Toronto to Grand Canyon in October - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 23 Old 09-07-2010, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Toronto to Grand Canyon in October

Hi there,

I have a couple of weeks of vacation still coming to me. It has been on my mind to head out to the Grand Canyon some time or another, and likely see the Hoover Dam, Vegas, perhaps into Death Valley. I have enjoyed Colorado when I have been there but never ridden in it so I want to include a bit of that as well. I have been bouncing it around in my mind and setting up a possible route out there. I like to avoid interstates where practical, so I set up a rough route that heads west using US Highways for the most part.

Here is the rough route I have set up:

http://tinyurl.com/27pzdev

This is very rough and very much possible to change.

I'd love your opinions on the route and things I should and shouldn't do. For example, a friend I highly respect suggests the north side of the canyon is better without all the tourist traps. I have not firmed up a route back but may like to take a more northerly route with perhaps through Utah and the Black Hills but everything is open at this point. I suspect I'll be going solo (but am open to company if any of you are interested!) and likely will sleep in my tent much of the time (although with someone hotels start making sense.)

Thanks for any and all comments!


..Tom

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post #2 of 23 Old 09-07-2010, 06:51 PM
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October? Sounds like that might get a bit chilly in some parts. Denver and Colorado Springs list Oct 19th as the average date of their first snow. I'm sure some of the higher elevations are a bit sooner. Might make for an interesting trip across the divide.

Friend of mine did exactly what you were thinking of - North Rim, Southern Utah and then up and over to the Black Hills and Badlands. Loved every minute of it.
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post #3 of 23 Old 09-07-2010, 07:10 PM
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Well plan on it being very cool that time of year. We did it last year in September and it was cold in the evenings. Be sure to look up the Burr Trail in Southwest Utah, it is incredible and it is dirt, but gravel and passable for the most part. Try to hit hells backbone while your out there, that is also in Utah in the general vicinity. Since you are so close to Zion and Bryce, hike those if you can, well worth taking a day to hike those.

On your way back you can hit Sedona AZ awesome views and ride, Moki dugway for a little dirt riding, there is also the Coronado trail if you have time to hit South-eastern Arizona. Colorado is incredible as well, but you will not have time. At the very least include 550 through Durango to Ouray, nice if there is no snow on the roads.

happy trails, wish I was going back.

Clem
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post #4 of 23 Old 09-07-2010, 07:24 PM
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Hey Tom,
I go to Arizona in the winters....
As mentioned, hit up the drive through Sedona. The drive on #89 south from Flagstaff, through Sedona and then up through Cottonwood, Jerome and Prescott is a treat.

From Prescott you can make the trip to Vegas which isn't too far, and if you have the time, the run through the Painted Desert and the Petrified forest is neat, as is the ride through Monument Valley on the AZ/UT border....

When are you going?

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post #5 of 23 Old 09-07-2010, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juan Tanamera View Post
Hey Tom,
...

When are you going?
I haven't set a date yet but I think earlier in October will be better than later. I'm still not 100% on going but I can't stop thinking about it.

..Tom

2006 DL650: 202,000 km 125,500 miles, Sold
2012 DL650 139,500+ km, 86,700+ miles. Sold
2015 DL1000 New July 2015 200,000+ km, 125,000 miles.

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post #6 of 23 Old 09-07-2010, 08:05 PM
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I cannot comment on most of the route but your approach from Durango and through the Navajo reservation is a nice ride. Have your camera at the ready from Keyanto on. It is fairly barren but there are a few absolutely majestic visuals off to the south.

I just rode through the GC in July, coming up 180 and into the SE gate. We then took 64 east toward the east gate. There are many spectacular overlooks where you can park very near the edge of the canyon. The last overlook is on the eastern side, where the Watchtower is (Re: Jimmy Hendricks). If you climb to the top you can see 100 miles in every direction; so they say. The view of the canyon and the river below is, well.....incredible. Finding the right word to describe it is difficult.

I don't know what route you will take returning home but going north on 89 and then 89A at Bitter Springs into Fredonia is a very scenic route. There is a turnout with a wide open view looking south toward the north rim of the canyon, the Vermillion Cliffs that is a must see.

Have fun.

Last edited by Navigator; 09-07-2010 at 08:07 PM.
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post #7 of 23 Old 09-07-2010, 08:30 PM
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Tom, here are some pictures of the places I told you about on Saturday. I tried to limit the pictures to stuff that you can easily see from the bike, or just a short walk off the bike. A couple of pics would require more hiking than you're prepared to do. Let me know if you want more info on any of the places.

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post #8 of 23 Old 09-07-2010, 08:57 PM
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Although I didn't travel to the GC on a bike (on my list) I have hiked rim to rim and took my wife just a few years ago for another visit. Took my breath away both times and she cried for a quite a while when we looked over the rim. That said, keep in mind that the elevation at the north rim is about 8000' and 7000' at the south rim. We hiked rim to rim early october and awoke on our first day of the hike to 4 inches of snow on the north rim. Just sayin' it can happen. But! Was one of the best trips of my life! Have a great trip!
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post #9 of 23 Old 09-08-2010, 12:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirt_Dad View Post
Tom, here are some pictures of the places I told you about on Saturday. I tried to limit the pictures to stuff that you can easily see from the bike, or just a short walk off the bike. A couple of pics would require more hiking than you're prepared to do. Let me know if you want more info on any of the places.

Jon
Those are beautiful pics Jon....And just when I am considering selling all of my bikes and giving up riding.
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post #10 of 23 Old 09-08-2010, 01:34 AM
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Are you nucking futs?

TO to grand canyon in October eh?

What's your plan for crossing the mountains Einstein?

Riding through Colorado five minutes ahead of a snow storm (even in September) is no fun at all.

I would head as far south as Mexico, but that'd probably put you back in Toronto somewhere in mid to late November.

Sorry, just my opinion.
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