Grand Canyon Backcountry Adventure Ride

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

  1. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    I spent the morning in Kanab, UT and Fredonia, AZ where I eat breakfast, shop for groceries, refill my water supplies and fuel etc.
    I also had to tighten the gear shift lever as the bolt was backing out.



    It was about 11:30 as I turned off of Ryan Road and headed towards Gunsight Point.
    My GPS says to go straight here, but the majority of traffic obviously goes right.


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    I follow my GPS which shows this route will hook back up with the other road straight ahead.

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    It was fun, until the road ended in several faint tracks, none which seemed to be heading in the right direction.
    So back to the intersection I go. Everyone else turns right, I had to turn left.:D

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    Just follow this sign, stupid. Ignore the GPS.

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    I met some nice German tourists that had wandered out here in a rented 4x4 pickup.
    I think Kanab Point is visible from here, but I'm not sure.

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    Gunsight Point Panorama

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    To the left I see the Kaibab Plateau. I intentionally saved the best for last...

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    The rear tire was new at the start of this trip. I don't think the Heidenau likes rocks.

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    This is Arizona, so some road signs are hard to read.

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    Ryan Road Approaching The Kaibab Plateau

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    Ryan Road turns into the FS 22, the main west side road that will take you all the way to Highway 67 near the park entrance.

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    But I'm not going to the touristy areas. I turn off on FS 235 towards the Kanab Creek Wilderness.

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  2. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Yes. I'll post up a link to the tracks at the end of the report, unless you need them right now.

    Thanks brother! I'm thinking the west view from Toroweap was my favorite shot of the whole trip.
    That shot is an HDR panorama from 30 exposures.

    You forgot undress, redress.:lol3 It was warm. I stripped down to shorts and t-shirt.
  3. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    I don't know, Paul. The last I saw your bike it was having a hard time holding gas in as well.:D
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    Sound advice. Glad I could help.
  4. NMTrailboss

    NMTrailboss Team Dead End

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    :clap

    :thumb

    I've considered riding this area north of the Grand Canyon and even looked at it on maps a bit, but this report has pretty much convinced me this is a must ride! :D
  5. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    NMTrailBoss, Time to get the BLM Arizona Strip Map and start planning.

    I meant to put this description of the Arizona Strip from the BLM website at the start of the report, but then they closed the web...


    From the BLM







    I keep forgetting to add the maps in the right place.
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  6. NMTrailboss

    NMTrailboss Team Dead End

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    What maps DID you use for the primary planning for this trip? :ear
  7. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    The best map for out there is the BLM Arizona Strip Visitor Map.
    The one I purchased a week before the trip was dated 2010.
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    I also used Google Maps, Bing Maps, DeLorme and Benchmark Books. The BLM map has the best detail.
    Navigation is pretty easy to most places as there are signs at the major intersections. I used Garmin Mapsource
    to create tracks through the areas I was unsure of, but often the tracks I made were wrong because of deactivated
    trails and such. Most maps show lots of trails that no longer exist or are closed to vehicles. The tracks I made did
    assist greatly in reducing the number of times I had to stop to consult paper maps or play around with the GPS.
    If you have a GPS you can use my tracks out to the places I went to anyway.
  8. NMTrailboss

    NMTrailboss Team Dead End

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    Thank you for that info.! I pretty much use the same resources you mentioned for most of my trips. I was just wondering if you had a specific map for the AZ Strip area. That is a good tip and I'll have to see if a copy or newer version is still available. Love me some trip plannin'!! :evil
  9. AKMotorbiker

    AKMotorbiker Searching for sanity

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    If you want to answer at the end of your report that's cool but, did you consider following the canyon closer/more and was that impassable, a time factor, or gas issue?
  10. shasta650

    shasta650 Been here awhile

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    Always looking to get out of the snow to ride ,is that area at all snow free and rideable late winter?
  11. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    I was heading towards Jumpup Point.

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    The letters were peeling off this sign making some crazy looking fonts.
    There were several other points out here that I considered riding to, but they end up near Gunsight Point.

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    I was running out of time and I still wanted to ride Jumpup Point, Ranger Pass, Sowats Point, and Crazy Jugs Point.

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    While riding through this beautiful and barren valley I noticed the roadway and creek crossings had been freshly graded.
    It was graded rock and silt. At times the rock content wasn't enough and without ruts it was hard to judge where the soft slippery stuff began.


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    So that's why the roadway was freshly graded. The grader operator drove over and chatted with me. He said I was welcome to try it,
    but at least the next half a mile the road was washed out. He said I would be riding through boulders. They were just now getting to this
    section after the last big storm. He said no one knew what the roads were like further on as they were getting info as they went.
    He told me Ranger Pass would probably be very difficult. I was already running out of time and not in a mood for a lengthy fight with washed out roads.
    Jumpup Point will go on my long list of reasons to return.


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    I turned around and backtracked to the 423/427. I did get to find out how fun it is to ride through silt with a strong gusting tailwind.

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    The 423 and 427 are the type of roads I love. A fun rollercoaster twisting through the forest with not another soul around.

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    I hear Sowats Point is nice.

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    After all the rocks in Whitmore Canyon my ABS stopped working. Well, that and my inattention was the cause of my first tip-over of the trip.
    I know most of you dirt riders don't use the ABS in the dirt, but I never turn it off. I knew it wasn't working, but the mud puddle ahead was
    robbing me of all my attention. I was braking while trying to decide if I should take the detour or just splash through the mud when suddenly,
    I heard the front slide and I was tumbling in the dirt. The landing was very soft. My front tire had hit the edge of a hard rut at less than 10 mph
    with my fingers still on the front brake.

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    No damage I'm not proud of. :D

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    After all of the washes, deep sand, loose rocks, mud, and ruts I am surprised this was my first fall.

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    The road was fun and varied all the way out to Sowats Point.

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    I considered maybe staying out here, but there weren't enough trees to block the wind and the view wasn't all that grand.

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    I've always wanted to camp at Crazy Jugs anyway.

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  12. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Other than on the Hualapai Reservation on the south side I'm following the edge of the canyon about as close as you can. There is no rim drive out here. There are some routes from Mount Dellenbaugh RD over to Whitmore Canyon, but since I went out for gas I just took the most direct route back in. Some of the routes in that section pass through private ranches and I've read somewhere that ranchers had started locking some gates.

    I wouldn't suggest riding any of these roads when wet. Toroweap is usually accessible from Fredonia, but you would likely see snow and mud on Mt Trumbull and many of the higher elevations until late spring. The Kaibab Plateau would require a snow machine. I read a report years ago where Mud Mountain Rd was impassable due to mud from melting snow in late spring. May-June or Sept-Oct would be good times to plan rides up there.
  13. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    I been to Crazy Jugs Point several times before, but always at mid-day. I've been wanting to camp there.

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    I set up camp sheltered from the wind by trees. It was not as windy as last night, but I want some sleep tonight.

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    This would be the only sunset of the trip with some clouds in the sky.

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    The sun sets behind the clouds and...

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    a few minutes later gives an orange glow.

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    I'm at higher elevation tonight. Its gonna get chilly.

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    Drwnite likes this.
  14. VietHorse

    VietHorse Long timer

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    Recalculating... recalculating.... HCMC-Vietnam :)
    You, again, Dave. :thumb
    Sorry for not knowing your thread until today. :freaky
  15. 8thdwarf

    8thdwarf perfect,just perfect

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    nice stuff and great pics !!!
  16. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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    It's always tough to capture wind in a still photo, but I know what you mean...it'll wear you out all night long.

    My poor little first version Half Dome is about worn out, zippers don't zip, mouse ate a hole in it. :cry
  17. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Its nice to hear from you again, VietHorse!

    Thanks for following along, 8thdwarf!

    Mine it still holding up okay, but I'm not sure it saw a heavy rain. I have no idea if its still waterproof.
    I've never done it, but have you tried waxing the zippers? http://www.amazon.com/McNett-Stick-...TF8&qid=1382298441&sr=8-2&keywords=zipper+wax

    The wind at Kanab Point was screaming up the cliff face. When standing at the edge it would be easy for a gust to throw you over. I had to be real careful taking some of the photos. I'm surprised the 360 degree HDR panorama wasn't more crooked as I had to shoot that handheld while bracing against the gusts. I set the tent about 30 feet away from the edge and the wind wasn't as bad there. I used 2 stakes at each corner and took a couple boulders inside with me. A couple gusts during the night hit the tent so hard I got up to check the stakes.
  18. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    I catch the sunrise from Crazy Jugs Point.

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    It was chilly, but it will warm up for another nice sunny day.

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    Crazy Jugs Point is in the Kaibab National Forest (not the park) and there are no camping restrictions.
    A passenger car could get to it. In fact, I've seen a minivan out there before.
    If you don't mind more than 20 miles of gravel you could get a street bike there, no problem.

    While packing up camp, a Nissan Xterra showed up. A couple walks out to see the view.
    They were still there when I left, but we'll be seeing each other again today...


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    I set off excited and a little anxious. I'm hoping Point Sublime is accessible. The park keeps it closed frequently for deadfalls.
    With the high winds over the past few days, I'm hoping they haven't locked the gates.

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    This morning will be filled with fun tracks through the forest of pine and golden aspens...

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    ...and a few more points in the Kaibab National Forest.


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    Parissawampitts Point, say that a few times real fast.

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    I take a stroll, but this was the best view I got from here. I didn't want to walk all the way out there.

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    There was a zone of aspens about three miles from the rim that were turning gold already.

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    The roads out to the points are easy routes along ridges.

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    Between the ridges there is a shortcut road. The FS 250 is listed on the signs as a 4x4 road.
    The 250 dips into the valleys between the ridges. It was a fun little road that ran in the zone of colorful aspens.

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    The Xterra beat me to Fence Point by skipping Parissawampitts and taking the main roads.
    They must have been hauling ass...

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    The Rainbow Rim Trail is popular with mountain bikers it seems. There were campers near all of the points along this trail.

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    Fence Point Panorama

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  19. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    A Short Film

    <iframe frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="360" src="http://api.smugmug.com/services/embed/2846587132_6DdNmBd?width=640&height=360&albumId=22698538&albumKey=d5xrB7"></iframe>
  20. lqgsrider

    lqgsrider Been here awhile

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    Pics are amazing!

    thanks for posting