The size and grandeur of the countryside mountain bike The path makes it difficult to put it into perspective, or capture it with words. We’ll try though, with 190 miles through national parks, valleys full of helloo, mountain meadows full of goats, and dramatic southwestern desert scenery covered by the expedition from Brian Head to EscalanteStay in the new Aquarius Trail cottages.
Five shipping container huts dotted along the Aquarius Trail, which runs through Utah’s most storied and scenic spot, from Powell Point to Overviews of Bryce Canyon National ParkAnd Brian Head Ski Resort, Red Canyon, Aquarius Plateau, Dixie National Forest, Escalante National Monument, And more. Some sections of the trail are single, some are only scenic, and you have options for easier or harder days along the way, with cold beers and other drinks waiting for you to arrive at each hut.
The Aquarius Trail Off-Grid Huts are modified shipping containers powered by solar energy, with full-size fridges and freezers that can be stored for your group. The huts contain mattresses and towels for cold showers and everything else you need (except for your clothes and toothbrush), and each is divided into several bunk rooms.
Reserve your stay, then throw your leg on your flight. From Brian Head, the trail descends nearly 3,000 feet on the Bunker Creek singletrack to Lake Panguitch. Navigate using a GPS track provided or map as it meanders through Ponderosa and juniper forest intertwined with ancient lava beds and rolling meadows to the Hatch Hut, in the Headwaters section of the National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Trail, and the original Hatch home, which was settled in 1872.
A robust meal and dreamy night will prepare you for a big morning ride. It’s an eight-mile climb and 2,500 feet across Proctor Valley for panoramic views over the sunset cliffs at the entrance to Bryce Canyon. After eight miles of cliffs, take a refreshing dive in the Tropic Reservoir before following the Great Western Trail to the Red Canyon Hut for sweeping views of Bryce Canyon and stunning sunsets.
Day 3 begins with descending through the Red Canyon headdresses on the sides of Thunder Mountain before crossing Interstate 12 and climbing to the Casto Canyon Trail with views of Slate Mountain and Powell Point all the way. The road crosses the bottom of a creek 44 times before flowing into Jeep Roads on the high lanes of the Bryce Canyon on the way to Pine Lake Hut.
Fish or swim in Lake Pine before reaching the highest point on the Aquarius Trail on Day 4. It’s a climb of 2,200 feet over 10 miles to the top of Barney Top’s 10,577 feet on the Aquarius Plateau, with an optional eight-mile detour to Powell Point sweeping views of southern Utah you’ll never forget.
From Aquarius Hut in Clayton Springs, choose the backcountry singletrack on the Great Western Trail or a cooler pedal on Hell’s Backbone Road, which winds through open meadows frequented by freely roaming antelopes. Both roads meet on Hell’s Backbone Bridge before Box Death Hollow Wilderness and the descent to Hell’s Backbone Hut on the Last Aquarius Trail in Sand Creek, and the exit to Escalante on Hell’s Backbone Road along Box Death Hollow Wilderness. Relax at Calf Creek along the way, and even if your legs are tired, the three-mile detour to the 128-foot waterfall of the same name is well worth a visit. After that, it’s the final trail climb before the last gentle landing to finish the tour Escalante.
Aquarius Trail is a self-guided arcade and cabin system developed and operated by Escape Adventures. Book an excursion and you’ll get a map and access to fully equipped huts. You’re carrying clothes and personal items, but bedding, towels, food and a full kitchen await at every stop. Each cabin accommodates up to 12 in two cabins, with a separate bathroom building with shower, pit toilet, and handwashing station. The storage area in each hut contains an electric generator to recharge e-scooters. $ 889 per person for six days and five nights. Add $ 50 a beer. Group rates and short excursions are also available. More information: aquariustrail.com
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