Hike and bike the Southwest's outlaw trails

by , SmarterTravel Staff
The Maze, Canyonlands, Utah (Photo: Magpie Adventures)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on October 8, 2007. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: adventure travel, arts and culture, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Chile and Easter Island, eco travel, Greenland, Jordan, Laos, Molly Feltner, mountain, Nepal, Peru, Tanzania, Thailand, Utah, wildlife.

Provider: Magpie Adventures
Length: 7 days
Price: $1,900

After a heist, Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch would ride through a labrynth of deep, twisting canyons and towering sandstone monoliths to lose the authorities en route to their hideout in the desert of Utah. The region, called the Robbers Roost, provided them with enough secrecy that they were never apprehended there. Even today, the area the outlaws passed through—now known as the Maze section of Canyonlands National Park, remains one of the least accessible places in the Southwest.

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Next year, however, travelers can follow in the footsteps of the horse thieves and cattle rustlers of the Old West on Magpie Adventures' new "Maze In Depth" seven-day tour which promises to take hikers and bikers to little-visited canyons and campsites. "Our [new itinerary] is a mix of mountain biking and hiking through the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and the Maze district of Canyonlands, emphasizing a more in-depth exploration of this extremely remote area," says Maggie Wilson, co-owner and guide for Magpie Adventures.

Traveling in spring or fall, you'll spend several days hiking, venturing to the locations of some of North America's best examples of ancient Native American rock art. In between hikes, you'll ride mountain bikes along canyon rims and up and down steep challenging terrain, including some sand. "[The riding] on this trip contains all the classic desert riding challenges and is best suited for intermediate to advanced riders," notes Wilson.

Trip planning

Trip dates are available for next May or September. The price includes ground transportation from Moab, Utah; meals; guides; riding clinics; and group gear. You must supply your own bike and travel to Moab. Bikes can be rented for $40 to $75 per day, depending on the type of bike selected. Moab is about a four-hour drive from Salt Lake City and 5.5 hours from Denver.

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