FATMAP difficulty grade
The White Rim Trail, running through Canyonlands National Park, is one of Utah’s premier multi-day mountain bike rides.
Granted, select badasses will choose to pedal the 103-mile distance (with 5,500 feet of climbing) in one day, but most riders choose to split the route into 2-4 days. While the entire White Rim Trail is actually a jeep road and not a singletrack trail, most riders still choose a mountain bike as the weapon of choice.
Between sandy sections and rough rock slabs, the forgiveness and traction of a mountain bike is much more comfortable and confidence-inspiring than opting for a skinny-tired gravel bike.
In fact, Bikepacking.com recommends a plus-size bike as the ideal choice for this route. Despite not offering singletrack, simply getting to ride your mountain bike through Canyonlands National Park is an awe-inspiring experience.
Gorgeous rock cliffs and spires greet you around every corner—the scenery is simply stunning! This ride isn’t about the technical gnar or the highspeed descending.
Instead, it’s all about pedaling your bike through a beautiful location, ideally with good friends.
However you choose to divide the trip up, make sure you plan ahead.
If you don’t plan to pedal through in one fell swoop, camping requires a permit from the national park.
There are campgrounds spread throughout the route, but you must have specific permits and reservations for the sites you plan to use.
Couple that with the limited access to water, and many people choose to book a paid tour from one of many providers. Paid tours will generally already have permits, eliminating that challenge.
They’ll also haul your gear, food, and water from one campsite to the next, allowing you to ride light and fast.
Sometimes, the added convenience is worth paying a little extra for. Sources: http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/trails/whiterim.htm http://www.bikepacking.com/routes/bikepacking-the-white-rim/