GCBAR - Grand Canyon Backcountry Adventure Route - The Complete Route

Discussion in 'GPS Tracks - West & PNW' started by dave6253, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    [​IMG]

    The GCBAR is a route of my own creation that I have been dreaming about, exploring, and working on for many years. I finally have enough information to piece together a comprehensive route that will take you to as many as 27 spectacular backcountry off-road viewpoints, plus many others along the South Rim Drive and Cape Royal Road on the North Rim. Many of the places along this route see very few visitors each year.

    The GCBAR begins at Tusayan, Arizona (the village just outside of the South Rim Entrance Station) and ends in Mesquite, Nevada. Two alternate tracks are included; an exit to Mesquite via Elbow Canyon, plus a paved route around the west from Mesquite to Tusayan for those that wish to complete a loop.

    The GCBAR between Tusayan and Mesquite is 1105 miles long - 845 miles or 76% off-road. If the South Rim sections were excluded and one were to start at Buffalo Ranch Road, the route is 820 miles - 92 miles or only 11% paved.

    Attached are 2 GPX files. "GCBAR Complete Seperate Tracks (2016)" Is broken up into 13 seperate tracks - all less than 500 points. This is useful for those of us with older GPS units that have a 500 point maximum per track. If your GPS unit can handle 4,250 points in a single track then "GCBAR Complete Combined Tracks (2016)" is for you. If anyone wants the sections as stand-alone tracks, I can add those later.

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    I'll add more information to this thread, but if you are interested in riding this, you can find tons of information in the 3 Ride Reports that the GCBAR Tracks are based on.


    Alone on the GCBAR - Again
    October 2015, Another solo journey to add new tracks and revisit the route of my own creation in the Grand Canyon Backcountry.
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    Grand Canyon Backcountry Adventure Ride
    September, 2013, 9 days around the Grand Canyon to stunning remote viewpoints alone on the KTM 990
    This was my most complete and adventurous circumnavigation of the Grand Canyon to date.
    The formation of my own backcountry adventure route - the GCBAR - is nearly complete.

    [​IMG] ..........[​IMG] ..........[​IMG]

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    All the Way Around the Grand Canyon
    June 2009, A solo ride around the Grand Canyon on the KTM 990 including some remote viewpoints on the North Rim.
    My first ride to many of the places later included in the GCBAR (Grand Canyon Backcountry Adventure Route)

    [​IMG] ..........[​IMG]

    Thanks for being patient, guys!
    My list of interested inmates: @larryboy @BigDogAdventures @mntdawg @rtwpaul @KYMike @cyclebabble @pranajerni @Rips Millar @BlueFargo @TM1(SS) @Britome @DZRTRCR @Questor @antirich5 @kaia @refokus @One Less Harley @Sphene @wbbnm @mathews42 @jadedillusion @Bronco3738 @NMTrailboss @Countdown @HogWild @TommyDuncan @PeterKaa @Everett49 @Thacher @ElBandido @Ziamon @flying.moto @Ginger Beard @joenuclear @scottmac @RedRockRider @motocopter @mtncrawler @ezrdr55 @couchtater @LittleWan @BigWan @wanger88 @Dangeross @gdm @wirepuller @Cannonshot



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    Attached Files:

    #1
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  2. mntdawg

    mntdawg NOT FRAGILE OR GREEN

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    :thumbup
    Thank you!
    :thumbup:thumbup
    #2
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  3. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    Awesome! Thanks!
    #3
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  4. ridefire

    ridefire Been here awhile

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    Thank you for sharing! I've drooled over you reports for years , I'm going to try this 2 up with my lady in the spring.
    #4
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  5. PeterKaa

    PeterKaa Been here awhile

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    Mate! Fantastic! Thanks for putting in the effort!

    It is very much appreciated!
    #5
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  6. KYMike

    KYMike Been here awhile

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    Thanks Dave!
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  7. robdogg

    robdogg turnip truck driver

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    amazing.. thanks for sharing
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  8. refokus

    refokus Hmmmmmm

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    Dave, thanks for putting this together and sharing the adventure and the tracks. I see a trip to the GC, and around coming up this year. :thumb
    #8
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  9. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    What's the best time of year to attempt this route?

    Many of these tracks will become completely impassable during wet weather. The upper elevations of the Kaibab Plateau (North Rim) sees significant snowfall that can last fairly late into the season. I once rode in a heavy snowstorm with 2 inches of accumulation in June! The North Rim areas of the National Park are closed from November 1- May 15th. Mid-July, August, and early September are the Monsoon Months with thunderstorms possible nearly every day. The Kaibab Plateau trails usually hold up pretty well under wet weather, but all of the others get muddy real quick. That leaves June to Early July, or Late September to Late October as the best times to plan. The first week or so of October is usually a good time for fall colors in the aspens - and you will be riding through plenty of aspens. Keep your plans flexible and be willing to change them ahead of wet weather. Be prepared for huge differences in temperatures. During my October 2013 trip, I saw temps range from 25 to 105 F.

    Fuel?
    There are way points for each fuel station that I'm aware of along the route. (If I have missed any, let me know). Most bikes of normal fuel ranges can do much of the route without an issue. The Western Arizona Strip sections from Fredonia, AZ to Mesquite, NV is at least 373 miles between fuel stations! Located in the middle of this section is the Bar-10 Ranch. This small resort runs ATV tours, so they have a large fuel tank. They are known to sell fuel to motorcyclists. Last report I heard, it was $7 a gallon and they usuallu average about twice as much as fuel in St. George. Bar-10 is 176 miles from the Judd Chevron in Fredonia and 163 miles from 2 stations in Mesquite. Neither distance includes the 26 miles to Whitmore Overlook and back to Bar-10. The alternate Track 12 to Mesquite via Elbow Canyon adds 11 miles. Carry enough fuel and consider your fuel economy over rugged terrain.

    Camping in the National Park?
    There are 3 designated campgrounds within the park, as well as lodging. These usually require reservations many months in advance, aren't real close to the rim, and are jam-packed with tourists. Good luck.
    You will be riding to many remote places within the park that are perfect primitive campsites. Camping here requires a backcountry permit. This includes the formerly free campground at Toroweap.
    Visit the NPS backcountry permit page for more details: http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/backcountry-permit.htm
    I have obtained these permits before. There are suggestions in my RRs about camping that I won't go into here... As I understand, the backcountry permit system divides the park to large regions and limits the number of people in that region for each night. Just because no one else is at an awesome campsite at Point Sublime or Toroweap doesn't mean they will issue you a permit.
    Large sections of this route are in National Forests, BLM land, or other non-park lands. There are tons of free and legal places to camp here. Notable free spots within the national forest with canyon views are Saddle Mountain Trailhead and Crazy Jugs Point.

    Tribal Fees?
    To reach the incredible Havasupai Pt (the only South Rim backcountry point you can still ride to) you use about 4 miles of road across the Hualapai Reservation. For this privilege, they may charge you $25. It's worth it. Last fall, there was no one to collect my fee at the gate, so I rode around it and entered the reservation anyway. I have no idea how much trouble I may have been in if caught, so I wouldn't recommend the same.
    If you wish to ride off-road in the Navajo Nation (Tatahatso Point is on the route) you must obtain a permit at the visitor center in Cameron. It is located on the southwest corner of the roundabout junction of Highways 64 & 89. There is a way point in the tracks. The visitor center is open from 8-5, I think. The office is closed on Saturday and Sunday during the winter months. I was there the first week of October 2015 and the nice lady told me it was their last weekend of the season. The fees are reasonable. An overnight camping pass covering 2 days and 1 night was about $18. You can obtain these permits in advance by mail if you know the dates you will be visiting.

    Navajo Permit Office (with Clean Restrooms)
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    I'm sure I'll add more info later. If you guys have questions planning your trip, fire away!
    #9
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  10. MotoChron

    MotoChron Got Dirt?!

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    Dave,

    Thanks so much for this, I appreciate all the work that went into it. Been an avid reader of your reports for years, and your pictures are phenomenal. Hope to see some of these magnificent landscapes for myself this spring.
    #10
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  11. MrKiwi

    MrKiwi 42

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    :beer thanks...
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  12. russ4ru

    russ4ru Adventurer

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    Thank you Dave Appreciate it !!:clap
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  13. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Thanks for posting this. Looks like an epic trip.

    I have done most of it. But I see a few rim excursions in your big picture map that don't look familiar. Anxious to dive into the details.

    I hope the moderator doesn't move this to a Trip Report forum where it will get buried like they did my last attempt to include a few pictures with the tracks.

    Did you have any trouble with Elbow Canyon near Mesquite? We had some minor issues getting up it a couple of years ago but everybody made it.
    #13
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  14. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Yes. I found Elbow Canyon to be pretty difficult. I had 1 tipover. I imagine it would be a little easier going down. The Track 12 alternate includes Elbow Canyon, but avoids all the sand on Mud Mountain Road.
    #14
  15. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    Sweet, can't wait to ride it!!

    :webers
    #15
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  16. gregoblv

    gregoblv Been here awhile

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    Thanks, Dave.

    I had often wondered if there was some way to see the ditch besides the normal park access, now I know and can follow your tracks.
    #16
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  17. COLORADOF800GS

    COLORADOF800GS Adventurer

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    Thanks for posting, and great pics!
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  18. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    +1

    Ride Report without Tracks are useless, like reading a magazine. Then all the photos of food make me think it is now an epicurean web site. Then all the photos flipping the bird, it must be a Jr. High School web site for the kids with pimples trying to look grown up.

    Tracks with a few photos showing the really good/bad stuff is real useful information.
    #18
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  19. DeepSea

    DeepSea electronically challenged

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    Nice work Dave, thanks for sharing. :beer

    Can't wait to ride it.

    Steve
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  20. couchtater

    couchtater hunting wabbits

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    Wow!! Thank you very much! We are planning a multi week trip this Oct, I'll certainly be using some of your tracks.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
    #20
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