Father and Son lap the Grand Canyon

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Terry500RS, Oct 11, 2019.

  1. Terry500RS

    Terry500RS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Goleta, CA
    Day One
    Las Vegas to Mesquite​
    Matt works in the movie industry and he had an unexpected couple of weeks free in September. I recently retired and was ready to go. I was watching the temperatures and saw that the Grand Canyon area was cooling down. We thought a loop around the Grand Canyon which included some of the Great Western Trail that we didn’t finish two years ago would be a fun ride.
    https://advrider.com/f/threads/father-and-son-do-gwt.1258289/
    Using https://www.gpsxchange.com/ I found some good tracks by wbbnm and Jerry Counts in the Private Libraries section. I put together a track for seven days of riding with mostly dirt roads. I ride a Beta RS500 and Matt has a DRZ400. We left Santa Barbara in the morning with our bikes in the truck. In Henderson NV while unloading it started raining. We hurried up and hit the road heading Northeast on Hwy 167 or Northshore road. After a few minutes the thunderstorm passed us by. I found a short dirt road that lead us to Bitter Spring then back to the Hwy.
    [​IMG]P9231088 by 500RS, on Flickr

    One new track I found that hadn’t been posted yet was the dirt power line road from Moapa to Mesquite. The ride was very pretty and way better than Interstate 15. In all we rode 100 miles with about 40% dirt and pulled into Mesquite NV just before the sun set. We stayed at the Rising Star Sports Ranch for $47 a night. A good first day with no problems.

    GCDayOne.gpx

    [​IMG]P9231089 by 500RS, on Flickr

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    #1
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  2. wilddoktor

    wilddoktor Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2019
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    36
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    NorCal
    In!
    #2
  3. steved57

    steved57 Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2007
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    In too
    #3
  4. Terry500RS

    Terry500RS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Goleta, CA
    Day Two
    Mesquite NV to Bar 10 Ranch​
    We rode a couple of miles to the outskirts of Mesquite and headed up Whiterock road into Lime Kiln Canyon.
    Mesquite in the background
    [​IMG]P9241092 by 500RS, on Flickr
    It was a nice and cool morning. In general we keep a few minutes gap between us so we both can ride dust free. At one of the intersections I went the wrong way. I doubled back and figured Matt was ahead of me. I saw what looked like fresh tracks and picked up the pace to catch up. After about ten miles I was worried and confused because I hadn’t caught up with Him. Luckily I came upon some fire trucks and they said nobody had passed by, but then they said they had just turned onto this road? I continued on for a short while until I came to a turn that had a crusty surface from a recent rain. There were no tracks. I turned around and headed back. Sure enough Matt had a nail in his rear tire. Lesson learned stop at intersections and wait for your partner. By now it was pretty hot so we rested at Butch Cassidy’s hideout.
    [​IMG]P9241096 by 500RS, on Flickr

    Continuing on the trail we came to Mt Trumbull schoolhouse. The door was open and we checked it out.
    [​IMG]P9241102 by 500RS, on Flickr
    [​IMG]P9241103 by 500RS, on Flickr
    Thirteen miles later we were at the Bar 10 Ranch.
    [​IMG]P9241105 by 500RS, on Flickr
    The Bar 10 is crucial to dual sporters who travel in this area because they have gas, food and beds. https://www.bar10.com/ Because of the heat during the day we were very tired and were laying in bed before they lit the campfire for the other guests. The dirt roads were rough but not too challenging. We rode about 95% dirt today. Mesquite to the Bar 10 should have been about 90 miles. I rode a few extra doubling back.

    GCDayTwo.gpx


    [​IMG]P9241108 by 500RS, on Flickr

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    #4
  5. boomsling

    boomsling Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2012
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    413
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    Nevada
    Be safe!
    #5
  6. Terry500RS

    Terry500RS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Goleta, CA
    Day Three
    Bar 10 to Jacob Lake​
    Gassed up and rested we rode back back to the schoolhouse and turned right and headed up to Mt Trumbull. The elevation was around 6,500 feet and the forest was nice to ride through. Matt and I always seem to be riding where there are petroglyphs. Today was no exception, we took the turn off for the Nampaweap Site. The walk was about 1/2 mile and worth the effort.
    [​IMG]P9251115 by 500RS, on Flickr
    [​IMG]P9251116 by 500RS, on Flickr
    [​IMG]P9251118 by 500RS, on Flickr

    Continuing on we were headed for the Toroweap overlook. Of course pictures don’t do the view justice.
    [​IMG]IMG_5150 by 500RS, on Flickr
    We could hear Lava Rapids deep down in the canyon.
    [​IMG]P9251129 by 500RS, on Flickr

    The morning leg for gas to Fredonia AZ was about 120 miles. A few miles outside of Fredonia we took Hwy 22 South. Great two lane blacktop road, only saw a few cars. Then we used dirt road 461 to cut over to Jacob’s Lake. About 75 % dirt and 149 miles total.

    GCDayThree.gpx

    [​IMG]P9251134 by 500RS, on Flickr

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    #6
  7. Hakatan

    Hakatan quality > quantity

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2006
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    1,103
    Location:
    Perusing my Colorado Benchmark...
    Good ride, so far. Great you got to ride it with your son. Looking forward to the next installment
    #7
  8. Terry500RS

    Terry500RS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Goleta, CA
    Day Four
    Jacob Lake to Cliff Dwellers Lodge​
    We left our cabin at Jacob Lake under overcast skies. One block down the road we got back on dirt road 461 heading West to the 22. Our goal was to head South and stop at Crazy Jug, Fire Point and Sublime overlooks. Unfortunately the Forest Service posted a sign that said Crazy Jug was the only overlook open due to fires. We decided to head to Crazy Jug anyway and reroute back to Hwy 67.
    [​IMG]P9261138 by 500RS, on Flickr
    After leaving the overlook a light rain started. At 7 to 9,000 feet I was a little worried it would snow.
    Almost Fall colors
    [​IMG]IMG_5172 by 500RS, on Flickr
    By the time we got to Hwy 67 the rain stopped and when we arrived at Bright Angel Point it was sunny and warm.
    [​IMG]P9261141 by 500RS, on Flickr
    After a snack at the deli we headed North on Hwy 67 to get gas at the North Rim Country Store. The morning leg to gas was 95 miles. About 3 miles North of the gas stop we turned on a dirt road that would take us off the Kaibab Plateau down into House Rock Valley. The road was fairly rocky and doable on any size bike.
    [​IMG]P9261149 by 500RS, on Flickr
    We headed towards two overlooks of the Colorado river.
    [​IMG]P9261155 by 500RS, on Flickr
    [​IMG]P9261162 by 500RS, on Flickr
    [​IMG]P9261163 by 500RS, on Flickr
    I believe some parts of the roads in House Rock Valley are part of the GWT. Vermillion Cliffs in background
    [​IMG]P9261168 by 500RS, on Flickr
    We never saw a soul the whole afternoon.
    [​IMG]P9261165 by 500RS, on Flickr
    Heading North across the valley we hit Hwy 89A and continued 10 miles to Cliff Dwellers Lodge. Great food and rooms. The afternoon leg was 72 miles for a total of 167 miles. About 70% dirt.

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    [​IMG]P9261169 by 500RS, on Flickr

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    #8
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  9. Terry500RS

    Terry500RS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Goleta, CA
    Day Five
    Cliff Dwellers Lodge to Cameron Trading Post​
    We left the Lodge and stopped at the Navajo Bridge and snapped a few pictures.
    [​IMG]IMG_5189 by 500RS, on Flickr
    Continuing on Hwy 89 we finally came to the turn off for the Navajo overlooks. Unfortunately I didn’t spend enough time researching how to legally access the Navajo Reservation. We headed out across the broad pasture land towards the Grand Canyon. On the way we saw a herd of wild horses and a coyote before stopping at two overlooks across from where we were the day before.
    [​IMG]P9271176 by 500RS, on Flickr
    [​IMG]P9271177 by 500RS, on Flickr
    [​IMG]P9271183 by 500RS, on Flickr
    On our way to a third overlook we met a truck on the road. The gentleman asked if we had permits, we didn’t. He then politely asked that we head back to the Hwy. We asked for the most direct route, thanked him and headed to Hwy 89. Continuing South we stopped at Moenave Dinosaur Tracks. The tracks are on the Reservation and pulling up to the plywood road side stands there Tyler came out and offered to give us a tour. He was very ambitious and fairly knowledgeable about the history. It impressed me to be looking at 200 million year old dinosaur tracks. We took lots of pictures and spent some time just wandering around.
    [​IMG]P9271192 by 500RS, on Flickr
    [​IMG]P9271195 by 500RS, on Flickr
    Mother and youngster prints
    [​IMG]P9271205 by 500RS, on Flickr
    Dinosaur droppings
    [​IMG]P9271202 by 500RS, on Flickr
    It was early afternoon when we pulled into Cameron Trading Post for the night. 129 miles total for the day only about 40% dirt. I’m only going to post a modified track of our day, omitting our illegal excursion. If you can get permits ahead of time the Reservation tracks are on http://www.gpsxchange.com

    GCDayFiveMod.gpx

    [​IMG]P9271207 by 500RS, on Flickr

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    #9
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  10. Terry500RS

    Terry500RS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Goleta, CA
    Day Six
    Cameron Trading Post to Seligman AZ​
    Matt and I were looking forward to riding through the Kaibab Forest to the Grandview Point overlook. We used Hwy 64 to start the first leg instead of our tracks that led through the Reservation. We took a nice 10 mile loop out to a viewpoint of the Little Colorado River.
    [​IMG]P9281217 by 500RS, on Flickr
    Heading West through the forest we came to the Hull Cabin built in the 1880’s. It is available to use by reservation. A few miles away we turned off the track to go see Grandview Point. We could look across the Grand Canyon and see Bright Angel Point.
    [​IMG]P9281224 by 500RS, on Flickr
    Heading South the forest changed to a high plateau called Antelope Flats.
    [​IMG]P9281226 by 500RS, on Flickr
    I love these views that go on forever.
    [​IMG]P9281234 by 500RS, on Flickr
    [​IMG]P9281236 by 500RS, on Flickr
    After crossing Hwy 180 we stopped at the GWT sign. I noticed that there were petroglyphs mentioned only 1/4 mile off the GWT. Bonus waypoint!
    [​IMG]P9281239 by 500RS, on Flickr
    We found the trailhead and hiked a 1/4 mile to Laws Spring. There were some ancient petroglyphs and also inscriptions from the 1850’s. This spring was used on the Beale transcontinental wagon road.
    [​IMG]P9281246 by 500RS, on Flickr
    [​IMG]P9281249 by 500RS, on Flickr
    [​IMG]P9281252 by 500RS, on Flickr
    We had planned to stay in Williams, AZ but when we arrived we decided to continue and reduce the 200 mile run to Las Vegas. Running 65 mph on the interstate is not much fun! Twenty miles later we turned off on old Route 66. The two lane highway was deserted and scenic, but the afternoon crosswinds were wearing us out. We slowed down riding into Seligman, AZ and I stopped, confused. There were old cars parked all over and the stores were all decorated. I couldn’t figure it out. We were tired so we decided to stay here. We were parked in front of the Canyon Lodge so I went in and asked for a room. The owner an old school German said his rooms were old but in perfect condition and gave us the John Wayne themed room for $75. He then explained to us that Seligman and other Route 66 towns were used by Pixar as inspiration for the Cars movie. We were in “Radiator Springs” that explained the old cars and eclectic storefronts.
    [​IMG]P9281259 by 500RS, on Flickr
    [​IMG]P9281263 by 500RS, on Flickr
    [​IMG]P9281264 by 500RS, on Flickr
    When asked for a place to eat he recommended Westside Lilo’s Cafe owned by a German woman. Sticking with the German theme we went with the Bratwurst, Schnitzel and homemade sauerkraut. Yes it was good. All in all the day was full of surprises with the petroglyphs and staying in “Radiator Springs”. Total miles 176 about half on dirt.

    GCDaySix.gpx

    [​IMG]P9281255 by 500RS, on Flickr

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    #10
  11. Terry500RS

    Terry500RS Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2017
    Oddometer:
    19
    Location:
    Goleta, CA
    Day Seven
    Seligman to Las Vegas​
    Matt and I weren’t looking forward to the 180 mile highway run to Las Vegas. I couldn’t find many dirt roads we could use that weren’t on an Indian Reservation. The wind had stopped and the ride wasn’t too bad. We planned to stop at Hoover Dam but being a Sunday there was a big traffic jam so we keep going. Our truck was still in the parking lot so we loaded up and were home by dinnertime. This was our longest ride so far. The bikes performed perfectly. Matt had a flat tire and I lost a turn signal, not too bad for 1,004 miles. Day seven is a little short on pictures so I added a bike shot. Thanks for following along.
    [​IMG]P9291266 by 500RS, on Flickr
    [​IMG]P9291267 by 500RS, on Flickr
    [​IMG]P9261160 by 500RS, on Flickr

    GCDaySeven.gpx

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    #11
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  12. Blaise W

    Blaise W Long timer Supporter

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    Jan 19, 2010
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    1,124
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Nice report! The plan is for the North Rim next year!
    #12
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  13. Eastbay Dirtbag

    Eastbay Dirtbag one track mind

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    739
    Location:
    Closer than before
    Sorry I'm late to the party but I wanted to thank you for posting and including your tracks.

    Like you, we wanted to ride the Navajo Reservation from north to south, which is problematic because the permit office is near the south end in Cameron. We wanted to ride the Rez at the end of our trip.

    At the start of our trip, we headed north through Cameron on highway to Page. We stopped at the permit office and bought our permits, but had them put the future date when we expected to be on the Rez (about two weeks later). This worked well. Of course this only helps if you're doing a loop.

    I'm glad we did this because we got stopped on the Rez by a native asking what we were doing. He was polite and casual even though he had not heard of the BDR. He was traveling with a second vehicle, driven by a white guy, who was less polite and told us we were trespassing on private property. I told him we had permits but he still looked annoyed! We were not going fast.

    The employee in Cameron said they also have an office in Page but she didn't know if the Page office issued permits or not.
    #13
  14. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    Jul 22, 2007
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    Dixie
    Thanks for the report and great photos. My wife and I are thinking about doing this next year and this will help immensely.
    #14
  15. terryna

    terryna Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2018
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    11
    Location:
    Luxembourg
    Be safe[​IMG]
    #15