Southern Utah route suggestions

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by Boondox, Nov 5, 2019.

  1. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    Here's what I'm thinking for our sidecar trip the middle of May. From western Kansas we'll drop down to northern NM so we won't have any worries about snow in the Colorado passes. Ride Monument Valley from west to east (spending a couple days there) then up Moki Dugway, probably camping at Muley Point. East a bit then north to wherever I can find a place to stay for five or six days while Glenlivet and I explore Arches, Canyonlands, and Deadhorse Point. Then south and west to Natural Bridges, up to Hanksville and over to Capitol Reef where we'll camp and hike for three or four days. Then down 12 checking out Grand Staircase Escalante and camping for a few days in Bryce Canyon NP. After that we stay several days at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, head west for an overnight at Valley of Fire SP in Nevada, then across Death Valley on our way to the Pacific.

    OptionC.jpg

    A few things to consider: 1) This is not a see it all trip. I've tried that before and it just gets frustrating as I constantly feel rushed. I've picked out a few spots that would make good basecamps. I'm looking for R&R, some photo ops, and short hikes that don't involve significant climbing or (especially) descents that would make my bum knee swell and ache. 2) I'm excluding roads that would likely still be snow covered, so unless winter ends early the higher elevation rides in Colorado like 550 are out. 3) I travel with a service dog in his sidecar. While he can climb step ladders, the type of ladders you encounter in places like Mesa Verde are beyond his skillset, so tours like that are out. 4) Being Vermonters, we're more comfortable with chilly temps than frying pan heat. I'm hoping the second and third weeks in May will be in our comfort zone.

    So...along the route shown above, what are your fave campsites, short hikes, photo ops etc?
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  2. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Jockey

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    By the time the snow is gone in the mtns it will likely be 95+ in the desert. Esp in Nevada. Highway 12 has some serious altitude, even skipping the mtns in Colorado you still have to contend with them in Utah. Your dates are typically about as good as it gets for riding both mtns and desert but there will be some frying going on.
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  3. Podzo's PD

    Podzo's PD Long timer

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    I would say, forget Shiprock, go south on 191 to Chinle and pay the bucks to go through Canyon de Chelly with an Indian guide. That is an unforgettable experience. 72.JPG 76.JPG
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  4. simbaboy

    simbaboy Lansing MBS Supporter

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    Lots of hikes in Moab Area---I think Service Dogs are allowed but not sure.
    Simba
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  5. tellicotom

    tellicotom Been here awhile

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    I'd try and squeeze in a visit to Zion since you're right there...
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  6. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

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    Since you will be at Moki Dugway, don't miss camping at Muley Point, probably the very best worst-kept secret camp site in all of Utah.
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  7. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    I'll likely pass through on the way to Valley of Fire and if it's not a madhouse that time of year would stay a couple days. Living in a tourist town has soured me on crowds, though...

    I've heard that several times and if the weather cooperates that would be a plan. How bad is the dirt road leading to it, especially after rain? When I rebuilt the sidecar rig the GSA became pretty much a street bike. It handles twisties like a go-cart, but only has 4.5 inches of ground clearance. Would that be a problem reaching Muley Pt?
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  8. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    How much elevation gain/loss is there on those guided tours? Downhills especially cause my left knee problems which are then compounded by having to keep it bent while riding. And are there any ladders to climb?

    He's allowed virtually anywhere I go, though the many fakes make it more difficult these days. I spend a bit of time on each outing educating the public, as does Glenlivet through his training and behavior. And while I carry documentation in the event I need help, typically the scars speak for themselves.
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  9. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Jockey

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    Stick to the road if it's rained recently or looks imminent or else your camping stay might get extended a few days. You'll see signs saying the roads will be impassable when wet, that's no joke.
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  10. Podzo's PD

    Podzo's PD Long timer

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    That road to Muley Point can be a disaster when it is wet. We made it about 1/4 of a mile that day.:baldy
    47.JPG
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  11. barko1

    barko1 barko1 Supporter

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    Death Valley average high temperature in May is 100. I think 550 will be clear just bring an electric vest.
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  12. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    From Shiprock to MV go thru Bluff instead and backtrack to Moki. Get your Forest Gump hill pic
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  13. UtahGuido

    UtahGuido Long timer Supporter

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    Maybe consider the Burr Trail east of Boulder, Ut. It’s paved until it gets into Capitol Reef NP, then it’s a hard dirt surface to the Notom road, which runs north south. If you go north up to Hwy 24 you can encounter light sand but I should think it would be fine in a side car rig. Going south to toward the ferry at Bullfrog is a mix of hard dirt and tarmac. Easy peasy, and scenic.
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  14. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    @UtahGuido - I was seriously looking at that route, but several have warned me about road conditions when muddy and given the time of year we'll be there...

    It's beginning to sound like I need one plan and a handful of options.
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  15. Mak10

    Mak10 Adventurer

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    The Burr Trail is really nice. From Boulder to Capital Reef is as pretty as Zions without all the people. Keep in mind the ferry at Bullfrog isn’t always running.
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  16. UtahGuido

    UtahGuido Long timer Supporter

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    I think you’ve lined out a pretty good route that hits the highlights through So. Ut. If you make the detour down to the Burr Trail you would miss the heart of Capitol Reef (at least the visitor’s center) and the hikes around there so it may make sense to stick to the hard top.
    Concerning the weather it’s usually pretty easy to know with at least a day’s advance warning whether rain is in the forecast. The storms don’t tend to sneak up you in May. Maybe more likely later in the season.
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  17. Merfman

    Merfman Cape truster... Supporter

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    Looking east at BT where it meets Notom road:
    [​IMG]

    The road towards Powell:
    [​IMG]

    Reward:
    [​IMG]

    Enjoy, report back!
    #17
  18. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    I was more worried about mud after the rain. Do the dirt roads dry out quickly or do they stay greasy for a few days like those back here in Vermont?
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  19. FatChance

    FatChance Road Captain

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    Check out Comb Ridge, Butler Wash, Snow Flats Road and Cigarette Springs Road, all north of Moki Dugway. :nod
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  20. RideFreak

    RideFreak Torque Jockey

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    One of your old RRs convinced me to check out that area. Glad I did, it was well worth the visit.
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