The Best Way to See Zion National Park ~ Ride Your Bike, It's an Epic Ride!

The Best Way to See Zion National Park ~ Ride Your Bike, It's an Epic Ride!

Epic...
   majestic monoliths
      towering to the stars
          forging lasting memories

As winter bids its farewell and spring starts to paint the landscape with vibrant hues, there's no better time to embrace the great outdoors and ride your bike. Zion National Park, a breathtaking sanctuary of towering red rock formations and awe-inspiring landscapes, beckons adventure seekers for an unforgettable biking experience. In this blog post, I'll guide you through the exhilarating journey of riding a bike through Zion National Park at the beginning of March, providing tips, insights, and a virtual tour of this natural wonder.

Love cycling? Shop all the fun cycling art products I've created just for you, including this fun sticker from my original PoP Art painting of a woman cyclist riding at Zion National Park, inspired by my ride there, and for you to remember your ride too!

 

 

zion national park bike ride sunrise greeting the day photo by traveling artist blogger cyclist meganaroon

My Monday started at the break of dawn, hoping to beat the crowds at one of Americas most popular National Parks, Zion. I had heard that the parking lots usually fill by 9am and wanted to get an early start. As I packed up the van and situated everything for a drive out on a bumpy road to get to Zion, I was greeted with a stunning display of colors beckoning me towards a day of even more epic views at Zion National Park.  

I arrived at Zion's visitor center just past Springdale, UT around 7:30am and was pleased to note that there was still plenty of parking spaces available. When I finished with my ride several hours later however, there wasn't a parking spot in sight, so get there early (and mid-week as well helps). I set the van up for Mikee to hang out for the next couple of hours and readied my bike for a ride I had been eagerly wanting to do since I first started van life 2 years ago. I had actually been to the Zion area twice before, but both times the weather had other plans for me and I ended up leaving before I was able to ride. I finally decided this was it, the weather was cooperative, the crowds should be somewhat lessened the first part of March, and I just had to make this epic ride finally happen. 

But, be prepared, March weather in Zion can be unpredictable. Pack layers, including a light jacket, sunscreen, and plenty of water. Be prepared for cooler mornings and warmer afternoons as you are deep in the Zion Canyon most of the bike ride. I started my ride at 8am and it was a chilly 44 degrees, so I layered up and made sure to bring gloves and a headband that covered my ears. I thought of wearing my balaclava, but didn't and was comfortable enough without it.

zion national park guide to riding your bike through the park by traveling artist cyclist blogger meganaroon (4)

I bid Mikee farewell and went off on my long awaited biking adventure at Zion National Park! zion national park guide to riding your bike through the park by traveling artist cyclist blogger meganaroon (9)

Right from the start the Pa'rus trail was giving views to die for. I was in constant awe at my surroundings and felt as though I had rode into a fairytale, with towering castles catching the morning light on the mountains turrets.

photos of Zion National Park in the canyon while riding a bike by traveling artist cyclist blogger meganaroon (3)

You have the option to ride on the road, or take the roughly two mile Pa'rus paved trail. I had read reviews that said the Pa'rus trail would be crowded with other bikers and hikers and was a bumpy ride. But, honestly, there was only a handful of hikers and only a couple sections that had a few minor bumpy sections. I would recommend taking the Pa'rus trail over the road, as the views get you closer to the Virgin River as the trail meanders along it's shore, and epic valley views on both sides. It's always a safer bet to stay off roads as well if you ever have a trail option. 

Parus trail compilation zion national park guide to riding your bike through the park by traveling artist cyclist blogger meganaroon

Once the Pa'rus trail ends it connects up with the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive road. From November to early spring the scenic drive is open to all vehicles, the rest of the year it is only occupied by shuttle buses and cyclists. I was fortunate that it had already been closed to personal vehicles and the shuttle buses would only pass every 5-10 minutes. The rules do require cyclists to stop and pull off the road to allow the buses to pass, they will only pass once you are safely off to the side, stopped and with one foot on the ground. I didn't have any incidents, or close calls with the buses and was acutely aware of whenever they came up behind me so I had plenty of time to pull my bike off the road, and the drivers were all very considerate as well. When you first get to the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive there is a couple of miles where vehicles, along with the buses, are still allowed on the road, but they were few and far between. Once I reached the point closed to all personal vehicles I had the entirety of Zion Canyon all to myself the majority of the time. zion national park guide to riding your bike through the park by traveling artist cyclist blogger meganaroon (18)

Around every bend along Zion Canyon Scenic Drive was a new site that took my breath away. As I climbed every hill and turned every corner I was waiting with bated breath to see what epic views would greet me, and I was never disappointed. From the Virgin River to the Big Bend and Great White Throne, I was enthralled with all that riding my bike in Zion National Park gifted me. 

photos of Zion National Park in the canyon while riding a bike by traveling artist cyclist blogger meganaroon (9)

The bike ride from the visitor center all the way to the end of the road at the Temple of Sinawava is 20 miles round trip. But, I found it to be a fairly easy ride, with approximately 700 foot of elevation gain. I saw numerous other bikers riding the road, almost all of whom were riding ebikes (electric assisted bikes), which would make this bike ride possible for anyone. If you don't have your own bike, there are numerous bike outfitters in the area, especially in Springdale right down the road from the visitor center, that do bike rentals, of ebikes and regular bikes. I have my custom hybrid Specialized road bike that handled the Zion bike ride with ease. You also have the option of taking the shuttle, with your bike, and only riding one way through the canyon on your bike which still affords you all the stunning views. This is particularly helpful if you also want to do some hiking later in the day, or vice versa. There are also bike racks to lock your bike throughout the canyon if you do choose to go on a hike while on your ride.Compilation 1 zion national park guide to riding your bike through the park by traveling artist cyclist blogger meganaroon

As the buses churned by, one after the other, I reflected on what an amazing experience riding my bike in Zion National Park was, versus doing the traditional route of taking the shuttle buses. I had the luxury of stopping at any time I wanted and taking in every little detail of the stunning beauty that enveloped me. The shuttle buses only have dedicated stops that they make for, in alignment with designated hiking trails. I was able to take in the views at my own pace and take photos at every turn of the road. Someday I will go back and do some of the hikes, and I will also do a blog post on a hike I did a few days prior, along with the stunning drive, up the lesser traveled part of Zion National Park on Kolob Terrace Road.photos of Zion National Park in the canyon while riding a bike by traveling artist cyclist blogger meganaroon (7)

As I road my bike along Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, I wondered why my neck was suddenly feeling tense, and laughed at myself once I realized it was because I was constantly looking up at the towering walls that surrounded me. I had to keep reminding myself to watch out for any sticks or pebbles on the road in front of me, but couldn't help but gaze above me in awe at the sheer magnitude and size of the canyon cliffs that loomed above. Photos simply do not do the canyon walls justice, this is something that you must experience in person to fully understand the inspiring beauty that is Zion National Park, and will soon be inspiration for one of my paintings!

photos of Zion National Park in the canyon while riding a bike by traveling artist cyclist blogger meganaroon (11)

My takeaway ~ if you are a cyclist at any level and enjoy epic rides, this is one for the books! It was absolutely everything I had imagined it would be and will forever mark riding my bike in Zion National Park as one of my favorite bike rides ever. Riding a bike through Zion National Park in March is a thrilling and immersive experience that allows you to connect with nature in a unique way. As you explore the open road, soak in the breathtaking scenery, and embrace the sense of freedom that comes with cycling through this iconic destination with few people around. Whether you're a seasoned cyclist or a casual rider, Zion's majestic beauty and diverse landscapes make for an unforgettable springtime adventure. So, grab your bike, hit the road, and let Zion's natural wonders unfold before you. Happy cycling!

zion national park guide to riding your bike through the park by traveling artist cyclist blogger meganaroon (2)

 

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