To the Southwest and back

Discussion in 'Americas' started by RogueSatchmo, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. RogueSatchmo

    RogueSatchmo Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    El Paso TX
    I have been trying to plan out my trip for a while now and I want to get some more input here. I am going on a 2-3 week trip to the southwest. This is my last trip before I hit active duty in July so I want to have the best time before I hit the "real world". I am riding a 99 KLR650 and this will be my first big trip on a bike. I will be camping out as much as possible, possibly using the tent space thread to get some spots if I can't make it to a National Park. I will be doing a lot of off roading and don't mind taking back roads to get there.

    My route (main points really)
    -SE Kansas to Colorado
    -Great Sand Dunes National Park, 2 days
    -through Rio Grande National Forest
    -Hit up Durango, CO and the trails there, 2 days
    -Head to Mesa Verde NP
    -Shiprock AZ
    -Hit Antelope Canyon and Glenn Canyon NATL Rec Area, 2 days
    -Also going to hit Natural Bridges NP and the back road to there, Mutaki Overlook(SP?), been there twice already and I love visiting there.
    -Head to Zion NP- Spend 2-3 days there
    -Thru Dixie NTL forest and Bryce Canyon NP
    -Capitol Reef/ Glenn Canyon NTL rec area and I am going to hit Burr Trail, I hear it's great. Spend a 2 days there
    -Then head over to Moab UT and Arches NP, White Rim trail is on the list, anything else?


    At this point I am feeling the end of my must visit locations, and I am looking for anything else to visit. I might just head to Colorado and hit up Rocky Mountain NP and go thru some back roads to get there.

    I am completely open to info, suggestions and other help. Thanks!

    -Joe
    #1
  2. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    8,493
    Location:
    Denver, more or less.
    What's Rio Grande National Park?

    Do you mean Big Bend National Park on the Rio Grande? If so, I agree wholeheartedly. If you didn't mean Big Bend, I recommend you change your plans and go there.

    Googling Rio Grande National Park comes up with nothing... unless you mean Rio Grande National Forest. I don't know anything about that place at all.

    Jamie
    #2
  3. RogueSatchmo

    RogueSatchmo Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    El Paso TX
    I did mean National Forest. I am sticking to the Utah, Colorado area mainly. For this this, Big Bend is way out of the way. I'm hitting Big Bend next week actually over spring break. I'm looking forward to seeing that!
    #3
  4. HeadShrinker

    HeadShrinker www.good-adv.com

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,515
    Location:
    Cortez, Colorado & Navajo Nation
    Make sure that you hit Monument Valley and Valley of the Gods, Mulley Point, and the Gooseneck State Park. There is a nice road under Mulley Point (?Johns Canyon) that goes back about 15-20 miles with some amazing camping spots at the end or along the way.

    I can definitely host you if you are riding the Navajo Reservation.

    It's usually always epic out here.

    Send me a pm if I can help!
    #4
  5. Eyes Shut

    Eyes Shut See no evil

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,366
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    If you don't already have one, get yourself a Parks Pass:
    http://www.kinsail.com/results.asp?...ency&r=google&GroupName=Interagency Pass 2013

    The cost is $80 but it covers all entrance fees into national parks and other federal lands that have a fee, for a year. (It doesn't cover camping fees.)

    Also, it will be toasty in Moab, Arches, Zion and that general area in July, so be prepared for heat.

    Rocky Mountain National Park is excellent in July! You might want to cut down a bit on your Utah travels and do a bit more in Colorado, to avoid the heat.
    #5
  6. RogueSatchmo

    RogueSatchmo Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    El Paso TX
    All good points to hit, I might just take you up on the offer! I have been through Valley of the Gods, but just driving thru. I probably would check it out and then head to Natural Bridges and up the Moki Dugway(been through there twice and loved it both times)
    #6
  7. RogueSatchmo

    RogueSatchmo Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    El Paso TX
    Oh yes, that pass will pay for itself real quick. I love having it. That's a good idea, staying more in the mountains for the cooler weather. I have no problems doing that. Any must see places in Colorado? I would like to hit some trails and perhaps see old mining towns. I know there are some at Holy Cross.
    #7
  8. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,117
    Location:
    Durango,CO(not quite Purgatory)
    There really isn't much to see in Shiprock, AZ.
    #8
  9. RogueSatchmo

    RogueSatchmo Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    El Paso TX
    I have some family in the area, so I plan to stop and visit them.

    I will adjust the course and spend some time in the Canyon Lands, maybe spend the night out there.
    #9
  10. barko1

    barko1 barko1

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,548
    Location:
    By a lot of nice riding
    I often find the National Parks a more crowded and less pleasant camping experience and that the national forests are a better option. July is high elevation time, cruise through the lower stuff in the morning, no fun camping in high heat of the Colorado Plateau desert. Look into Silverton/Ouray, Grand Mesa, 141 from Moab but stay in the La Sals. Abajo Mtns West of Monticello might be a good stop before a morning run along Indian Creek, then escape to the La Sals. Bryce Canyon has good elevation but tooo many frig... tourists. Have fun :clap
    #10
  11. RogueSatchmo

    RogueSatchmo Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    El Paso TX
    So I finalized alot of my trip.


    Trip Plan Distance on pavement- 2800 miles or so

    Part 1

    [​IMG]
    May 28
    Fort Scott to La Veta CO
    609 miles
    Possibly spending the night here with a forum member.

    May 29
    La Veta to Great National Sand Dunes NP
    71 miles
    Spend the night and some of the next day

    May 30
    Sand Dunes to Durnago, CO
    180 miles
    Spend night in Rio Grande NF

    May 31
    Find some trails here and spend the day riding
    I could use some input here if anyone has some

    June 1/ 2
    Durango to Natural Bridges NP
    170 miles
    Spend the night here and next day

    Part 2
    [​IMG]

    June 3
    Natural Bridges to Gooseneck State park, Monument Valley and finally spending the night at HeadShrinkers place in Kayenta AZ
    104 miles

    June 4
    Kayenta AZ to Lower Antelope Canyon then to Coral Pink dunes SP
    200 miles
    Spend night at the SP,

    Part 3
    [​IMG]
    June 5,6,7
    Coral Pink to Zion NP
    40 miles
    Spending some time here, hiking the narrows and doing some other things.

    June 8/9
    Zion to Capitol Reef
    192 miles
    Spend the night here and the next day at Glenn Canyon NP
    -Hit the Burr trail

    June 9/10
    Capitol Reef to Arches NP and Moab
    150 miles
    -White Rim trail


    Part 4
    [​IMG]

    June 11-14th
    Moab to Fort Scott, headed through Aspen and other parts of Colorado

    Working on where to stay in this area. I have a few people that I have contacted, so it's a waiting game now.

    I am flexible here, I want to enjoy as much of this as I possible can, so I can adjust this if something even better comes up!
    #11
  12. Motozark

    Motozark Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    113
    Location:
    Greenfield, Missouri
    Looks like an awesome adventure! I have a 2004 KLR that I am setting up for just this type of adventure and I am curious as to how you have yours set up?
    #12
  13. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,326
    Location:
    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    1st & foremost have a great tour & come back safe & sound! FWIW, I'm a KS boy too.

    As for Durango area-its been awhile but I've done the trail/dirt road that runs from Ouray to Silverton,CO and it is scenic with very few people on it. Has an old mining area and was used nearer to Silverton to shoot some of the scenes in an old Audie Murphy western. Before GPS I used a book called Jeep Trails of CO w/maps to find trails there. I'm sure much is online now. Have fun & wish I was going too!
    #13
  14. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Junkie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8,596
    Location:
    Out in the NM Dez somewhere
    On day 9, I'd route from Zion past Brice NP on Hwy 12 to Capitol Reef, You'll ride the hogback, it's a must on MCs :evil

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You can thank me later
    #14
  15. barko1

    barko1 barko1

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    3,548
    Location:
    By a lot of nice riding
    +1 Rt 12, and Rt 95:clap
    #15