Florida,Copper Canyon,San Carlos April 2010

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Joe Mc, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. Joe Mc

    Joe Mc Adventurer

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    Hello all,
    I'm new to this site and have been lurking for a bit. So far this is the best and most informative site I have been on yet. I am gathering info and tips on our planned ride this coming April from Florida to Ojinaga,Copper Canyon,San Carlos/Guyamas to Tombstone AZ and back to Florida. I/we are not dual sport riders, we ride Harleys( don't know how that's going to be received here:eek1 ) so off/dirt roads are out of the question. I have read the excellent reports by 'TricePilot' and 'disbanded' and any additional input from any you would be appreciated.

    Has anyone ridden HWY 12 from San Nicolas to Esperanza? Road condition? Signage?
    #1
  2. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    You will have no problems with the roads riding a Harley, just stick to your plan of riding only on pavement.
    From repeat trips there I can certify that highway Mex 12 from San Nicolas on Mex 16 south to Esperanza is an excellent paved road . It starts in the pine foothills and descends to valley ranches and more desert-like country as it goes south. Esperanza is the junction of Mex 15 only 10km north of Ciudad Obregon If you want you can spend the night halfway in a hotel in Rosario, Pemex available.
    In Ciudad Obregon there are plenty of hotels and eateries, banks ,gas etc etc .

    Coming west on Mex 16 be sure to have a look at Basaseachic waterfalls.
    The Basaseachic National Park has an entrance on the north side out of Basaseachic village which puts you right at the top of the falls. However there is also an excellent paved road to the south side of the canyon where you can get a full view of the entire drop. To get to that you ride east from Basaseachic village on Mex 16 for 5km and turn south at the road that is also labeled as going to San Juanito across the mountains. Take that road one or 2 km and turn west into the Park Nacional Basaseachic and follow the road to its end . Spectacular. If you are up to it it is possible to hike down to the canyon bottom to the waterfall base from either side. That will take many hours so you might want to have a hotel room in Basaseachic rented, start early and then rest up from the exertion..
    #2
  3. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    You may be interested in Milton's tale of taking...

    Harleys to Mexico Tour 2009

    Don't blame me for the green font, I'm just getting you used to Trailblazer's (Milton's) style :wave

    PS I would add Alamos to your itinerary

    Not too far from your planned last leg...here it is:

    [​IMG]

    Recommended Hotel:

    [​IMG]

    Recommended Restaurant (and Hotel, if you want to spend all of your frijoles):

    Hacienda de los Santos

    It is, quite literally, off the charts great.

    :wave
    #3
  4. Joe Mc

    Joe Mc Adventurer

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    Sjoerd,
    Thank you for the insightful info. I have entered it in my log book and will refer to it enroute. Thanks again.:thumbup
    #4
  5. Joe Mc

    Joe Mc Adventurer

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    tricepilot,
    Thank you also. Alamos and the accommodations look great . I'll check it out I'm not worried about the 'frijoles', I'll be 66 when I take this trip and it won't be my last, and when I'm done the kids can have what's left.:D
    #5
  6. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    That's the spirit! :thumb

    :freaky
    #6
  7. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Your saddle bag book:

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    I have a minor correction to make to my info.

    You asked about "highway 12' and from memory I called it Mex 12.The route info I gave is correct but the road numbers are actually slightly different, after I checked my road notes and my Guia Roji.
    Starting from San Nicolas the highway number is Mex 21 which runs fairly straight south to Rosario, then continues as gravel. At Rosario you should then follow the paved route southwest to Esperanza and Cd.Obregon but this now will be called Sonora highway 12, Son 12.

    A benefit of going into CD.Obregon is that after visiting the city downtown you can take the older route west to Bacum which will thus let you avoid the toll plaza on Mex 15 which is west of Esperanza.

    April will be ideal for your route, Mex 16 will no longer have the threat of possible snow cover which can occur in the high country during cold front storms from December to late February.
    #8
  9. freeflow

    freeflow get in or go in Supporter

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    ahh San Carlos. Catch 22 was filmed there.:lol3

    I rode the AZ to Copper Canyon route 2 weeks ago. 16 is a great road and was very light of traffic yet again. I saw photos of a mexican harley group that ride to the Baseachic Falls and stay at the cabins right near the falls (I can dig up the name of the ranch). I you go to creel, the san juanito cut over has a few stretches of gravel but would be a nice harley ride. definitely go south out of Creel for 40 miles or so to get some great twisties and scenery.
    [​IMG]


    you can harley ride west on 16 (beware of many rocks on the excellent pavement due to constant rock falls)....then even cut north at Santa Rosa thru Sahuriapa to Moctezuma on street bikeable pavement, then cross thru at Agua Prieta if you want. I have GPS track logs if you want.

    the guia roja has the Sonora hwy 117 mismarked BTW.

    this is 117 just south of Moctezuma after coming thru the hills
    [​IMG]

    it will be a great ride indeed.
    #9
  10. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    Yes Further to Freeflow's suggestion, the ride town to Creel is excellent and from Creel to the southwest to San Rafael it is a super duper excellent road ,paved nice twisties and several excellent vista points over the Copper Canyon at Divisadero etc..
    The hotel/cabins he's referring to are at rtthe south rim access, called Rancho San Lorenzo, with a good restaurant too.
    If you are not too rushed do take te time to make that side trip south of Mex 16 to Creel and back.That short cut from San Juanito to Basaseachic is wel engeneered gravel, ready for paving and should not be a problem for HARLEYS either
    #10
  11. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

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    I'm not the traveler some of these folks are, but I've done most of the roads you are looking at. North of Creel, I would take hwy 16 west and not the gravel. The pavement is very nice, thru small timber towns. The gravel goes thru ranch lands, but on a road bike it isn't better than hwy 16, IMHO.

    I turned south, off 16, near Yacora and made my way to Obregon. There is a large Wall Mart there on the edge of Obregon. If I do that route again I will not head west at Rosario. I'll stay inland to get to Alamos.

    Alamos was great. If the motel mentioned above is the same that I walked thru, it was spectacular. A one time nunery. Paintings from the 1600's. Mucho dinero. I watched a craftsman doing some stonework. Take the walking tour, of Alamos, with a guide. This place is rich in history and architecture.

    I went north on hwy 15 and was really bored with it, so I took the ferry at Guaymas to Santa Rosalia, Baja Sur. The ferry ride was less $ than that motel.

    I went north thru Gonzaga which is a rough washboard type road. On another trip I took the pavement north to Ensenada and it was a nice ride. If you go this way take a ride up to the Observatory (south of Ensenada). Very outstanding bit of pavement. Unfortunately, No Motos in the Park. Still an excellent ride. Stay at El Rancho Coyote if you have the chance. 5 mi of easy dirt, if it is dry. You'll see the sign near the middle of the observatory road.

    I wish I were going with you. I've done hwy 16 twice and it's one of my favorites, and I really like Sonora.
    #11
  12. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Yes, the same place. It is.... :dg The ambience is top tier and the food, well, just go try it. Especially on the way north out of Mexico, it would be a great stop for a final "trip celebration". And whatever you spend, you wouldn't have to worry about the rest of the trip - 'cause you're done!

    Interesting note on Alamos - one of the few towns of its kind with a paved airstrip very near to town. High flying - literally and figuratively - customers from Arizona and environs are known to dash to the Hacienda for a weekend of spa treatments. The town was also home at one time to Carroll O'Connor as well as Mary Astor, the silent film-to-talkies actress who made an appearance in The Maltese Falcon with Bogey.

    In the photo below, you can see the zócalo in the foreground, and the runway in the background:

    [​IMG]


    To your suggestion to walk the town with a guide: :thumb
    #12
  13. Joe Mc

    Joe Mc Adventurer

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    Freeflow ,Tourist,Tricepilot
    Thank you for your input. The info will be enormously helpful.
    Tourist, I've ridden most of the U.S. and Idaho gets my vote as the cleanest and neatest.:clap The farms are markedly orderly.
    #13
  14. freeflow

    freeflow get in or go in Supporter

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    Joe, that's what this site is great at...sharing information so you can travel with confidence. Go have fun. take pics and tell us a story, please.


    ARE you running a gps on this trip???

    BTW, at the Chi/Sonora border there is a military checkpoint mostly looking for guns and drugs. those "kids" will love to see the Harleys.:thumb
    #14
  15. Joe Mc

    Joe Mc Adventurer

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    No none of us have one. Do we need one?
    #15
  16. freeflow

    freeflow get in or go in Supporter

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    absolutely not. no need to bother. GPS data of Mexico is in a fledgling state anyway and some people expect too much from it. for offroad riding in remote areas, sharing track logs can extend your riding time and minimize backtracking..


    the best use for them is estimating time to destination, but on a real vacation, that doesn't matter.


    just don't expect maps to be very accurate or highway numbers to be the same :lol3 expect much less signage too. have a great ride :thumb
    #16
  17. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    Have fun, take lots of pics and do a ride report!

    I do fear you'll miss the most fun stuff if you stick to the road though (I ride street and dirt, but always have more fun in the dirt).
    #17
  18. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

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    NO ! you don't need to have a gps or any of the electronic toys. Just get a good paper map , look at it only occasionally and watch the real Mexico glide by .It is just my computer challenged opinion , of course , but I see a lot of people riding around playing the video game with the map computer spending a lot of time trying to figure out routes tehre. Just go, ride, explore , enjoy.You are on vacation, not some economy run or emergency mission with critical life saving supplies that absolutely must be dlivered at a specific point and time. Give yourself enough time to play with and you will get there when you get there.
    #18
  19. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    :nod YES, YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED A GPS IN MEXICO :deal

    [​IMG]

    (Where else are you going to lay blame when you inevitably get lost going through or around Mexico City)

    :rofl
    #19
  20. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

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    I just use paper maps, but I traveled with a mate who carried a hand GPS when we went walkabout. It made getting back to the motel much easier. Unmarked streets and alleys can test your sense of direction.
    #20