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I am planning on making a big circuit and riding in all of the western states starting in June of 07. I need 7 more states to complete my lower 48 tour map.

After doing the San Juan Loop in Colorado, we plan on going to Las Vegas by way of Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon. I am not looking forward to the crowds on the southern rim or to the hassle of crossing Boulder/Hoover Dam.

Please offer advise and opinions on visiting the north rim and going thru Zion N.P. Road conditions, temperatures, lodging, food and gas, ect. and others details would be greatly appreciated.

Also need the help of my California brothers. What is a suggested route from Las Vegas to Sequoia N.P.? I would like to ride it in 1 day, but I would also like to stay off of the superslab as much as possible. Is the road from Pearsonville to Springville a good route? What other roads do you suggest?

Thanks for your help!! :)

Dwight McKelvy
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Tangleyes said:
After doing the San Juan Loop in Colorado, we plan on going to Las Vegas by way of Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon. I am not looking forward to the crowds on the southern rim or to the hassle of crossing Boulder/Hoover Dam.
Crowds at the South Rim of the G.C. depend almost soley on when you visit. Late spring or late fall, or during the week and not on a weekend/holiday and the crowds will be much lighter. There are a lot more services available at the South Rim and vicinity than at the North Rim and the ride to get there is a lot more convenient.

IMHO the best road in to the South Rim is from the east at Cameron. It takes you on a two-lane right alongside the Little Colorado River and is very senic and less-traveled than the normal route from the south.

Crossing the Boulder (Hoover) Dam is usually not a problem unless you are there on a weekend. Plan to visit the dam or cross it during the week and you shouldn't have but a very short inspection stop (they don't take much time to eyeball your bike). If you are coming from the north (L.V. area) there are places you can check for crossing info to ensure you don't get held up by construction. I returned from L.V. a month ago or so on a Sunday afternoon (the worst possible time) and it only took about 20 minutes or so to cross. Most of the delay was just due to the crowds of pedestrians walking across the roads sightseeing.

Tangleyes said:
Please offer advise and opinions on visiting the north rim and going thru Zion N.P. Road conditions, temperatures, lodging, food and gas, ect. and others details would be greatly appreciated.
The North Rim is much more desolate than the South and doesn't have the senic vistas. Also, there is but one road in and out so you spend a lot of time just getting there. There is a lodge there but it is very small so best to plan your visit well in advance if you plan to stay at the rim. There are several small towns a couple of hours away that have small motels as an alternative (although those in UT do not serve any sort of alcoholic beverage).

As with any travel in Northern Arizona/Southern Utah it is always best to check local conditions before pressing onward. Weather comes and goes in a hurry up there and it can be quite cold even in early summer. The roads are generally good though, and with the exception of the southern route to the G.C. you shouldn't run into much traffic. It is almost always windy except in early morning and thunderstorms can blow in very quickly during summer.

If you take Route 89 from Cameron north to Page and then to Zion you will have many miles of empty reservation and few gas stops - plan accordingly. Page has all the services you need as well as a beautiful lake (Powell) right outside its window (there is a McDonalds there right on the side of the hill overlooking the dam and lake). Going further north to Zion is two-lane highway but not usually crowded and in good repair. Stop along the way at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes for some senic vistas. General elevation along this route is about 4,000' so it can get chilly early mornings and after the sun goes down. During summertime it can get very hot during the day (Page regularly hits 100F during summer days).

I spent many a day riding and boating in the area and it has to be one of the prettiest desert lakes in the world. You will see things there that don't exist in the rest of the USA and it is well worth the trip.
 

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Thanks for the valuable info, Landtuna!

My plan is to go from Ouray, CO. to Las Vegas with an overnight stop somewhere. Probable overnight in Flagstaff and do the Canyon the second day.

Visited the Canyon in 1993, but I didn't see very much. Got separated from my family while visiting the john and spent most of my time in the gift shops and parking lot trying to find them. They had walked down into the canyon and had a great time! :oops: :evil:

Dwight
 

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If you stay in Knab, UT you will be within 1 1/2 hrs of Grand Canyon north, Bryce, and Zion. We were there in '02 at the end of June. The weather was great but hot. Temps pushing 100 on some days but very doable with a little caution. I highly recommend the area at that time of year for lack of congestion and excellant weather.
 

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Tangleyes said:
My plan is to go from Ouray, CO. to Las Vegas with an overnight stop somewhere. Probable overnight in Flagstaff and do the Canyon the second day.
If you are going to the canyon from L.V. (along I-40) you can also stay in the little town of Williams, AZ. It isn't as big as Flagstaff but the road to the canyon goes directly north from Williams so it will cut your drive time to the south rim.

NOTE: Both routes into the south rim of the canyon are two-lane highways through forests (yes, we have 'em in AZ). Watch carefully for elk and deer (mule deer, not those scrawny whitetails y'all have in the East). :wink:
 

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I've been over the dam twice in the last couple of months and there has been no stoppage or inspections. Has not been a problem
 

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the north rim is 1000' higher than the south rim. Try the motels in Jacob's Lake - small and cheap, not fancy. DON'T FORGET BRYCE CANYON AND THE ESCALANTE STAIRCASE FROM ESCALANTE - BOULDER - TORREY.
If you start up the south rim from Page and it's crowded, you can see a good view from Desert View part way up and not have to do the hassle of GC village - a real pain - crowded, touristy, spendy and parking even for bikes is tough to find. I don't go there any more.
Do Monument Valley and Arches if you've never been there. There is a fee payable to the Navajos at Monument Valley if you want to get up close and personal. \ Don't hurry - lots to see, and prepare for weather extremes from 4000' to 9000' - and your bike will lose about 30% or more of its power above 6000', so don't hesitate to shift down. Be safe, have fun. Don
 

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Tangleyes said:
Is the road from Pearsonville to Springville a good route? What other roads do you suggest?

Thanks for your help!! :)

Dwight McKelvy
Darksider # 11
Dwight - I did that route a couple of years ago and really enjoyed the ride. I also went over Sherman Pass (check if open then) on the same trip (beginning just above Pearsonville over to Lake Isabella, then catch Hwy 155 to Old Stage Road and up to Porterville)and that too was quite nice and some beautiful country. Both stretches of road have some degree of being pretty isolated and remote so keep your fuel level up at any of the stations you go by (I have a 4.7 gallon auxiliary tank and that was one trip that I really appreciated just having all the extra fuel along, but prior to that I always carried two 33 oz. MSR fuel bottles).

When you go to Sequioa National Park (which is an amazing place and ride), be sure to also include the ride down into Kings Canyon National Park, which is a spectacular ride with some fantastic scenery and roads. This whole area is surrounded by some of the most remote country you will find anywhere in the entire country, but truly worth the effort to see, most especially on a GL1800.

Have a great trip, and enjoy being off those boring slaps.

DaleC
 
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