Stargazing, Mountain Biking, & Yoga in the San Rafael Swell

Stargazing, mountain biking, yoga, AND the San Rafael Swell? This trip is designed to bring you the best of, well, the best of everything! Follow our expert guides around the best scenic mountain biking terrain in the San Rafael Swell. The Swell was officially designated as a National Recreation Area in 2019, confirming what the locals have always known: this is a land of endless recreational opportunities. Add to that the incredible quality of the night skies (with our resident star expert to guide you) and a professional yoga instructor to help you stretch it out at the end of the day, and you’ve got yourself an unforgettable experience.

This trip can be structured in numerous ways. For example, ride the northern Swell around the Wedge Overlook and the Little Grand Canyon. Another option is to stay south on the Behind-the-Reef Road. Search out difficult single track or stick to the scenic dirt roads along the upper elevations. However you chose to explore, the options are ample. We’ll visit old mining claims and prehistoric rock art panels, climb through pinyon-juniper forests and spin through open meadows. Biking allows you to cover terrain quickly enough to see a variety of landscapes, but at a pace slow enough to take it all in.

Balance the days’ riding with some optional guided yoga sessions with Katie Woods. We’ve also planned this trip to coincide with a new moon, the better to experience the the detailed canopy of the universe above us. Our in-house astro-wiz will share colorful stories of the night sky. Tap into your natural sense of awe and wonder each night of this trip. Join us for this unique desert adventure: stargazing, mountain biking, and yoga in the Swell.

Want to know more? Check out our Insider’s Guide to Biking the San Rafael Swell.

Featured Review:

“Everything about this trip surprised me! The riding is fantastic and the scenery is spectacular. Our guides tended to every need and the meals were delicious. We’ll be back for sure!” (Darren Bowles)

Book This Trip

Trip Overview

  • Type:

    Bike

  • Location:

    San Rafael Swell

  • Length:

    4 Days

  • Dates:

    October 9–12, 2020

  • Meet at:

    Green River, Utah @ 7:00 am

  • Difficulty:

    Intermediate

  • Min. Age:

    12

  • Deposit:

    300

Highlights

  • San Rafael Swell mountain biking trails offer a reprieve from the Moab crowds
  • Ride past abandoned mining camps and prehistoric rock art panels
  • 4×4 support van carries all the gear; professional guides do all the cooking
  • Learn about the universe from an expert star guide
  • Enjoy morning and afternoon yoga sessions
Getting Here Before You Go Packing List FAQs

Rates & Dates

4 Day

  • Adult:
  • $925
  • Youth:
    18 and under
  • $925
  • Senior:
    65 and older
  • $925
  • Group:
    10 or more
  • $925
Book This Trip
Check Availability
2020
  • October
  • 9

Itinerary

The San Rafael Swell rises up out of the desert west of the town of Green River, Utah. I-70 climbs straight through its midsection, neatly dividing the region into northern and southern portions. Each portion has its own set of attractions and features. The Swell is also defined by a steep reef of jagged, uplifted rocks that run along its eastern and southern boundaries. The entire Swell comprises nearly 2,000 miles of public lands: slot canyons, buttes, mesas, arches, towers, meadows, and more.

Sample Itinerary

Please note: this is a sample itinerary. Our San Rafael Swell trip is our most customizable trip, and each trip’s itinerary will depend on the interests/abilities of the group, as well as weather, campsite availability, and other unforeseeable elements. Expect to ride 20 to 30 miles per day.

Day 1:

Meet us at our Green River, Utah, headquarters (7:00 a.m., Mountain Time). We’ll help you organize your gear (we suggest packing a small day bag and a larger overnight bag; the overnight bag will be packed lower in the gear van, whereas the day bag will be accessible all day). Fill up your water bottles and make any last-minute purchases from our accessories store (see our packing checklist for items we have at our store). Before we go, we’ll perform a pre-trip inspection of everyone’s 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. If your bike does not pass our basic safety inspection, we’ll ask you to rent a Holiday bike for $180.00/person.

Business concluded, we’re off! It’s an hour drive west on I-70 into the heart of the Swell. We’ll start with an easy ride that travels along a maze of old ranching and mining roads in search of sites like the Lone Warrior and Head of Sinbad rock art panels, Eagle Canyon Arch, and the Swasey Cabin. After a trail-side lunch, we’ll climb gradually through pinyon and juniper to our camp on the edge of Reds Canyon, near the base of Family Butte.

Day 2:

Salute the sun in a morning yoga session, then start riding with a nice, long descent to the Muddy Creek and the Hondu Arch. Pause along the way to explore the Lucky Strike Mine, and admire the red patina that seems to bleed down the huge, white sandstone walls that surround us. We’ll ride back up out of the Muddy Creek area and seek out a camp with a view, perhaps at the base of the Flattop, or overlooking Chute Canyon and Temple Mountain.

Day 3:

Today’s ride can be as easy or as challenging as the group wants. Go on a long, self-supported ride down the Little Wild Horse trail and meet our support van on the Behind-the-Reef Road. Or, cruise around Temple Mountain and make camp early, then spend the afternoon hiking one of the slot canyons in the southern reef. Stretch out under the stars as night falls and enjoy the rare experience of simply watching it get dark. Which planetary object will become visible first?

Day 4:

Today’s plan could be more hiking, or a longer ride around Temple Mountain. We’ll work our way out of the Swell and have lunch at a 3,000-year-old pictograph panel. Our passenger van will meet us here for the two-hour drive back to Green River. Our expected time of arrival back at our headquarters is 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Please keep in mind that each trip’s itinerary will vary widely based on group desires, Mother Nature, and courtesy for other groups on the trail. The Swell is known for its spectacular scenery and abundance of historical sites. Dispersed camping sites offer the ultimate opportunity for a “choose-your-own-adventure” exploration of the vast maze of old mining roads and slot canyons.

The San Rafael Swell offers everything from graded, two-wheel-drive dirt roads great for scenic spinning to technically challenging double and single track routes designed for ATVs and mountain bikes. These trails may consist of packed dirt with gentle up and down sections; loose rocks and gravel; sand; ruts; winding or steep turns; technical ascents and descents, including ledges, exposure, or slickrock; and steep uphill and downhill sections.

The San Rafael Swell biking trip can be customized based on the interests, ability levels, and desires of the group; however, riders with no previous off-road bicycling experience should be experienced road cyclists with good athletic ability. All riders should prepare for the trip by riding their bike on a regular basis prior to the trip.

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