Thursday, April 9, 2009

Back From the Camping Trip

dixie national forest, utahArrived back home from my motorcycle camping trip Tuesday evening.

Had a great time seeing a lot of country, riding some 1,500 miles, and having a good time with my friends. Here's a recap of what attractions we rode through...

Zion National Park, UT
Dixie National Forest, UT
Bryce Canyon National Park, UT
Grand Staircase Escalante State Park, UT
Capitol Reef National Park, UT
Lake Powell, UT
Natural Bridges National Monument, UT
Monument Valley, UT
Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
Grand Canyon Caverns, AZ

Here's where we camped...

Day 1, Zion National Park
Day 2, Natural Bridges National Monument
Day 3, Grand Canyon Caverns

The trip was largely based around one stretch of road, Highway 12 through Utah. It's regarded as one of the top most scenic roads in the United States. As it turned out, it was exactly so. Miles and miles of open country, forest, mountains, desert, and lots twisty roads for a motorcyclist like myself to enjoy.

Highway 24, which runs through Capitol Reef National Park is perhaps as equally spectacular as Highway 12. It runs through tall columns of red rock.

Highway 95 running south along Lake Powell is another beautiful road, filled with sweeping curves through canyons that you can fly through at 80mph, and nary any law enforcement to give you trouble.

Hwy 261, Utah, winding down from Cedar Mesa

Highway 261, running from Natural Bridges National Monument to Mexican Hat, UT offers a breathtaking view of Southern Utah. There's a stretch of about 3 miles of dirt road that winds its way from atop Cedar Mesa, with 5mph switchbacks and a 10% downgrade. The view of the valley below is just awesome!!

It was mostly cold the whole time. The coldest it got during the ride was on Day 2, riding along Highway 12 towards Lion Mountain, where it got into the 20s. The coldest it got during the night was while we camped at Natural Bridges, where it also got into the 20s.

But the weather turned out to be great. Sunny most of the time, and no rain. It was just cold. But when we got back into the California desert, temperatures warmed up to the 90s, and we were riding with just t-shirts on.

Anyways, take a look at my photo album for all the pics...
http://picasaweb.google.com/cleardigital/20090404EasterVacationRide

Here's Larry's photos...
http://picasaweb.google.com/scarencelarence/UtahArizonaTrip?authkey=Gv1sRgCI2O1_ywke3KAQ&feat=directlink#

And here's Brian's photos...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/brobrian1925/sets/72157616417722421/

4 comments:

  1. Looks like you had an incredible trip! You really took some great pictures, especially the ones from Bryce Canyon. Since I was in AZ recently for the first time, I can actually relate to some of the riding you did. Nothing quite like riding in the desert. The next time I get out that way I hope to do the Grand Canyon, Utah and Cali.

    You've also inspired me to organize a motorcycle camping trip with my crew here. That's one thing we haven't done. Sure, we've hit the road and stayed in motels, and we did camp in Milwaukee, but I like the way you guys did it. I'd like to do a long, scenic ride like that, stopping at 2 or 3 nice campgrounds and camp off the back of the bikes.

    I bet you wouldn't have traded the beer and hot links with your friends around that fire for a 4-star hotel room. Awesome post on an awesome trip.

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  2. Not too many people like camping, let alone motorcycle camping, where you're limited to bringing only what you can strap down to your bike.

    Camping at Zion is really easy, because there's a town right next door to the campground, and plenty of stores to buy stuff. But camping at Natural Bridges is totally remote, with no store, and no town for 30-40 miles. We had to make sure we had the basic necessities, food, liquor, and coffee.

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  3. I just got off the phone with 2 guys from my Chapter, and they are both up for this. One of them has done it before and suggested a trip up to Vermont for the weekend via Rt. 100. Route 100 runs from the Mass border up to Canada and is widely considered one of the most scenic routes in New England.

    We're figuring a small group of us, 6 to 8 max where we leave Friday and come back Sunday afternoon. I'm gonna make this happen! Thanks for the inspiration.

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  4. I'm gonna have to check out the pictures when I have a bit more time...but from what I can see...freak'in awesome!

    I need to get a full ride plan from your ass. Now I'm really feel'in the hurt. Man, I can't wait until I get to gander at all the photos.

    There isn't too many people who would do that this time of year. Brain bucket off to one of the true riders.

    ReplyDelete

About Steve

San Diego, CA-based motorcycle rider who likes long road trips, old rustic bars, craft beer, and tough women. Can often be found where there's free Wi-Fi, writing about the mysteries of life. (Read more...)