May is a great month for lots of reasons, especially the weather. It’s also a great month to get outside and ride your bike. In celebration of National Bike Month, here are three Zion trail ideas to help you hit the road for some healthy outdoor exercise and fun.
Pa’rus Trail, Zion National Park
Named for the Paiute word meaning “bubbling, tumbling water,” Zion’s Pa’rus trail follows the Virgin River through Zion Canyon. This paved trail is the only trail open to bikes in the park. It starts just north of the Visitor Center and ends at Canyon Junction. Wide and flat, the 1.7-mile trail crosses a few bridges over the river and is lined with wildflowers in spring and summer. Pa’rus Trail is ideal for families and solo bike riders who want to experience Zion’s quiet scenery at a leisurely pace.
Zion Canyon Scenic Road
One of the best things about bike riding in the main canyon most of the year is that it’s just you and your bike, no cars. Bicycle riding on Zion Canyon Scenic Drive is permitted when the Zion Canyon shuttle is in operation (currently March through November). This eliminates motor vehicle traffic from the main road (aside from the shuttles) making it much more enjoyable and safe. Shuttle buses have bike racks, so you can choose your start or end point. Ride past the lodge and the Grotto to the Temple of Sinawava, or take the shuttle to the end and ride downhill on the return.
A few things to keep in mind when mountain biking in Zion:
- Ride cautiously where there are limited sight lines or narrow lanes
- Find a safe place to pull over to allow shuttles to pass
- Wear a helmet
- Obey all traffic signs
- Always ride single file on the right side of the road
Mountain biking trails are beautiful and plentiful on Zion Ponderosa. We have miles of dirt roads and double-track trails that lead to scenic viewpoints, like Jolley Gulch, that overlook Zion National Park. One of our most popular mountain biking trails leads to Pine Knoll, overlooking Cedar Breaks National Monument in the distance. This exciting section of trail has just the right amount of elevation changes and winds through ponderosa pine and Manzanita trees in a big scenic loop. We also have a spectacular 1-mile section of single-track trail that crosses six little ravines, and plans to build more on property. Zion Ponderosa has the only mountain biking trails on our side of the park. Bring your own bike, or rent one from Zion Ponderosa.
National Bike Month
The League of American Bicyclists established national Bike Month in 1956 as a way to encourage a new generation of riders. Whether you use your bike to commute to work, get some exercise, or explore the great outdoors, riding a bike helps reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and can even improve health. So what are you waiting for? Pump those pedals and celebrate National Bike Month on your two wheels!
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