My first trip in USA (Mexico to Canada) was cancelled but the plan B has been great

Discussion in 'Americas' started by jaumev, Dec 16, 2017.

  1. jaumev

    jaumev Long timer

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    Hi!

    My name is Jaume, I’m from Barcelona (Spain) and next May-June I’m going to USA for my first motorbike trip in this country. I’m riding solo and with a big bike (Ducati Multistrada Enduro Pro). What I like most is off road but with this bike I prefer to avoid too technical or deep sandy tracks.

    I have been to the USA twice, once in a Jeep visiting Utah National Parks, Arizona and Colorado and I fall in love with those areas. I was dreaming to ride by motorcycle there and it seems the dream it will be a reality. I’m really looking forward to it!!

    I’m just starting to plan the trip but this is my wishlist:

    The trip will be about three weeks to a month maximum.

    The idea is to cross USA from Mexico to Canada visiting some of the National Parks and their back country roads:

    From San Diego to Joshua Tree, Mojave and Death Valley where I want to ride off road in Titus canyon and other off road tracks in the park.

    Then Las Vegas, Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon.

    Go to Bryce Canyon and take highway 12 crossing Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to Capitol Reef where I would like to ride the off road sections to Cathedral Valley (I know the rest of the park).

    After that I will ride in Canyonlands, my favourite National Park. From Capitol I will ride to Hanksville and then south to highway 95 as I would like to ride a track called Bull Creek that seems very beautiful (does anyone know it?). I’m not sure if it’s worth the effort to go to the remote Maze District of Canyonlands so probably from there I will ride to Moab as a basecamp to ride the Shaffer trail, the White Rim road and the Needles district of Canyonlands.

    This is my favourite part of the trip. After that the plan is not so defined. Probably I will ride to Salt Lake City to visit a friend, if not, to Grand Teton NP (I was in Yellowstone before so I’m not going this time). Then I will go to Sun Valley to visit some cousins and from there to Stanley (highway 75) Missoula and Glacier NP where I will love to ride the Going to the Sun road.

    From there probably a quick ride to Seattle where I’ll finish my trip.

    Do you think this is too optimistic in three-four weeks?

    Any advice to visit some nice places/tracks on the way that I haven’t mentioned?

    What is the weather like in this area in mid-May-June? I suppose it can vary a lot from south to north…

    Thanks a lot!!
    #1
  2. severely

    severely almost a noob

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    Not too optimistic, however I think Going to the Sun Road may still be closed due to snow. How about Mt. Evans in Colorado, maybe Medicine Bow mountains in SE Wyoming. I know you've been to Yellowstone but did you make it to Cody Wyoming for the museum or the Beartooth/Chief Joseph highway. Lolo Pass is also good in Idaho, I think 12 highway. Good luck, ride well.
    #2
  3. jaumev

    jaumev Long timer

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    Thanks for your answer.
    Probably I will start the trip mid May so I will arrive to Going to the Sun at the beginning or mid june. I hope it will bw open.
    I'm going to see the other options you gave me.
    :beer
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  4. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority

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    Personally I would blow off most of that tourist crap off and see the real wide open spaces from Mexico to Canada via the CDR (Continental Divide Ride). The CDR route will allow you to take side trips to a few of the places you mentioned. May can be problematic for snow at the upper altitude passes in Colorado.

    Here are some pics from taking our sidecar on the CDR with a discussion as to dirt road quality in a thread about needing knobby tires for doing the CDR:

    99% of the CDR that isn't paved, is graded logging/fire roads. I did it in a sidecar with car tires, you really don't need an aggressive knob.

    Southern Alberta:

    [​IMG]

    Southern Montana:

    [​IMG]

    Big Empty Central Wyoming:

    [​IMG]

    Colorado/Wyoming border:

    [​IMG]

    Northern Colorado:

    [​IMG]

    Southern Colorado:

    [​IMG]

    Central New Mexico:

    [​IMG]

    South Central New Mexico and one of the more technical sections that was maybe a mile long:

    [​IMG]

    Southern New Mexico:

    [​IMG]

    So hopefully you can see from my CDR trip, the graded roads (most of which has a layer of road base) are fairly hard packed and not really anything for any significant distance where a knob sinks in deep enough to bite.
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  5. jaumev

    jaumev Long timer

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    Wow that's look great. I will look for more information about the CDR.
    Thanks!!
    #5
  6. jaumev

    jaumev Long timer

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    Do you have a report of your trip? How long it takes?

    The route looks great but I can see some problems to solve.
    Ducati is sending me a bike from Spain so we must find a place to pick it with a Ducati dealer. San Diego or Los Angeles seemed good places to that. Also I need good fly conections from Barcelona. I will see if there is something similar near the start of the CDR.
    Then is Utah. I love Utah and I don't want to miss it. I know there are some "turistic" places but I don't think it will be many people in the areas I want to visit.
    And I think Colorado deserve a trip by itself. I keep it for another year this time with my wife....

    So, I need to think about it. Many thanks again
    #6
  7. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    I remember that section from earlier this year. In fact, I just found video of it on my iPhone.
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  8. digger2

    digger2 A Cad & A Bounder

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    Jaumev,
    Two Duc dealers in San Diego. Moto Forza in the north of the county and Gp in the city. GP is a mile from the airport. If you need help just let me know. If you fly into Los Angeles and the bike is in San Diego i travel between the two so we can get you down here.
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  9. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority

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    Our ride report can be found here: http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/hacking-through-our-kids-inheritance.984587/#post-24346553

    We live in Southern California, it takes a full day to ride out to the start of the CDR in New Mexico. What are your plans for after you get to Canada? On the CDR you are close enough to Glacier National Park to do that part of it. If you go south on Hwy 93 from Whitefish Mt. you will drop into Idaho and split off of Hwy 93 to Hwy 75 to Stanley. From Stanley I would take Hwy 75 south to Hwy 20/26 east and go to Alpine Wyoming, from Alpine take Hwy 89 South to Utah.
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  10. jaumev

    jaumev Long timer

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    Many thanks!!

    We'll see where we landed (motorbike and me) and I tell you
    #10
  11. jaumev

    jaumev Long timer

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    Thanks for the link, I will see it with interest.

    Yes, I saw that the start of the CDR is quite far from South California where I think I will land.
    Not sure yet what to do at the end of the trip. I would like to visit Glacier NP if the roads are open. We must find a Ducati dealer near to the end, and an airport. Calgary or probably Seattle will be the best option.

    I saw this video of the CDR. Is that the same track you did? Some parts look really tehcnical. See from minute 16.04 this is ok for a light bike but not for a big one and riding solo :fpalm

    #11
  12. digger2

    digger2 A Cad & A Bounder

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    Seattle is way better than Calgary.
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  13. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority

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    DO NOT confuse the Continental Divide Ride with the Great Divide Ride, Continental Divide Trail, or with what the video guy calls the Great Continental Divide Ride. There are multiple routes that people are using to follow the mountain ranges across North America. What most here call the Continental Divide Ride (CDR) is basically the route that the Mountain Bike racers use from Banff, Alberta, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico, USA. It generally follows the actual Continental Divide but does deviate away in order to keep it fairly easy. The Mountain bike racers need to average 80 miles a day and so they stay away from single track & technical tracks. The two best known routes for the CDR are Big Dawg & Cannonshot's GPS files found here. Countdown calls his GPS track the Great Divide Ride and it follows the actual Continental Divide more closely than the others and has single track trail and much more technical riding. I didn't watch most of your vid and I have no idea who's route they followed or if they took side trips from one of the other routes, but there is no technical riding on the CDR.
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  14. HotChilliColdBeer

    HotChilliColdBeer Human Swizzle Stick

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    Depends on how you get there. If I had a Multistrada and was in Washington/Idaho/Montana, anywhere near the Canadian border, there's no way I'm not riding thru the Canadian Rockies.

    Besides, the girls/beer/hockey are better in Calgary.


    Just sayin,




    Charlie
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  15. jaumev

    jaumev Long timer

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    :evilGirls, beer, hockey... Good arguments to go to Calgary!!
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  16. jaumev

    jaumev Long timer

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    Ok, I was thinking in a sidecar riding in it and I was :eek2

    The problem is that after looking those incredible tracks I would like to come another time with my Yamaha WR450 to ride in them!! :raabia
    #16
  17. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

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    Jaume, when you pick your route and distances keep in mind that the US Southwest is already pretty hot in May. I am working on a project outside of Las Vegas, and last May temps easily got to 35C during the day. Not as hot as it will be in June, but that's a significant heat load when you are off-road pushing around a heavy bike.

    And if you come by Vegas, drop me a PM, we'll go to have a beer or dinner (or a beer and dinner :dukegirl :drink).

    :beer

    Gustavo
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  18. jaumev

    jaumev Long timer

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    Yeah, I was looking the temperatures and it seems pretty hot. This is why I dont want to ride in too technical tracks.
    Plus, the Multi is a hot bike.
    Luckily I'm used to drive in hot places.

    Beer and dinner look really nice!!

    Thanks!

    Enviado desde mi LG-H870 mediante Tapatalk
    #18
  19. Lupin 3rd

    Lupin 3rd Raygun Gothic

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    Hasn't been mentioned, but you should bring bear spray with you: better safe than sorry.

    And regarding temperatures, if you're in the mountains/hills it will not be as hot as down in the valleys. Though some Colorado passes may still be closed so you'll have to strike a balance. I used bushducks as a reference for pass status when planning my trip: http://bushducks.com/tripreps/passopen.htm
    #19
  20. Tsilatipac

    Tsilatipac Go Adventure

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    Welcome. Sounds like a great Trip! I’m in San Diego. You are welcome to drop ship stuff here if it helps. Always welcome to crash here as well, I’ll take you out for dinner. Moto Forza is a great shop.
    San Diego to Joshua tree take Box Canyon Rd route. Lots to see and do in the park. Fill up before going into park. Great rock climbing and old mines to explore out that way. Be mindful you don’t fall into an open shaft if you get off trail, it’s a real thing and you will likely die. My son’s friend lost his dad that way...

    Death Valley has lots of great riding.

    I highly recommend Zion NP. You can camp inside the park. If you are traveling alone and it’s full you can sometimes talk them in to letting you share a group site. I like Angels Landing Trail and the narrows. If it rains, don’t shy away from Angel’s Landing. I hiked it in a heavy rain and it was SPECTACULAR. Stay out of the narrows if it is raining anywhere up river.

    Badlands National Park is worth a visit. You will see Bison, probably on the road and it’s a bit intimidating. Camp at Sage Creek. The dirt road is usually in great condition and bison abound.

    I haven’t been to Glacier National Park but it’s on my bucket list. Far too cold when I was out that way in April.
    #20