Ride to the bottom of the Grand Canyon

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by AZuwere, May 8, 2008.

  1. AZuwere

    AZuwere Been here awhile

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    Believe it or not there is a road to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. In April Whiteknucklemc, Scared Ape and I decided to check it out. Reports on ADVrider advised several scenarios. 1) No problem with permits from the local Indian tribe. 2) No way they will give out permits to motorcycles. 3) The road is easy and 4) The road is difficult. Whiteknucklemc and I departed Phoenix and rode to Williams, AZ for the night, while Scared Ape headed east from California and stopped in Kingman. This put all three of us on Route 66 and our meeting point of Peach Springs the next morning.

    After a short ride from Williams we met up in the Hualapai Indian town of Peach Springs to attempt getting the tribal permit allowing us onto Diamond Creek Road, otherwise known as the road to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Here's the bikes waiting for us while we worked on the permits:


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    Everything was going well with the Hualapai tribal lady and the permits until one of us said something about "motorcycles". We were told "motorcycles are not permitted on the road". After we explained that we had street legal bikes and others had done the same trip, she changed her mind. It also probably helped when Whiteknucklemc lied and told her his last name was "Yellowhawk". It appears that the tribe is afraid of quads and dirt bikes going off the road. If you decide to take this trip, make sure you either don't mention the motorcycle, or explain that the bike is a road bike and you will not go off the beaten path. Above all, don't lose your cool and cop an attitude with the tribe. In the end, they want your money, so be nice and you should be fine.

    After securing our permits, we crossed Rt.66 in front of the Lodge and started down Diamond Creek Road. The first section winds through some residential areas of Peach Springs.
    Then:
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    The road is about 19 miles total in length and the first 2/3 is wide, smooth and easy going.
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    One "jackass" tried to stop us:
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    The last mile or so begins to get interesting, as the road is more or less a creek bed:
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    Then, rounding the last bend, you see the mighty Colorado River!! We made it!

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    After a break, time to head back up, enjoy the scenery:
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    Time for a Burger at the world famous Snow-Cap along Route 66 in Seligman, AZ before riding home to Phoenix.
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    #1
  2. svwayne

    svwayne Been here awhile

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    Cool trip. Thanks for posting.:clap

    I'll be out in Sedona this summer with the family. We've got a Jeep rented for a couple of days. We like the roads less traveled. Do you think this route requires something more than a rental Jeep? Would 4WD be required? What is the cost for a permit?

    Thanks!
    #2
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  3. AZuwere

    AZuwere Been here awhile

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    A rental jeep could do this in it's sleep. We passed a school bus that had taken a group of river rafters down to launch. We have an '06 Wrangler Unlimited and I wouldn't think twice about taking it down there.

    The permit runs around $20. I think the official name for it is the "backcountry permit", but just tell the lady at the desk at the Lodge you want to drive your jeep on Diamond Creek Rd. She'll understand. Honestly, there is nothing much technical about this trip. I just sounds cool to say you rode to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

    There will also be plenty to keep you busy around Sedona and the Mogollon Rim country.
    #3
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  4. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Great ride, must be spectacular to be riding in the grand canyon!Thanks for posting pics of your ride :thumb
    #4
  5. svwayne

    svwayne Been here awhile

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    Thanks again :thumbup

    PM'd you.
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  6. DRZ400SK4

    DRZ400SK4 Long timer

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    Most excellent ride report, and great photos!

    :thumb
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  7. Cloud9

    Cloud9 I was HERE?

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    Sweet!
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  8. motomac

    motomac Mac

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    I will have to add this to my "To Do" list!!! Thanks for the post.
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  9. spanker

    spanker Lake City, FL

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    Nice pics and great scenery. I've only been to the South Rim in a cage; I think everyone that goes to the GC immediately thinks "man, I want to go down there!"
    #9
  10. ozarkrider

    ozarkrider Discombobulated Sociopath

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    My wife, the GS, and I are headed to the south rim for the 4th of July. This looks like something I should do while I'm there. Thanks for posting.:D :D
    #10
  11. AZuwere

    AZuwere Been here awhile

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    If you are careful on that last mile or two, you will be fine. It's a little rockier than the first section. I would guess in July, unless we just had a passing Monsoon storm it would be dry (no creek). On the other hand, July in AZ is HOT. Could be pushing 110+ at the bottom due to the elevation change. Bring water.
    #11
  12. funhouse

    funhouse Overdue

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    I did the same trip 20-0dd years ago when working for Cagiva -- is the part by the river still full of trash and garbage? When I was there it looked like some group used it for a party-dump.......not pretty......I used a pix I took on the way back out for the company christmas card that year.....Bruce

    Attached Files:

    #12
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  13. AZuwere

    AZuwere Been here awhile

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    The area around the river was very clean, no trash. A group of rafters that had been on the river for 21 days had just pulled up, as this is the spot the rafters are taken out after launching at Lee's Ferry. I suspect the road down was built for the rafting business.
    [​IMG]
    #13
  14. ozarkrider

    ozarkrider Discombobulated Sociopath

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    We both wear CamelBaks when out riding in high temps. A lesson learned the hard way I'm ashamed to say. But came in handy in Moab 2 years ago at Arches and Canyonland National Parks. We also carry bottles of gatorade or powerade in the tankbag. Can't have enough liquids when traveling.
    We'll be traveling on an 1150GS mounted with Maxxis Presa Detour tyres. They've worked well for us in the Ozarks so I'm hoping for good results out there. We're camping at the South Rim campground. Any ADVRiders wanna visit from June 29 to July 2?
    #14
  15. SV650

    SV650 Adventurer

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    Great signs at the Snow Cap. Cheeseburgers with cheese. Dead chicken.
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  16. WVMTS

    WVMTS Podunk Chillbilly

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    AZuwere, I took out there at Diamond Point in 2001 after a 18 day private kayaking trip down the Grand. I remember that road well and the same food joint on Route 66. Man those guys are characters. Thanks for the report. After seeing your photos, that makes me want to get back out there. Beautiful area.
    #16
  17. AZuwere

    AZuwere Been here awhile

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    WV, The old guy that ran the Snow Cap died around 2003, so you probably stopped in while he was still around. Yes, they are full of tricks, like the fake mustard bottle, giving you a handful of hay when you ask for a straw, putting their hand out when you ask for a shake...etc. Besides Dead Chicken, they also specialize in "Cheeseburgers with Cheese". His daughter runs the place now. A perfect piece of old Route 66, still in play.
    #17
  18. tommo2

    tommo2 Michiganee

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    thanks for this info & pics!:clap
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  19. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Navigate 2 Adventure

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    Anyone know if they're still issuing these permits???......I thought I read somewhere that they're not even allowing street plated bikes to ride down anymore? :huh ......I'm thinking about heading that way in late Sept/early Oct......I'd like to ride down to the river and check that box off the "to do" list :wink: :lol3
    #19
  20. gus1911

    gus1911 Team F5

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    Thanks for the info!
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