Recommendations for CA>OR>ID>MT>WY>UT>NV>CA 3 week ride in Fall

Discussion in 'Americas' started by SpecialAgentNancy, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. SpecialAgentNancy

    SpecialAgentNancy & your little dog 2!

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    Normally I ride multiple foreign countries over a month or more but this year, I want to stay closer to home and do a couple short rides. My Tiger is in Ireland for sale but I have a comfortable Honda NC750X here in California.

    Thinking in spring to ride through NV and visit all the parks in UT then store the bike in Colorado somewhere and fly back.
    Then return to Colorado in the fall and ride WY/Yellowstone and some of those state parks and back to CA through OR.

    Or do it all in 1 loop. CA>NV>UT>CO>WY>ID>OR>CA perhaps over 2 weeks. I like to ride 300 miles a day at least. I like back roads, twisties, small towns, remote areas.

    Would love recommendations on paved roads (this Honda sucks on gravel/dirt) what to not miss, good camping options (including wild camping) things to see, not miss or stop overnight in small towns, avoiding cities.
    #1
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  2. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

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    I'd recommend Hwy 4 across the Sierras. If you like small towns, check out Markleeville - I lived there 30 years ago when the population sign showed 111 residents. It's the county seat of of Alpine County, the least populated and poorest county in California. Ride up to Grover Hot Springs State Park (my employer at the time) for a soak and also camping. Ride Hwy 50 across Nevada. Austin and Eureka are interesting little towns. I vaguely recall checking out the bar in Austin - the carved wooden bar with double eagle heads was from the gold rush days. The old part of Ely, NV right where you enter town on Hwy 50 is kind of interesting. From there, you can work your way to Zion National Park and any/all the others you'd like to see. If you pass through the town of Panguitch, check out Tandoori Tacos - high prices and just okay service when I was there but I'll remember those tacos the rest of my life and will hopefully pass by again. Utah Hwy 12 (Grand Staircase/Escalante) is a great motorcycle road. The ride across Monument Valley is iconic and one of those things every motorcyclist should do one at least one time. In Colorado, riding north from Durango on Hwy 550 is a hoot. Ouray was an interesting if touristy town. I rode Hwy 65 north and eventually rode to Craig, CO. Then west on 40 and then 318. I rode north into Wyoming on Hwy 430 - some easy gravel I rode on my ST1300. Ride 191 north which leads to Grand Teton and Yellowstone NP's.
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  3. SpecialAgentNancy

    SpecialAgentNancy & your little dog 2!

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    Thanks super helpful!
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  4. taco7

    taco7 Adventurer

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    I would also recommend some northern Utah roads along the wasatch front since you will be coming across from Ely. May I suggest the alpine loop which starts in Nephi and goes north to the town of payson.

    If you decide to go further north than this there are great roads that take you up into the canyons near SLC (Big and Little Cottonwood). I also recommend the Mirror Lake Highway, 150, that you access in Kamas, UT....it is 90 miles if I remember, and dumps you into Evanson, WY. I recommend turning around and taking it back rather than slabbing back to SLC on I80.

    As you go south get on HWY 89 for scenic small-town views. I recommend driving to Fish Lake, and then on to Torrey, which is the northern access to Capital Reef NP. From there take Hwy 12 south. As others have mentioned, it is one of the best MC roads in the west. From there you can hit Bryce Canyon NP, Zion NP. Also find a route to Moab, as that is where Arches NP is.
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  5. SpecialAgentNancy

    SpecialAgentNancy & your little dog 2!

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    Great ideas. Initial trip plan

    Day 1 NV

    Bay Area>Grove Hot Springs
    camp

    Day 2 NV
    Highway 50 across middle of NV
    722 dirt road
    Austin - Bar with double carved eagles gold rush
    Eureka - Ghost town
    Ely - interesting old part of town

    Day 3 NV
    Great basin national park
    Camp

    Day 4 UT
    Boring road to Beaver
    Zion park?
    Panguitch, check out Tandoori Tacos
    Kodachrome state park
    Camp

    Day 5 UT
    To Boulder then road to Bullfrog
    Natural bridges state park
    Dead horse state park
    Camp

    Day 6 UT
    Canyonlands in and out state park
    Arches state park
    Goblin Valley
    Guerilla camp

    Day 7 UT
    Route 24 west
    Then north on 89 for cute small towns
    Route 2822 north loop between Nephi and Payson
    Kamas 150 North to Evanston


    Day 8 WY
    Evanston



    Day 9 WY



    Day 10 MT



    Day 11 MT



    Day 12 ID



    Day 13 ID



    Day 14

    Day 15

    Heading home
    #5
  6. sasho

    sasho Dual Personality

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    I second Hwy 50 in Nevada.

    This is dirt, but a very relaxing and scenic ride--the Pony Express trail out of Elko, NV. Historic stations, wild mustangs, the works...

    Edit--whatever the road name from NV to Mono Lake in CA was, I think NV 338 to CA 182.
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  7. sasho

    sasho Dual Personality

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    There was a guitar on stage, I started playing it and the lady that owned the place was trying to get me liquored up so I'd start singing :photog
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  8. SpecialAgentNancy

    SpecialAgentNancy & your little dog 2!

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    Funny!
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  9. Bullseye

    Bullseye Mr. Bad Example Supporter

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    Day 4 UT
    Boring road to Beaver
    Zion park? Zion is a great ride through... you're adding a lot of miles to drop down there, if you do... Hwy 9 West to East through Zion, North on 89 to 12, 12 East to Kodachrome.
    If you skip Zion, 143 South over Brian Head then East to Panguitch.

    Panguitch, check out Tandoori Tacos or Cowboy Smokehouse if you want some local BBQ.
    Kodachrome state park Escalante is a nice stop-over also. Good food options. Escalante Outfitters has good food, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. They also have cheap little cabins for rent out back and cheap tent pads too. If you want a good burger, Nemo's.
    Camp

    Day 5 UT
    To Boulder then road to Bullfrog Boulder and Hwy 12, not to be missed. Get a shake at Stan's in Hanksville.
    Natural bridges state park
    Dead horse state park
    Camp

    Day 6 UT
    If you are guerilla camping and need a proper shower along the way, Moab Aquatic and Rec Center in Swanny Park has showers and towels for a small fee (if Open)
    Canyonlands in and out state park
    Arches state park
    Goblin Valley
    Guerilla camp - You might want to look around for a spot before Hanksville. If you can ride this little dirt track for 1 mile or so to the West, (38°27'44.3"N 110°40'29.9"W), it will bring you into some cool little canyons and dry creeks where you could find a hidden away spot. The track has some sand, but no deep stuff as I recall. Another option would be along the Fremont River near Hwy 24 before you get into Capital Reef... I'm not sure the legalities, but there is shade and a flowing river here. (38°16'30.5"N 111°05'20.3"W) and you'd be close to pavement.

    Day 7 UT
    Route 24 west
    Then north on 89 for cute small towns
    Route 2822 north loop between Nephi and Payson
    Kamas 150 North to Evanston
    #9
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  10. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

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    Here's the route I take from Evanston, WY to West Yellowstone when I'm on the motorcycle.

    https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Eva...010!2m2!1d-111.1041092!2d44.6621493!3e0?hl=en

    When you get to Hwy 30 on Highway 89, instead of turning right to get to the northern continuation of Hwy 89, go straight. It's a paved farm road. A little bumpy but I think I only saw 1 pickup on that stretch. It's a little slower but I liked it and will continue to use it. The ride to the west along Bear Lake can be good but it gets crowded in the summer and I prefer the less traveled way. On Hwy 89 north of Cokeville, I like the Allred Flat NF Campground.

    At Alpine, I enjoy Yankee Doodle cafe - good food and you'll definitely realize you aren't in California.

    If you're not heading to Grand Teton NP, my route home continues north along Palisades Resevoir and then on Hwy 31 over to Victor, Driggs, and Tetonia. Then take Hwy 32 - a great moto road with outstanding Teton Views. If you need gas, go to Ashton and then back to the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway. In Island Park, The Trout Hunter restaurant has good food and if the weather allows, the view while dining on the back patio on the Henry's Fork of the Snake River is GREAT. A ways up Hwy 20, a worthwhile side trip to Big Springs only take 15 minutes but it's a beautiful spot where the entire Henry's Fork springs up out of the volcanic rock. There's a forest service campground there as well - it can be pretty buggy. You can just go back on the pavement rather than take the easy dirt in the route above. Just after you cross into Montana, there are campgrounds north of Hwy 20 along the west shore of Hebgen Lake - just remember you're in grizzly bear central so use bear safe camping practices.

    Or from Alpine, you could head to Cody, WY and then ride Chief Joseph Hwy and Beartooth Pass - maybe the best motorcycle roads in North America IMNSHO.

    Since you mention Idaho, I'd say you should definitely make your way to Lolo, MT and ride Hwy 12 west into ID.

    The Butler Maps for Montana and Idaho are a big help hitting the great motorcycle roads.
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  11. BDO

    BDO Been here awhile

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    Great info
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  12. tri650

    tri650 Been here awhile

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    Nancy - this is Wally. Looking forward to the ride!
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  13. SpecialAgentNancy

    SpecialAgentNancy & your little dog 2!

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    Flipping things around a bit.
    Nor-Cal to Lassen Nat Park
    Then Crater Lake
    I've done this route a number of times and know to take the 395/31 combo.

    After that, advice on eastern OR into Boise? Remember nothing remote or dirt. This bike isn't built for that.

    From there I'm going to head North to Glacier Nat Park to Yellowstone then back down to Stanley, then south back through UT. Got UT covered with advice here but happy to listen to more. Obvious route north is the 55>95>12. Coming back down to Stanley take the 93.
    #13
  14. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

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    I like the ride through Christmas Valley to 395. It's paved but remote and there is reliable fuel in Christmas Valley at the Chevron. I've only ridden from south of Crater Lake so I don't know fuel availability up there. But on the south side, my usual route is over 100 miles with no gas so plan your gas stops carefully. Then 395 to Hwy 20 east to Idaho
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  15. SpecialAgentNancy

    SpecialAgentNancy & your little dog 2!

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    Thanks Christmas Valley located on map. Thinking of skipping Boise altogether and going north through Lewiston and take the southern scenic road through Nez Perce (95>12) unless the 95 b/w New Meadows and Grangeville is not to be missed.
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  16. SpecialAgentNancy

    SpecialAgentNancy & your little dog 2!

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    All right. Neil, whom I rode Iceland with suggested Crater Lake (with a stop at Manley's tavern for their freakin awesome 'broasted' chicken, still think of that chicken from my ride to Alaska in 2013), through bend, mt vernon, ukiah, la grande, wallowa then lewiston. Think I have the OR to ID route planned. Don't really have much reason to go through Boise. Frankly, prefer to avoid cities altogether.

    Thinking of staying in and around dayville. (can't find anything reasonable around mt vernon).
    #16
  17. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

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    If you're going to continue to Montana from Lewiston, you should definitely make your way to Hwy 12 (one of the best motorcycle roads in the USA) and ride over to Lolo. After that, it depends on what you want. For the way less populated way, ride south on 93 to Hwy 43 (National Forest campground there) by the Big Hole Battlefield National Monument (really worth checking out) to Wisdom, MT (land of 10,000 hay bales) where there is a hot spring camp site/restaurant/cabin spot that is interesting with decent food. The Butler motorcycle maps show this route as a lonely, little traveled road (I forget the exact description they use). Depends on where you want to go from there. I always ride south
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  18. SpecialAgentNancy

    SpecialAgentNancy & your little dog 2!

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    Super helpful. Definitely want 'motorcycle' roads no matter how lonely (less RVs!) and campgrounds. Thanks for the ideas!
    #18
  19. SpecialAgentNancy

    SpecialAgentNancy & your little dog 2!

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    Got 93 south to 43 east then 278 or 43 loop? Want to end up at Livingston to enter the park from the 89 (Gardiner)
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  20. jonz

    jonz Miles are my mantra Supporter

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    I always take 278 but I'm heading to West Yellowstone. Staying on 43 makes more sense if you're heading to Livingston. If you're going to eat at restaurants, check out Gil's in Livingstone - I stop there everytime I can
    #20