By Wayne Cottrell The Utah Lake to Squaw Peak Challenge is a 31.3-mile, out-and-back ride that starts and finishes at Utah Lake State Park in Provo. The ride makes liberal use of the Provo River Parkway for the opening 10.7 miles, and then veers onto U.S. Highway 189, and then Squaw Peak Road for the […]
The Cache Valley North Cruise is arguably the “perfect” cycling loop because of its format: a ride that uses lightly trafficked roads that pass through small settlements, almost at evenly spaced intervals, with a few changes in terrain but no major climbs.
The Islands in the Sky Cruise is a 51-mile out-and-back ride over undulating terrain between and through Dead Horse Point State Park and Canyonlands National Park. The elevation ranges from 5,639 feet at Upheaval Dome, in Canyonlands National Park, to 6,184 feet on Big Flat, on State Highway (SR) 313 between the Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point Parks.
The Powder Mountain Challenge is a 39.1-mile out-and-back climbing challenge in Weber County. The route includes three strenuous climbs, the second of which ascends Powder Mountain. Although the name “Powder” might conjure notions of ‘powder puff,” as if the climb is soft and easy, it is far from that. In fact, Powder Mountain Road (State Highway 158) is considered to be one of the steepest roads in Utah, averaging a 14% gradient over a 5-mile stretch (with steeper pitches thrown in to augment the challenge). Please note that snow or ice can make this ride treacherous, so be sure to check the weather and the roads before venturing out.
The Tintic Mountains Classic is a 110.0-mile loop through Utah, Eureka and Tooele Counties in north central Utah, making this the longest Road Biking Utah ride. The route covers some premium territory, visiting Utah Lake, the Tintic Mountains, and a segment of the Pony Express route. The ride is reasonably mountainous, with elevations ranging from 4,522 feet adjacent Utah Lake, to 6,620 feet near Eureka. Portions of the route have proven to be very popular with the Tour of Utah stage race, which, in its most recent editions, has featured a stage along these roads.
The Bear Lake Cruise is one 51-mile lap of Bear Lake in northern Utah and southern Idaho. The preferred direction is clockwise, such that the rider remains on the lakeside of the road. The ride uses US 89 and SR 30 on the western side of the lake, and Eastshore Road (in Idaho) and North Cisco Drive and East Cisco Drive (in Utah) on the eastern side.
Road Biking Utah features a mixture of well-known routes and out-of-the-way rides, some of which even Utah’s most avid cyclists may not know. The Big Cottonwood Canyon Challenge is one of the former types of ride – popular and heavily-ridden.