Flagstaff to Zion and back

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Grokking_Fullness, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. Grokking_Fullness

    Grokking_Fullness Adventurer

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    After spending far too many days without taking the pig out for a good cruise, i finally got a good opportunity to get out and spend a couple days on the road. It may be February but having lived in Michigan my whole life i sure am going to take advantage of living somewhere with a dry winter.

    I left on monday morning at 8am. The temps were in the low 20s so on went the hippo hands and down layers. I booked it north out of Flagstaff on the 89 towards Page and Lake Powell where i got out to take some pictures, stretch my legs, and drive on the deserted lone rock beach

    Arizona Utah border just outside of Page
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    The trusty pig turned into a teenager just as i was crossing the border
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    Overlook near the wahweep marina
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    LoneRock Beach
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    After leaving the lake powell area i stayed on the 89 and drove into Kanab where i fuel up the bike and got myself a very mediocre BLT sandwich at a place called Big Als burgers. On the way to Zion from Kanab i got the itch to ride some dirt and saw a road called Old Paria townsite/film set road. It turned out to be a easy dirt road with some amazing views. I didnt really find the movie set or old townsite, but thats alright, i was in it more for the nature and a quick escape from riding tarmac.

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    Finally around 2:30pm i arrived in Zion! I was absolutely blown away by the scenery driving through the park. I stopped at every turn out just to sit and soak in everything. Everything about the place was incredible.
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    I stayed at the Watchman campground where i metup with my girlfriend and a couple other friends. They wanted me to go with them but i couldnt bring myself to drive to a place like Zion in the cage. It just wouldnt be the same. It worked out well though because they brought plenty of beer and all the other amenities that come with car camping.

    The view from the basically deserted campground
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    After setting up camp i went out for a cruise down to the end of the scenic road, Floor of the Canyon Rd. Two pretty interesting things happened down at the end of the road. First i met a guy who gave me a travelers blessing with a sage smudge, indian drums, and a digeridoo. He turned out to be an extremely nice new age spirituality type guy who after talking to, left me in a very positive mood. I also spotted Kev and Karens bike from www.guzzioverland.com I had seen a photo of their bike on this site and was just blown away when i saw it in person. Unfortunately i didnt get a chance to talk to them, but the coincidence of seeing their bike was awesome.

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    I proceeded to get extremely intoxicated with my friends and our camp neighbor, which left me very hungover the next day culling my plans to hike angels landing in the morning. I got quite the late start on tuesday morning but still managed to have a pretty enjoyable ride home through the vermilion cliffs on 89a south.

    Took a quick stop at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. I really want to explore some trails, but the sand was so soft and it was already late in the afternoon.
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    I then caught the sunset near the vermilion cliffs and drove the rest of the way back to flagstaff in the dark
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    #1
  2. Badjuju

    Badjuju Biker Billy

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    It's a shame you couldn't make the hike up Angel's Landing--one of the more spectacular trails in a supremely spectacular place! Very beautiful photography, BTW!!!
    #2
  3. Grokking_Fullness

    Grokking_Fullness Adventurer

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    Thanks! Looks like ill have to make a trip back there to do the hike. Thankfully Zion is only 4 hours away!
    #3
  4. oldmanb777

    oldmanb777 Just say NO to socialism!

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    Those are some great pictures!:clap
    Do you get the credit for being a great photographer, OR, do you have a great camera? Either way, great shots. I have some vacation time the end of March, maybe, just maybe, I can make some of that.
    #4
  5. mr.slowpokey

    mr.slowpokey Been here awhile

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    angels landing is an amazing hike and view. 4 hrs from flag, that would be a fun overnighter, whos in? :evil leave early on a sat morning and come back sunday after the hike. :huh Last time I hiked angels landing was with a friend. Made it to the top just after sunrise, then back down to the restaurant and had breakfast. Loaded the bikes, '11 KLR (mine) and a 650GS, and rode back to phoenix. That was a bit of a long day. But totally worth it. :D
    #5
  6. Grokking_Fullness

    Grokking_Fullness Adventurer

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    haha thanks! i use a fuji xp point and shoot camera, then go in and do a little bit of post editing.

    count me in!

    ill be heading back to michigan end of april, start of may. anyone in the area that wants to join in for any part is always welcome!
    #6
  7. mr.slowpokey

    mr.slowpokey Been here awhile

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    Hows the weather mid march in Zion? Stay at the lodge? its a shorter hike and you don't have to catch the bus/ tram.
    #7
  8. Grokking_Fullness

    Grokking_Fullness Adventurer

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    not sure, but it was in the mid 60s when i was there yesterday (2/11). I believe the road is open to private vehicles from october to may as well.
    #8
  9. mr.slowpokey

    mr.slowpokey Been here awhile

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    perfect weather. I think you have to have a pass to go where the cabins are. This could be a fun trip. :clap
    #9
  10. AZ Mark

    AZ Mark Long timer

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    Great report & Pic's :clap :clap :clap
    Nice to see this... Lone Rock Beach is generally covered by RV, tents, quads, and occasionally topless European tourists.
    #10
  11. Grokking_Fullness

    Grokking_Fullness Adventurer

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    thanks! I can only imagine what a zoo that place turns into during the summer. I moved to flagstaff in October so ive been reaping the benefits of the off season.
    #11
  12. red bud

    red bud alky w/motorcycle problem

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    i was there in sept & meant to but missed out on angels landing too
    #12
  13. Starbuck21

    Starbuck21 Manly scooterist!

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    Excellent report and fantastic pictures! Thanks for taking us with you!

    :D
    #13
  14. txplants

    txplants Pastafarian

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    Great pictures! I've got to get out there someday soon.
    #14
  15. McGillicutty

    McGillicutty Adventurer

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    Wow, the water level of the lake sure has dropped since I was there last.
    #15
  16. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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    tucson, AZ, It's a dry hate.
    +1, not good.
    #16
  17. jtb

    jtb Long timer

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    +1 but I'm on the other side of the world!

    Awesome photography!:clap:clap
    #17
  18. MasterMarine

    MasterMarine Long timer

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    Enjoy yourself down there. Lots of good stuff to see!

    The Paria movie set burned down. It was pretty cool. There used to be a campground down there too but I guess the BLM removed it. After you cross the river, there are some building remains kind of to the east of where the movie set used to be. There used to be a chimney standing up over there and then more stuff to the south a bit. Did you find the graveyard?

    Look at the grocery store or bookstore in Flagstaff for some hiking books for Hiking the Paria by Kelsey. There are lots of ideas for interesting things to see in the area in his books. I always wanted to check out the Monkey House but never did get there.
    #18
  19. rootsy

    rootsy Been here awhile

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    Beautiful images! I love that area. The colors are so brilliant and the contrast so striking. Thank for the report!
    #19