To the Southwest and back
I have been trying to plan out my trip for a while now and I want to get some more input here. I am going on a 2-3 week trip to the southwest. This is my last trip before I hit active duty in July so I want to have the best time before I hit the "real world". I am riding a 99 KLR650 and this will be my first big trip on a bike. I will be camping out as much as possible, possibly using the tent space thread to get some spots if I can't make it to a National Park. I will be doing a lot of off roading and don't mind taking back roads to get there.
My route (main points really)
-SE Kansas to Colorado
-Great Sand Dunes National Park, 2 days
-through Rio Grande National Forest
-Hit up Durango, CO and the trails there, 2 days
-Head to Mesa Verde NP
-Hit Antelope Canyon and Glenn Canyon NATL Rec Area, 2 days
-Also going to hit Natural Bridges NP and the back road to there, Mutaki Overlook(SP?), been there twice already and I love visiting there.
-Head to Zion NP- Spend 2-3 days there
-Thru Dixie NTL forest and Bryce Canyon NP
-Capitol Reef/ Glenn Canyon NTL rec area and I am going to hit Burr Trail, I hear it's great. Spend a 2 days there
-Then head over to Moab UT and Arches NP, White Rim trail is on the list, anything else?
At this point I am feeling the end of my must visit locations, and I am looking for anything else to visit. I might just head to Colorado and hit up Rocky Mountain NP and go thru some back roads to get there.
I am completely open to info, suggestions and other help. Thanks!
What's Rio Grande National Park?
Do you mean Big Bend National Park on the Rio Grande? If so, I agree wholeheartedly. If you didn't mean Big Bend, I recommend you change your plans and go there.
Googling Rio Grande National Park comes up with nothing... unless you mean Rio Grande National Forest. I don't know anything about that place at all.
Make sure that you hit Monument Valley and Valley of the Gods, Mulley Point, and the Gooseneck State Park. There is a nice road under Mulley Point (?Johns Canyon) that goes back about 15-20 miles with some amazing camping spots at the end or along the way.
I can definitely host you if you are riding the Navajo Reservation.
It's usually always epic out here.
Send me a pm if I can help!
If you don't already have one, get yourself a Parks Pass:
The cost is $80 but it covers all entrance fees into national parks and other federal lands that have a fee, for a year. (It doesn't cover camping fees.)
Also, it will be toasty in Moab, Arches, Zion and that general area in July, so be prepared for heat.
Rocky Mountain National Park is excellent in July! You might want to cut down a bit on your Utah travels and do a bit more in Colorado, to avoid the heat.
There really isn't much to see in Shiprock, AZ.
I will adjust the course and spend some time in the Canyon Lands, maybe spend the night out there.
I often find the National Parks a more crowded and less pleasant camping experience and that the national forests are a better option. July is high elevation time, cruise through the lower stuff in the morning, no fun camping in high heat of the Colorado Plateau desert. Look into Silverton/Ouray, Grand Mesa, 141 from Moab but stay in the La Sals. Abajo Mtns West of Monticello might be a good stop before a morning run along Indian Creek, then escape to the La Sals. Bryce Canyon has good elevation but tooo many frig... tourists. Have fun :clap
So I finalized alot of my trip.
Trip Plan Distance on pavement- 2800 miles or so
Fort Scott to La Veta CO
Possibly spending the night here with a forum member.
La Veta to Great National Sand Dunes NP
Spend the night and some of the next day
Sand Dunes to Durnago, CO
Spend night in Rio Grande NF
Find some trails here and spend the day riding
I could use some input here if anyone has some
June 1/ 2
Durango to Natural Bridges NP
Spend the night here and next day
Natural Bridges to Gooseneck State park, Monument Valley and finally spending the night at HeadShrinkers place in Kayenta AZ
Kayenta AZ to Lower Antelope Canyon then to Coral Pink dunes SP
Spend night at the SP,
Coral Pink to Zion NP
Spending some time here, hiking the narrows and doing some other things.
Zion to Capitol Reef
Spend the night here and the next day at Glenn Canyon NP
-Hit the Burr trail
Capitol Reef to Arches NP and Moab
-White Rim trail
Moab to Fort Scott, headed through Aspen and other parts of Colorado
Working on where to stay in this area. I have a few people that I have contacted, so it's a waiting game now.
I am flexible here, I want to enjoy as much of this as I possible can, so I can adjust this if something even better comes up!
Looks like an awesome adventure! I have a 2004 KLR that I am setting up for just this type of adventure and I am curious as to how you have yours set up?
1st & foremost have a great tour & come back safe & sound! FWIW, I'm a KS boy too.
As for Durango area-its been awhile but I've done the trail/dirt road that runs from Ouray to Silverton,CO and it is scenic with very few people on it. Has an old mining area and was used nearer to Silverton to shoot some of the scenes in an old Audie Murphy western. Before GPS I used a book called Jeep Trails of CO w/maps to find trails there. I'm sure much is online now. Have fun & wish I was going too!
On day 9, I'd route from Zion past Brice NP on Hwy 12 to Capitol Reef, You'll ride the hogback, it's a must on MCs :evil
You can thank me later
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