NM, AZ Grand Canyon South Loop

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by wbbnm, May 28, 2015.

  1. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,205
    Location:
    MN and NM
    This post seems permanently corrupted and I can't add anything to it.

    So the report begins in the next one.

    Still having lots of problems entering info here. So I will do it in small chunks so I don't lose to much when the system crashes.
    #1
  2. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,205
    Location:
    MN and NM
    [​IMG]

    <?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    (See Day 3 for the horse story)<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    This was a 9 day loop ride from Albuquerque. The plan was to head over to the south rim of the<o:p></o:p>
    Grand Canyon, down the Great Western Trail to Camp Verde, across the top of the Mogollon <o:p></o:p>
    Rim to Alpine AZ. Then down to Truth or Consequences thru the Monticello Box, up thru <o:p></o:p>
    Palomas Gap and up BLM desert roads back home.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Here is a big picture of the ride.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p><o:p> </o:p>
    The first day and a half of this trip were a backwards repeat of last year’s ride where a lot of the<o:p></o:p>
    section got rained out.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=981366<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I attached a version of the tracks to the thread. But it is low resolution due to file size limits<o:p></o:p>
    here. I will post higher resolution tracks on GPSXchange and dualsportmaps.com. The color<o:p></o:p>
    code for the tracks and symbols is described at the end of this post.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Our group size varied from 6-11. Most of us were on 650 class DS bikes. We had a couple of<o:p></o:p>
    KTM 500 excs and one BMW 650 street bike. The BMW was a handfull at times.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Here are some notes and photos for each day’s ride. I didn’t take very many pictures. But I <o:p></o:p>
    have been getting some from the other guys and they are included in the report. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    All of my pictures are here:<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    https://wbbnm.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Spring-2015-Grand-Canyon/<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Day 1 Albuquerque to Gallup - ~210 miles<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We had a nice ride up to Cabezon peak and then along San Mateo mesa to Grants. We were <o:p></o:p>
    able to take FR 239 up the mesa. This road is only open for a few months a couple of times a <o:p></o:p>
    year. 239 is a nice alternative to the CDR route thru this area. Rocks and ruts make it a fun <o:p></o:p>
    challenging ride. We had an option to go over the top of Mt. Taylor, but it looked like there was <o:p></o:p>
    still a lot of snow and clouds were moving in.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We planned to ride thru the Zuni Mountains from Grants to Gallup, but changed our mind after looking at the weather. We got hit with a horrendous hail storm anyway. Luckily we made it to a gas station just as the storm hit. We got about 2” of hail in maybe 10 minutes. Would have made for a miserable ride. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p><o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    So we missed the ride thru the Zunis for the second year in a row. Fortunately we manage a couple of day rides out there each year.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Day 2 Gallup to Cameron – 208 miles<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We picked up Pine Spring road about 10 miles west of Window Rock. It was a tough ride due to nasty ruts. One of the guys had a bad fall and dislocated his shoulder. He had to be rescued
    by Navajo police and EMTs.

    They ended up flying him back to Albuquerque because of a fear
    of bleeding in the brain. But this turned out to not be a problem, and he got back home later than night
    and has since resumed swimming.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]</o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p><o:p> </o:p>
    We had broken up into two groups and I was with the front group and didn’t find about all this<o:p></o:p>
    until one of the guys from the second group rode down with the news. So all I know about the<o:p></o:p>
    injury and rescue is second-hand.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    This was our second rescue by the Navajo police in the last few years.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=727309<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Here are a couple of pics of the road near the west end of Pine Spring rd.<o:p></o:p>
    </o:p>

    Attached Files:

    #2
  3. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,205
    Location:
    MN and NM
    <?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p> </o:p>
    Here are a couple of pics of the road near the west end of Pine Spring rd.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    We did a lot of riding on good dirt roads on the Navajo rez this day with no problems. The ride<o:p></o:p>
    north into Cameron was really nice. It seemed better going north that going south. One reason<o:p></o:p>
    was that a lot of sand had been graded off the road. But the scenery also seemed prettier.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We spent the night in Cameron. It was quite nice. We had just gotten gas there last year, and I<o:p></o:p>
    felt the place was kind of tourist-tacky then. But I changed my mind after staying there. The <o:p></o:p>
    rooms had a good balcony view of the Little Colorado river canyon. The restaurants were also <o:p></o:p>
    good.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    There were lots of storms around us all day. We thought for sure we were going to get hit. But<o:p></o:p>
    the storms just kept moving out of our way as we rode. We didn’t get more than a couple of <o:p></o:p>
    sprinkles on us.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Day 3 Cameron to Flagstaff 168 miles<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We followed Countdown’s Great Western Trail tracks most of this day. This was a fantastic ride <o:p></o:p>
    - easily as good as any I have ever done. The roads were a blast and great ones just kept on <o:p></o:p>
    coming. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We came upon a herd of wild horses while climbing up Gray Mountain. There were two very <o:p></o:p>
    young foals. The horses ran from us, but the foals couldn’t keep up. So the other horses would <o:p></o:p>
    come back and encourage the foals. We found this pretty touching. After we realized the <o:p></o:p>
    horses were going to stay on the road, we stopped to let them get to the top.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    <o:p> </o:p>
    View from the top of Gray Mountain<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]


    <o:p> </o:p>
    At the bottom of Gray Mountain road

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    One of Jerry’s roads thru the Kaibob NF was not on the MVUM so we did an alternate. And we<o:p></o:p>
    had wanted to get into Grand Canyon NP just past Hull Cabin, but the gate was locked. So we<o:p></o:p>
    went in thru the Grandview entrance. The GC overlook at Moran Point is one of the best I have <o:p></o:p>
    seen on the south rim.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    There was a slight glitch in Jerry’s tracks south of the Kaibob NF. They included a short section <o:p></o:p>
    of a road that just wasn’t there. But it was easy to find the right way thru.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Day 4 Flagstaff to Camp Verde - 68 miles vs 194 miles planned<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We had planned to backtrack northwest over and around the mountain and pick up the GWT <o:p></o:p>
    where it crosses 180. But we woke up to heavy snow and a prediction of rain and snow all day. <o:p></o:p>
    So we just rode down Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona for a warm-up coffee break. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>

    [​IMG]


    <o:p> </o:p>
    Then over to Cottonwood for a long leisurely lunch. We got into Camp Verde about 3 pm. It <o:p></o:p>
    was a wet miserable ride all day.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Day 5 Camp Verde to Heber 138 miles vs 145 miles planned<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Forcast called for clearing, and it wasn’t raining when we left. We went about 5 miles up our<o:p></o:p>
    planned dirt roads. But we ran into some packing red clay mud and turned back. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We ended up slabbing it to Payson. There was about 4” of snow on the ground at higher <o:p></o:p>
    elevations and temps were near 40. Had another leisurely lunch in Payson then slab up to <o:p></o:p>
    Heber thru more snow covered terrain.<o:p></o:p>

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,205
    Location:
    MN and NM
    <?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p> </o:p>
    Weather was pretty clear at Heber so we started riding the route backwards. Three guys made <o:p></o:p>
    it 20 miles to just past the Chevelon creek crossing. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I was pretty disappointed about missing this day. We have done the Mogollon Rim road thru <o:p></o:p>
    here a few times. I was looking for a new alternate route further north. Our planned route had <o:p></o:p>
    several major canyon crossings. Most of them looked viable on Google Earth, but the one <o:p></o:p>
    before Chevelon creek had no visible road on the ground and was on a very minor road on the <o:p></o:p>
    maps (and not on the MVUM). <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Day 6 Heber to Alpine 160 mles <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Weather was nice and we took some fun dirt roads south and west. At one point we ran into a <o:p></o:p>
    locked gate. This surprised me since I thought I created the track from a previous ride thru <o:p></o:p>
    here. Problem was I had created the track from the planning track and not the actual track from <o:p></o:p>
    the previous ride. But we found a really fun primitive road that we had bypassed last time.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Next we took the Maverick OHV trail into Show Low. This was fun, fast, easy ATV trail thru high <o:p></o:p>
    country. Except for one long, very rocky, steep uphill.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    http://www.riderplanet-usa.com/atv/trails/info/arizona_14479/ride_9aa3.htm<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    <o:p> </o:p>
    Gassed up in Show Low and then headed back to the Maverick Trail. It looked like we could <o:p></o:p>
    intercept it off of US 60 east of town. But the track went thru a culvert under the highway and <o:p></o:p>
    there was no access there. After quite a bit of screwing around we finally found a way to access <o:p></o:p>
    the track on a road that wasn’t on many maps.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    I had downloaded a track of the Maverick Trail. But the actual trail did not match the track in <o:p></o:p>
    some places. But the trail was well-marked and we just followed the orange markers.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Then fun dirt roads thru the forest to 260 west of Springerville. We had planned a dirt route to <o:p></o:p>
    Alpine, but slabbed it because it was getting late.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We stayed at the Tal Wi Wi resort lodge which was a nice change from the chain motels we had <o:p></o:p>
    been using.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Day 7 Alpine to T or C 248 miles<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Took easy, scenic, fun dirt roads generally west to Datil for gas. We knew this was going to be <o:p></o:p>
    a long day and skipped some of the early primitive roads in the plan. We went up to the top of Mangas Mountain and took a fun primitive road down. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Then over to the VLA and into the San Mateo mountains. We took FR 220 which proved to be a <o:p></o:p>
    great ride although not good from a time management aspect. Then down to the Monticello <o:p></o:p>
    Box. This is a primitive road along and in a stream thru a few spectacular narrow, slot-type <o:p></o:p>
    canyons. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Entrance to the Monticello Box<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>

    [​IMG]
    #4
  5. 9Dave

    9Dave Bazinga!

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Oddometer:
    13,540
    Location:
    Central Ohio
    That would be because it seems you are cutting and pasting from outside of ADV. Lots of nasty, post corrupting code comes along with the paste.

    Moved to Ride Reports.
    #5
  6. NMTrailboss

    NMTrailboss Team Dead End

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    8,811
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    :lurk:lurk:lurk
    #6
  7. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,205
    Location:
    MN and NM
    Guess I need to finish this. Kind of forgot about it.

    One of the guys got some great pictures and videos from his Go Pro.

    https://hubilado.smugmug.com/Travel/2015-Grand-Canyon-Ride/

    The pictures are time stamped so you can kind of figure out where each picture is, especially if you line it up with the time-stamped tracks. For a general idea the first trip day was May 12 where we went from Albuquerque to Gallup.

    <?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p> </o:p>
    Day 8 T or C to Socorro – 147 miles<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We went thru Palomas Gap which is a tough, steep, rocky climb just south of T or C. One guy <o:p></o:p>
    fell and cracked a case. It was easily fixed with JB Quick Weld. <o:p></o:p>

    [​IMG]

    Polomas Gap pictures:<o:p></o:p>

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    <o:p> </o:p>
    We then took easy, borderline boring, dirt roads north to US 380. A lot of this ride is in a <o:p></o:p>
    remote, little-traveled area along the western border of White Sands Missile Range.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We picked up the Quebradas Back Country route north of 380 to Escondida just north of <o:p></o:p>
    Socorro. This is a beautiful, fun, easy road up and down hills thru badlands.

    Had our usual nice dinner and relaxation at the Socorro Springs Brew Pub.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Day 9 Socorro to Albuquerque – 144 miles<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We went back up to Escondida and picked up the northern portion of Quebradas (but it isn’t <o:p></o:p>
    called that). Another great DS ride up to US 60. Then FR 422 thru the southern portion of the <o:p></o:p>
    Manzano mountains and finally slab back home.<o:p></o:p>



    <o:p> </o:p>
    Track color and symbol codes:<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Red lines – actual track on odd-numbered days<o:p></o:p>
    Blue lines – actual track on even-numbered days<o:p></o:p>
    Cyan lines – primary planned track not ridden for various reasons<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The dirt road quality symbol/color codes are:<o:p></o:p>
    Circle – good wide, gravel graded dirt road<o:p></o:p>
    Square – good secondary roads<o:p></o:p>
    Triangle – primitive roads<o:p></o:p>
    Green – very easy to the point of boring in places<o:p></o:p>
    Blue fun<o:p></o:p>
    Red – difficult to the point of being unpleasant<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    (These symbols reflect my subjective judgment and my best recollection of the roads after a <o:p></o:p>
    couple of weeks from the start of the ride.)<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    #7