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Old 02-07-2013, 06:24 AM   #16
Mr_Gone OP
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I wouldn't worry to much. With 10 days you'll only scratch the surface of the desert southwest. Just look at it as a recon tour with blurry scenery. When you're older like me you can get a golden eagle pass and go back for a closer look.

With 10 days, out and back on freeways is the ticket to more time at the national parks. Mid May is a great time to ride the southwest. Less crowds. The north rim of the Grand Canyon should be open by then. If not, hit the South rim.

Have fun!

Kindest regards,
John Downs
John, a recon (so to speak) is exactly my plan. I'm sure I'll get to see some fantastic sights, I just won't be able to spend as much time as I want at each one.

The silver lining in the cloud is that I really do enjoy riding. Just riding. And if I'm riding through some beautiful country, then it's a win.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:27 AM   #17
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I think you are taking Hwy 64 heading east once you enter NM right? If you are, stay on hwy 64 all the way. It goes thru Taos and other really nice towns and very scenic road.
Yes, I'll be on 64 for quite a ways through northern New Mexico, which is also 412 for a way. I think I pick up 64 near Taos. And I'll actually be taking 412 all the way from NM to my front door.

Great tip!
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Mr_Gone screwed with this post 02-07-2013 at 07:53 AM
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:30 AM   #18
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If you don't have one already, be sure to get a Parks Pass before your trip. It's $80 but covers all the entrance fees for national parks and fees for other federal lands for a year.

http://www.eparks.com/store/product/...s-Annual-Pass/
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:50 AM   #19
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If you don't have one already, be sure to get a Parks Pass before your trip. It's $80 but covers all the entrance fees for national parks and fees for other federal lands for a year.

http://www.eparks.com/store/product/...s-Annual-Pass/
I have that written down on a Post-It note somewhere.... among the other 1,497 little scraps of paper I have on my desk at home, along with dozens of maps and other stuff.

Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:57 AM   #20
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I would advise finding a way to include UT state hiway 12 thru Escalante, Boulder, and Torrey. Then 24 to Hanksville then 95 to Blanding. Scenery is unbelievable thru there. It might be a little more pleasant riding than the high mountains.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:19 AM   #21
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I would advise finding a way to include UT state hiway 12 thru Escalante, Boulder, and Torrey. Then 24 to Hanksville then 95 to Blanding. Scenery is unbelievable thru there. It might be a little more pleasant riding than the high mountains.
+1 on this route. But as I recall, Hwy 12 does go above 8000 ft in one section, so heated gear would be nice to have.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:26 AM   #22
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I would advise finding a way to include UT state hiway 12 thru Escalante, Boulder, and Torrey. Then 24 to Hanksville then 95 to Blanding. Scenery is unbelievable thru there. It might be a little more pleasant riding than the high mountains.
I am hitting Hanksville, but not riding south on 95 to Glen Canyon. I just can't eke out the time for it on my route. Maybe next year!!!

I will then be heading west through Torrey, Boulder, and Escalante!
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:27 AM   #23
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+1 on this route. But as I recall, Hwy 12 does go above 8000 ft in one section, so heated gear would be nice to have.
I do have heated gear. I will hopefully be taking 550 through Colorado, also, and some 10,000+ foot passes, so I plan on taking my Gerbings.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:19 PM   #24
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+1 on this route. But as I recall, Hwy 12 does go above 8000 ft in one section, so heated gear would be nice to have.

Yes it gets up to a little over 9k ft between Torrey and Boulder. But it is pretty short and I'm sure there will be much colder places on your trip in the really high mountains.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:08 PM   #25
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What about "staging" So send your bike to ALB, or someplace you can pick it up easily to ride on. Saving your time for important parts of the trip. You couold even take a previous few days to get it there. Or ship it.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:26 PM   #26
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didn't read if you are camping or not, but if you are, one of the best places I've camped is at Colorado National monument, great sites, great views of the towns below, I highly recommend it. oh yeah, the road looping through the park is pretty nice too!
in durango, there is a national forest campground 5 miles out of town, junction creek campground, very handy if you want to spend some time in durango, which is a pretty cool town.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:28 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Mr_Gone View Post
I am hitting Hanksville, but not riding south on 95 to Glen Canyon. I just can't eke out the time for it on my route. Maybe next year!!!

I will then be heading west through Torrey, Boulder, and Escalante!


Please do your self a favor, out of Boulder go ride the paved part of the Burr Trail. It is less than 15mi(paved portion)of some incredible geology. You will be entering part of the Waterpocket Fold. Amazing, amazing, amazing!! It will take less than an hour to just drive in and drive out. Please don't miss it.

I rode the Torrey, Boulder, Burr & Capitol Reef loop this summer and loved it. Torrey was base camp for four days, so I did lots of exploring in the area.

Capitol Reef...

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Old 02-07-2013, 05:49 PM   #28
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I did a 2-week trip in the fall of 2012 covering a lot of the area you're looking at - Hwy 12, Arches, Canyonlands, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon. Tons of photos here if your curiosity is piqued - would be happy to share details on places we stayed, etc. if you'd like. Some absolutely stunning scenery... and I would agree to just high tail it out there so you can really enjoy the places you'll be visiting!

Just a few to whet your whistle...

Zion Natl. Park


Hwy 12 in Utah


Capitol Reef


Arches Natl. Park


Canyonlands


Monument Valley


Moki Dugway


Grand Canyon - North Rim
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:05 PM   #29
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So I'm planning a long-ish trip in May to see some sights in the American Southwest I haven't seen before. I'm trying to work it out logistically to see as much as I can squeeze into 10 days, yet with enough time to actually enjoy myself at each stop.

My biggest hurdle is the long boring rides from Mountain Home, Arkansas (where I live) until I see anything of interest in Colorado and New Mexico.

So my question is: looking at my map/route below, what am I missing in Oklahoma and/or north Texas that will break up the monotony of those miles without taking me too far off my route? Any advice would be appreciated. Any suggestions for sites I've omitted would be welcomed.

I am primarily interested in natural wonders. I have 10 days to make the trip. I've done a couple long trips before and I'm most comfortable covering 350-400 miles per day.

Great thread! Im making a similar trip, at about the same time, coming up from southeast Texas. In addition to sites in southern Utah and Grand Canyon, I also plan to see Petrified Forest and meteor crater. Im just beginning to put together a plan but this has been helpful. Are you camping?
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:41 PM   #30
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Hello I think Chaco Canyon N.M. is worth stopping.The Dolores River canyon is a great ride.its heading south from Grand Junction Colo. Owl creek pass near Montrose is good camping .The Box Canyon Falls at Ouray Colo is a very amazing place also the giant hot spring heated pool in the middle of Ouray. If you go to Mesa Verde Park And want to go on a Ranger guided tour I recommemd Balcony House.Accros southern Kansas I like the stone fence posts are strange but sensible in no tree Kansas. This trip is just a scouting trip for the one with enough time
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