White Rim Trail Stargazing Trip
Stargaze on the White Rim Trail – About This Trip
This White Rim Trail stargazing mountain bike tour leads you through Canyonlands National Park, one of Utah's wildest International Dark Sky Parks. During the day, earn your views by pedaling with our guides around Canyonland's Island in the Sky District. At night, exercise your sense of wonder and awe as you stare up at the Milky Way and explore the reaches of our universe. Learn from our biking guides and a star guide from Salt Lake City's Clark Planetarium; listen to star stories; use binoculars and telescope to spot satellites, planets, other galaxies, and star clusters; learn a constellation or two. This fully-catered trip includes all logistical support, including a 4x4 support van to carry all gear, food, water, and extra comforts. The White Rim Trail stargazing trip is a great opportunity to experience both the exceptional mountain biking that Moab has to offer and the exceptional darkness of Utah's night sky.
Location: Canyonlands National Park
Length: 4 Days
Date: April 27-30 & Sept 28-Oct 1
Meet At: Green River, Utah 7:00 a.m.
Age Min: 12
- Stargaze in the highest quality dark sky in North America
- Wide open night skies unfettered by canyons
- Professional guides provide gourmet meals and all logistical support
- Human-powered adventure
- Learn about the universe from an expert star guide
Trip Price & Departure Date
*8.10% tax + *$10 NPS Fee
2019 Trip Dates
April 27-30 & Sept 28-Oct 1
Pedal around the "Island in the Sky", the wedge of land rising above the Green and Colorado rivers, one of the three districts of Canyonlands National Park. Begin just west of Moab, Utah, for a counter-clockwise trip, or start south of town for a clockwise ride.
Every bike trip we run is a one-of-a-kind adventure. Itineraries for our White Rim trips can vary due to the interests and abilities of group members, the time of year, assigned campsites, weather, and other unpredictable elements. This sample itinerary presents just one possible outline for a White Rim bike trip.
Day 1: We'll start at the Holiday River Expeditions headquarters in Green River, Utah, at 7:00 a.m., Mountain Time. You'll have time to organize and pack your gear and purchase last minute supplies from our on-site store (see our packing checklist for a list of products we offer). Please consider packing your gear into an "overnight bag" and a "day bag" to help us keep our van organized and your day-time gear accessible. Next we'll complete a pre-trip inspection of your bikes. If you are bringing your own bike, it must be in good repair; we recommend getting it serviced at a professional shop before the trip. If your bike does not pass inspection we will ask you to rent a Holiday bike for $170.00/person.
It's a two-hour van ride east towards Moab and the Canyonlands park entrance. We'll unload the bikes and send you soaring down the switchbacks of the Shafer Trail for an exhilarating introduction to the ride. We'll have lunch overlooking the Colorado River, then follow the river's meanders toward Musselman Arch. We'll camp beneath the imposing Airport Tower, or further along at Gooseberry.
Day 2: Our first side trip option for the day is a quick but sandy ride out to White Crack, where keen eyes can pick out the canyon walls above the place where the Colorado River meets the Green. Back on the main road, the ride climbs gently towards Murphy's Hogback, the first major uphill challenge. Pedal or push your bike up the short but steep hill, and arrive at the campsite at the top of the world. Replenish your riding muscles with chicken and veggie fajitas and watch the sunset across the canyons below.
Day 3: Start the day flying down the other side of Murphy's Hogback and take in the expansive views as we move north: Soda Springs Basin, Turks Head, and Candlestick Tower. Explore a short slot canyon before arriving at tonight's camp, Potato Bottom.
Day 4: After a quick warm-up, the trail takes us directly to our second major challenge: Hardscrabble Hill. Reach the top and ride through the Chinle formation, the rock layer that made possible Moab's uranium boom in the 1940s. Ride down the other side and then along the Green River. Enjoy one last lunch together before pedaling the last several (mostly flat) miles to Mineral Canyon and our take out point. Challenge yourself to ride up one last hill to arrive at our vans with a sweet sense of satisfaction. We plan to return to Green River between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m.
This is just a sample itinerary: one of countless possible trips you could experience. We present it here to simply give you a sense of what your trip may include. We invite you to embrace the expeditionary nature of a wilderness mountain biking trip and arrive with an open mind and a flexible attitude.
*On a 3-day trip we ride the same trail but cover more miles each day and stay at different campsites.
***The Bicycling: The White Rim trail follows an old four-wheel-drive road built by uranium prospectors around what is now the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park. For most of the 86-mile route riders will find easy, hard-packed gravel and rock, although there are a few sections of loose sand or rougher rock. There are numerous smaller up and down sections, with two steep hills that riders can easily walk if they prefer.
Most riders in good shape will find this trail an enjoyable challenge; if you've never ridden off-road or are not in good shape (or even if you're in top shape!), we recommend preparing for the trip by doing plenty of off-road riding before the trip.