack of sufficient reservations. A full refund will be made if such is the case.
Insurance: Medical Evacuation and cancellation insurance on a vacation plan can be obtained from numerous insurance companies. You should be aware that medical evacuations in the backcountry can easily cost $10,000 and up. You are responsible for these potential expenses and we strongly encourage all guests to have this coverage. We offer plans by TRAVEL GUARD that cover evacuation, baggage and cancellation claims. It is available to American and Canadian citizens, as well as citizens of another country as long as you have a U.S. address. For a quote or questions give us a call or include Your Names, Birth Dates in an Email and we will send a quote. Also, if you are bringing expensive cameras, binoculars, or other items we suggest you have insurance coverage for them (commonly available through Homeowners Policies). In the event of a loss, our insurance will not cover those items.
Tipping the guides: If you feel the guides have been instrumental in your enjoyment of the trip, you may choose to direct a gratuity to the trip leader in the form of cash or check. He/She will then distribute it evenly to the other crewmembers. The average contribution amount ranges between $20.00 and $30.00 per guest, per day. Cash is the preferred method of tipping.
Beverages/Snacks: We provide ice water, gatorade, one soda per day and ample cooler space. If you choose to bring any specialty sodas and/or alcoholic beverages, we have no problem taking whatever you want to bring – within reason. Don’t bring beer, wine coolers or sodas in glass containers. Wine packaged in a box is ideal. Mark beverages/snacks that you bring so that you can keep track of them. The liquor store in Green River, Utah is located in the back of the West Winds restaurant. In Utah, wine or liquor is not sold after 7:00 p.m., before 11:00 a.m., or on Sundays and holidays. We will have high-energy snacks and fresh fruit available, but if you have a favorite energy bar or snack bring it along.
If you have any questions prior to leaving for your trip, we welcome you to call our Salt Lake City office, Monday through Friday at 800-624-6323 (outside Utah) or 801-266-2087 (inside Utah). We’re happy to take the time to answer your questions. You may also contact us by email at [email protected].
IN THE EVENT OF EMERGENCY CIRCUMSTANCES THE NIGHT BEFORE THE TRIP, OUR GREEN RIVER HEADQUARTERS NUMBER IS 435‑564‑3273
Bugs, snakes, etc. are generally no problem. In fact, the lack of pesky insects is one of the reasons wilderness camping in the desert is so pleasant. Any wilderness trip, however, is subject to an occasional localized insect hatch. During these hatches mosquitoes can be bothersome. Be sure to bring long sleeve clothing and repellent. Insect repellents that contain “deet” are by far the most effective during heavy hatches. Citronella-based products work only in light hatches. We rarely see any snakes, but if the thought of them bothers you, try sleeping in a tent instead of under the stars.
Hiking is strictly an optional activity. There are many interesting short hikes available. Hiking can be done in your biking shoes, durable sneakers, or lightweight hiking boots. Remember that hiking and other activities vary widely pending time, and what other plans are ahead for the day.
The best place to eat in Green River is Ray’s Tavern. Ray’s is a true small western town bar rich in atmosphere and good food. They serve incredible hamburgers, pork chops, small salads and steaks. The Tamarisk Restaurant offers family dining, with riverside seating.
Things to see in the area: John Wesley Powell Museum in Green River, Utah. Arches National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, Canyonlands National Park, Fisher Towers, Colorado National Monument, Goblin Valley State Park, San Rafael Swell, Capital Reef National Park, Natural Bridges National Monument, and the La Sal and Henry Mountains.
Reading material, you may enjoy:
Canyonlands Country – Donald L. Baars……………………………………………. $15.95
Life in Stone – Christa Sadler……………………………………………………………. $11.95
The Educated Outlaw – Harvey Lay Murdock (Grandson)…………………….. $10.95
These books can be ordered online at www.bikeraft.com, or by sending the appropriate amount listed above plus $5.60 priority shipping to Holiday River Expeditions, 544 East 3900 South, SLC, UT 84107. This is available within the U.S. only. If outside the U.S. additional shipping and handling charges will be added. You can call 801-266-2087 for rates. These books can also be purchased at our headquarters in Green River.
Lodging before and after your trip can be booked at one of six locations:
- River Terrace Inn 435‑564‑3401 (locally owned, pool, hot tub, full breakfast, riverside rooms available) *10% discount
- Comfort Inn 435‑564‑3300 (inside pool, hot tub, continental breakfast – in front of our headquarters) *10% discount
- Holiday Inn Express 435-564-4439 (inside pool, hot tub, continental breakfast – west of our headquarters)
- Super 8 435-564-8888 (inside pool, hot tub, refrigerator, microwave)
- Motel 6 435‑564‑3436 (pool, kids free, lower rates)
- Sleepy Hollow 435-564-8189 (clean with lower rates)
*When making advance reservations at the River Terrace Inn or Comfort Inn, mention that you are on a Holiday River Expedition trip and you will be extended a discounted rate on your room (see above). You will need a trip invoice at check-in.
BE SURE TO MAKE ADVANCE RESERVATIONS!
If you are camping out, there are two campgrounds in Green River: the Green River State Park (no pool, lower rates and may have mosquitoes – call 435-564-3633 to make reservations), and the KOA Campground (435-564-8195 – across from our headquarters).
Air Service to Salt Lake City (SLC)
- Air Canada 888-247-2262
- Alaska Airlines 800-252-7522
- American Airlines 800-433-7300
- Delta Air Lines 800-221-1212
- Frontier Airlines 800-432-1359
- JetBlue Airways 800-538-2583
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines 800-618-0104
- SkyWest Airlines 800-453-9417
- Southwest Airlines 800-435-9792
- United Airlines 800-241-6522
Transportation Options from Salt Lake City to Green River, Vernal or Blanding, Utah:
Once in Salt Lake City most of our guests rent-a-car and drive to our meeting points.
All rental cars are located in both terminals of the Salt Lake City Airport.
- Alamo 801-575-2211
- Avis 801-575-2847
- Budget 801-575-2821
- Dollar 801-575-2580
- Enterprise 801-537-7433
- Firefly 801-531-3563
- Hertz 801-575-2683
- National 801-575-2277
- Payless 801-322-6330
- Thrifty 801-265-6677
- Salt Lake City to Green River 180 miles
- Salt Lake City to Blanding 300 miles
- Salt Lake City to Vernal 180 miles
To Green River Only (Bus has limited schedule and is not as convenient as rental cars)
Shuttle Service to Green River or Blanding, Utah from Salt Lake City or Moab (Vernal is on a Charter basis only)
|Location:||Canyonlands National Park|
|Length:||3 or 4 Days|
|Meet At:||Green River, Utah 7:00 am|
Adult – $770
Youth – $695 (18 & under)
Senior – $695 (65 & older)
Group – $695 (10 or more)
Youth – $780 (18 & under)
Senior – $780 (65 & older)
Group – $780 (10 or more)
*7.85% tax + *$10 NPS Fee
3 Day Trip Dates
May 6, 20
September 2, 16, 27
October 4, 11
4 Day Trip Dates
May 13, 27
September 9, 23, 30
Large Waterproof Bag
Eating Utencils & Plates
Bike Repair Kit
Full Course Meals: Lunch the first day through
lunch the last day
Drinks: Ice Water, Lemonade, Juices, One pop/person/day-mix of regular & diet
The day bag 8″ diameter x 20″ high is for items you will need access to during the day. For your sleeping gear and clothing, we will furnish you with one bag 16″ diameter x 2 feet high. Separate storage is provided for tents and beverages. Please remember to keep your gear light and compact. The less you bring, the happier you will be. Please limit gear to no more than 15-20 lbs.
What’s NOT Included
Plastic mugs work well
Not included in the rental kit
Compact and warm
high quality important for Dinosaur & Desolation trips.
Sleeping Pad/Air Mattress
Compact, must fit in the provided bag
Back packer style, not the bulky, heavy types
You can rent most of the items listed above in our sleeping rental kit. We offer two varieties, our basic sleeping kit which includes a sleeping bag, sleeping pad, rain gear and cup for $40.00, or the same basic sleeping kit with a two-person tent for $65.00. Rentals must be reserved in advance, especially on the San Juan trips where we meet away from our headquarters. Rentals requested the morning of the trip are subject to availability. Cups and water bottles available for purchase at our stores in Green River and Vernal Headquarters, or online.
BIKE must be in good repair; Holiday rental bike with helmet is available $160.00/bike; If personal bike fails to meet minimum safety standards you will be asked to rent a Holiday bike. Please note if renting bike – if you have clipless shoes you MUST bring your own pedals. Holiday rental bikes come with platform pedals only.
Submit your review
My experience on the White Rim was life changing! I have not spent a lot of time in the Moab area and was completely blown away by the scenery, wildflowers, superb biking and above all the hospitality provided by our guides, Dustin and Sam. We were greeted every morning with "hot coffee!!!" and "how would you like your eggs?" which was pretty awesome. One of the guides biked with our group every day and they were knowledgeable about the geology and plant life we were riding past. They were always available to lend a hand with any biking issues, or as it turned out for us, crashes, bee stings and organizing an impromptu prom party for our friend's 40th birthday. They were also seriously a blast to hang out with and Sam made us the most amazing meals while Dustin provided comic relief. These two were exceptionally sweet, funny, mature and competent in the backcountry and I would trust them with any of my closest family and friends. I can simply not imagine NOT coming back to this special place again and am already dreaming about our next trip. Thank you Karen, Dustin, Sam, Teepee and any of the other employees who helped to facilitate this fantastic experience for us!
A great experience from start to finish. The staff always was kind and courteous and made the whole trip incredibly memorable! The guides were top notch with their knowledge of the White Rim, the geology, biking tips, etc. They were great cooks and so fun to be around. We loved the 'instant gratification stations', made to order eggs and omelets and general care they took for us. It was evident that they loved what they do and cared immensely about our safety, comfort and well being. We all cannot wait to do it all again! The memories we have will last a lifetime! Thanks Karen, Sam, Dustin and all of Holiday River!
I was very happy with the trip. Conditions prevented us from doing the full route, but that's happened twice to me now, so I expect that is pretty routine. Guides did an excellent job of juggling the situation and logistics to accommodate. Guides, especially Dave as trip leader were outstanding and attended to everyone's needs and wants. And of course the setting and trail are awesome, nothing like it anywhere else.
Loved Rocky and Dave! They were fun, knowledgeable, hard working and great chefs. Bucket list trip complete with awesome memories! I can't wait to share this trip with East Coast friends someday soon.
Although I'd never been and don't mountain bike that much, this was my pick for celebrating my 50th birthday. So great that my sisters and daughters and wife were also excited. All of us had a fabulous time - guides Dustin and Trevor and Tyler were super, food was amazing, the ride was challenging, and scenery and fun factor off the charts!We definitely hope to do it again.
3 Day White Rim Excursion mid September 2016. What an amazing adventure! The "Ustins" (Dustin and Justin) were excellent guides and it's hard to imagine doing the White Rim any other way. The food was above restaurant quality, and that's even without a kitchen! Definitely a recommended trip. Time to think about booking our next trip with Holiday.
Usually we do everything for ourselves but turning over the White Rim trip and planning to the Holiday River guides was fabulous. The guides were fun, knowledgeable and helpful with everything from cooking fantastic meals to organizing moonlight hikes to scenic overlooks. This was a scenic trip that I'd recommend to others.
Loved the guides! They were both great! Overall experience was a great time and I'd definitely recommend to anyone else out there! Can't wait for my next trip!
Lauren was on top of everything and most helpful! Julian and Dustin were completely delightful and bent over backwards to accommodate! A White Rim trip guided by Holiday is the only way to go! It's so nice to not have to worry about anything but riding and having fun. My only complaint is that I biked about 90 miles and didn't lose any weight because we were so well fed! The food was fantastic!!
The food was amazing. The guides were knowledgeable, friendly and funny. An amazing trip, stunning scenery, amazing food, fun and knowledgeable guides, lots of fun!