Albuquerque-Tombstone-Grand Canyon Loop

Discussion in 'GPS Tracks - Rockies' started by wbbnm, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,990
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Nine day loop ride from Albuquerque with overnight stops in Socorro, Silver City, Tombstone, Globe, Campe Verde, Williams, Cameron, and Gallup. The trip included sections of the CDR, AZBDR, NMBDR, and the Great Western Trail.

    I only took a few pictures the entire trip. Here is one of us fixing a flat tire in the Dragoon Mountains:





    Here is a report and tracks from last year’s trip which was similar:


    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/nm-az-grand-canyon-south-loop.1068620/


    Here is a brief summary of highlights of each day.


    Day 1 Abq to Socorro. This is a route we take often. We had time to do the 4th of July Canyon loop including the primitive north option. We hit a couple of fun primitive roads off the main roads in the BLM area east of Socorro.


    Day 2 Socorro to Silver City. Nice rides thru the San Mateo mountains including Monica Cabin and FR 220. Chloride Creek was in good shape, but we were tired at the end and still had to do the CDR route to Mimbres.


    Day 3 Silver City to Tombstone. Nice forest ride west from Silver. Then desert the rest of the day. This was our first ride down the Whitlock Valley. Not spectacular, but a nice ride thru new territory. We did a really fun primitive road along the north edge of the Chiricauhaus.


    Day 4 Tombstone to Globe. Great ride thru the Dragoon Mountains, then an interesting ride across the roadless Wilcox Playa dry lake bed. The ride was okay, but not nearly as good as the dry lake beds in Nevada. We wanted to do a primitive road into Globe, but it was too late and too hot. We lost some time dealing with a couple of flat tires.


    Day 5 Globe to Camp Verde. The road into Young was much slower going and primitive than I had planned on. We had to skip one of the main goals of the trip which was to explore the roads north of the Rim road on the Mogollon Rim. If I had to do it over again, we would have taken 288 to Young. On the other hand two of the guys hadn’t ridden the Rim road. And the western section between 260 and 87 was a fun, spectacular ride since it hugs the edge of the Rim nearly all the time.


    Day 6. Camp Verde to Williams. We stuck to the Great Western Trail. We tried to take a road directly into Jerome. But there was a sign saying the road was closed 6 miles ahead. The road was rocky with lots of turns and we didn’t want to have to turn back. So we took a bailout down to Cottonwood. We ran into a pretty tough uphill ledge north of Perkinsville. I knew it was there since we went down it a few years ago. We had one fall and had to push one bike up it. But it was only a minor irritation. We got to Williams in mid-afternoon, which is early for us. We stayed in downtown Williams which was much nicer than the chain motels by the freeway. Lots going on within walking distance.


    Day 7 Williams to Cameron. Again we stuck to the Great Western Trail. This one of my favorite rides with lots of fun, fast, easy primitive roads thru the forest. We took a side trip up to Moran Point Overlook of the south rim of the Grand Canyon. You can get in out of the National Park at the Grandview entrance on a dirt road with any lines or paying a fee. We had rainstorms around us nearly all day, but only got hit with a few sprinkles. We went over Gray Mountain. This has spectacular view on the north side, and some fun challenging riding going down the south side.


    Day 8 Cameron to Gallup. This is the third time we have done this ride across the Navajo reservation. It is wide, fast dirt roads with occasional sandy arroyo crossings. Scenery is a little bleak, but beautiful in its own way. We ran into rainstorms along the way and detoured down to Dilkon for gas. And, due to rainstorms, we gave up on the dirt road the final way into Gallup and took pavement around thru Window Rock.


    Day 9 Gallup to Albuquerque. This was a complete bust as far as the dirt ride plan went. It rained all night and there was rain all around us. We just took the I-40 frontage road back. This is the third year in a row that we got rained out of the ride thru the Zuni Mountains between Gallup and Grants.

    Attached Files:

    #1
  2. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,990
    Location:
    Minnesota
    [​IMG]

    My other dozen or so pictures are on Smugmug. I tried to post a link, but ADV keeps replacing the link with the picture itself.
    #2
  3. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junkie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    10,582
    Location:
    Out in the NM Dez somewhere
    Looks like a nice ride, thanks for posting the tracks to it.
    #3
  4. AtomicGeo

    AtomicGeo Yep, ranked 49th.

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,105
    Location:
    Los Alamos, Northern NM
    Looks likes a great loop. is this something recommended only only a 650 and bigger bike?
    #4
  5. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,990
    Location:
    Minnesota
    We had a few 500s and the guys did fine.

    One guy even had an old KTM 450. He ended up having to ride highway all the way home from either Tombstone or Globe because his co-rider on an old KLX was having a lot of problems.

    Except for the rain ride back home from Gallup there were no really long highway sections in what I did.

    I do have a 500 exc. I don't have it set up for this kind of trip.

    I have this feeling that the smaller bike has a much more limited lifetime mileage than the bigger ones. And I don't want to "use up" the miles on relatively easy rides.
    #5
  6. NMTrailboss

    NMTrailboss Team Dead End

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,790
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Thanks for posting these tracks Bill! Looked like a fantastic ride! I was talking with Jim B. about the portion they did with you but was curious about the central AZ segments.
    Questions...how rough/rocky was the FR 202 segment from Cherry Creek, over Lone Pine Divide and on to Young? I was going to take that road a couple of years ago but we were on a long day and were concerned that section was going to take too long to get through so we went up FR203 instead.
    Also, how was the section from San Simon to the junction with the Apache Pass Rd.? On GoogleEarth, the middle section looks primitive but not sure how bad it was. Cool way to loop from up north to Apache Pass though!
    #6
  7. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,990
    Location:
    Minnesota
    202 was just a little bit tougher than 203. But it seemed like an endless grind of sharp steep turns on loose gravel. The connector, FR 54, between 202 and Young had a few more difficult spots. There was one downhill that might have been tough to get back up. It was just slow going with no falls or engine kills to my knowledge. We had two 690s and one Husky 630. I remembered 202 as being a really pleasant ride thru the woods. That must have been in the upper part that we skipped this time.

    At one point on 202 my luggage rack disintegrated with my Rotopax on it. All four bolt holes broke. We were able to jury rig it for the rest of trip. While we working on it a quad came up and stopped. Just as he stopped a steering rod on his right wheel broke and the wheel kicked out 90 degrees. He asked if he could get by. We told him he wasn't going anywhere for a while.

    It was a good ride, but we used up too much time getting to Young and didn't have time for stuff I really wanted to do north of the Rim road over to Camp Verde.

    The primitive road over to Apache Pass was a blast. It was just a little terrain-following two track that went in and out of gulleys with nothing really hard. It was one of the high points of the trip. But the primitive part only lasted 5 miles or so.
    #7
  8. NMTrailboss

    NMTrailboss Team Dead End

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,790
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Thanks for the comments on FR 202. :thumb I'd still like to ride that route one of these days but will plan for a day with more time to spare and not as far to go.

    Interesting on the road closed sign on the rocky road dropping down into Jerome. It's been several years since I went down that road, but it wasn't signed or closed at that time. The bypass drop into Cottonwood has some good ledges at the top as well!
    #8
  9. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Oddometer:
    6,869
    Location:
    Carson City/Ridgecrest
    If you look at my GWT Tracks, I post actual Active Log with time tags and speed for each Track Point. That is good indication of how hard any Trail is and how many problem spots there are.
    #9
  10. NMTrailboss

    NMTrailboss Team Dead End

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,790
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    Thanks! :thumb I do look at the active log time stamps on tracks and it is a good indicator of difficulty. Just wanted Bill's insight of the route on this one since he had just ridden it. :nod
    :ricky
    #10
  11. paulk690

    paulk690 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2015
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    kent UK
    Hi Guys, great RR , there is a lot of mention of FR numbers, i presume these are Fire roads, are they mapped anywhere? or where can I get a map with them on? (Google has been to helpful)
    I'm heading out start of July for 5 weeks, have some routes planned, but interested in more.
    #11
  12. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,990
    Location:
    Minnesota
    For me FR means National Forest Road. The best place to check them out are the MVUM (Motorized Vehicle Users Map?).

    Here are the ones for the southwest.

    http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/gis/USFS_Southwestern_Region_MVUM_Repository.html

    In my tracks I often used the number that Garmin City Navigator thinks a road is. These don't always match the latest forest service designations.
    #12
  13. paulk690

    paulk690 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2015
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    kent UK
    thanks very much for that,
    #13
  14. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,990
    Location:
    Minnesota
    If you do your trip planning using Furkot, it has online access to many of these MVUM maps. I tried it and it works, but I don't really know enough about Furkot to actually plan a complex trip. There is a good long running thread in the main Mapping and Navigation thread.
    #14