Ideas for late January riding in Southwest USA

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Carr1200R, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. Carr1200R

    Carr1200R n00b

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    Hey all, first post, have been a lurker for a while.

    I had plans to make it down From Central WA to mid/southern Cali with the bike and the trailer, then ride to a event in the LA area. Long story short, event canceled, and I have around a week left empty in the plan, from Fri 1/20 to around 1/28 maybe a little longer if I can.

    I'm not familiar with the area and was hoping you all might be able to recommend some nice options to take up that time.

    I'll be on my 1190 Adventure R, fully loaded for camping & Offroading. My skill level in the dirt is novice to intermediate. I'd really like to get off pavement at least a few times to get some more experience and have some fun, but nothing too gnarly as I'm definitely still building my dirt skillset and will be alone (as far as I know, open to riding with anyone). I have some training but limited solo practical experience.

    Not too limited on Funds, as said ex-event will be freeing up quite a bit. Also open to spending a chunk of miles on pavement to get to some choice spots around the SouthWest.

    My gear should work fine for anything other than serious cold (no heated gear or such), but that's part of my draw to riding south anyway, getting out of the snow and into the nicer temps! :D

    Any help or recommendations you all could provide would be much appreciated, thanks!
    #1
  2. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    Lots of good info over in the regionals.
    I'd suggest Death Valley. Just make sure you have camping reserved.
    Then head south. Tucson is another good destination that time of year. Good camp ground in the park south of town. Old Tucson area.
    Joshua Tree?
    Mojave Preserve?
    #2
  3. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

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    Hi

    Given the bike your on and skill level ...suggest you consider Arizona BDR....it's a big bike friendly route.....look at the butler maps for pre planned dirt/slab big routes.

    Scott
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  4. Carr1200R

    Carr1200R n00b

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    I looked at the AZ and NM BDR a bit, but was worried about snow and ice at higher elevation parts of it. Would most of it still be accomplishable this time of year?
    #4
  5. shrederscott

    shrederscott Long timer

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    Hi

    It's been a BIG snow year....so yeah the high stuff probably has snow.

    Maybe cross the border and hit Baja ?

    Scott
    #5
  6. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    Doubtful.
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  7. Hakatan

    Hakatan quality > quantity

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    How about Southern Utah? Valley of the Gods rd, Moki Dugway, Burr Trail. Etc. Very, very scenic and big bike friendly (for non-noobs)

    http://bluffutah.org/mokey-dugway-muley-point/

    Close to Bryce and Zion national parks too (Bryce is probably too high/cold at that time of year).
    #7
  8. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    Baja for sure.
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  9. oneway

    oneway Long timer

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    It was 16 degrees and snowing in Cedar City on Thursday.
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  10. portablevcb

    portablevcb Long timer

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    If you have not been to Death Valley I'd go there first. You can spend at least a couple days there. Some dirt roads are better traveled with someone as the rocks are sharp. They also had some bad washouts a year (or two) ago so check which areas are still open.

    Check weather. Snow in northern NM is mainly above the 7000ft mark, but, forecast is for another storm this weekend. Temps will also fall below freezing at night. Early last week we had below 10F at 6500ft.

    There are tons of dirt roads in mid/southern AZ/NM. Just look at a map in the area you want to go. Be mindful of elevation. Anything over 8000ft will probably have snow and maybe as low as 6000ft depending on recent storms. Most of the dirt roads I used to travel were in the high country.

    Also, this is Snowbird time in AZ, NM, TX. It is peak season in the desert country so most touristy locations will be full, especially campgrounds in the moderate climate areas.

    Last, if not familiar with riding off road on Indian reservations then check with someone first. Penalties can be harsh.
    #10
  11. rpilottx

    rpilottx Long timer

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    Big Bend National Park is worth the detour. It will probably be warm and lots of back country roads with primitive camping sites. I know it is not New Mexico or Arizona but worth the time if you have never been there. And right next door is the state park with lots more back country to explore.
    #11
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  12. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Southern part of the AZBDR is open, up till you get closer to the Mogollon rim.

    I'd venture the very southern part of NMBDR is open too.

    In California, Anza Borego is a great winter place to ride.
    #12
  13. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    I'd bring a passport and go ride some Baja too. Nothing warms up your senses in the winter like seeing some sand and beach knowing it's cold and snowing back home.
    Even if you just visit Puerto Penasco or San Fillipe & Guadalupe hot springs.
    #13
  14. Carr1200R

    Carr1200R n00b

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    I haven't made it south of the border on a bike before. Would it be pretty simple getting down to those areas with just a passport and little to no prior planning or prep?
    #14
  15. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I haven't done it either, but have heard that it is easy to travel down there with little prior planning. Search around advrider for baja threads. I've seen mention of cheap resorts that cater to riders. Chairs on the beach, beers, etc.

    That said, there is a lot of desert in SoCal that is great this time of year. In fact, your dates land on an event in Death Valley called "Death Valley Daze". (DVDAZE 2017) I went to this once and had a blast. Just chat around the campfire to see which motley crew best matches you skill level/destination desires, and tag along. Or go out on your own.

    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/dvdaze-2017-death-valley-january-26-29.1186464/
    #15
  16. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    Brrrrrrr.

    Check out the gas situation south of the border before you go that route. Baja is awesome, but if you can't get fuel it wouldn't be a good idea.

    I'm headed to the Anzo Borego area that Eakins mentioned sometime in February. That and Joshua Tree.
    #16
  17. Barakaiki

    Barakaiki Been here awhile

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    Curious about the Anza recommendation--do you have any more info on that? Many thanks!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  18. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

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    Not really. I've been over the mountain range there one time, on the way back from a Baja trip. And one of my employees grew up in San Diego and has been giving me some good ideas. I have been warned about sand.
    My plan is to trailer from Colorado down to either Sedona or Prescott and leave my truck/trailer with a friend and ride south and west from there.
    #18
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  19. Johnny Drunkard

    Johnny Drunkard Raggamuffin Super Moderator

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    Other than the Box Canyon section near Florence this (map 1, map 2) is all easy - moderate dirt roads and 2-track. The higher elevations may be freezing/snowing this time of year depending on weather. There's a tremendous variety of riding along this route.
    #19
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  20. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    We've been having a tremendous amount of rain in Los Angeles. Rain again 20/21. DVD is good, it can rain there, it has before (ask). Anza Borrego is good. Of course the further south you go the better.
    If you have your passport Baja is a breeze. You just ride in. You ought to buy vehicle insurance first before the border, tons of places advertise off the freeway. Once in you ought to get a tourist visa, but you don't need a TVIP for Baja. Like someone said if you just to to San Felipe it's great. Just 200 miles from San Diego, less from Mexicali. I'd go in at TJ and snake through Ensenada then over the mountians to San Felipe. If you are bad ass enough you could make the legendary Mikes Sky Ranch on your way over the mountains from Ensenada.
    #20
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