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Discussion in 'GPS Tracks - West & PNW' started by dave6253, Feb 6, 2016.
Thank you very much for the research and riding putting it all together and for posting/sharing it!
I've never been up there during winter closures, but I've heard the north or rear gate is often open when the gate from the park is locked. It probably varies.
Searching for a GC map and it looks like a run on the Nat Geo GC map pack at REI!
These are 1:90k scale which I suspect I can live with. Scale and map size are always a trade-off.
Frequently Asked Questions (continued)
Do I need a permit to camp at __________ Point?
I put together this list of every backcountry point/overlook along the entire route.
1. *Havasupai Point - National Park - Permit Required (Plus $25 Fee to Enter Havasupai Indian Reservation)
2. South Bass Trailhead - National Park - Permit Required (Plus $25 Fee to Enter Havasupai Indian Reservation)
3. *Tatahatso Point - Navajo Nation Permit Required
4. *Buck Farm Point - BLM - No Permit Required/Free
5. *Saddle Mountain - National Forest - No Permit Required/Free
6. *Marble View - National Forest - No Permit Required/Free
7. East Rim Viewpoints - National Forest - No Permit Required/Free
8. **Point Sublime - National Park - Permit Required
9. Stina Point - National Forest - No Permit Required/Free
10. Timp Point - National Forest - No Permit Required/Free
11. North Timp Point - National Forest - No Permit Required/Free
12. Locust Point - National Forest - No Permit Required/Free
13. Fence Point - National Forest - No Permit Required/Free
14. Parissawampitts Point - National Forest - No Permit Required/Free
15. Crazy Jug - National Forest - No Permit Required/Free (There is a new fence and signs up limiting the camping areas here.)
16. Sowats Point - National Forest - No Permit Required/Free
17. *Jumpup Point - National Forest - No Permit Required/Free
18. Gunsight Point - BLM - No Permit Required/Free
19. *Kanab Point - National Park - Permit Required
20. *SB Point - National Park - Permit Required
21. **Toroweap Overlook Campground - National Park - Permit Required
22. *Whitmore Overlook or Anywhere within Whitmore Canyon - BLM - No Permit Required/Free
23. *Twin Point - National Monument (Administered by NPS) - No Permit Required/Free
* denotes the points I highly recommend for camping
** Campgrounds with tables and toilets
Navajo Parks Permits can be obtained here:
Cameron Visitor Center
P.O. Box 459
Cameron, AZ 86020
tel : 928.679.2303
I did not receive adequate assistance by phone or email from this office. YMMV
National Park Backcountry Permits: https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/backcountry-permit.htm
Get your permit requests in months in advance. Make sure you understand and follow all the convoluted application rules.
Once you mail your request, the page says to wait 3 weeks for a response. I started getting emails from rangers within 5 days.
They quickly had determined they could only grant 2 of the 3 permits requested and were confirming I still wanted the others.
I had the permits within a week.
Frequently Asked Questions (continued)
Do I need to worry about animals?
It's surprising how many of you have expressed concerns over animals.
Bears? Arizona does have plenty of black bears, but you will be unlikely to encounter any, especially on the North Rim. Bears are not really a problem in the park. Arizona Game and Fish says there is virtually no sizable population of bears in Arizona north of the Colorado River.
Cats? This is definitely cat country. Bobcats and mountain lions are plentiful. Attacks on humans are extremely rare. You would be lucky to see any, and shouldn't worry much about them.
Snakes? I've never seen a snake anywhere near the Grand Canyon. Are they there? Sure, but just be careful where you walk.
Coyotes should leave you alone in the backcountry areas and don't pose much threat.
Your biggest danger from animals is definitely hitting deer, elk, cattle, or even a bison while riding. Try to avoid riding at night as the deer population on the North Rim is HUGE. Elk should only be on the South Rim areas. Earlier this month, I nearly hit a large deer in the afternoon that jumped in front of me while riding 40 mph. I've had many close calls at night.
About Elbow Canyon up and out of Mesquite...
Just going to post this here, rather than in @dave6253 s RR.
Riding up Elbow Cn. on a loaded big bike is doable, yes.
It would not do it solo on a big bike again under any circumstances (neither will I have the chance :-( )
Small bike with a buddy, FUN track! On my KTM 640 still entirely possible
I boiled my bike on the way up, took loong breaks (it was hot AF), spilled a few gallons of fuel when the bike took naps in cambered switchbacks and ended up taking my luggage of, carrying it up, riding the bike, carrying luggage - repeat.
No fun at all.
A guy came up behind me in a trick RZR he looked like he was just having fun, but the again he was very experienced (baja-mille pre-running, co-driving and such).
He offered to carry my luggage in his RZR which made the rest of the climb much easier for me on the 990.
When I finally made it up, I was so fatigued that there was no way I was taking on Nutter Twist rd.
I took a big nice graded road, must have been 1069, out to St. george for some rest and a meal.
Next day, back in to the scool house, over mt. trumbull, petroglyphs and Toroweap.
Camped up on the mountain, pretty quiet up there :-o
Boiled the bike in the babyheads, this is when I took the luggage of.
No luggage, just tired.
That LC8 sound though!!
We did Elbow Canyon a couple of years ago. I was on a 690 and generally did okay as did all the other guys on similar bikes. I did kill the engine on a long steep rocky hill and had trouble getting restart traction. I think it was partially due to minimally aggressive knobby rear tire. There were also a few falls among the group.
It doesn't look to me like this road every gets maintained. You just have to take what you get. I doubt if I will ever go up it again. I think we would move back to Lime Kiln canyon next time.
I remember those sections you've pictured above, and they do look like there gets a lot of Razer traffic through it to help smooth it down. All those bigger boulders on the shoulders were all inside the trail when I road through there end of August pre running in a 4x4. So the good news is it gets traffic through there to smooth down the gravel piles.
The bad news is it's too steep and narrow to get a dozer or grader through and with every snow and rain filled winter will bring with it another deluge of gravel and baby boulders washing down into it.
The KTM Adventure twins handle falls pretty well and hopefully you wouldn't break a master cylinder on your clutch or brake on the various drops riding through there.
I've seen a route on a map called Black Rock Canyon that leaves out near the Ariz. Utah border and connects near the rt. 1 and rt. 5 intersect.
Last August while camping out at Toroweap on a solo ride I was awaken in the middle of the night by the nastiest smell of an animal that must have shit on itself, followed by spontaneous light grunts and sliding about. I had specifically left nothing out on my campsite in the way of food to attract any unwarranted foraging. I banged a couple metal objects together and yelled intermittently for several minutes and the stench and scurrying went away.
In the early morning I was awaken by light sprinkles, followed by light rain and then a 30 minute downpour. Prior to the downpour I zipped open a fly screen to look out at the rain and across the trail I could see what looked faintly like a marmot or badger. It was greyish brown in color and the size of a 40-60 pound dog. It had a medium coat. A tail although I couldn't tell it's length. It's head had a bit of a snout. When I reached in my camera bag to fish out my camera the rain picked up and it was gone. Later research showed nothing of the sort as a native to the area.
Hog-nosed skunk, @DesertSurfer? This link says GCNP is home to more than 90 species of mammals - more than Yellowstone.
Unless it smelled like a skunk, it sounds more like a badger. They smell rank as well.
Incredible job Dave, extremely well and what a huge gift for the rest of us to enjoy!
There are plenty of Ravens and pesky squirrels around touristy areas, but I've never been harassed at camp by any animals on the rim.
Regarding the discussion about the animals in Toroweap Campground, I do remember a ranger pointing out several burrows in the area and telling us badgers lived in the area. I haven't seen them myself.
Badger sightings require patience and some tactics. Hour or so before dusk if you sit quietly within eye-shot of the den you may see them emerge as the light fades. Humans are basically their only predator so they watch for our silhouette's and our smell.
Hoooge THANK YOU for sharing your awesome trips, tracks and photos. You da real MVP!
Thanks again. Im going to do this route year and have a question. I realize this is a subject question, but how many days do you recommend to get a good taste of the GCBA Route?
Thanks Sean. How many days? As many as you can swing or until you get bored. Anything less than a week will require difficult decisions on what you cut out. Certainly, you can put together just a few days and still have a great trip. Maybe consider riding half, then if you enjoy it, come back again for the rest. Since there are so many out and backs, there are many options to shorten it. There are lots of other trails out there that could be added, though the GCBAR does go to most of the accessible viewpoints. Based on my riding style, the length of days when I like to go, and the locations I shoot for each camp, I think 9 days is perfect if you plan to ride it all.
Thanks for the great work on the GCBAR. I got to spend a few days before Memorial Day riding your tracks and have started a ride report here
It was an outstanding trip and I can't wait to get back when I have enough time to ride the whole route.