AZ - Indian Rte 15??

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by HayDuchessLives, May 15, 2015.

  1. HayDuchessLives

    HayDuchessLives Loquita

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    I'll be riding across AZ soon on my way to CO, and one day I plan to start at Flagstaff and end at Chinle. The shortest route is to take Indian Route 15 through the rez. It looks like the highway is paved - is it paved the whole way? It also sounds like sometimes there are few route signs to let you know where/when to turn. This route goes through sparsely populated areas (which I'm used to from solo riding all over Alaska and the Yukon) and I'm wondering how safe it is for a lone female, just in case something happens. Yes, I'm a little paranoid, but not overly so. I'm on kind of a time crunch so I may take I-40 to 191. I just thought it would be cool to take the route that is less traveled, for more of an ADVenture. :D I should have plenty of gas, but can carry extra and have been advised to be sure to adhere to the speed limit on the rez.

    Happy trails!
    #1
  2. DOD

    DOD idiot dirt rider

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    I have traveled a fair amount of thr Rez but I can't help with the paved question. The roads are so poorly marked that I never know what road I am on.

    As to personal safety, I don't think it is any worse than any empty place in the west. Help is a long way away and cell service is spotty. The real danger seems to be livestock and drunks (and maybe drunk livestock). Our last trip across had horses, cows, dogs, sheep, two goats and a drunk walking down the center of the highway. Don't travel at night.

    The Navajo Reservation is a beautiful place. Have a great ride.

    -dod
    #2
  3. Bronco Driver

    Bronco Driver Been here awhile

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    Very well put!!!
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  4. ned37

    ned37 Been here awhile

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    the wife and her sister just did that trip in her car a few weeks ago. she was surprised how good the road was. not very scenic, and very remote, but if the vehicle is in good shape, no problem.
    #4
  5. renogeorge

    renogeorge Let's ride!!

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    From my limited experience, most of the smaller reservation towns have little or nothing in the way of commercial establishments. So, watch your gas and plan your lodging accordingly. Just talking in general terms here.
    #5
  6. dezrat57

    dezrat57 New River, Arizona

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    And again....
    DO NOT drive at night

    best of luck
    dave
    #6
  7. VFR

    VFR Been here awhile

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    That's a great road!!! I have run that road from Indian 6 all the way to Flagstaff. Good pavement & not a lot of traffic. Never had a problem finding gas either. I commonly run the rez back from CO. One of the best roads is Indian 13 from 491 south of Shiprock over the mountain to Lukachukai then down Indian 12 to Indian 64 over to 191 at Chinle & Canyon de Chelly.

    All of those roads beat the living heck out of 160 from Flag to the 491. Way better scenery.

    I don't recall any places to stay along those routes but it's an easy day ride across.
    #7
  8. HayDuchessLives

    HayDuchessLives Loquita

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    Thanks for all the comments! The stretch of Rt 15 I'm looking at is only 123 miles, IF I don't get lost due to lack of signage. :D I'm pretty sure my trusty little DR will get me through the rez - it brought me all the way down from Alaska last summer! Although.... she and I ended up "taking a nap" in Death Valley back in late January. (It was my fault - not hers.) I don't plan on riding through the rez at night and I'll watch out for drunk livestock. :lol3

    I'm going on a horseback tour through Canyon de Chelly and am excited about that. Yeehaw!! After that I'm heading up to Bloomfield and Chama on my way to CO Springs. If you see a black DR650 with Alaska license plates, be sure to wave!
    #8
  9. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    I can't speak to Indian 15, but it looks on the map that it is a paved road. You might consider taking 89 to Tuba City and 160 to Kayenta. It is all good highway. Just east of Kayanta on 160 you can take 59 south to Many Farms. That is a pretty remote reservation road, but it is also paved. Chinle is just south of Many Farms on 191.

    Leaving Chinle after your visit, I'd like to suggest taking Hwy 64 east to Indian Rte 12 North. A few miles north on 12 you will see Indian Rte 13 going east. That is one of the most spectacular roads I have ever ridden. It is twisty like the Tail of the Dragon. It goes over a pass and drops down into Shiprock Monument. I mean right next to it! From there it is a beautiful ride east to Chama on US 64. I think you cross two ranges on passes in the 9000' range.

    I've ridden through that area solo quite a bit. You shouldn't have any issues as you won't see many people! Just plan your fuel stops well enough to not get stranded. Gas through there is available at Tuba City, Kayanta, Chinle, and Shiprock. Those are not particularly far apart.
    #9
  10. VFR

    VFR Been here awhile

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    You can catch Indian 15 from 89 out of Flagg but it is a little tough to find the exit. The exit is Townsend-Winona Road 394. That turns into Indian 15 Probably easier to catch it off of I40 at Winona. Head north on 394 then right on 419 which turns into Indian 15 at the rez.

    Stay far away from 160. What a miserable excuse for a road that is!!! Traffic, pokey people & Kayenta is a total loser, not to mention that it is much longer that way.

    Indian 15 turns into 191 at the intersection--traffic circle--of 264. Just go halfway around the circle, right at the Chevron station and the next stop is Chinle. You will be running right next to Canyon de Chelly on the right for many miles. Take Indian 64 right out of Chinle to the entrance of Canyon de Chelly, then continue on that to Indian 12. Left there to Lukachukai, then right on Indian 13 across to 491 into Shiprock.

    64 out of Shiprock isn't a bad road either. I have run it from there clear into Taos.

    I will be headed out that way toward Cortez around the middle of June and will hit the rez roads for sure.

    Good Riding.
    #10
  11. Drunk_Uncle

    Drunk_Uncle Long timer

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    Hay Duchess,

    If end up around NW Phoenix you have place to stay. Jade and Kelly are storing their bike at my place and were here last weekend. did Over Land with them. If I don't see you have a safe trip. Planning on D2D 2016!!
    #11
  12. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    We rode thru there last week. We were trying to stay on dirt roads, but did spend some time on 15. It is paved.

    There is gas and a café in Dilkon and a grocery store.

    Benchmark and GTR maps are pretty accurate as to which roads are paved and which are dirt.
    #12
  13. VFR

    VFR Been here awhile

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    Gas is not a problem on any of the roads I mentioned and they are all paved. I ride sport bikes and have been on all of them. Cafes in Chinle for sure. I have stopped for snacks & Gatorade but no meals.

    The rez isn't as primitive as you may have been led to believe....
    #13
  14. renogeorge

    renogeorge Let's ride!!

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    0Just back from this area. Came south from Cortez through Bluff, Monument Valley, Kayenta, Chinle/Canyon do Chelly, Gallup, Chaco Canyon to Farmington. No problems of any kind except some spots on Chaco dirt sections after the rain. Gallup to Chaco to Farmington was longest run for gas at 100 or so miles. Otherwise gas readily available on our route.

    PS in Chinle restaurant at Best Western is not bad. Jeep tour of canyon well worth it.

    FWIW
    #14
  15. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    +1 There are many more gas stations in small towns on the reservation than off in the southwest.
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  16. HayDuchessLives

    HayDuchessLives Loquita

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    This is ironic, but I am once again looking for road information for this area, including Indian Route 15, and sort of forgot I started this thread a couple years ago. What a ding-a-ling! ;-) This thread sure has excellent information! On my upcoming trip I'm starting in ABQ, heading up to the Mesa Verde area for a week or so (mostly hiking), then slowly heading down to Camp Verde, AZ. I am still weighing options on the route I'm taking but am EXCITED to spend time in this area, riding new roads and hiking new trails to enjoy beautiful scenery. If you happen to see my black Suzuki DR (with an Alaska license plate) and I riding around, be sure and wave! Last October we had a blast participating in the NMOHVA Rubber Chicken Ride. Life is good - especially on a bike!
    #16
  17. ned37

    ned37 Been here awhile

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    when you leave mesa verde, go thru cortez, down 491 thru shiprock, then about 7 miles more, go right on indian 13 southwest thru lukachukai, then left on 12, then right on 64 at tsaile. that is the back way to de chelly and chinle. from chinle, 191 south to 15 around burnside. stay on 15 to 87 and go south thru winslow, stand on the corner, then continue south to camp verde. if you need a local guide for the verde valley, let me know.
    #17
  18. Lucky Explorer

    Lucky Explorer Traveled the world

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    I like Ned 37's beginning route but at Burnside jct(5 mi w of Ganado) I prefer 264 to 2, just past the Hopi Cultural Center(restaurant). 264 is more secnic. Then 2 to Leupp and 15 and Townsend Winona to 89. Pickup 89A to Sedona and 179 to Camp V. Just another thought.
    Allen.
    #18
  19. AZ Africa Twin

    AZ Africa Twin From the AZ High Country

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    Take Rt 89A out of Flagstaff to Sedona you can then cut over to Camp Verde. It is the most scenic Rt but is being re-paved.

    Other option is Lake Mary Rd out of Flagstaff, think it is County Rt 74. It intersects with Rt. 87, near Clint's Well, then Rt 260 into Camp Verde. it is a scenic route through the forest until you drop down to Camp Verde.

    When you plan on coming into this area shoot me a conversation and I will be glad to help you out with routes and local sights.

    Sedona:

    DSCN0387.JPG DSCN0373.JPG

    Mormon lake on Lake Mary Rd

    0127161615a [23745617].jpg
    #19
  20. ned37

    ned37 Been here awhile

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    89a south of flag construction is easily passable on a bike if you don't mind gravel and huge clouds of unknown white powdery dust covering you and your bike. and then you can fight the traffic in the canyon and sedona.
    i agree 264 is more scenic, that's usually how i go. i guess i'm still nursing ill feelings after a flat on my camper in july.
    #20