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PA to CO, UT, AZ - Nationals Alternate

2andblue

Member
Member
Been a tough year for us (Carol, Blue and I) and we need to get completely lost in a wilderness that is out of this world.

Regrettably, we will be gone for Nationals.

We are planning an epic trip to get a sampling some of America’s most vast and amazing landscapes. I am naming this trip Restoring The Soul and will start a thread to share what we see, and experiences we have.

What would you recommend to see or rides to take in 7 days that we will be in CO, UT, AZ? Here are some items we already have in the GPS.
  • Missouri - (en route)
    • Gateway National Park
  • Colorado
    • Pikes Peak
    • Garden of The Gods
    • Mt Evan (if road open to the top)
    • Rocky Mountain National Park (trail ridge rd if open)
    • Independence Pass
    • Loveland Pass
    • Million Dollar Highway
    • San Juan Mountains
    • Grand Mesa
  • Utah
    • Arches National Park
    • Zion National Park
    • Monument Valley
  • Arizona
    • Grand Canyon
It’s going to be a whirlwind 12 day tour that will cover early to mid-June. This is something we enjoy, see tons, don’t get bogged down at any one spot too long and find some places we will come back to on a more focused trip.

Thank You for your valuable inputs!

Wayne, Carol & Blue
 

Konehead34

Member
Member
Gunnison n.p. in colorado, as long as ur going to do the million dollar highway. And theres co 141 going out to Gateway. Theres a quirky spa and auto museuem thats out there. Restaurant was pretty good as well.

The Montrose area was a great spot to use as base camp to get to alot of the places on ur list, Zion, grand canyon , san juan..
 

connie_rider

Member
Member
That's a big list for 12 days. You would only have time to drive by the entrance if you try them all.
Suggest; leave time to actually stop and see some.

Ride safe, Ted
 

laker9142

Member
Member
If you can make it work out to where you leave Colorado at the southwest corner. Find Blanding Utah. Go west on 95 out of Blanding to 24, go west a short distance to 12 (Hells Backbone) and take that over to Bryce. That'll put you in the vicinity of Zion. You won't forget 95 or 12. 12 is a big deal both for a motorcycling road and several national and state parks along the way. Just be prepared when you leave Blanding with full gas and extra water and supplies.
 

2andblue

Member
Member
That's a big list for 12 days. You would only have time to drive by the entrance if you try them all.
Suggest; leave time to actually stop and see some.

Ride safe, Ted
We are modifying a bit. Will let you know, Arches, Zion and Capitol Reef likely 2 of the three we’ll stop in for the ride through.
 

2andblue

Member
Member
If you can make it work out to where you leave Colorado at the southwest corner. Find Blanding Utah. Go west on 95 out of Blanding to 24, go west a short distance to 12 (Hells Backbone) and take that over to Bryce. That'll put you in the vicinity of Zion. You won't forget 95 or 12. 12 is a big deal both for a motorcycling road and several national and state parks along the way. Just be prepared when you leave Blanding with full gas and extra water and supplies.
95 & 12 are on the route planning! Amazing scenery from the intel I’ve gathered.

Wayne, Carol & Blue
 

2andblue

Member
Member
If you can make it work, I really enjoy devils highway in Arizona.
Think we need to come back for this one 😤, this looks awesome though!!! Draws us a little too far south and time is waning.

Thank You for awesome suggestion!

Wayne, Carol & Blue
 

red fox

Member
Member
If you've not been to this general region before - well, you will enjoy it in spades. Jealous, am I.

been decades since was in Monument Valley. Back then the road thru the valley was packed red dirt, but think you can now pay for a tour bus to go thru it. I'm so concerned about sand on my tall-for-me bike that bus ride now would be my choice. Loved the valley for sure, makes you re-want to watch those classic John Wayne westerns 😁.

Zion is on west side of Utah (vs. Moab/Arches). It's such a prime spot, with RTE #12 / Bryce, that you might want to save for a separate trip next year. Near Arches, I've always liked the massive overlook from Dead Horse Point State Park (paved road). BTW, I like mid-April - May for visiting this Utah region temperature wise.
 

2andblue

Member
Member
7 /12 days planned every mile; a few gotchas out there right now: CO 50 is primarily closed during the weekdays for resurfacing and Mt Evans still closed. Had to juggle the schedules and routes a bit.

Will update the itinerary we, have scrubbed some and added others, epic trip coming. As long as Mother Nature participates (in our favor) there is no reason this trip should not be exactly what we need.

Oh and BTW - UTAH: that is one barren state 😮!

Wayne, Carol & Blue
 

sailrider

Member
Member
Wayne,
I lived in Colorado and Utah; one can spend weeks in each state touring. In Colorado, I'd recommend CO 141, 92 on the North side of the Black Canyon, 550, and the Grand Mesa. Trail Ridge is beautiful but can be crowded. Skip Mt. Evans; not worth a special trip like Ted says. Capital Reef and Arches are a couple of my Utah favorites. Enjoy the ride.

Mark
 

Konehead34

Member
Member
Co 14, between Walden and fort collins was a really good ride, its in a wooded river gorge, that crosses back over the river a number of times, all the while having some great veiws and a fair amount of twists and turns. Not a technical ride like the TOD, but so.much fun and if the rivers running worth a picture or 2, ..
 

2andblue

Member
Member
Wayne,
I lived in Colorado and Utah; one can spend weeks in each state touring. In Colorado, I'd recommend CO 141, 92 on the North side of the Black Canyon, 550, and the Grand Mesa. Trail Ridge is beautiful but can be crowded. Skip Mt. Evans; not worth a special trip like Ted says. Capital Reef and Arches are a couple of my Utah favorites. Enjoy the ride.

Mark
We have cutout Trail Ridge and Evans. Will update above once I get the full trip tick & tied.

Thank You for comments, interestingly I’m just planning the return leg from Utah and your suggestions above are where I’m at right now LOL.

Wayne, Carol & Blue
 

Just Cliff

Member
Member
Damn I hate agreeing with Ted but he's right, that's a lot to take in provided your time frame. I would do CO & the east side of UT, consider Flaming Gorge, Canyonlands NP & Arches they're all reasonably close to each other. The hike up to the delicate arch is long & hot take plenty of water if you plan to do it. Not a lot to Pikes Pike either besides riding up & saying you did a check off thing, if you do it Wolf Creek Pass is not out of the way, the best part of 550 is between Silverton & Ouray. Nobody has mentioned 145 between Delores & Telluride it's one of my favorites. 92 around the north rim of the Black Canyon & 65 are also very good, I never have to pass traffic on 92. There will be 3 of us there the week after the Nationals.

Most of all enjoy it!
 
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fartymarty

SC AAD
Member
I love Utah...but...I don't think there is any state that has worse tar snakes. I'm not saying Utah has more of them, but the ones it does have are the worst in my opinion. If it's a hot sunny day beware when you see 'em. I think the UT highway dept. has access to free tar or something. They like to mound them up over the cracks.

I'm guessing you'll be headed north after Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak...but if you happen to go west there is a little 3 mile road called Skyline Dr. you need to ride if you get close to it.

Have a great trip!!! (y)
 

2andblue

Member
Member
Co 14, between Walden and fort collins was a really good ride, its in a wooded river gorge, that crosses back over the river a number of times, all the while having some great veiws and a fair amount of twists and turns. Not a technical ride like the TOD, but so.much fun and if the rivers running worth a picture or 2, ..
Snow melting I would expect the river will be running!
 

2andblue

Member
Member
Damn I hate agreeing with Ted but he's right, that's a lot to take in provided your time frame. I would do CO & the east side of UT, consider Flaming Gorge, Canyonlands NP & Arches they're all reasonably close to each other. The hike up to the delicate arch is long & hot take plenty of water if you plan to do it. Not a lot to Pikes Pike either besides riding up & saying you did a check off thing, if you do it Wolf Creek Pass is not out of the way, the best part of 550 is between Silverton & Ouray. Nobody has mentioned 145 between Delores & Telluride it's one of my favorites. 92 around the north rim of the Black Canyon & 65 are also very good, I never have to pass traffic on 92. There will be 3 of us there the week after the Nationals.

Most of all enjoy it!
Only one not on the route plan yet is 145 - we have ended up with about 3/4 of a day available - possibly get this one in.

All others are already in the plan, we will certainly enjoy.

Before we head out or possibly immediately on return (time is flying right now) I'll post a Basecamp of all days on one map - it's quite impressive. Most days average 7 hours ride time. with an equal amount of time for meals, stop/go, couple light hikes mixed in. It is a large schedule, best part is most rides we have a break-away point if we need to makeup some time.

Thank You - OH and BTW Cliff, I'm jealous of the riding you get to do... Would like to be like you when I grow up.

Wayne, Carol & Blue
 
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2andblue

Member
Member
I love Utah...but...I don't think there is any state that has worse tar snakes. I'm not saying Utah has more of them, but the ones it does have are the worst in my opinion. If it's a hot sunny day beware when you see 'em. I think the UT highway dept. has access to free tar or something. They like to mound them up over the cracks.

I'm guessing you'll be headed north after Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak...but if you happen to go west there is a little 3 mile road called Skyline Dr. you need to ride if you get close to it.

Have a great trip!!! (y)
Skyline Drive, what an interesting find, will add this to our buzz down 50. Quite the thrilling ride it looks like!

Thank You for the heads up on tar snakes. I have always hated those damn things too, hopefully they're not prolific in the corners on the roads we've chosen or temp is cool enough yet that they're not BLACK ICE...

Wayne, Carol & Blue
 

2andblue

Member
Member
There will be 3 of us there the week after the Nationals.

Most of all enjoy it!
Note: Large section of 50 is closed during the weekdays with only small openings to allow traffic to pass (expect major delays aka AVOID) - plan accordingly, this will remain in effect into July 2022. We will be going through there Sunday (hopefully any logjam of penned up traffic clears Saturday)...

Wayne, Carol & Blue
 

Just Cliff

Member
Member
Thank You - OH and BTW Cliff, I'm jealous of the riding you get to do... Would like to be like you when I grow up.

Wayne, Carol & Blue

You really don't, just ask Ted!
Thank You for the heads up on tar snakes. I have always hated those damn things too, hopefully they're not prolific in the corners on the roads we've chosen or temp is cool enough yet that they're not BLACK ICE...

Wayne, Carol & Blue

Marty is right about the tar snakes they are absolutely terrible in UT. Yes, they are prolific in the corners & usually cross the road in what seems like every 10'.
 

2andblue

Member
Member
You really don't, just ask Ted!


Marty is right about the tar snakes they are absolutely terrible in UT. Yes, they are prolific in the corners & usually cross the road in what seems like every 10'.
Oh brother… Well I guess we’re headed into the snake pit.

Only tires that did not handle tar snakes well for me were the newest Pirelli Angle GT-2, those were very uncomfortable on snakes. Can’t describe it other than tire felt like it was breaking loose laterally, never experienced that on any other tires.

Wayne, Carol & Blue
 

2andblue

Member
Member
Cecil we just got back! Trip was awesome! We modified the itinerary a bit, will post a day x day in the next day or so.

The weather varied WIDELY from snow capped mountains (used heated gear one day) to very hot (For the time of year record-breaking heat) exceeding 100*F air temp traveling down the highway, heat indexes >110*F. We also side-stepped a tornado and hail the night of 4-June near Colby, Kansas - very intense lightning!!

All sights exceeded our expectations. We shaved some miles for National Park time, 11 days totaling ~5,600 miles an intense trip…. The beauty of Utah surprised us!

Where 11 days went I have no idea 🤷‍♂️??? Blue (C14 in general) is a mile crusher and ran flawlessly.

More to come,

Wayne, Carol & Blue
 

headstill2172

Guest
Guest
Just got back from those parks and a few others, Canyonland is a bit out of the way but also amazing and Bryce Canyon is right close to Zion, worth the visit if you have the time. Get to the parks early and you will avoid the bulk of the tourists. Have a blast!!
 

2andblue

Member
Member
Just got back from those parks and a few others, Canyonland is a bit out of the way but also amazing and Bryce Canyon is right close to Zion, worth the visit if you have the time. Get to the parks early and you will avoid the bulk of the tourists. Have a blast!!
Canyonlands was awesome - we spent a good amount of time there. I never knew there were so many canyons in Utah - by the end of our loop around Utah what used to seem like an extraordinary canyon is now - oh hmm, meh. Lol

Lake Powell - wow - dryyyy…

Wayne, Carol & Blue
 
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