On our 9th bike tour with Rim Tours we biked in two areas between Zion and Bryce in Utah. Our GPS tracks are shown in yellow.

 

We were seven people total (three couples and one guy by himself)

 

This was expected to be – and was – our most physically demanding bike tour.

 

 

On the first day, we took the Virgin River trail and biked to the The-Ah campsite where we stayed for 2 nights. Our track is shown in yellow on the left and the altitude profile below. The entire ride is above 9000 ft, which isn’t that easy coming directly from sea level. Altitude ranged from 9000 ft to above 9500ft.

Note the climb in the first 1.5 miles of the trip from 9200 to 9500 ft!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The scenery is very beautiful with old pine forest (left) and aspens (below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It must be spectacular in fall when the Aspen leaves turn gold-yellow.

 

 

 

 

 

We had two great guides: Sean (left) and Kelly (below). As we’re accustomed with Rim Tours, they do anything to please their bikers (note the hot sauce for Juergen). Kelly took the picture below herself holding the camera.

 

 

 

 

On the second day, We biked to the Cascade Falls (we actually hiked the last mile down to the falls) and returned along the north shore of Navajo Lake. Altitude ranged from 8950 ft to 9750 ft.

Again the climbing was tough for Yvonne.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A brief stop. This time Yvonne gets a hug from Kelly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful scenery.

 

That’s Zion in the distance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are the Cascade Falls. The water comes from natural underground lava tubes from Navajo Lake where we were camped.

 

 

 

 

 

The third day our van took us close to the Bryce Canyon National Park. We biked the Casto and Losee trails in Red Canyon. We had previously biked these by ourselves in 2002. Altitude ranged from 7050 ft to almost 8000 ft.

 

Note the first 9 miles! Up, up up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We started in a spectacular canyon…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…and had to bike in and across washes frequently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We can never get enough of the southern Utah scenery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From here, it’s all uphill…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, back down in the washes.

 

 

 

We camped that night at the Tropic Reservoir (see first map above). Our final ride was the Thunder Mountain Trail in the spectacular red-rock scenery. The ride started at 8100 ft and ended at 7100 ft.

Unfortunately, Yvonne had to miss most of this ride after pulling a muscle the day before. The first day without so much climbing! Fortunately, she was better the next day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With no Yvonne to pose for this and the following pictures, Juergen had to use his bike (not as good looking).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of the ride is single track. Even though the portion shown on the right is smooth and level, the terrain drops on each side steeply. It’s not good for people with vertigo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the way home, we stopped overnight in Las Vegas and saw the Cirque du Soleil’s Beatles show “LOVE”. We enjoyed it tremendously. Yvonne wore one of the Vietnamese dresses she had made when we were in Hoi An earlier this year. After the show she goofed off in front of this Beatle glow-wall that was in the gift shop – many people posed in front. You have to imagine Beatles music being played during this photo shoot!

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                      The end.