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:
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!