After a couple of days hiking all day long in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, I needed to give my feet a break, but couldn’t get myself to take the whole day off in such a beautiful place. I decided to check out the overlook to the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers via Elephant Hill Road to the Confluence Overlook Road by bike.
Riding a bike on Elephant Hill Road requires a permit, so I went to the backcountry office and told the ranger my plan. She warned me that Elephant Hill Road is one of the most technical roads in Utah and that I would be walking a lot due to the deep sand. This may be the case at times, but I was fortunate to ride the road after some precipitation, so my 2.4” tires did just fine. I only had to walk a couple of steep ups that probably totaled about a quarter mile. (Aside from the .8 mile hike on the Confluence Trail where bikes are not allowed). The steep grades, rock drops, and scenery made for a fun and playful ride. In total it was a 15 mile bike ride and .8 mile hike that took 3 hours to complete with plenty of stop time to take in the views.
If you’re in the Moab area, there’s much better riding to be had elsewhere, but if you’re like me and are on a hiking trip in the Needles and want an excuse to take the bike out, it’s definitely worth it.