Zion to Santa Fe Bike Tour in 2014

Mary and I did the bike tour of a lifetime with Lizard Head in August and September 2014! It was called Zion to Taos, but we actually biked all the way to Santa Fe. We covered nearly 900 miles in 13 days and biked EFI (every fricking inch) of the planned route plus some bonus miles without a shuttle, except for 25 miles after Mary fell and got a concussion. That required a quick trip to the ER for her to get a doctor’s OK to continue.

For the first week of the tour we had 15 guests and two guides, which was more than would fit in the single van that accompanied us after we left Zion. Three guests besides Mary and me biked EFI, which meant that there was enough room in the van for the others when they took a bump at the end of the longest day 🙂 Six guests left after the first week.

Bertrand and Ben were our guides for the first week, while Bertrand and Joe were the guides for the second week. Bertrand is a French chef, so we had some good meals along the road 🙂

Here is our itinerary for this awesome tour!

Day 1 (Sunday, August 31): Hike in the Virgin River Narrows with condors overhead, shuttle through the Zion-Mt Carmel Tunnel, and then bike to Mt Carmel (17 miles & 1,100 ft of climbing).
Day 2 (Monday, September 1): Mt Carmel -> Bryce Canyon (64 mi & 4,100 ft) followed by an afternoon hike
Day 3 (Tuesday, September 2): Bryce Canyon -> Boulder UT (77 mi & 4,800 ft)
Day 4 (Wednesday, September 3): Boulder UT -> Hanksville (87 mi & 5,500 ft)
Day 5 (Thursday, September 4): Hanksville -> Blanding (126 mi & 8,700 ft), the Queen Stage!!
Day 6 (Friday, September 5): Blanding -> McElmo Canyon (65 mi & 2,600 ft)
Day 7 (Saturday, September 6): McElmo Canyon -> Durango (70 mi & 5,000 ft)
Day 8 (Sunday, September 7): Durango <-> Pinkerton Hot Springs (31 mi & 1,000 ft) for a rest day bonus ride
Day 9 (Monday, September 8): Durango -> Pagosa Hot Springs (54 mi & 3,200 ft), Mary’s fall!
Day 10 (Tuesday, September 9): Pagosa Hot Springs -> Chama (48 mi & 3,600 ft)
Day 11 (Wednesday, September 10): Chama -> Ojo Caliente (94 mi & 5,300 ft)
Day 12 (Thursday, September 11): Ojo Caliente -> Taos plus a bonus out-and-back ride to Palo Flechado Pass (78 mi & 4,600 ft)
Day 13 (Friday, September 12): Taos -> Santa Fe (77 mi & 6,900 ft)

Photos and commentary follow.