It’s not called “Color Country” for nothing… southern Utah’s backcountry is a canvas of hues that dazzle at every turn. Here, cast in the light of a desert sun, landmarks like Bryce Canyon, Red Canyon and the Aquarius Plateau paint the stony landscape a masterpiece. 

The 2021 debut of the 305-kilometre Aquarius Trail connected outdoor recreationalists with the Kodachrome backcountry. And joyfully, the completion of five tiny homes – dubbed the Aquarius Trail Hut System – stations accommodations 48- to 64-kilometres apart, offering travellers a turnkey, “bike-packing” vacation.

Seriously good biking

Aquarius Trail Hut SystemMap | Aquarius Trail Hut System

Stretching from the mighty peak of Brian Head to the plateau-perched town of Escalante, cycling the entire length of the Aquarius Trail Hut System takes six days but can be abbreviated for those short on time.

It’s not an experience exclusively reserved for extreme pedal heads, either. The same company that operates the huts rents full suspension, pedal assisted e-bikes, in addition to traditional frames.

Views from Hatch Hut | Aquarius Trail Hut SystemThunder Mountain Trail | Aquarius Trail Hut System

Powell Point | Aquarius Trail Hut SystemPowell Point | Aquarius Trail Hut System

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Every day on Aquarius Trail brings a biking experience more amazing than the last.

Highlights include descending down the Bunker Creek Singletrack (one of Mountain Bike Action magazine’s top 10 best trails in America); a 762-metre climb through Proctor Canyon to the top of Sunset Cliffs; a ride down Thunder Mountain Trail through the hoodoos of Red Canyon; a 670-metre climb up to the Aquarius Plateau; a ride up to Hell’s Backbone Bridge and across Box Death Hollow Wilderness; and a ride along the Hogback on the way back to Escalante – with a stop on the way at Calf Creek to cool off in its crystal clear waters.

Ride days average between 56 and 64 kilometres and 1,065 metres of elevation gain/loss along simple single-tracks, challenging Jeep-tracks and dirt roads.

Off-grid glamping huts

Aquarius Trail Hut SystemAquarius Trail Hut System

Now, thanks to the recent completion of five of the cutest tiny homes pre-stocked with all sorts of provisions for hungry riders, the experience offers fully equipped “adventure-cations.”

Each of the tiny house-style huts are strategically placed along the route and comes complete with beds, a bathroom and a kitchen. Accommodating 12 to 14 guests, they are spaced approximately 48 to 64 kilometres apart in incredible off-the-beaten track locations like the “Butch Cassidy Hut” in Red Canyon and the “Hell’s Backbone Hut” in Death Hollow.

Riders simply have to dismount and make themselves at home.

Shipping container chic

Aquarius Trail Hut SystemAquarius Trail Hut System

Built using repurposed high-top shipping containers, the huts have been designed for off-grid living, so the kitchen sink, handwashing station and shower all utilize manual foot pumps. The stove runs on propane and the refrigerator runs on solar power. There’s even a generator for charging e-bikes and solar power for charging personal devices.

And because each hut is equipped with a fully stocked fridge and freezer, hungry bikers can whip up a curated dinner on each stop of their trip. Menu options include salmon, quesadillas, burritos and burgers. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available. Each hut is outfitted with a gas grill, a two-burner stove, kitchenware and tableware.

Aquarius Trail Hut SystemAquarius Trail Hut System

It’s clear that every need has been anticipated at these clever tiny houses. There’s even something for those adventure travellers craving a little luxury in the middle of the wilderness: hammocks to laze in and a propane firepit to warm toes under the star-studded Utah sky.

Let’s face it: bike-packing doesn’t get any better than this.

When you go

Thunder Mountain Trail | Aquarius Trail Hut SystemPowell Point | Aquarius Trail Hut System

Self-guided trips are available July to October and group rates start at $929 US per person for 6-days/5-nights. 

Escape Adventures offers guided tours starting at $1,899 US per person.

For more information, visit