Utah is getting five new bicycle routes that will provide over 550 miles of biking—allowing bicyclists to travel from Arizona to Idaho without even having to get off the designated paths. KSL News reports that the American Association of State Highway and Transportation recently approved a measure to designate the five new routes in Utah through its United States Bicycle Routes System.
According to Heidi Goedhart, the active transportation manager for the Utah Department of Transportation who spoke with KSL News, the newly designated Utah routes include a preferred path to travel on the bike through the entire length of the state to and from its borders with Arizona and Idaho using existing infrastructure. She said that the system was created to show riders how they can use existing bike-friendly streets, highways, and trails to travel long distances through Utah.
With the addition of these five new routes, Utah will have 960 total miles of designated bike routes—making it the fourth state with the most bike routes behind Minnesota, Ohio, and Alaska, Goedhart told KSL.
“This is really exciting,” Goedhart said in an interview with KSL. “The designation makes it easier for recreational tourists that want to hop on their bikes with all their gear and kind of tour the country or a state, or a county or a city, and get some miles in and experience the landscape a little bit slow. [It] gives them a unique vantage point to see and smell the desert fauna or our northern Utah landscape.”
Ever wanted to bike from Arizona to Idaho?
Utah has now doubled the number of miles it has in the U.S. Bicycle Routes System. These 5 new routes mean you can literally ride across Utah on routes safe enough for bikes:https://t.co/TMLenaxzL9
— Carter Williams (@cwilliamsKSL) August 10, 2021
The new routes have been officially labeled as U.S. Bike Routes 77, 677, 877, and 679, as well as an addition to Route 79. According to KSL, Route 77 will be the longest of the new routes at almost 350 miles.
Existing bike routes have already connected Colorado and Nevada with an east-west route through Utah, and now they’ve done the same for Idaho and Arizona via a north-south route. If you plan on biking north to south or vice-versa through all of Utah, then these are five routes you should put on your radar. An interactive digital graphic of Utah’s bike route maps can be found here.