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My Utah road trip: trail running and gravel riding in the mountains

Hillary Allen

My Utah road trip: trail running and gravel riding in the mountains

Collection by Hillary Allen



62:56 h

301 mi

54,600 ft

Utah is a spectacular place: not only is it adjacent to my home state of Colorado, but Utah has the highest number of national parks in all 50 North American states. There is a vast diversity of landscape from the big mountains of the Wasatch to the desert in Moab and Zion National Park. It's an incredible state with so much to explore.

I linked up some of my favorite spots, starting in Salt Lake City, where I did some steep running around the peaks of the Wasatch Mountains, and some local exploring too.

I then headed south to explore the trail running and riding around St. George, and also enjoyed some incredible routes in Zion National Park.

Finally I ended my road trip in Moab, Utah, again, exploring my favorite trails by foot (both hiking and trail running) and on my gravel bike.

On The Map


Tours & Highlights

  • Sand pits, rock gardens and mud pits, oh my! — My Utah road trip

    46.5 mi
    11.4 mph
    4,775 ft
    4,725 ft

    This was a challenging ride. Sand flats is a misnomer, since it starts with a steep climb (at first on the road) and then the road continues to climb to about 8,000ft all on gravel.


    Depending on the time of year the washboards can be bad and the sand can get a bit deep. In early March those two weren

    by Hillary Allen

  • 01:21
    12.9 mi
    9.5 mph
    1,625 ft
    1,600 ft

    The White Rim Trail that circumnavigates Island Mesa in Canyonlands National Park is an iconic road. I wanted to ride the Shafer switchbacks as an out and back to get to the start of the White Rim Trail. These switchbacks are super steep, in a couple miles you descend 1,500 feet, and the grades range

    by Hillary Allen

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  • 03:22
    14.2 mi
    4.2 mph
    1,925 ft
    1,925 ft

    This is a great loop, linking the Hidden Valley Trail (a real gem of a route) to the Moab Rim Trail (tracing the Moab Rim), all the way over the the Stair Master Trail, dropping down to the Kane Creek Boulevard with sweeping views of the Colorado river.


    To close the loop you link up to the Pipe Dream

    by Hillary Allen

  • 01:52
    9.17 mi
    4.9 mph
    1,175 ft
    1,550 ft

    We started this route from downtown Salt Lake City, Utah, running up into the snowy mountains. There's a great trail balcony system with sweeping views of the Wasatch!

    by Hillary Allen

  • 01:55
    17.1 mi
    8.9 mph
    975 ft
    1,000 ft

    The single track around Virgin, Utah is next level! There was some smooth buttery sections on this route and some sandy pump tracks too, as well as some great techy sections for practicing bike handling skills. Great views, awesome single track. Bikes are fun!

    by Hillary Allen

  • 14:33
    37.6 mi
    2.6 mph
    8,200 ft
    9,150 ft

    This was an exquisite backcountry adventure in Zion National Park. This route is backcountry and off trail, going south into the park where people seldom go.


    There aren't trails in this part of the park, so we had to find our way scrambling on sandstone (difficult) and across mesas and much navigation

    by Hillary Allen

  • 02:08
    13.1 mi
    6.2 mph
    1,050 ft
    1,050 ft

    Normally this is a mountain bike route, but it makes for a fun trail running route too! It requires some focus because it is technical, but in a fun and playful way. This trail twists and turns and rolls up and down across the hurricane rim.

    by Hillary Allen

  • 01:05
    7.51 mi
    6.9 mph
    400 ft
    400 ft

    Fun, flowing and a little techy single track on the Jem Trail. This is typically a mountain biking trail, but it's fun to run too!

    by Hillary Allen

  • 03:06
    38.5 mi
    12.4 mph
    3,400 ft
    3,475 ft

    This is an awesome ride on the west side of Zion National Park. The first climb on the gravel road is super steep, but there are amazing views of the park and the mountains to the west. A really stellar ride with sweeping views from every point in the ride. Check out the red dirt roads that are iconic in this area too.

    by Hillary Allen

  • 02:20
    28.3 mi
    12.1 mph
    3,325 ft
    3,275 ft

    Here I found a great steep, quiet gravel road outside St. George. This road would be tricky if there was rain, and there were some major ruts from dried mud, but it made for an interesting ride! Certainly some testing steep climbs here.

    by Hillary Allen

  • 03:11
    18.6 mi
    5.9 mph
    1,900 ft
    1,850 ft

    This island is magical! It's located on the Great Salt Lake and it feels like you're running in a desert on on Mars.


    There are bison there that you can run next to (from a safe distance) and pronghorn antelope to see as well. It has spectacular views of the great Wasatch Mountains and a great perceptive of how big the lake is.

    by Hillary Allen

  • 02:52
    6.89 mi
    2.4 mph
    4,175 ft
    4,200 ft

    Another iconic peak accessible right from the town of Salt Lake City! Mount Olympus is a bit more epic, and very steep and a bit technical at the top. With the snowy conditions, it made the final summit scramble a bit spicy.

    by Hillary Allen

  • 03:51
    8.71 mi
    2.3 mph
    6,600 ft
    6,525 ft

    Trying to do all the vertical feet I can while on my road trip. The west ridge of Grandeur Peak is direct and I like it! Two more laps today, 2,000m!

    by Hillary Allen

  • 08:11
    18.0 mi
    2.2 mph
    12,675 ft
    12,875 ft

    Grandeur Peak is accessible right from Salt Lake City, Utah. The west side, which I did four laps on today, climbs 1,000m in about 3.5km. Pretty awesome.

    by Hillary Allen

  • 02:45
    4.92 mi
    1.8 mph
    425 ft
    425 ft

    This was a perfect recovery day hike. I love to hike in Arches National Park because there's so much to see and I don't want to miss the beautiful landscape.


    This hike is at the very back of the park, but I think it has the best views of all the hikes.

    by Hillary Allen

  • 01:54
    11.0 mi
    5.8 mph
    725 ft
    700 ft

    This route is great for practicing bike handling skills and a bit of technical terrain. There is not a lot of up and down but there is a lot of slick rock (Moab's specialty), and a bit of technical terrain to keep things interesting.


    There's also some fun, smooth, single track to put a smile on your

    by Hillary Allen

  • 04:24
    7.81 mi
    1.8 mph
    1,325 ft
    1,275 ft

    A super great hike. Linking Hidden Valley (starting from the Hidden Valley trailhead) across Hidden Valley and then up to the Moab Rim with great perspective of the Spanish Valley and Moab.

    by Hillary Allen

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    301 mi
  • Duration
    62:56 h
  • Elevation
    54,600 ft

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