Biking tours are one of my favorite ways to explore a new destination. It allows you the flexibility, the freedom and the opportunity to cover distances while out in the open. Most especially when this new unique destination is out in the vast wilderness. With covering longer distances obviously comes with challenges, especially if you’re not in tip-top shape. Hence, the invention of electronic bikes which allows the average Joe (or Jacki) to explore longer distances and various terrains. Recently, I took a seriously awesome Moab Bike Tour with Escape Adventures. The “Best of Moab” tour covered approximately 30 miles each day for 3 consecutive days. This would have only been physically possible for me with their Turbo Electronic Bikes.
Moab Bike Tour
Escape Adventures is a biking, hiking and multi-sport touring company based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Founded in 1992 by Jared and Heather Fisher, Escape has continually shaped and lead adventure travel vacations through some of the most beautiful natural destinations in Western North America. 16 years ago, Jared became a world-class trails mountain biker. He is not just an entrepreneur with a brilliant idea of a well-run bike tour company, Jared continually leads an active outdoor life. For our tour, he drove from Vegas to Moab to drop off the van we would use for our tour. From Moab, he road solo on his mountain bike back to Vegas, a 500 mile ride (reaching in 3 days).
Escape Adventures: An Eco-Friendly Bike Company
With over 100 unique destinations and tour packages, Escape Adventures caters to a full spectrum of active travelers of all fitness levels. This innovative tour company focuses on eco-friendly, adventurous travel with a guiding principle of sustainability. Proudly, they are the first company that built environmentally friendly, LEED Platinum- Net Zero Energy facilities to house both operations and retail businesses (in the Las Vegas headquarter and Moab shop).
The electronic road bikes were our mode of transport, though they also offer standard mountain and road bikes for rent. The tour costs approximately $1500 per person for the 5-6 day Moab Bike Tour which includes breakfast, lunch, lodging, water, snacks, first aid, airport transport and your complete bike gear. Tours can be customized for the solo traveler to go at it alone with a guide or to join a group. Family, adventure, extreme outdoor and customized group tours are available as well.
Their slogan: “If you dream it, we’ll take you there“.
A Group Tour that’s Youthful, Fun, Enjoyable and Informative
Though I typically do not prefer group tours for multiple days, I had an amazing time as it was with a group of kindred spirits who love travel and the great outdoors. Our day started by 6-7am with breaks in between to take photos, nibble on snacks with lunch included. Our experienced tour guides were Merrick, Will and Ian who instantaneously felt like long lost friends. Individuals who literally live and breathe the outdoors. And I mean, some of them prefer to camp outdoors most nights. Merrick Golz, the leader of our tour group and the captain of our van, had lived the #VanLife across the United States and Australia for 8 years prior to taking this somewhat “9-5 job” as a tour leader with Escape Adventures. Not an awful gig if you may ask me!
Conversations and learning about the grounds we were riding on continuously flowed with our guides throughout the 4 day journey. They were our confidants and our compadres. They shared experiences they had camping, wild animal encounters and many more stories they’ve personally experienced which made our journey even more enjoyable. We learned about the native indigenous people that have lived here for thousands of years (and still do today). We learned about petroglyphs and pictographs that had been carved into the mountain walls. And everything from more respectful ways to live on earth to philosophical topics.
(Photos courtesy of Luke Pearsall Photography)
Moab Valley Bike Tour Itinerary
Adventure Type: Road Biking, Hiking
Elevation Range: 4000-9000 ft
Fitness Level: 3-5
The e-bike allows you to go at a natural speed or the option to shift through 4 pedal assists. From a little boost to major boosts on the uphills! Without the pedal assist, the e-bike works just as perfectly as a regular road bike for those wanting a real workout. This allows a group with a wide range of fitness levels to be able to enjoy the tour without any awkwardness or lag!
Moab has a population of approximately 5000 people. A small town in Utah that was a Mormon Outpost on the Spanish Trail. Today, it thrives mainly off tourism due to its unbelievable landscape and natural beauty as part of the 200 million year old Colorado Plateau. Moab is located 245 miles south of Salt Lake City, Utah, which is the nearest airport for travelers to fly into. Most visit to see the famous Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, though there is so much more to experience and see. White-water rafting, rock climbing of all levels, horse-back riding, hiking and camping are among the many more activities one can do.
Its dramatic surroundings has served as a backdrop for many “Golden Era Western” movies including Wagonmaster, Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade and Thelma & Louise.
Day 1 accounted for our travel day, flying into SLC and then the 4 hour ride south to Moab. Settling in, cozy dinner, getting a good night’s sleep before the start to our first early morning on the road bike.
Day 2: Potash-Lower Colorado River Scenic Byway
On the official first day of our bike tour, we started at Moab Cyclery to get fitted on our perfect bike.
We warmed up to the beginning of our Moab bike adventures along the Colorado River on the intrepid Potash Road (highway 279). To the right of us was the massive red rock formations with the perfect balance of the calm river flowing to our left. The contrast of our surroundings were consistently breathtaking throughout our days spent.
We rode through dozens of Pictographs and Petroglyphs, wall art drawn by natives from thousands off years ago. Ian, our youngest and most enthusiastic guide, passionate about history and art, told us stories and the background behind many of them.
Arches National Park
After lunch, we swapped our cycling shoes for hiking boots. It was a nice variation of exercise and methods of exploration as we trekked 5 miles along the geological wonderland of the Arches National Park. One can easily spend a whole day there exploring the 2,000 natural stone arches, soaring pinnacles and massive fins. Some noteworthy landmarks to lookout for are the: Devil’s Garden Natural Area, Double Arch and Landscape Arch.
Day 3: Dead Horse State Park
Exploring Moab Valley opens one’s heart and eyes to how truly miraculous our earth is. These natural formations have existed on our planet since thousands of years ago. Each rock, each plant, human ancestors of the land and all their spirits each have their own story to tell.
On day 3, we explored Dead Horse State Park through the West Rim Trails.
And continuously rode our way through Canyonlands National Park.
At sunset, we relaxed at the Turret Arch, made of sandstone fin, on turret-like rock rock pillars.
On our last day, the tour took it down a notch, tempo-wise. We started early in the morning and drove 45 minutes to Castle Valley as we passed otherworldly citadels and fortresses of sandstone at Priest and Nuns. This bike ride was a bit more challenging as we rode through steeper hills. Thankfully for the pedal assist, I geared it up to the highest level on the steepest hills!
All meals are included starting with lunch on the first day until lunch on the last day of the bike tour! Quality and tastiness of food is always important to me. I have to say I didn’t have much of an expectation for this trip considering we were going to have meals on the road. Escape Adventures went over and beyond by delightfully surprising us at every lunch meal with a full table spread of healthy dishes such as fresh salads filled with local vegetables, Mediterranean pastas, local fruits, hummus and healthy juices.
We felt rejuvenated after each meal to continue on our adventures. They were also especially catering for those with dietary restrictions.
Booking and Preparing for your Moab Bike Tour
The Best of Moab Tour typically runs Monday-Friday. Months offered are in: March-May, September-October (summer months skipped due to the extreme heat). The Escape Adventures website provides a comprehensive list of all tours and that are offered in 2019: https://escapeadventures.com. I would recommend prepping your body by taking a few cycling classes or cardio for a few weeks before. Though don’t fret, the electronic bike works miracles either way!
WHAT TO PACK FOR A BIKE TOUR:
- Comfortable clothing to bike in
- Gel padded bike underwear shorts (if you’re worried about your buttocks)
- Hat, Sunglasses
- Bandana to cover your hair under the helmets (to contain sweat and if you’re a germophobe)
- Warm jackets for the evening
- Rain Jacket
Some other tours that Escape Adventure offers that look super interesting:
- Zion National Park & Bryce Canyon
- North Rim of the Grand Canyon (Arizona Tour)
- Wyoming Bike Tour
- Idaho Hot Springs
How to Get to Moab Valley & Lodging
From LAX, I flew to Salt Lake City, Utah (SLC). The drive to Moab Valley took about 4 hours south (245 miles). I would recommend renting a car during your trip, it also provides you flexibility to explore after the bike tour! We stayed at Big Horn Lodge, a casual simple hotel in Moab (these tours are at $1995 + $35 per day for e-bike rental). Option for Luxury Inns are also available with the bike tour packages (tour price at $3695). First-Class Camping is available only on standard bike tours.
Learn more about Moab Valley: https://www.discovermoab.com
Downtown Moab also has a diverse selection of restaurants:
- Breakfast: Jailhouse Cafe is a great option for breakfast
- Lunch/Dinner: Miguel’s Baja Restaurant, Moab Brewery, Singha Thai Cuisine
A true respect for the outdoors and our native lands was heavily gained after this bike tour with Escape Adventures. My experience gave me a more intense desire for more time in the great outdoors. And a longing to connect more with our mother earth and universe.