A Different Spin
It may be known as a mountain biking mecca, but Moab has some of the best road cycling in the region.
We had saved a spin through Arches National Park for our final day—and even though we’d racked up 105 miles in the previous 48 hours, we were pumped. Once we got past the steep set of switchbacks that led out of the empty parking lot into Arches, the road through the park transitioned to a more manageable series of undulating hills.
Truthfully, the rising and falling of the road was irrelevant. I’d forgotten about the actual bike ride altogether once I entered the world’s largest known concentration of sandstone arches. The geography made me feel like I’d landed on another planet. Besides the more than 2,500 arches, the park is full of colossal rock formations ranging from fins and spires to gigantic boulders balanced atop pinnacles. At every turn of the pedal, there are jaw-dropping views, which stretch across miles of natural rock sculptures all the way to the La Sal Mountains.
We’d anticipated riding the 18-mile park road as an out-and-back, but we had so much fun exploring—we found the 65-foot-tall Delicate Arch, one of Utah’s most famous rock formations—we ended up taking each side path and offshoot available, for a total of more than 45 miles. Next time, we’re planning to bring our cleat covers and hoof it on some of the short footpaths. We love our wheels, but sometimes a short hike is the only way to end up in a surreally beautiful location.
IF YOU GO:
Road biking burns tons of calories—we recommend refueling at these local standouts.
Jailhouse Cafe The breakfast favorite in Moab, Jailhouse offers classic diner-style breakfasts along with more gourmet options like old-fashioned ginger pancakes with apple butter.
Milt’s Stop & Eat This modest burger and shake stand located just off the main drag of Mill Creek Drive serves the best food in Moab. Try the chili cheeseburger featuring local free-range beef.
Peace Tree Juice Cafe This longtime Moab eatery aims for a healthy interpretation of comfort food, like sweet potato fries prepared without trans fats and gluten-free polenta lasagna.