The Swell to Capitol Reef NP
TOUR DESCRIPTIONReceive Full Itinerary
We’re still in shock we’re the first to pioneer this route as a mountain bike tour. Snaking its way through central Utah – this trip is easily one of the most remote desert regions you will visit in the lower 48 states. Over 5 days and about 150 miles we take an up close view of the San Rafael Swell, the Wedge Overlook, skirt Sid’s Mountain Wilderness Study Area (WSA), dive into Devil’s Canyon WSA, spill out into Cathedral Valley scenic area and end in one of our most beautiful National Parks: Capitol Reef NP. By the end of this trip you’ll have trouble believing everything you saw.
We created this trip for those who don’t want a guide, don’t want to be supported during the week and generally just want their own self-serve adventure with a bit of logistical assistance. Each day we relocate a very deluxe camp setup (provided by Ready Camp) of (2) 10×10 canopies, full kitchen, dry firewood, camp chairs, fresh water, coolers of food and beverages (you purchase prior to trip) and all your personal gear like tents, bags and clothing. You can go as cheap or deluxe as you want on food, beverages and amenities!!
We immediately ride through the rock monocline that is San Rafael Reef by way of Black Dragon Canyon. After a traverse of the Jackass Benches we make a long descent to the San Rafael River and our camp walled in by 500-foot sandstone cliff faces.
We visit the famous Buckhorn Wash Pictograph Wall and then onto lunch at the Wedge, commonly referred to as the Little Grand Canyon. Our ride in the afternoon takes us along the edge of Sid’s Mountain WSA and its labyrinth of sandstone honeycomb formations and our camp in a remote desert wash.
We roll along a fun lunar landscape of up and down “whoops” before dropping into the dense sandstone maze of Devils Canyon WSA. The end of our day is pleasant cruise across a wide desert valley of red earth and a gorgeous campsite under a red rock ridge.
Continuing down into Devil’s Canyon first thing you’ll start to feel the walls sort of close in a bit. Our exit from Devils Canyon is something out of Star Wars movie – a serpentine wash that seems to “S” endlessly
We enter the northern reaches of Cathedral Valley including an incredible descent through a steep canyon. Later in the day we enter Capitol Reef National park and it’s stunning version of Cathedral Valley before reaching camp high on a cliff for a sunset overlook of this same valley.
Not far from our camp we’ll spend time at two incredible desert lookouts: one of Cathedral Valley and the other of the Southern Desert. Both are jaw-dropping. As we near our finish we’ll get a chance to view the other end of the Southern Desert; a viewpoint that must be seen to be believed.
What’s Included in My Trip?
> General camp gear from Ready Camp (two 10’x10’ popup tent, full kitchen, cooking/eating utensils, dry firewood, camp chairs, camp toilet, water)
> Camp/gear relocation each day including trash removal
> Overnight support – you’re on your own!!
> Alcoholic Beverages – we can haul and keep them cold though!
> Food shopping – you must plan and shop for your own menu
> Lodging and transportation before and after the trip
> Weather Control – Mother Nature has a mind of her own
> Bikes – we can rent you a full-suspension bike for the week
> Guides – we can arrange a day guide for you each day