I had a work meeting scheduled in Lost Wages in early Oct. so I decided to take advantage of my time there and “Loop the Grand Canyon”……..I started mapping out my plan in late August……lot’s of good input from other ADV Riders…..Strega signed on to accompany me which was a welcome relief since I’d be getting pretty far off the beaten path in my quest to stay near the canyon and on dirt to the greatest extent possible……after all, that’s why we have ADV/Dual Sport bikes……so we can travel the path ridden/seen by the few rather than the concrete loop driven/scene by the masses in their minivans/buses…..
We headed out last Wednesday afternoon from San Diego to Las Vegas arriving in the late evening and packed up our saddlebags for the trip……we were up and off to the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign by ~7am……..seemed like an appropriate place to start/end the trip and associated .gpx track file in case others decide to follow in our wake….
I rode my 98 KTM 620 EGS-E Adventure Bike and Roger rode his 01 KTM 640
A couple of pics at the "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign to start off our trip (7am so no traffic on the strip):
I only had 5 days to knock out this loop which meant the first day would be a long day – Vegas to Fredonia / ~300 miles……..very doable provided we hauled the mail up to Mesquite…….so, realizing we needed to take some pavement to make good time, but not wanting to jump on the 15fwy, we took the 215 to the North Shore Rd. and swung around the north side of Lake Mead up to Overton/15 Fwy then slabbed ~20 miles on the 15fwy into Mesquite……stopped for gas in Mesquite and realized my battery was toast when the bike failed to restart with the magic button (I had kept the bike on a trickle charger at home but apparently it only had enough juice to get me started on Thursday morning)……not a problem…..we swung up to Mesquite Power Sports and picked up a new battery (created a Waypoint in .gpx file for the shop......it's a quad shop but they carry misc. items like batteries, helmets, googles, etc.)
We’ve ridden over to the Bar 10 Resort from Mesquite a few times on the standard “Whiterock” route that runs by the remains of the Butch Cassidy Hideout but we’d never ridden UP Elbow Canyon/Black Mtn/Wolf Hole Valley so we opted to take that route over to the Trumbull School house… …….the ground was dry so no slipping/sliding on the rocks/switchbacks heading up Elbow Canyon……cake
As we headed across Wolf Canyon we encountered another like minded/equipped ADV rider (Will) traveling in the opposite direction on a KTM 640 ADV……we stopped and looked over the maps briefly and recommended that Will follow the path we had just taken into Mesquite (as I understand it, Will rode a Ducati street bike to Michigan(?), then dropped down to Phoenix and picked up the 640 ADV……rode up and around the Grand Canyon, and was on his way back to Seattle……hopefully he’s there now......on this particular day he was on his way to Vegas to get a new set of rubber for the final push up to Seattle)
Will and Crawdaddy discussing Will's planned route to Las Vegas for a new set of tires
After parting ways with Will we swung a right onto a series of two track fire roads……
Last gate on way to Trumbull Schoolhouse
Arriving at the Trumbull School House
Once we reached the Trumbull School House we took a rest break and then conversed with a couple other riders on their way back to St. George from Toroweap………
I had planned out a route in Map Source to get us over to Trumbull Rd. from the School House but it was already late in the afternoon, we had ~100 miles to travel, and I was concerned about getting shut out by locked gates…….so we opted to just ride CR5 over to Trumbull Rd. and take that over to Fredonia.....
The sun was sinking low as we headed across Trumbull Rd…….nice to have a nearly full moon coming on its heals…..
We gassed up at the Judd Service Station then headed over to the Grand Canyon Motel……friendly owners offering basic and inexpensive accommodations……perfect……we showered up and headed over to CJ’s diner for dinner (it’s a mile or so north on 89 towards Kanab)….
A couple of pics of the Grand Canyon Motel
Note: As stated, we rode over to Trumbull Schoolhouse/Rd. via Elbow Canyon, etc…….I believe the Whiterock, etc. route is more scenic so if you’ve never been to the area I would take that optional track in my .gpx file……….likewise, we’ve stayed at the Bar 10 before, we’ve been to Toroweap before, and we were short on time on this trip so we just hauled the mail to Fredonia on day one...…….if you haven’t been to either of these spots, and you have the time, I’d strongly encourage you to visit both……..the Staff at Bar 10 are very nice, they have gas for sale, and they offer lodging/food……..or head over to Toroweap for fantastic views and camp near the lip of the Canyon (I believe there are 9(?) sites on a first come/first served basis)……if you ride over to Bar 10, and you’re on a big or heavily loaded bike, you might want to reverse course when you leave and take CR257 back out to the Trumbull Schoolhouse........then take CR5 over to Trumbull Rd. rather than taking the rocky (but fun) shortcut over to Trumbull Rd. from the Bar 10……..I’ll include optional tracks for this area when I post a .gpx file in GPS Tracks West section of ADV Rider.