Scheduled Departure Dates
Scheduled Departure Dates
Casual Inns: $2295
Family Getaways Available
Nestled deep within north central Arkansas’ wild heart—a two-hour drive from Little Rock—is an ascendant star in the mountain bike cosmos. Recently the 1.2-million acre Ozark National Forest introduced what’s known as the Syllamo Mountain Bike Trail System.
Notwithstanding a composition that’s 95% singletrack, the 50-mile long Syllamo Trail offers not just one of the best mountain bike circuits in the entire Southeast, but the consummate Arkansas wilderness experience.
Surrounded by temperate rain forest, the Ozarks symbolize the most extensive highland region between the Appalachians and the Rockies. have long been cherished by all manner of users: from thru-hikers to traditional outdoorsmen and women. Impressive spring-blooms, wide-spanning limestone caves, and abundant wildlife have historically drawn many to the region.
West of Mount Olive and the White River, we put knobby tires to rolling razorback hills, beneath lengthy-dense canopies of oak, hickory and pine. Gaining 958-ft of elevation, we peak out at 2100-ft, afforded impressive panoramas from atop the backbone of the Southeast. But that’s only half the payoff. The Syllamo gives and gives, offering refreshing breaks in swimming holes ever present along the 300-mile long White River. Big springs, chalky white bluffs and rolling water give way to sweet offshoots: 11.8 mile Scrappy Mountain, so named for its 18% maximum grade of ten-degrees, steep pitches and tiers of granite chock a blocks.
Riding the lush and misty mountains of central Arkansas is only the first act in a narrative defined by grand adventure. Once the bikes are stowed, we haul out the canoes. Taking to the White River, we paddle beneath limestone highlands and interpret the splendor of dense green canopies on America’s very first national scenic river.
Then we go underground, exploring the world-renowned Blanchard Springs Caverns. An elaborate three-tiered cave system, Blanchard is named for the source that feeds its lengthy drips and wide seeps. A Forest Service guided tour takes us through this fantastic, mineral-rich netherworld.
After embracing our inner spelunker, honing both canoe and cycling skills, we enjoy the delightfully down-home hospitality of Mountain View, the folk music capital of the world.
Day 1: After a meet-up in Little Rock, the state capital, we shuttle two hours to Mountain View: the “folk music capital”. Set deep in the highlands of Northwest Arkansas—part of the Ozark Plateau—Mountain View (pop. 2800) represents the cradle of Ozark mountain culture: from traditional-rural music to BBQ to river life. Founded in 1870, much of Mountain View’s original structures were built with local stone from the nearby Blue Mountains. As the evenings warm, local musicians gather in the town square, performing folk and bluegrass long into the night. After lunch in Mountain View, we commence a short shuttle to The Syllamo Trail System. Just south of Mount Olive, within the 130,000-acre St. Francis-Ozark National Forest, Syllamo encompasses 50-miles of networked singletrack. Now consider the touts. Arguably the premier mountain bike trail system in the Southern U.S., Syllamo was named one of Outside Magazine’s Top 20 Outdoor Destinations. Moreover, Syllamo can also lay claim to IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association) Epic Ride status, one of only 37 trails to gain the designation. Kicking it off, we lock onto the Bald Scrappy Loop. As Mountain View offers a lively if unparalleled introduction to mountain culture, Bald Scrappy does likewise to backcountry Ozark cycling. From the trailhead at Green Mountain, we’ll range seven-miles over moderately challenging if lightly traveled backwoods singletrack. Climbing 927-ft while descending 916-ft, 22% of Bald Scrappy is raked at 12-degrees. A la the gripping drama seen in recent Ozark noir films and TV series, expect some Southern Goth type technical stretches mixed with fast and short downhill and buffed-out straights. In terms of atmospherics or extracurricular, all throughout we’re immersed in the gorgeous visage and soothing vibe of the White River. Further contrasts on Bald Scrappy are lent by wildflowers, giant mushrooms, Cedar and Loblolly Pine. The latter, also known as Indian, North Carolina or Arkansas pine, can reach 115-ft. One Arkansas Loblolly is thought to be 300-years old. Apollo 14 astronauts brought Loblolly seeds to the moon; then planted them at different undisclosed locations upon their return. Closing out our first taste of the Ozarks on this cornerstone trail, we double back to Mountain View. Then settle in to a mountain music jam session at the town square.
Day 2: The deeper you go, the greater the experience. That’s the animating notion behind today’s enterprise, locking onto the Branch Loop. An all-day classic, Branch Loop covers between 19.5 and 23-miles (depending on tack-ons’ and detours). Half pleasantly agreeable/non-technical, Branch Loop’s other half personifies the term rock and roller. Reaching 990-ft at its zenith, Branch Loop’s profile climbs 2372-ft, contrasted with 2454-ft of descent. Fast and dense, lush and misty, this is where local razorbacks and discerning bikers from all over the South come to get their groove on. Today we’ll carve out three connecting loops: a trifecta of scintillating singletrack. With each ascent, the views of the Blue Mountains, a sub-range of the Ozarks become ever more profound. Of course you can do as little or as much riding as you wish with your two highly experienced Escape adventures trip leaders leading the way. Departing the trail, we retire to Mountain View. Time permitting; we stop for a dip in the White River, soothing limbs and joints in no less than a world-class trout fishery. Browns north of 30-lbs, as well as 18-19-lb Rainbows loom beneath the 720-mile long White River’s towering limestone bluffs.
Day 3: Today it’s a swap of pedals for paddles. After a 75-minute shuttle to St. Joe, Arkansas, a real charmer of a recreation destination, we reach the dazzling Buffalo National Scenic River. A 95,00-acre expanse of undammed river—among a rare few in the Lower 48—the 120-mile Buffalo provides habitat for elk, deer and Black bear. Its whitewater and calmer stretches sweep past canyons layered in sandstone and limestone, only to pause in contemplative sections: those defined by natural springs, caves and natural bridges. Passing great stands of Willow, Sycamore and River Birch, we’ll canoe the section between Baker Ford and Gilbert, a 19th century settlement turned Arkansas’ smallest municipality (pop 28). This 10-mile paddle trip is as easy on the eyes as it is feature rich. From the water, we’ll take in and interpret historical structures, unique landscape features, not to mention regional artifacts. At Tyler’s Bend—a wonderfully low-key National Park Service visitors center—you can choose to kickback and sunbathe on the riverbank, or indulge in a two-mile hike. Reaching a 440-ft bluff overlooking the Buffalo River, the trail opens onto the truly picturesque Collier Homestead. Closing out a four-and-a-half to five-hour cruise, our day on the water ends at Gilbert. Founded in 1902, Gilbert answers to “best location on the Buffalo River”, by virtue of its broad sand and gravel bar beyond town. Town being a general store, its façade faded red brick over a corrugated tin, plus a sweet, honky tonk café. In lieu of a valet, or parking attendant, we’re met instead by any one of Gilbert’s local dogs, resting in the shade. Shuttling back to Mountain View, we’ll enjoy a dinner that showcases authentic Arkansas cuisine.
Day 4: Returning to the saddle today, we’ll engage the northern end of 1047-ft Scrappy Mountain. From a variety of vantage points, the aforementioned trail lends great optics onto the North Syllamo Creek Valley. The majority of those riders who’ve posted rate Scrappy 4.5-5-star quality. From Meta to not quite micro, while a fair portion of the 11.8-mile trail is punctuated by small to medium-sized rocks, one can expect more than a number of outcroppings; the type with which to hone skills, or navigate for thrills. Forasmuch, those who like it on the rocks will absolutely dig Stairway to Heaven: something of an earthen escalator characterized by staggered capstone or thick slabs. Peaking out at 935-ft, the Scrappy Mountain trail gains 1324-ft of elevation with 1322-ft of drop; about 18% of which is pitched at a ten degree maximum grade. Considered the most technical asset in Syllamo’s portfolio, this standout singletrack nonetheless packs rather reasonable climbs into a succession of rippin’ descents as well as offers the less technically inclined ridders optional riding on tamer trails. After a hearty trailside lunch, the rest of the day is yours to: I) continue riding; II) take five in Mountain View; III) or swim the White River.
Day 5: Just as the White River represents a little-known if magnificent trout fishery, so does the Blanchard Springs Cavern system meet the measure of world-class spelunking. Located 14-miles north of Mountain View, within the Ozark National Forest, the Blanchard Springs Caverns were shaped, and continually altered, by a mountain spring. The latter pours forth—at a constant 58-degrees—from Mirror Lake, called “the prettiest three acres in all of Arkansas”. In a gorgeous thrush, the water cascades from the trout pond-sized lake, over the top of a low dam: an equally humble if handsome stone catchment built by the CCC in the 1930s. Prior to our subterranean experience, we’ll take in a short film. Matching the array and feature options of the aboveground Syllamo network, Blanchard Springs offers three different underground realms. Though the degree of intensity varies from one to the other, the constant is fantastic, truly out-of-this-world formations: from mesmerizing stalactites and stalagmites, hollow soda straws up to massive flowstones. One cavern, the size of three football fields, is believed to be 350-million years old. Today, you can go with either the less strenuous Cave Tour, or scale up to the Wild Cave Tour. The all-inclusive Cave Tour features dramatically lit sections that ultimately resolve into smaller rooms, then XS caves; all skill levels welcome. Conversely, The Wild Cave Tour comes as advertised: three to four hours of climbing, crawling and pushing through an undeveloped cavern section. If you relish the intimacy of tight spaces, and a red clay mudslide, meet your match. Bear in mind, this tour has certain protocols: I) good physical shape; II) sturdy boots; III) no dirt issues or aversions; IV) age ten and up. Spoiler alert: The Wild Cave tour climaxes at The Titans, an assembly of slender columns, as tall as they are spectacular. Leaving the fantastic underworld beneath the Ozarks, we shuttle back to Little Rock. En route we might cite our favorite song by an Arkansas native son: be it Johnny Cash, Glenn Campbell, Charlie Rich, Al Green, Conway Twitty, Sonny Burgess to Sonny Boy Williamson.
219 South Peabody
Mountain View, AR 72560
Built in 1906, Ozark Country Inn is a historic two story Victorian home with large wrap around porches on both levels, great for relaxing on a rocking chair or joining in for some good old time picking. All guest lodgings have private baths in the room, TV, central air and heat, and free Wi-Fi. All rooms have queen size beds with “The Victoria” featuring a king size bed. Each morning a country family style breakfast is prepared and served promptly at 8:00 a.m. with coffee in the parlor available by 7:00 AM. Breakfast consists of eggs, bacon, sausage gravy, biscuits, taters, fresh fruit, pancakes/waffles or French toast, and of course juice and coffee.
“Just spent a weekend with other friends at the Ozark Country Inn B&B. The Owners, Leonard and Debbie, are great hosts. They made our stay relaxing and special. Rooms were comfortable, clean and well equipped. The breakfasts were fabulous. It’s just off the Courthouse Square where you can walk to restaurants and live music around the Courthouse.”
Mountain View, AR
This charming, rustic three-bedroom cabin is located on 7.5 private acres and is approximately 2200sf on 3 levels. A well-stocked kitchen with electric range, refrigerator, drip coffee maker, microwave, blender, pots and pans, dishes, and cooking utensils serves a dining table with seating for 4 and additional seating at the kitchen bar. Stone fireplace with gas logs, comfortable seating in living room, and an outdoor bonfire pit are sure to guarantee a relaxing getaway.
“Absolutely incredible place. The hospitality and genuine care expressed to make our stay enjoyable, was unforgettable. This cabin is perfect. Will definitely be back.”
While every Escape Adventure trip is designed to appeal to active adventure seekers, and in many cases, particular skill levels, there is always a different idea of what that exactly means. That is why we have designed the chart below to help make sure you join the proper tour. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next—and your traveling companions’ may differ as well. We present a range of mileage options on each tour as well as provide support vehicles as much as possible. That way you can take a break and do as little or as much as you would like each day.
|Miles||Feet Gain||Miles||Feet Gain||Miles||Feet Gain|
|Day 1||Mountain Biking||Moderate: 7.4 Miles||954 Ft. Gain|
|Day 2||Mountain Biking||Easy: 1.9 Miles||370 Ft. Gain||Moderate: 7.6 Miles||980 Ft. Gain||Seasoned: 23 Miles||2350 Ft. Gain|
|Day 3||Canoeing||10 Miles|
|Day 4||Mountain Biking||Easy: 2 Miles||332 Ft. Gain||Moderate: 16.8 Miles||2164 Ft. Gain|
|Day 5||Caving||4-5 Hours|
Find out more about Choosing a Tour.
All internal land expenses and services are covered in the cost of your tour. This means from the time we pick you up at our meeting point, until we drop you back off to head home, all transportation, food preparation, meals (except where noted on itineraries), snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, group supplies and community gear (portable chairs, large awnings, coolers, utensils, etc.) are included. Backcountry permits, licenses, park fees, reservations, and accommodations (lodging) are also included, along with at least two professionally trained trip leaders, a mobile first aid and mechanic station, spare bikes, and a support vehicle(s). Trip price does not include airfare, lodging prior to trip start or bicycle rental and/or camping gear (if on a camping tour) unless otherwise noted on itinerary or website.
Not only do we run an international bike tour business, but we also own and operate two premiere bicycle stores – www.LasVegasCyclery.com and www.MoabCyclery.com. We have learned over the years that every cyclist is different and prefers different types of bikes for different types of terrain. That is why we offer the best bicycles for rent in the business. If for some reason you are not happy with the quality of your rental, we will refund the cost of your entire bike rental. If you are bringing your bike with you, check with your airline’s baggage policy in advance and be sure to pack your bike accordingly. If you are shipping your bike to your destination, confirm the address with our office and allow enough time for your bike to arrive. We’re happy to help you ship your bike. Whatever you need to get the most out of your tour, we are here to make it happen.
When you join an Escape Adventures tour in 2021, you will receive a FREE custom sublimated Limited Edition Jersey!
Make your trip as comfortable as possible on the body, as simple as possible for traveling, and hassle free on tour. By choosing to rent a bike from us, we will fit you with the newest, highest quality gear in the industry. Escape Adventures provides only high-end bicycles from Santa Cruz and Specialized. We replace our rental fleet each season to ensure all our rentals meet our high standards. All of our mountain bikes are equipped with full suspension frames and disc brakes designed for a smooth, comfortable ride. For those who are touring with a companion who may not be as fit or need a little help up the hills, we now have eMountainbikes (electric pedal assist) available on select tours.
For multi-sport tours, daily bike rental fees are charged on mountain biking days only.
The Stumpjumper FSR 29er may be the most amazing designed alloy bike ever made. It will exceed all of your expectations of how a trail bike should ride. 1X11 gearing, hydraulic brakes, and the latest and best suspension technology available.
For over 25 years, the hallmark of an Escape Adventures tour is personalized, hands-on service. Before, during, and after each trip. We are a company of honesty and integrity and we stand behind our product 100%. From the moment you learn of our trips, to the time you return home and start planning your next trip, we are here to bring you the best possible experience. From our Guaranteed Trip Departure Confirmation Policy, making sure your trip is never cancelled*, to our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee Policy, backing the unrivaled consistent quality of all our tours, our commitment to you is never compromised. * Scheduled Domestic trips only.
Our environmental commitment is second to none. We run our tours the same way we run our company, with an eye on the triple bottom line: People, Profit & Planet. At Escape Adventures, we elected to pursue a more comprehensive approach to actually reduce our carbon footprint, rather than just offset it. We overhauled our entire operation — from our vehicles, to our buildings, to our procedures — to become an outdoor industry leader in the charge to help our people and our planet.
Leading tours naturally followed from our passion of exploring our favorite places with our friends. Our support staff includes our reservation team who is there to answer your questions about the tours, our service team who prepares your bike and gear for the tour, and our guide team – the ones who take you into the great outdoors. The highest level of responsibility, good nature, integrity, and dedication are standard traits of all those who work at Escape Adventures. We our proud of it and we think you should know it.
Having custom-made vehicles allows us to take you to places few other outfitters can, or will go. Every Escape Adventures tour is accompanied by at least one support vehicle, trailer, and in some cases a second and third transfer van. After purchase, we custom engineer our trucks, vans, and trailers by our on-staff mechanic to meet the unique needs of different tours. For example, certain trucks are specifically designed for The White Rim and The Maze, while others are designed for The Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. Each of our guides is required to be trained in safe vehicle operation, 4X4 driving, and basic maintenance. Our experienced guides make it look easy, transporting you and up to 12 guests, along with their bikes, fresh food, and plenty of drinking water to a remote location.
Make your trip as comfortable as possible on the body, as simple as possible for traveling, and hassle-free on tour. By choosing to rent a bike from us, we will fit you with the newest, highest quality gear in the industry. Escape Adventures provides only high-end bicycles from Santa Cruz and Specialized. We replace our rental fleet each season to ensure all our rentals meet our standards. All of our mountain bikes are equipped with full suspension frames and disc brakes designed for a smooth, comfortable ride. For those who are touring with a companion who may not be as fit or need a little help up the hills, we now have eMountainbikes (electric pedal assist) available on select tours.
Our food isn’t just good, it’s good for you.
Food is a big part of the Escape Adventures experience. Most dinners and breakfasts are served at local restaurants on our inn tours. We also have energy snacks aboard our support vehicles. Don’t be surprised if your guides purchase fresh fruits and healthy snacks throughout the day while you are out riding. They may just show up on the trail with a local treat! Many of our guests are vegans or vegetarians, whom we are more than happy to accommodate. If you have special diet requirements or limitations, just let us know when you sign-up and we’ll work with you to meet your needs.
Casual Inns: $2295
Family Getaways Available
The idea of taking your friends or family somewhere cool and amazing is actually pretty easy. Tell us what you’re thinking. We’ll make it happen.
Any trip in this catalog, any specific time frame, any group size, we can custom-fit if not comfortably accommodate. A Custom and Private Escape Adventures trip affords the ultimate bonding, or team-building experience for:
To shape a Custom or Private Trip, we begin a dialogue: first, to develop a group specific itinerary, tailored to respective abilities and preferred tempo. Next we schedule, bookmarking and working in your optimum or ideal getaway dates. Size-wise, we can build a multi-day trip for as few as two people, scaled up to as many as 30 plus. Contact us today to start the custom trip building process.
All Private Escape Adventures Trips are priced in the structured method below. Some Custom tours are priced differently if they vary from the Classic Escape Adventures itinerary and price. In this situation we will provide your group with a custom itinerary and price.
* Pricing, availability and guest minimums are all subject to change at any time. Certain dates have a minimum number of guests required, please contact us for details.
10575 Discovery Dr
Las Vegas, NV 89135
Since 1992, we at Escape Adventures have been blessed to shape and lead adventure travel vacations through some of the most awe-inspiring natural destinations in the world. Each successive season, our passion for adventure grows through memorable moments with our guests. Fresh air, faith, fitness and friends are the building blocks for our ventures, the treasured experiences that keep us moving forward. For those of you who have trekked and traveled with us over the past quarter century, Heather and I express our sincerest gratitude. The memories are priceless.
For those who have yet to tour with us, we appreciate the opportunity to introduce you to our family-run company and guiding principles of sustainability and adventure. Our portfolio specializes in Western North America and is rapidly growing internationally. Building on over 100 destinations, we cater to the full spectrum of active traveler, respective to fitness level and activity type. From road cyclist to mountain biker to electric biker, hiker, and multi-sport enthusiast, and from first-timer to friends and family groups of all ability levels, on behalf of our Escape Adventures family, we look forward to many new and exciting adventures with you.
With much gratitude, and happy trails,
Jared and Heather Fisher
Founders and Owner-Operators