The Maze – Canyonlands Mountain Biking

Holiday’s bike trip into Canyonlands’ Maze District takes you into an impossibly beautiful landscape. Steep canyons step down across the desert in a tangle of white, pink, red, and orange sandstone. Pinnacles, buttes, and jagged mesas stretch out as far as you can see. This is rugged country. The first European explorers who encountered the Maze took long detours to avoid the network of sheer-walled canyons. Native people, however, called this land home for millennia before that, leaving pictographs and granaries deep within the canyons. Wild, remote, and absolutely spectacular, this may be Utah’s ultimate multi-day bike trip.

Our professional guides will lead you on a ride that seems to drop off the edge of the world. Bike along double-track 4×4 roads with our support van following behind. Camp out on the edges of mesas with views that go forever. Explore Utah’s red rock desert on an active, human-powered vacation. This is the least-visited part of Canyonlands National Park, and it is strictly regulated to preserve its wilderness values. Group sizes are small and it’s not unusual to bike all day without even seeing another group. We offer Maze bike trips in the spring and fall.

Special for 2020: we’re pleased to offer a special stargazing bike trip into the Maze. Join a star expert from Salt Lake City’s Clark Planetarium and experience the cosmic majesty of one of Utah’s International Dark Sky Parks.

Read more about this aMAZEing region of Utah: check out our Insider’s Guide to the Maze.

Featured Review:

“Our group of college friends gets together every year for a reunion and this year’s trip in the Maze was exceptional. Every detail was thought out and the guides took care of everything. All we had to do was ride and enjoy each other’s company. Thank you for a great trip. The riding, the meals, the gear all top notch.” (D. Mansfield)

Book This Trip

Trip Overview

  • Type:

    Bike

  • Location:

    Canyonlands National Park

  • Length:

    4 Days

  • Dates:

    May, September & October

  • Meet at:

    Green River, Utah @ 7:00 am

  • Difficulty:

    Advanced

  • Min. Age:

    12

  • Deposit:

    300

Highlights

  • Fully supported riding into hard-to-access terrain
  • Sheer vertical uplifts and plunging gorges
  • Earn the views and your delicious dinner
  • Solitude and exploration in a truly awesome landscape
Getting Here Before You Go Packing List FAQs

Rates & Dates

4 Day

  • Adult:
  • $1,105
  • Youth:
    18 and under
  • $980
  • Senior:
    65 and older
  • $980
  • Group:
    10 or more
  • $980
Book This Trip
Check Availability
2020
  • May
  • 5, 19
  • September
  • 8, 22
  • October
  • 3

Itinerary

The Maze bike trip covers approximately 80 miles of rugged desert terrain on the west side of Utah’s Green River. Starting from the Hans Flat Ranger Station, this trip could go a number of different ways, all of them spectacular. Ride down and east to the Maze Overlook or camp higher up in the Orange Cliffs Unit. Either way, you’ll encounter panoramic scenery, unique rock formations, and find plenty of spur roads to explore if you feel the need to add miles to your days. All trips gradually work their way south toward the place where the Colorado River feeds into Lake Powell, near the old Hite Marina.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1:

Meet at Holiday River Expeditions’ headquarters at 7:00 a.m. (Mountain Time) in Green River, Utah. You’ll have time to organize your gear (it’s best if you separate gear into a “day bag” and a “camp bag” to help us effectively organize the support van) and buy any last minute items from our store (check out our packing checklist to see what carry here). Before we take off, your guides will complete a pre-trip inspection of your bike. If you’re bringing your own bicycle please make sure that it is in good repair. We recommend getting it serviced by a professional shop before the trip. If your bike does not pass our inspection you will be asked to rent a Holiday bike for $180.00/person.

Get settled in the vans for the 3-hour ride south to the Hans Flat Ranger Station, a remote National Park Service outpost and the Maze District headquarters. We’ll start riding from here, rolling along the edge of the Maze, catching glimpses of the canyons below through the pinyon and juniper trees. Pause for lunch and to stretch your legs at the Bagpipe Butte Overlook. Not far from there, we’ll take a sharp left turn and drop off the edge of the world, down the Flint Trail, and into the region the old-timers called “Under the Ledge”. Camp at the Golden Stairs. You’ll cover about 15 miles this first day, with options to ride out a couple of spur trails.

Day 2:

Start the day with coffee and eggs cooked to order, then ride downhill and around Elaterite Basin. It’s a short ride today, only 12 miles. The goal is to arrive at our camp at the Maze Overlook by lunch time, giving us the whole afternoon to hike into the Maze itself. Scramble down through layers of geologic time, using steps carved into the smooth rock surfaces. Hike through willows and cottonwoods at the bottom of the canyon and discover the Harvest Scene, a pictograph panel that may have been painted over 3,000 years ago. Hike back up in time for sunset over the Chocolate Drops.

Day 3:

Today we’ll ride back out the way we came, up the Golden Stairs and south to the base of Teapot Rock. After the initial climb out of camp, the riding is mostly rolling and downhill. Total miles for the day are approximately 20, with an option to add a 9-mile side ride to Sunset Pass. Tonight’s camp is in a slickrock alcove, with views of the La Sal Mountains far to the northeast.

Day 4:

This morning we’ll ride around the canyons that feed the rapids of lower Cataract Canyon. Stop at multiple overlooks and trace the shape of the canyon. Imagine the Colorado River far below, splashing and roaring over its rocks. The road here is well-graded, and the miles pass quickly as we gradually descend to Highway 95 and the Hite Bridge on the upper end of Lake Powell. 25 miles today. A 2-hour scenic drive will bring us back to Green River at approximately 4:30 in the afternoon.

Please keep in mind that this is a sample itinerary. The Maze is large and there are a number of routes we could take to explore different corners. The above is one possibility. We could also ride deeper into the Orange Cliffs Unit of the Glen Canyon Recreation Area, check out Cleopatra’s Couch and Panorama Point, and camp at the Bowdie Canyon Overlook, right above the Colorado River.

Any bike trip into the wilderness is changeable by nature. Trips may change based on the camp sites that we are assigned, weather, group size and interests, and other unforeseeable elements. We encourage you to plan on riding 15-30 miles each day, and to arrive with an open mind and a flexible attitude.

The Maze bike trip is the most technically challenging route we offer. This undeveloped dirt road includes rolling, technical doubletrack, steep uphills and downhills, loose rocks, sand, and ruts. The trip is roughly 80 miles long with many opportunities to do side-rides in addition to the main route. Riders with no off-road bicycling experience, or who are not athletic, will most likely find this trip difficult. All riders should prepare for the trip by riding their bike on a regular basis prior to the trip.

Reviews

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Holiday River Expeditions
Average rating:  
 7 reviews
by Jim Clarke on Holiday River Expeditions

Awesome guides, great food, incredible adventure!

by Craig R Gasser on Holiday River Expeditions

I can't think of anything that could be done to improve the experience. Without exception, Holiday exceeds my expectations. The guides make you feel like family. The food was delicious. Everything about the trip was planned and executed flawlessly. Thank you Holiday!

by Jim Ripley on Holiday River Expeditions

Bloody brilliant! I came all the way from London, England for this trip and boy, was it worth it. This was the best cycling, food and scenery in the world. I met some great friends too.

by Ryan Martinez on Holiday River Expeditions

The office staff was very helpful! The Hike was enjoyable, but we didn't reach our destination because we didn't think we had enough time. Turns out we had plenty of time and could have hiked for another hour. Not a huge deal. We couldn't have asked for a better trip. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking with canyons, mesas, rock formations, and wildflowers-all spectacular! The guides were fun and took great care of our group, ensuring our bikes were in tiptop shape every day. The meals were delicious, and well-balanced, with as many servings as we wanted. A trip of a lifetime!

by Greta Browning on Holiday River Expeditions

My son and I did this trip for his 21st Birthday. What and adventure! Canyonlands is stunning and the riding was great but the guides made the trip. Dave, Brin and Justin was training. We were so well taken care of. They cooked for us, took care of our bikes and shared their knowledge of Canyonlands with us and even gave us riding tips. We plan to do the White Rim next. Thanks Holiday!

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