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This 190-mile Trail Through Utah Takes You to Cool Glamping Sites and a National Park

Get your bike tuned up ASAP.

Posted by Travel+Leisure written by Stacy Leasca

Ready to get out, get some fresh air, and work your legs on a mountain-biking adventure? The Aquarius Trail Hut System is here to help you do exactly that — for 190 miles straight.

The route, which opened to the public in mid-2021, offers outdoor enthusiasts the chance to see more of Utah’s backcountry than ever before and allows every guest to sleep in style thanks to its system of five glamping huts dotting the route.

The Aquarius Trail in Southern Utah

CREDIT: COURTESY OF THE AQUARIUS TRAIL

According to the Aquarius Trail website, the huts provide travelers with “a luxury bikepacking experience,” and come complete with all the amenities travelers might need, including showers, solar power for charging electronic devices, fully stocked kitchens, lighting, hammocks, and even a full kit of bicycle repair tools, playing cards, and a fire pit to ensure the fun lasts long into the night.

Each hut was crafted out of repurposed shipping containers, which were once used to transport goods across the Pacific Ocean. The shipping-container accommodations each come with a kitchen, shower, and enough bedrooms to sleep up to 14 people at each site.

Located in Utah’s “Color Country,” the huts line the trail between the peak of Brian Head at 11,307 feet all the way to the town of Escalante at 5,820 feet. The trail passes through popular destinations like Powell Point, Bryce Canyon National Park, Brian Head Ski Resort, Red Canyon, Aquarius Plateau, Dixie National Forest, the Hogback scenic highway, Escalante National Monument, and much more.

Bikers can head out on self-guided trips between July and October — and group rates (to stay in the glamping accommodations along the trail) start at $929 per person for six days and five nights. Escape Adventures also offers guided expeditions for those who don’t want to go it alone, which start at $1,899 per person. (Shorter trips are also available.)

The Escape Adventures’ trips begins at Brian Head Peak with a ride down the Bunker Creek Singletrack. It’s a quick 2,885-foot descent over 12 miles straight to Panguitch Lake. From there, riders take a 15-mile ride through rolling meadows to the Hatch Hut in Hatch, Utah.

Day two takes guests on an eight-mile, 2,500-foot climb through Proctor Canyon to the top of the Sunset Cliffs, before an eight-mile drop to Tropic Reservoir, followed by a 19-mile section of the Great Western Trail to Red Canyon.

The Aquarius Trail in Southern Utah

CREDIT: COURTESY OF THE AQUARIUS TRAIL

On day three, riders head out for a singletrack section down Thunder Mountain Trail, before riding up to the Casto Canyon trailhead and eventually meeting up with roads that cross the high plains of Bryce Canyon to Pine Lake Hut.

On day four, bikers climb to the very top of the Aquarius Plateau. It’s a lot of work to climb the 2,200 feet over 10 miles to the top, but the views are well worth it.

Day five includes a ride from the Aquarius Hut to Posey Lake. And finally, the trip ends with a climb along the border of the Box Death Hollow Wilderness, with a stop at Calf Creek, before a gradual descent to Escalante, where the journey concludes.

Ready to ride? Find more information about the self-guided and guided excursions here.

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Different views, different crews 😎 This crew is posted up in front of some beautiful, vibrant hoodoos along the trail! Many sights to see 👀🏜

📸: Matt Murray
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Different views, different crews 😎 This crew is posted up in front of some beautiful, vibrant hoodoos along the trail! Many sights to see 👀🏜

📸: Matt Murray

Comment on Facebook

Our team member produced a fantastic video of our trip that could win an award at the Sundance Film Festival!

Taking care of business in the backcountry 😎
The huts in our system are meticulously cared for and restocked before and after your arrival by the best of the best. Very happy to have Mariah and Megan on our team! 🤘🚐
... See MoreSee Less

Taking care of business in the backcountry 😎
The huts in our system are meticulously cared for and restocked before and after your arrival by the best of the best. Very happy to have Mariah and Megan on our team! 🤘🚐

Comment on Facebook

When guests return from their journey, they rave about how awesome these 2 are. Thanks for being a great team!!

We’re looking forward to next week. Thanks for keeping the Huts up.

Mariah provided the best customer experience when I was there.

New trucks?

Happy National Public Lands Day! 🌎🌄

Today, we are celebrating by taking in as much Utah beauty as possible! The hut system would not be possible without the public lands set aside in Utah’s backcountry. To show our appreciation, we always try to do our part to restore and preserve these lands. We hope you feel the same way! 💚

📸: Cheston Bogue
... See MoreSee Less

Happy National Public Lands Day! 🌎🌄 

Today, we are celebrating by taking in as much Utah beauty as possible! The hut system would not be possible without the public lands set aside in Utah’s backcountry. To show our appreciation, we always try to do our part to restore and preserve these lands. We hope you feel the same way! 💚

📸: Cheston Bogue

Riding under this sky during the day ➕ stargazing this sky at night = the perfect day!! Lots of wishes to be made on these shooting stars, but luckily if you're out having an unforgettable backcountry adventure, one of your wishes has already come true! 😉

📸: Cheston Bogue
... See MoreSee Less

Riding under this sky during the day ➕ stargazing this sky at night = the perfect day!! Lots of wishes to be made on these shooting stars, but luckily if youre out having an unforgettable backcountry adventure, one of your wishes has already come true! 😉

📸: Cheston Bogue

Can anyone guess where this gem of a spot is along the Aquarius Trail? 🤔

📸: Cheston Bogue
... See MoreSee Less

Can anyone guess where this gem of a spot is along the Aquarius Trail? 🤔

📸: Cheston Bogue
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