Tell me what not to miss.
I'll be in that area for a week.
Tell me what not to miss.
I'll be in that area for a week.
You must check out Meteor Crater which lies just off of I-40 east of Flagstaff. On your way west(or back east) you might also visit the old town square in Albuquerque. Painted desert and petrified forest are also worth a look. Spend the night in an old Highway 66 motel in Tucumcari. Have fun!
Get off the Interstate and ride across some of the Navajo Nation e.g. Window Rock to Flagstaff via 264 and 15.
Old 66 from I-40 milepost 139 to Kingman and on to Oatman. Eat at the Snowcap Drive-In in Seligman.
Depending on when you are going to be there, the North Rim which is open mid-May to mid-October. Planes of Fame Museum in Valle on the way to the South Rim. Many things in Flagstaff including Lowell Observatory, and Beaver Street Brewery.
Stop in Winslow at La Posada http://www.laposada.org/ : stay if you can or just eat in the restaurant.
Motor On '/,
What time of year? What kind of bike? It can snow along the rim of the Grand Canyon well into April, so keep that in mind - especially on the north rim, which is about 2000' higher elevation than the south rim.
If you have an off-road capable bike, definitely check out the Toroweap Overlook at the western edge of the north rim. 3000' sheer cliff wall straight down to the river. IIRC, it's more than just a few miles of dirt roads to get there.
Navajo Bridge crosses the Grand Canyon just south of Page, AZ. Here you'll ride along the Vermillion Cliffs, a spectacular rock formation that marks the beginning of the Grand Canyon. Easy to check out the Glen Canyon Dam from Page, too.
Four Corners isn't far from the Grand Canyon. Gotta go get that picture with a hand and a foot in four different states!
North of the Grand Canyon, in Utah, the opportunities for amazing scenery is limitless. Zion National Park. Cedar Breaks National Park. Arches National Park. Canyonlands National Park. Bryce Canyon National Park. Grand Staircase/Escalante National Park. Dinosaur National Park. 'Nuff said.
But do go late enough in the Spring so you'll miss the risk of snow, but not so late into the summer that you get into atrociously hot weather.
Any more ideas out there?
Beautiful loop to Sedona, tie in Jerome, back to Camp Verde to Clints Well, up thru Mormon Lake and Lake Mary to Flagstaff. About 200 miles. Excellent roads.
Motel, food, camping very expensive on the south rim and Grand Canyon Village. Those business have to supply housing to their emplyees and transportation costs to bring in supplies is quite expensive. Pretty desolate area outside the village. Open range surrounds the National Park and it's free camping out there. That's one way I saved a little money. That was on a couple of bike trips back around '92/94 time frame. I think I'm correct on the free camping on open range. Maybe someone who is local to the area can confirm it. Loved riding in the mountains and deserts of Az.. Just recalling those rides makes we want to plan another one out there.
Grand Canyon has ONE fine eating experience I never miss and its been 20+ time s in there for me, to that park and its surroundings! "GO TO" The Cameron Trading Post on Hwy89, east of the east entrance to GC and find Cameron,AZ. Navajo Country is what this part of AZ is all about. Inside the trading post is a restaurant in the back of the main post that serves the "Navajo Taco" that I love to consume when there. Really good! Indian Artwork, rugs, etc hang from the walls back there in the restaurant and its a fine eating experience for me and others. Worth the stop....The Cameron Lodge is right next door, for those wishing to splurge a bit(around 100$), with a fine room on Colorado Canyon. I love the place and never bypass it when in the area. Randy PS; The "Watapki Indian Ruins NP" is very nearby also, just south on Hwy89 and worth a visit to see and walk about1200 year old ruins...A nice bike road loop, heading towards Flagstaff..I have ridden all this area in winter and summer months and find it always amazing, never growing tired of it all. The OLD US66 parallels Interstate40 all through the area, so ride it where you can. Williams,AZ has a nice downtown and STEAKS to die for, right on the Old US66, Randy
Hopi Land is very nearby also and their traditions are amazing to learn also, with their fine arts, silver, etc...Veterans anybody? Tuba City,AZ, just up from Cameron,AZ is home to the first "woman" to lose her life in the "Iraq War" a few years ago. They have a memorial to her, as this was her home. I have a daughter in the Navy and respect this a lot, as a military parent of one who's also been there. Randy
my wife was very nice to the person on the phone when she called about the possibility of taking a last-minute cancellation spot on the mule trip from Bright Angel Trail on the south rim to the bottom of the canyon. They're usually booked up a year in advance. The reservations person, breaking the rules for my sweet wife, looked thru all the dates we were going to be in the area and we just took the one that came up w/in our time frame. Many folks seem to be limited to one-day-only availability. It might be worth a call. The trip itself is fantastic! The guides are great, the mules steady, the food at the bottom at Phantom Ranch outstanding (big fat steaks and lots of chocolate cake), and the scenery...well the scenery will absolutely blow your mind. The trip back up is particularly great viewing ....the mule and you are pointing more toward the sky and the canyon walls. If you can arrange it and have two days, you have my personal guarantee. The single day trip, half way down, from the North rim is quite good, but frankly no match.
Quick story; my dad, who had wanted to take that trip for many years, was particularly cantankerous the the whole trip. We couldn't figure it out. They're very careful to be certain everyone drinks plenty of water while they're in the canyon, and even douse you w a hose at the rest-stop. He bitched and groused and refused to drink the entire day. We were embarrassed and angry. We found out much later that my pop had a serious uniary problem and didn't want to have an accident. But for years after he invariably referred to that trip as the greatest time of his life. Little did we know.
We might as well walk. ~ Adam Guettel The Light In The Piazza
used to own: 1982 R100T, 1984 R65, 1986K75C, 1997 R1100RT, R850R, K75S, 1978 R100RS... what was I thinking?
Try to spend a couple of days on both the North Rim and the South Rim. The problem is, accomodations are often booked up a year in advance. There are lots of hotels, lodges, etc. but most are actually outside the park on the south rim. "near the grand canyon" can mean a two hour trip.
My suggestion: if you're going to visit the Grand Canyon, try to book a room right on the edge. I'd suggest the El Tovar on the south rim. Since you're only going to be there one or two nights, go ahead and splurge on a room with a view. The hotels inside the park are operated by a concessionaire, so you'll get the best price by contacting the hotel directly by phone.
There is really only one "inn" on the north rim, composed of a hundred or so cabins and motel rooms, some a half mile from the lodge. What you want on the north rim is a "western." That's code for a cabin overlooking the lip of the canyon.
Once at either rim, you'll find tons of published and personal information. Take a drive to the end of the road on the north rim and walk out into space on a narrow catwalk. Do take the walks around the lodge itself, on both rims. On the south rim there is a shuttle bus that you can ride to various overlooks, hop off, catch the next shuttle, to your heart's content.
The ride/drive between the rims takes about 6 hours, but you'll want to spend the whole day stopping at overlooks, the watchtower, Cameron Trading Post, Navajo Bridge, etc. Seriously, don't try to gawk at the scenery while riding/driving. Take a break, soak it in, shoot a few photos, and drink some water. Yes, carry lots of water and swig it down every half hour.
This is big country, and there are interesting things to see in all directions. To the south is Flagstaff, Sunset Crater, Tuzigoot Nat. Mon., Montezuma Castle NM, Waputki NM, etc. To the east is Monument Valley. To the north is the "red rock" country of Utah, including Rainbow Bridge, Zion NP, Bryce NP, Cedar Breaks NM, Capitol Reef NP, Canyonlands NP, Arches NP, plus lots of interesting little side trips. To the west is Lake Meade, Hoover Dam, "Last Wages", and sections of Route 66.
In other words, "Grand Canyon" could include a month or two of travel without ever being bored. My wife and I did a three week SUV trip in late August 2007, and we both enjoyed it tremendously.
If you want a cheap intro to Bryce Canyon NP, rent the DVD "Eiger Sanction" (Clint E). The scenes of Clint and the indian chickie are in the Virgin Canyon narrows at the end of the valley in Bryce. The red rock climbing scene is in Monument Valley--about 200 miles away.
Be aware that the weather can change rapidly in the southwest, but once the snow melts the sun will cook you quickly. The thin air at 5,000 - 7,000 ft altitude allows more UV rays to reach you. Wear lots of sunscreen and a hat with a brim. Cover your arms and legs. Layer your clothing so you can add or strip down to suit the temperature. Gas stations can be far between, so make a point of checking the guage before you zip by an open station. Half a tank may not be enough to get you to the next one 150 miles away.
I suggest carrying a lodging directory, say Best Western or AAA. You can call ahead and reserve a room, which is essential anytime between about June and September. There are campgrounds here and there, but remember, it can get cold, hot, or windy. In the desert the temp may be 95 during the day, and 30 at night. That's especially important for anyone doing some GS exploration. Carry at least a quart of water with you at all times.
You'll appreciate the area more if you're better informed. I'd suggest a trip to the library, or even just purchasing a good DVD on the Canyon online. You'll find lots of books when you get there, but it's better to read up before you go to avoid information overload. Whitehorse Press has "Motorcycle Journeys Through the Southwest" that might give you some ideas. And of course the AAA travel guides include the parks and monuments as well as lodging and eateries.
Most of all, don't schedule yourself so tight you end up rushing by fantastic scenery. Slow down and enjoy the trip. I suspect you'll fall head over heels with the area.
I was there last year. I would definately recommend also going to Bryce and Zion National Parks. I personnally was more impressed with the scenery at Zion than the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is so large that you can't really get the perspective of its size from the ground.
At Bryce and Zion the scenery is up close and personnal.
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