eBikes in Utah National Parks

While Bakcou first saw its success in the hunting industry, our eBikes aren’t just for hunting. Our eBikes are for anyone who wants to go farther and see more while making a minimal impact on the environment. eBikes help riders improve their physical and mental well-being while getting out, exercising, and visiting places they never thought possible. 

Summer break has officially started for most families, which means summer camps and summer travel are in full swing! For many, that means road trips getting out to see some of the incredible National Parks and Monuments our country has to offer. In Utah, where Bakcou is headquartered, our state is home to the “Mighty 5” of National Parks. Having five national parks so close to home (and many more if you consider our neighbors in Wyoming, Colorado, and Arizona!) means that many of our Tribe Members are often wondering about taking their Bakcou eBikes to ride in these national parks. 

As more and more people embrace eBikes, it's important to note where you can (and cannot) ride your eBike and what classification your eBike needs to meet. The National Park Service sees, on average, over 300 million visits per year to their 423 national park sites across the country, making them one of the most, if not the most, popular tourist destinations for outdoor activities in the country. This leaves us to question, can we ride electric bikes in national parks? Unfortunately, there is no straightforward answer, but we’ll try to answer it the best we can, with a special focus on the national parks and monuments located in Utah.

Even though the Department of the Interior issued an order to allow eBikes on any non-motorized trails that currently allow traditional bikes on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, or Fish & Wildlife Service with the intention of making federal land and outdoor recreation more accessible to everyone, rulings on whether eBikes are allowed in national parks are still clear as mud. In each national park, the park superintendent can choose whether or not they allow eBikes, which means there’s no consistent answer or ruling. 

Before we get into whether eBikes are allowed, and what types are allowed, it’s important to familiarize ourselves with eBike Classifications. We have an entire blog on it HERE, but we’ll give you a quick breakdown of eBike classifications as they’re used in our state of Utah. In Utah, eBikes are split into three classifications that are as follows: 

  • CLASS I: have a maximum pedal-assisted speed of 20mph, do not have a throttle and cannot rely solely on the motor, and have no bigger than a 750W (1hp) motor
  • CLASS II: can have a throttle, in addition to pedal assist, and are limited to a maximum top speed of 20mph and have no bigger than a 750W (1hp) motor
  • CLASS III: have a maximum pedal-assisted speed of 28mph, do not have a throttle and cannot rely solely on the motor, and have no bigger than a 750W (1hp) motor 

At Bakcou, we’re proud to say that all of our fat-tire eBikes can fit any of the three classifications. 

So, what’s allowed in National Parks? 

At the Mighty Five, the rules on eBikes vary considerably. The following statements have been made regarding Utah National Parks and eBikes:

  • Arches National Park (Moab, UT): Arches National Park does not allow bikes, traditional or electric, on any of the trails. eBikes are only allowed on paved and unpaved roads open to the public.
  • Canyonlands National Park (Moab, UT): Following suit with their Moab counterpart, Canyonlands National Park only allows eBikes on paved and unpaved roads open to public travel. eBikes are not allowed on any trails. 
  • Bryce Canyon National Park (Bryce, UT): Bryce Canyon National Park permits Class I and Class III eBikes only where traditional bicycles are allowed. eBikes are allowed on park roads, campgrounds, paved viewpoints, and paved trails like the Shared-Use Pat. eBikes are not allowed on any unpaved trails, both below and along the rim. 
  • Capitol Reef National Park (Torrey, UT): At Capitol Reef National Park, eBikes and bicycles must stay on designated roads at all times. The park does not allow biking on the trail connecting the Visitor Center and Fruita Campground. Biking is not allowed on hiking trails, off-road, closed roads, backcountry routes, or in washes. There is no place to charge eBikes inside of the park, so make sure to plan accordingly.
  • Zion National Park (Springdale, UT): Zion National Park allows Class I eBikes anywhere that traditional bikes are allowed. At this time, the Pa’rus Trail is the only trail allowing for bikes and eBikes because it is the only trail that would not suffer resource damages. The park also permits Class I eBikes on paved, public roads. Class II eBikes are not allowed in Zion National Park. Class III eBikes are also prohibited as the higher speeds cause safety issues for other pedestrians and bicyclists. 

  • Conclusion

    As you can see, it’s safe to say that there is no easy answer to when and where eBikes are allowed in national parks or even what national parks they are allowed in. We hope the above information helps give you a start, at the least, in knowing where you can take your eBikes on your next trip through our beautiful national parks. While we have focused on just the national parks in Utah, our friends at PeopleForBikes have compiled this helpful guide of all of the national parks currently allowing eBikes and what restrictions are in place for each of those parks. 

    At Bakcou, we’re helping our riders climb higher, go farther, and explore more without adding more stress to the environment. We hope you join us to get out and enjoy the beautiful outdoors as you’ve never done before!