zion/bryce/canyonlands

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Mark96, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. Mark96

    Mark96 Way Out There!

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    Hi, I am from Winnipeg, Canada. I just recently retired and was hoping to ride thru Zion, Bryce, and Canyonlands Natl Parks during the week of 18-23 April on a stock 08 KLR. I really want to get away and trailer to somewhere like Richfield Utah, unload and ride the roads. Maybe even some trails if possible. I realize it might be a little chilly in the morning but if I time it right the higher parts might be done in the afternoon when its a little warmer.

    Is this at all possible?? Any advice?? Routes that might be a little warmer? Motels?

    I'd welcome any others if it fits into your schedule.

    Thanks,,,
    #1
  2. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am. Supporter

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    If time/weather permit-Kolob Resevior just west of Zion is a nice ride.

    Btwn Zion & Bryce is Cedar Breaks, another place I always like going to.

    Hwy 12 thru Escalante up to Torrey is a must do.

    Lots of motels in the area, should not be a problem. Cedar City & St. George is somewhat big city stuff-plenty of motels & eats.

    Buy a national parks pass to get in all the parks-one time fee, good for 1 year.

    Beautiful area, you're gunna love it.

    Go over to regionals here on ADV-then to 'rockies', post your question there too. Maybe Signal will chime in-he is one of many that can help you in the UT dept.
    #2
  3. themocksta

    themocksta Lost in this place

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    Cedar Breaks may be closed still, I know when I was going through there last year mid may it was still closed due to snow :cry
    #3
  4. TwoShots

    TwoShots Vagabond

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    If you ride route 12 west (Torrey > Bryce), watch for black ice while climbing the east side of Boulder Mountain. There are several spots in the twisties that don't see any direct sunlight, so it's not uncommon to go from dry pavement to thin ice patches almost instantly in the higher elevations.

    Those spots get a couple/few riders every year.
    #4
  5. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    In Capitol Reef NP do the Cathedral Valley loop. Because of the way the sun hits it, I start from the East end of the road at Cainville. Make sure to go to the South Desert overlook. It is spectacular! You can also do Notom- Bullfrog Road to the Burr trail over to Escalante. Then take 12 over to Torrey. Outside of Bryce at Cannonville take Cottonwood Canyon Road south to US 89. Then you can take Johnson Canyon Road north to Skutumpah Road back up to Cannonville. The Cannonville KOA is a great place to stay. It's at lower elevation than Bryce, so warmer. These roads are not paved except 12. If it is raining or wet stay off of them. The soil gets so slick not even 4 wheel drives can get through some parts. There is not much traffic on any of them, especially Cathedral Valley. I have done all these on a KLR with my wife on the back, and I am 56. Hope you have fun.
    #5
    tellicotom likes this.
  6. TwoShots

    TwoShots Vagabond

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    Check with the BLM on the status of that one. It was closed last year due to major slides and washouts. It hadn't been repaired as of September of 2010.
    #6
  7. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    bryce is at a higher elevation so watch for snow.
    canyonlands/moab is awesome this time of year..expect alot of jeeps.
    check out the burr trail!
    and don't miss the hike to the waterfall at the back of calf creek campground on rt12!
    rt12 will blow you away.
    #7
  8. Mark96

    Mark96 Way Out There!

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    Thanks for all the input. If I am comimg to Utah on I70, what makes sense for a location to park the van, unload and ride for a 5-6 days. Would I be better off unloading in Moab or driving over to Richfield or around to Cedar City. I'm leaning towards more paved roads because of the threat of crappy conditions this time of year on the dirt roads I guess there is still a good threat of snow in some of the higher places. So, looking at the atlas... maybe leaving from Richfield has the most opportunities for a safe adventure. Does Canyonlands have many paved roads?

    Pretty much everyone that I chat with here in Winnipeg thinks it will be too cold and/or crappy in SE Utah this early in the year. I hope they are wrong!!
    #8
  9. 4PawsHacienda

    4PawsHacienda Long timer

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    Too cold for a Canadian!!!
    Best area I ever rode through. I wake up at night planning on how to go back and visit again.
    Do get the Park Pass. There are so many state and national parks in the area and each is a good ride just to get there. Don't plan out every day in too much detail. I've been watching the Moab weather, still have it bookmarked, and haven't seen anything too scary.

    Explore and enjoy.
    #9
  10. TwoShots

    TwoShots Vagabond

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    Richfield as a base would still leave you a fair distance from the good stuff (good stuff being scenery and options to do interesting dirt). If you're doing 5-6 days putting around on mostly pavement, save Moab for another time. I'd suggest either...

    1) Park it in Torrey. Use routes 12 and 24 (paved) as your base. It's a win/win for scenery and lots of dirt to explore if you want to without being far from your base.

    or

    2) Park it in Panguitch. Use routes 12, 14, and 89 as your base. Same as above regarding scenery and dirt. Zion and Bryce are easier access as well.

    Both towns will have any amenities you may need and better access to the areas you mentioned seeing. Either way, while you're out there... the BLM Visitors Center in Cannonville or Escalante are worth a stop. They have daily road conditions posted for any dirt in the area, lots of maps for you to look at and local knowledge to share.

    Escalante office:

    [​IMG]

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    They use/monitor several remote weather stations throughout southern UT.

    [​IMG]

    At the very least try to do Burr Trail (more a road than a trail) as eakins suggested. You can pick it up from Boulder, UT.

    Top off your fuel, water, and munchies at Hills & Hollows store in Boulder.
    They also have a pretty comfortable no-frills bunkhouse if you need to
    sleep. No reservations required. First come, first served. About $30 for the night, I think.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Bunkhouse-

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    TS
    #10
  11. TwoShots

    TwoShots Vagabond

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    There are two in Escalante worth mentioning:

    Escalante Outfitters - smack in the middle of town. Cabins are $40 last I looked. Good clean showers, too.

    and

    Circle D - across the street from the outfitters. New eatery/restaurant as well.
    #11
  12. Mark96

    Mark96 Way Out There!

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    You guys are excellent!

    Coming from Denver in the van, what would be the best route to drop down to Torrey? Would 72 be OK, or stay on I70 and 24?

    Hey Twoshots, any chance of you going for a ride??
    #12
  13. Mark96

    Mark96 Way Out There!

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    Checking the weather for next week....looks kinda crappy for the first half near Bryce and Capital Reef. The weather looks easier to live with around Arches and Canyonlands... is there not enough good roads this time of the year to keep a guy going for 5-6 days around there?
    #13
  14. TwoShots

    TwoShots Vagabond

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    Hard to say about 72. Could be icy or not. It's pretty stark and wide open to winds. Best bet is I70 and 24 into Torrey. At least that'll give you a teaser view of whats available on the bike if you unload at Torrey.

    Arches & Canyonlands mostly paved riding for 5-6 days? Nope. If you do the area with some dirt it's still a stretch for that length of time.

    Thanks for the invitation. I'd jump on it if I didn't have to be in Las Vegas :puke1 next week.
    #14
  15. Eyes Shut

    Eyes Shut See no evil Super Supporter

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    We haven't stayed at Escalante Oufitters, but I can vouch that the beer is great and the food is tasty!
    #15
  16. bomose

    bomose Long timer

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    You could park in Grand Junction and go through Colorado Nat'l Monument. Then take 141 to Gateway. From there take John Brown highway (unpaved but good ) over to Moab. The passes may not be clear, though. You need to check. If not, continue 141 to Nucla and 90 , down 191 to 133 and Needles overlook. Go back out to 191 to 211 and the lower part of Canyonlands. From there you will have to go back out to 191 and up to Moab. Go to the Islands in the Sky district to look down on Canyonlands and go to Arches Nat'l Park. then you can go up 128 to I 70 and back in to Grand Junction. All these roads are paved except John Brown and will give you a spectacular view of the area. Good luck! You might ask in the Rocky Mtn forum what they suggest, also.
    #16
  17. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

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    These are great suggestions. I have put them together on this Google Map. I am doing an upcoming trip. See this thread.
    #17
  18. fast4d

    fast4d Long timer

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    stayed at circle D last year. inexpensive and clean. the restaurant is excellent.
    #18
  19. bimmerx2

    bimmerx2 Long timer

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    I stayed there and it's not the Ritz but it's clean and for the price it was perfect. Slept like a baby, met some interesting travelers and the food and beer were indeed excellent.

    My cabin is there in the back.

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    Inside:

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    I'm planning my trip for this year and I'm heading back through to hit all of the places I missed the first time and revisit some that were just amazing.
    #19