Colorado and Utah offer the best singletrack mountain biking in the country – and we’re going to ride the highlights! Your adventure begins among the extensive bike trails that criss-cross the area around spectacular Park City, Utah. Then it’s off to Colorado, where we’ll explore some of the country’s greatest trails against Fruita’s stunning desert landscapes. Next up: Moab, Utah. In this wildly popular outdoor destination, we’ll test our biking skills on the iconic red rock trails and raft the Colorado River. We’ll celebrate back in Park City, full of great memories and rides from our epic biking adventure!
Mountain Biking in the Wasatch Range
After arriving in Salt Lake City, we’ll head east into the Wasatch Mountain range, home to beautiful, vibrant Park City. Here, over the next two days, we’ll check out some of the extensive mountain bike trail networks that surround the town. Pedaling through the aspens and sagebrush, we’ll catch great vistas of the surrounding mountains and whet our appetite for the riding to come.
Singletrack Trails in Fruita, Colorado
From Park City, we’ll pack up our bikes and take off for the great state of Colorado. We’ll set up camp for the next four days near the high desert town of Fruita, which is lauded for some of the greatest trails in the country. We’ll glide around banked turns and cruise the beautiful rolling terrain as we explore the desert landscape. In the afternoons, we’ll have time to hop in a nearby swimming hole or grab some ice cream to cool off from our mornings of shredding on the trails.
Rafting and Riding in Moab, Utah
After three days of thrilling riding in Fruita, we’ll make our way to the mountain biking hub of Moab, Utah. First things first, we’ll swap bike shorts for swim suits and spend an afternoon whitewater rafting on the Colorado River with professional guides. We’ll cap off our riding experience by tackling trails around Moab, with the red rock cliffs towering around us. Our last day together will be spent exploring back in Park City, where we will celebrate our riding accomplishments and spend time reliving memories from our unforgettable rides.
Please see our General FAQ page for many more frequently asked questions and answers!
Aside from the trip cost, what are additional expenses for this trip?
Apogee’s tuition costs are meant to be all-inclusive and include all meal, accommodation, and activity fees. The most significant additional expenses on our Southwest Singletrack trip will include travel to and from Salt Lake City, UT, a mountain bike (rentals are available, see above) and bike shipping costs (if bringing own bicycle), a sleeping bag, a sleeping pad, and a bike helmet.
Does my child need to have mountain biking experience to sign up for this trip?
Yes, students should have some prior mountain biking experience. This trip is not an introduction to mountain biking. Our trip leaders will be experienced mountain bikers and will be instructing students along the way (especially with tips on how to manage some of the technical aspects specific to the southwest). Nonetheless, they won’t be teaching mountain biking skills from a very basic level.
Does my child need to bring their own mountain bike for this trip?
Students are welcome to bring their own mountain bike or rent from the bike shop we’ve partnered with in Utah. In the 2020 season, full-suspension mountain bikes will be available for rent for $450. If your child already has a bike that is appropriate for this trip, they are welcome to send it ahead of time for use on the trip. Please call our office with any questions regarding the suitability of your child’s bike for this trip. Students using their own bikes on Southwest Singletrack will ship their bikes to our bicycle outfitter who will build it up before the trip. We will provide detailed bike shipment information with our trip materials in the spring.
How physically challenging is Southwest Singletrack?
Given a rating of Challenge Level 6 (out of a maximum of 10), we consider Southwest Singletrack (SWST) to be an intermediate to advanced mountain-biking trip. We do believe that any moderately fit, motivated student with some prior mountain biking experience can successfully rise to the challenge of this trip. Compared to our other cycling trips, we believe that SWST is more challenging than some (e.g., Vermont to Montreal, due to more challenging terrain and additional skills required), but easier than others (e.g., our Europe Coast to Coast and America Coast to Coast cycling trips). Our SWST trip will average 3-6 hours of riding each day. Please note that Apogee’s Challenge Levels are subjectively calculated by the Apogee staff.
How will I communicate with my child while they are on this trip?
We are a technology-free program, meaning that your child won’t have access to their phones or other electronic devices over the course of their trip. That said, students will get a chance to call home on their trip leaders’ phones once over the course of the trip (usually on day 6 or 7). We have one mail stop on Southwest Singletrack; parents, relatives, and friends are welcome to use this to send letters or packages to a student. If you have an urgent message to get to your child outside of their weekly check-in calls, please call our office and we’ll work to get you connected with your child.
Is this trip vehicle-supported?
Yes. The trip leaders will transport the students in a 15-passenger van and will carry their gear and bicycles in a trailer.
I’m worried about the heat in the desert. What does Apogee do to mitigate risk of heat illnesses?
While these are some of the premier mountain biking destinations in the U.S., they can be hot in the summer. Whenever possible, we will keep the group at a higher elevations where the temperature is cooler. The group will camp at high elevation in Park City, UT, and Fruita, CO, and will stay in yurts with air conditioning in Moab, UT. Similarly, in Park City, the group will be biking at a high enough elevation where the heat will be much more manageable. In Fruita and Moab, where the trails are at lower elevations, the groups will wake up early enough to be on the trail by 8 AM and off by 11 AM, before the heat of the day hits in full force. While on the trail, our leaders will have the group take regular hydration breaks. The group will then head to cool off and eat lunch before possibly heading back out on the trails for the cooler late afternoon hours. Additionally, our staff are certified in Wilderness First Aid and are trained the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses.
Where will my child be sleeping at night?
Our Southwest Singletrack groups will be camping at established campgrounds for most nights of the trip, but will spend three nights indoors in air-conditioned yurts in Moab, UT. Leaders will separate students by gender into tent groups, and will rotate those groups several times over the course of our trip. Students will share a tent with one or two other students.
My child will be flying to this trip start. How will they connect with their leaders?
Please note that Apogee staff members do not travel with students; our trip leaders will already be in Salt Lake City on arrival day and will stay in Salt Lake City after the trip ends. Apogee staff and trip leaders will have a detailed flight itinerary for each student who is flying to the trip start and will be at the airport to greet them on arrival. Once students are with their leaders, they will call home to let their parents know they have arrived and are with their group. Please see our blog post for specifics regarding students traveling as Unaccompanied Minors. Further, we encourage you to coordinate travel with other attendees; we’re happy to put you in touch with other enrolled families from your region. We will provide enrolled families with a Travel Information document covering details specific to traveling to and from Salt Lake City, including airport information and arrival and departure time windows. Please contact Apogee with any specific questions or concerns regarding drop-offs and/or pick-ups.