By Meghan Young · Originally published in Miss Meghan Young November 14, 2018
I recently had the opportunity to take an e-bike and hiking tour through Utah with Escape Adventures. It’s hard to sum the trip up in just one word, so here are three: fun, dreamy, and insanelybeautiful (I know, I know, I cheated)!
The trip began with a tour of the LEED certified Las Vegas Cyclery where we learned a bit about the company and their passion for biking and protecting the environment. After loading up on the essentials, we piled into the Escape Adventures van with Jen, Troy, and Merrick and hit the road! The van soon entered beautiful sandstone canyons and dreamy landscapes and the Escape Adventures crew made sure to fill us in on local lore and highlights. We stopped at our first departure point for a bike fitting and demo, and then the trip really kicked off!
Over the course of the next couple of days, we rode through wide open spaces and staggering canyons with sheer, red walls. The electric boost of the bikes kept us going strong on the longer climbs and Jen, Troy, and Merrick kept us fueled up on delicious food, coffee, and a whole lot of stoke. We ditched the bikes for some beautiful hikes through Bryce Canyon and Zion, marveling at the beauty along the way. I was especially blessed to bike with Jaylyn Gough, founder of Native Women’s Wilderness, who shared the history and significance of the land as we passed through reservations and tribal boundaries. If you follow in our footsteps, I hope you’ll take a moment to honor the land and acknowledge the history of these places.
The culminating night of our trip found us eating grilled salmon and roasted potatoes at the Hatch Hut, a unique spot that Escape Adventures has been working on for years. The hut is constructed from upcycled cargo containers and beautiful in its simplicity and thoughtful design. It has a kitchen, bunk beds, cozy living space, and a lovely shower to wash off the dust after a long day on the trail. The first of its kind, it will eventually be connected to 3 other huts and over a hundred miles of bike-accessible trails. It’s the realization of a lot of hard work, evinced by the space itself and the passion with which Merrick, Troy and Jen shared it with us. Spending our last evening there was a treat and in some ways, it felt more like a new beginning than an end. I can’t wait to go back for more!
If you’re thinking of hitting the trail with Escape Adventures, here’s a little list of essentials to take with you to make it that much more comfortable and fun:
- Bike shortsI made the mistake of going without bike shorts and let me just tell you, you are going to want a pair! The ease of an e-bike doesn’t take away from having a sore tush!
- Polarized glassesWeather is variable and if you’re lucky, the sun will be shining! Snag a pair of polarized glasses to keep your eyes protected from wind, sun, and bugs as you hit the trail!
- Buff or BalaclavaA crucial piece for chilly mornings that doubles as a sweatband if you turn off the e-boost like I did! Keeps your face warm while you bike and makes you look extra fly!
- Layers layers layersYou will start chilly, warm up, cool down as you scarf on the scrumptious snacks the crew makes you, then warm back up again! You’ll want a nice light layer, insulating mid layer (I’m a huge fan of a vest), and windproof/waterproof layer just in case it starts pouring!
- Hydration packA hydration pack is the easiest way to stay hydrated on the go. No need to stop and grab your water bottle if you have constant access to water! Bonus points: you won’t be using single use plastics or contributing to the garbage and recycling problem as you refill along the way!
- SunscreenYou’ll want sunscreen for your face and body at altitude, even on semi-cloudy days. Slather some on, then snag a selfie before you hit the road!
- CameraThe Escape Adventures crew will take you to some jaw-droppingly beautiful places. Grab your camera, you’ll want to document the experience to remember for years to come!
Want to learn more about the different tours that Escape Adventures offers? Check out their website and drop them a line!