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Discussion Starter #1
Three of us are flying out to Vegas on 23rd Oct. Renting GL1800's and plan a big circle. Included is Zion Nat Park, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, Painted Desert, Petrified Forest and back to Hoover Dam area. Any advice on out of the way places to not miss, also good eating establishments along the route. This is my first trip this far west on a bike. Any of you guys want to guesstimate the weather for this time of year? Its getting close so I need to start planning.
Thanks
allan
 

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Monument Valley is a must. Hwy 163 between Kayenta, Az and Mexican Hat, Ut.
 

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Who are you renting the GoldWing from ? I have been there by rental car and I know it will be even better by bike.
Ride Safe
Ken
 

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Beautiful ride, done it twice. My old bike (not a wing) broke down in Bryce and I got to spend 12 hours in the little town at the mouth of the canyon. I don't recommend that. (breaking down, that is.)

Heading south from Natural Bridges to Monument Valley is AWESOME! When you get to the cliff that marks the end of the plateau you are thousands of feet above the desert floor. Then you descend a tight switchback, gravel road. Not for the meek.
 

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Allan,
My SO and I just got back from that area two weeks ago. If you've never been there, wow, it's addicting. In Bryce, it was 34 degrees and snowing hard the day we arrived, so be prepared. It didn't last long, but my jeans were covered and I was shivering. We were planning on camping but decided to rent a heated cabin right there next to the Best Western that night...lol. I've been there three times in the last couple years and I've found that you really need to spend some time hiking around to really get a feel for them...especially Zion and Bryce (which I'll limit my comments to). Take the free shuttle up into the canyon at Zion and get off and do some of the trails to get a feel for the place. Whatever you do, do not just drive thru Zion as I did the first time I was there...big mistake. I don't know how much time you have but a hike down into Bryce by one of the trails is recommended. Be advised though that the high elevation makes it hard unless you're in good shape...was on me. Too bad you couldn't get over to Moab where you could experience Canyonlands and Arches NPs....awesome places and totally different from the others in Utah. On the link below, there are pics from Zion and Bryce taken on my second trip last year there...with my daughter. Maybe Dave Turley will post something for you here, he has a wealth of experience in that area...and posts some really thoughtful and insightful stuff. Have a blast.
Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Responses

Thanks for the responses guys. We are renting from Eagle rentals in Vegas. We have 5 full days so we may venture further afield with some of these suggestions. We will do our best to have a very large time while out. I have been off bikes for over a year with the hurricanes here in south louisiana. I am so looking forward to it.
Allan
 

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Paupton,

We were in that area the last two years on vacation. Absolutely beautiful. You will enjoy sights like these at Bryce..


Sights like these in Zion.....


And sights like these at the North Rim....


If you have time, I would recommend making it over to Moab to see the Arches........


And.....If you go south from there, down toward Monument Valley this is the road you get to ride......


Have fun and take lots of pictures!
Paul H.
 

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Personally, I'd skip Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam and focus on Bryce, Hiway 12 (Escalante Highway or Spine of the Dragon), Capital Reefs, Moab (Arches and Canyon Lands North & South), and Monument Valley. It's absolute sensory overload! Lots of Petroglyphs, ruins, red rocks, volcanic rocks, and sooo much more.

I had never been to that part of our great country before, and I was totally blown away with the majesty of the beauty of the area.

And you'll love the Mokee Dugway which is the last picture in the message above mine! Virtually all gravel, but very rideable on a Wing.

For pictures of Neil Mayes & my trip in the area in 2005, check out:

www.pbase.com/tkbowman/carvingcanyons2005

My diary of the trip can be found at:

http://journals.aol.com/tim4gw/CarvingCanyons2005/
 

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From Vegas head East and do the Zion, Bryce visit. Continue East on 12 and do Canyonlands, Capitol Reef and Arches. From Moab go south to N. Arizona and see the pretrified forest. just of I--40. Then head back West and at Flagstaff head north on 89 and at Cammeron head west into the Grand canyon. See that and then head back to Vegas
 

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OK, with five full days, I'd do this: Visit the Hoover Dam, then head up to Zion, take the free shuttle up into the canyon, relax and have a nice dinner (we had a great dinner at Panda Garden Chinese Restaurant) and get a room there in Silverdale. Day two: ride up to Bryce, ride all the way south inside Bryce (~20 mi one way), turn around and stop at all the viewpoints and get a room just outside the park in Ruby's Inn. Day three: ride to Moab... it's a much more scenic ride if you head south at Hanksville but it's more time consuming... other option is north up to I-70 and come into Moab from the north. If you decide this option, I'd recommend continuing east on I-70 to Rte 128 and come into Moab following the Colorado River...awesome, especially the nearer you get to Moab. Once to Moab, I'd visit Arches that late afternoon...as the sun's setting if possible, then get a room in the northern part of Moab...plenty to chose from...I liked Adventure Inn. Day four: Early ride out to Canyonlands, at least out to Mesa Arch, then on your way back, visit Dead Horse State Park. I'd head south now and get as far as I could to either to the Petrified Forest as Wayne suggested or just directly over to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon (depending on time) which would be visited on my fifth day on my way back to Vegas. As we've all said, you're in for a real treat, there's nothing that compares to these places you're about to see...enjoy...
 

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Check ahead for snow at the higher altitudes - not fun. If you're camping, it'll be COLD!.
North rim of the Grand Canyon might be closed for the season - check ahead.
I don't think I'd try the Million Dollar Highway north of Durango. Kinda late, and it can snow, sleet, hail, ice and a lot of other bad things that high, but don't miss it your next trip. Don
 

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FYI. The north rim of the Grand Canyon closes to travel with the first heavy snow. Usually not until late Nov or early Dec. Doesn't mean the lodge will be open but the road will be.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ride Suggestions

I m Still taking notes here. Thanks to all.
 

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Only thing I will add is no matter which road you take, the other road has some real scenery you are going to miss......hate descisions..........
 

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Definitely ride hwy 12 from Bryce to Torrey. When you get to Torrey, the road T's, left and right. Go left a couple of miles and you will see a nice little Inn on your right. The name escapes me, but there is a reproduction Indian Kiva out front. Trout and eggs for breakfast, food there isn't good, it's fantastic! Whenever we get out that way from Florida, this is a must stop. Rt 12 is one of the nicest rides anywhere also.
 

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Lodge at Red River Ranch

Lodge at Red River Ranch, In the middle of nowhere--that is HW 24 10 miles west of capitol reef, UT 435.425.3322

I second the above comment. If you can stay at this place it is fantastic. It was the highlight of a trip I made with some friends in 2003.

Excellent food, execellent rooms, excellent rides.

:D
 
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