Already a mecca for US mountain bikers, new nonstop flights from London Heathrow mean British riders can now enjoy Utah’s world class conditions too
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The Greatest Snow on Earth®; the ‘Mighty Five’® national parks; Butch Cassidy’s Outlaw Trail. Utah’s rugged back country is justifiably renowned for its raw beauty and spectacular natural wonders. And during the summer months, the best way to engage with it is on two wheels.
From majestic Zion National Park in the south to the pretty town of Ogden in the north, The Beehive State is honeycombed with some of North America’s finest biking trails. Many of these centre on Moab, a town located in the state’s awe-inspiring red rock country, which is considered by many to be the epicentre of US mountain biking.
There are hundreds of world class trails to choose from, each boasting its own breathtaking views over America’s stunning Mountain West. With the recent launch of Delta Air Lines’ new nonstop flights from London Heathrow to Salt Lake City, here are five of the best trails to consider…
- Slickrock, Moab – 12 miles: One of the world’s most famous mountain biking trails, Slickrock rolls across bright, grippy Navajo sandstone and is almost certainly unlike anything ever ridden – or seen – before. A 12-mile loop starting and finishing on the outskirts of Moab, it boasts magnificent glimpses of the Colorado River en route.
- Wasatch Crest, Salt Lake City – 20 miles: ‘Epic’ doesn’t even begin to do service to this classic ride from the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon down towards Salt Lake City. The trail flows through high aspen glades and alpine meadows, through what is prime skiing territory during the winter months.
- Captain Ahab, Moab – 8 miles: Rollercoaster-like rock climbs and drops make this a heaven for advanced and intermediate riders, who’ll be rewarded with some breathtaking vistas. Sadly no albino whales on the horizon, however.
- Mid Mountain Trail, Park City – 22 miles: Park City boasts the impressive status of the International Mountain Biking Association’s first gold-level Ride Centre and has over 450 biking trails. Intermediate riders looking for one of the best routes in Park City should try the Mid Mountain Trail. Navigating the two grand ski areas behind the town, riders pass through dense stands of pine and aspen trees before arriving in wildflower filled meadows. For riders looking for reduced distances, the trail offers numerous options for shorter loops.
- The Whole Enchilada, Moab – 26 miles: A brake-pumping, grin-making humdinger of a ride, this is one of the crown jewels of mountain biking trails in the western US. A stunning descent into the Colorado River Valley from Porcupine Rim, recent additions and improvements to the trail have only enhanced its already legendary reputation.
Becky Johnson, Senior Global Manager at Utah Office of Tourism comments: “Utah has always been considered an outdoor state – and one of the premier mountain biking destinations in North America. But with recent investment in significant trail improvements and the launch of Delta nonstop service from London Heathrow, British mountain biking enthusiasts can start taking advantage of these incredible conditions like never before too. We look forward to welcoming them – and their bikes – this summer!”
Go biking in Utah: Bon Voyage (0800 316 0194 / bon-voyage.co.uk) has a seven-night fly-drive to Utah from £1,475 per person (saving £95 per person), based on travel in September 2016. The price includes nonstop Delta Air Lines flights from London Heathrow to Salt Lake City, seven nights’ accommodation (three at The Little America Hotel, Salt Lake City and four at the Sunflower Inn, Moab) and car hire for the duration. The price is based on two adults travelling, sharing room only accommodation.
To plan a trip to Utah, visit www.visitutah.com/uk
For more on mountain biking in Utah: www.visitutah.com/things-to-do/outdoor-adventures/mountain-biking