HATCH – HUT #1
Mountain Bike: 32 miles
Hatch, Utah is part of the Headwaters section of the National Mormon Pioneer Heritage Area. The original homestead was established in 1872 near the mouth of Asay Creek. It was names Hatch after one of its founding members and was incorporated in 1934. The current population of Hatch is 130 people.
Hatch offers excellent fishing. Mammoth and Asay Creeks, the headwaters of the Sevier River, are stocked with rainbow, german brown and cutthroat trout. The Mammoth Creek Fish Hatchery is located just a few miles southwest of Hatch. When in operation, the hatchery is responsible for stocking catchable rainbow trout in area waters.
North of Hatch at the junction of US-89 and Scenic Byway 12 is scenic Red Canyon. Many miles of hiking, biking and horse trails are located within the canyon. Butch Cassidy, the famous outlaw, used this area as a hideout between Panguitch and Hatch. Just 25 miles from this location (following Proctor Canyon) is the world famous Bryce Canyon National Park.
Day 1 Itinerary
BUTCH CASSIDY – HUT #2
Mountain Bike: 28.3 miles
Day 2 Itinerary
Energize with a hearty breakfast for this morning’s invigorating eight-mile, 2,500-foot climb through Proctor Canyon to the top of Sunset Cliffs! Sunset Cliffs is the mountain border for the Bryce Canyon Valley. After viewing the stunning scenery, you descend eight miles to Tropic Reservoir, and take a plunge in the crisp (yet refreshing) waters. Cruise a 19-mile section of the Great Western Trail to Red Canyon. Once you get to the hut take a little time for hiking or opt for the Cassidy Loop in Red Canyon. Enjoy sunset over beautiful Red Canyon.
PINE LAKE – HUT #3
Mountain Bike: 42.7 miles
Day 3 Itinerary
Get ready for some of the best single-track in Utah–Red Canyon. From the hut, ride down Thunder Mountain Trail through the beautiful hoodoos of Red Canyon. From here cross Highway 12 and ride up to the Casto Canyon trailhead, passing many amazing views of Slate Mountain and Powell Point. Casto Canyon, crosses a small creek bed up to 44 times before eventually meeting up with jeep roads that cross the high planes of Bryce Canyon country to Pine Lake Hut. Pine Lake is a nice relaxing lake where you can fish or swim and cool off for the evening.
AQUARIUS – HUT #4
Mountain Bike: 27.5 miles
Day 4 Itinerary
Today you will climb to the top of the Aquarius Trails namesake – the Aquarius Plateau! Get ready for the BIG climb -2,200 feet over 10 miles to the top of Barney Top 10, 577 feet. On your way to the top, don’t forget to ride out to Powell Point (an optional 8-mile out and back ride to a vista overlooking southern Utah). Once back on route, continue onto Barney Top and across spectacular high meadows to the Aquarius Hut at Clayton Springs. If you are still thriving for another ride, opt to ride down to Barker Reservoir and back. The ride drops 500 feet to the reservoir so don’t forget you have a climb back to the hut!
HELL’S BACKBONE – HUT #5
Mountain Bike: 29.8 miles
Day 5 Itinerary
There are two different ride options from the Aquarius Hut to the midpoint at Posey Lake. Take the non-technical ride on Hell’s Backbone Road or choose the backcountry singletrack ride on the Great Western Trail. Each is very different. The dirt road option is across big open meadows with antelope roaming freely while riding along the mountain singletrack, you will be challenged to technical riding and more climbing (climb 2,500 feet and descend 3,300 feet over the first 15 miles). Choose to stop at Posy Lake where, time permitting, you might have the opportunity to do some hiking around the lake. (If you are on a 5 day 4 night hut adventure, this is where you leave the Aquarius Trail and drop down the short route back to Escalante). From here choose dirt road or then ride cowpuncher 5 mile singletrack to Cowpuncher Guard Station and Blue Spruce Campground. From here both options collide into the ride up to Hell’s Backbone Bridge and across Box Death Hollow Wilderness and then finally descending to Hell’s Backbone Hut at Sand Creek.
This is a BIG Day if you ride all the singletrack.
Mountain Bike: 35.7 miles