Grand Canyon Backcountry Adventure Ride

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by dave6253, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,234
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
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    I've been dreaming of this trip for a few years.

    The route is planned, GPS loaded...

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    and the bike is ready.

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    September 20th
    I leave town around 11 AM.
    I can't wait to leave the triple digit heat behind. I'm already regretting wearing the winter jacket and pants.

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    I have 11 days to get all the way around the Grand Canyon to as many backcountry viewpoints as possible.

    But first, the super-slab.

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    At Tusayan I turn off the pavement and leave the regular tourists behind.

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    There are MILLIONS of visitors to the Grand Canyon each year. You may think getting away from everyone
    would be more difficult, but I've heard of a place even here on the South Rim where you can be alone.

    It will cost you though...

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    I cross the tracks for the Grand Canyon Railroad...

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    and get reacquainted with my bike in the gravel.

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    I haven't been able to ride much over the summer.

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    I enter the Havasupai Reservation.

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    I reach a gate and am contacted by a Tribal Ranger. Actually, he was a teenager wearing jeans, t-shirt, and an
    unbuttoned official looking ranger uniform shirt. He was polite and asked where I was going.
    "Havasupai Point" I answer. He asked for $25 and I handed it over. I knew this ahead of time
    and was prepared (financially and emotionally). He tells me they have an elk hunt going on
    and warns that all of the other roads are off limits and he opened the gate for me.

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    My $25 allows me access to about four miles of this "road".

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    At this intersection I turn right onto the South Bass Road.

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    The "road" went up a wash with heavy erosion damage. The trench and washouts crisscross the road requiring repeated crossings.
    At times the entire track was washed out with loose sand and rocks making it interesting.

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    I leave the Tribal Lands and enter the National Forest...

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    and then into the National Park. No one asked to see my annual park pass.

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    The trail doesn't improve in the park.

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    I reach the Grand Canyon at the South Bass Trailhead. There were two SUVs in the parking lot, but the owners were off hiking.

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    South Bass Trailhead View

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    I head back a short ways and cross this puddle again.

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    I find the left turn towards Havasupai Point.

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    The trail gets narrower and it is obvious not as many people venture out this way.

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    This log wasn't to big so I decided to ride over my first ever log even though I could have gone around it.
    I was surprised at how easy the bike rolled over it. This may have contributed to an over-confidence issue later in the trip...:evil

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    I reach Havasupai Point on a different route than planned. The purple line is the intended route, but that
    trail is now closed. You must ride almost all the way to the South Bass Trailhead before taking the squiggly
    line over to Havasupai Point.

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    I like it here.

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    I think I'll be like this cactus and hang out at the edge here awhile.

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    The Colorado River flows thousands of feet below me.

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    I set up camp and make dinner plans...

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    while I watch the sunset.

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    After dinner I crawl into the tent and read a book before going to sleep. It feels nice to be alone at the Grand Canyon again.

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    This place isn't even that far from home.

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    Day 1 Tracks in Google Earth

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    #1
  2. Hootowl

    Hootowl Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,279
    Location:
    Bend Oregon
    Another ride report from one of the very best photographers on ADV.
    I'll be watching and following closely and frequently
    Richard
    #2
  3. Mcgee

    Mcgee Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    357
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    Yes, excellent photo’s. Can’t wait for more!
    #3
  4. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,479
    Location:
    St. George, UT
    In early. :clap Excellent Dave . . . I suspect you're coming my way . . . I'll be watching . . . :thumb
    #4
  5. F800ekelley

    F800ekelley Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    89
    Location:
    valley of the sun
    Wow the tent photo is front page for sure amazing only thing missing is me i would love this ride looks amazing
    #5
  6. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    2,754
    Location:
    Corral de Tierra CA, Ketchum ID
    I was wondering where your next "most excellent" report would take us!
    #6
  7. 2eddies

    2eddies playing in Telluride

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    113
    Location:
    Santa Fe, New Mexico, Rocky Mountains, USA
    Great pics as always Dave. I've looked at that spot on the rez on the South Rim on maps. Thanks for taking us there. Waiting to see where else you go around the GC. The West is the best!!!!
    #7
  8. AKMotorbiker

    AKMotorbiker Searching for sanity

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2013
    Oddometer:
    251
    Location:
    So California (temp)
    I've been waiting for your next report! I've also had the Grand Canyon on my mind. I can't wait to read all about this one.
    #8
  9. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,234
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I was up early to watch the sunrise at Havasupai Point.

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    I usually try to avoid lens flare, but this one turned out interesting.

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    I pack up and head back on the same roads. Everything seems easier the second time around and I was hungry,
    so I made good time getting back to Tusayan where I had a McDonalds breakfast.

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    Havasupai Point is the only remote viewpoint I know of on the South Rim that you can ride to. The others are controlled by the Indian Tribes.

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    I've got a lot of pavement to ride if I want to get around the west end of the canyon.


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    I pass through a bad collision scene involving at least 2 commercial trucks.

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    I can only go as fast as the truck in front of me, but the guy in the yellow vest above is flapping his arm as fast as he can as though it will speed all of us up.
    We were already doing about 30. He probably saw the camera in my hand and he began screaming at me to move along. I screamed right back, "F--k You"!

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    After a short run on I-40 I take the scenic route along the US 66.
    It is Saturday morning so there are Hot Rods, RVs, Harleys, and one KTM out here today.
    This Hot Rod driver gives me a big thumbs up.

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    Oh! I just realized I...

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    REALLY

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    LOVE

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    DAISIES!:lol3

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    #9
  10. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Thanks for the very nice compliment, Hootowl. I hope you enjoy the report.

    Thanks for coming along, Mcgee.

    Hi RRR. I actually thought of contacting you when I found myself unexpectedly spending time in St. George.
    #10
  11. dave6253

    dave6253 aka. dave62538675309

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,234
    Location:
    Phoenix, Arizona
    If you like tent photos, stand by. I have a few that are probably better than that one. Thanks F800ekelley!

    Thanks for coming along again, Bob! I always like hearing from you.

    Thanks 2eddies. I almost didn't go to Havasupai Point as I thought it was ridiculous to pay $25 for access to about 4 miles of bad roads. I'm glad I did as it was definitely worth it. Havasupai Point is almost directly across the canyon from Point Sublime and has the similar spectacularly wide view.
    #11
  12. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    15,415
    Location:
    On a set of 50,000 mile tires.
    Sweet!!

    Remember to pan right, kids.


    :clap:clap
    #12
  13. LittleWan

    LittleWan You can do it!

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,815
    Location:
    behind BigWan, trying to keep my feet tucked in :)
    Hiya Dave!

    Great to see you on the KTM again! :D hey, you only recently blacked it out, right? :scratch

    I'm looking forward to more gorgeous night sky photos...

    :lurk
    #13
  14. DMCaton

    DMCaton Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    18
    Location:
    Edwardsville, IL
    In! I just recently made the trip out to the GC from St. Louis but it was closed off because of our wonderful politicians... So I'm looking forward to seeing everything that I missed!
    #14
  15. Mr Head

    Mr Head PowerPoint ADV

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Oddometer:
    7,877
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    Awesome!
    #15
  16. Glenn5995

    Glenn5995 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    :lurk
    #16
  17. NMTrailboss

    NMTrailboss Team Dead End

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,496
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    IN! :clap

    :lurk

    This looks to be a great report and the photography is outstanding! I've always wanted to do a tour around the Grand Canyon with as much off road as possible. Looking forward to the rest of your report!
    #17
  18. RedRockRider

    RedRockRider Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,479
    Location:
    St. George, UT
    #18
  19. yyzmdo

    yyzmdo Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    25
    Smokin' RR, really enjoying the pics. What a beautiful area!!
    #19
  20. Mendo

    Mendo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    243
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Wow your Photography is amazing! Looking forward to this one
    #20