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Old 02-18-2013, 07:44 AM   #1
wicked94s10 OP
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riding to arizona, looking for advice

I live in Columbus Ohio and am planning on riding out to death valley in early April. I was kinda curious about the weather at higher elevations in early April. I don't mind cold or snow on the ground just don't want to see any on the roads. Is this to early to be riding the mountains through Arizona?

Also any must see places I'm open to suggestions

On my list so far

Carlsbad caverns
Hover dam
Grand canyon skywalk
Page Arizona
Death valley
Antelope canyon
Arizona 191

By the way I'm riding a fjr1300 so this trip will be on road for the most part. I'm looking into renting a gs to do a few days of riding in death valley but not sure if that will happen
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:22 AM   #2
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I've encountered snow on AZ 191 near Alpine in mid-May. It wasn't sticking to the roads but it was snowing pretty hard. Anyway, snow is certainly possible in the higher AZ elevations in April but I'd probably just plan your ride to include those areas then abort if needed.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:55 PM   #3
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That's what the plan was, just seeing if people in that area thought that was to early or not. I know weather is kinda hard to call just finding out how it is on average
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:49 PM   #4
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I think if you look at the weather historically you will be coming at a really good time. The chance of snow is there but not a terrible chance of deep snow that would accumulate. Any later and you would roast your nuts in all of the lowlands not to say that you would need a cooling suit and have to tow a water tank behind you through Death Valley. There are a few places higher than Flagstaff that you could go but not many here is a link to the historical weather data for Flag. http://www.intellicast.com/local/his...ation=USAZ0068
When you are on your way back from Page, I would take a few mile detour and check out Walnut Canyon. http://www.nps.gov/waca/index.htm
Also, just my opinion, but I would rather spend the money on a helicopter ride to and from Havasupai than go to the giant piece of glass where no pictures are allowed. http://www.havasupaifalls.net/waterfalls.html
The hike to the falls and Colorado river are a bit strenuous but if this old fart with a defibrillator can do it, I am sure anyone can. (I didn't take the helicopter in that was maybe a mistake btw)
Also, may be out of the way...They did much more to preserve our gem of a cave. It is pretty f-ing amazing btw http://azstateparks.com/parks/kaca/
Good luck to you. I think the timing is right, -Paul

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Old 02-18-2013, 10:57 PM   #5
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Although I've never been, I heard the Skywalk is not worth it.

Do you have a route in mind? I love routing and can offer some suggestions.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:05 AM   #6
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Although I've never been, I heard the Skywalk is not worth it.

Do you have a route in mind? I love routing and can offer some suggestions.
I don't have a route in mind yet since i don't have all my destinations figured. I am certainly open to your ideas and routes
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:28 AM   #7
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any idea on how many days you'll be spending in AZ? With an FJR I assume you can do long days in the saddle.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:58 PM   #8
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Im planning on 14 days total. Usually I like to pace myself and do about 400-500 miles per day. I don't have a set number of days ill be in Arizona but I have alot I want to see there.


So far this is what I have in mind

On my way down I plan on hitting some twisties in Oklahoma
Stopping for lunch at the end of the trail saloon in Ok
Heading down into Texas
Then going across the lower part of New Mexico
Carlsbad caverns
Ar191
Then heading across to death valley
Sequia and Yosemite depending on weather and road conditions
Then back down for a quick stop and maybe stay the night in vegas
Lake mead and Hover dam
Grand canyon
Walnut canyon
Antelope canyon
The nuclear test site (can't recall the name)
Page arizona

Then maybe head back home depending on time remaining

wicked94s10 screwed with this post 02-20-2013 at 07:26 AM
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:22 AM   #9
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Carlsbad caverns are really something

Carlsbad Caverns were great. About the neatest place I had ever seen. I would say get there early in the day and just go to the main cave area. I also went on the tour that takes you farther into the cave system. A different experience. I went back down after lunch and spent more time. You can stay in one of the nearby motels or camp in a campground to the south a few miles. I recommend the the Caverns to anyone passing through the area. As with any trip in the Sonoran Desert area, plan your mileage carefully, gas stations can be far apart.
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:59 AM   #10
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Thanks for the suggestions im going to look into the places suggested.

Gas stations are not a big concern on the fjr she usually goes 225 miles minimum before the gas light even comes on.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:06 AM   #11
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There is no problem running US191 above Morenci to Springerville in April. I have done it many times. It will have sand and gravel on it but the snow will be banks along the side generally, and is kept open for mine employees going South to work. Do it during the day after the sun has had a chance to hit it as melt runs across it and takes a while to get the freeze off the road. The hi areas are Rose PK. and around Hannagan Meadows and it will be cold up there.
The OP should read "The What Next Wander Tour" in RR to see what this area looks like. Evomx971 rode this road in January with no problems. I do believe the OP is going a bridge too far for a 14 day trip however. These states are HUGE out here and take longer than you think to cross. Too bad CA 120 will be closed to Yosemite as it is a great road.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:26 AM   #12
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I did 8000 miles in 13 days last year with as many stops. I will be riding morning to night all 14 days. If i can't see everything i want in those days ill just have to come back a second time. I usually ride with no map and just see where the road takes me most of the time. This usually adds a day or two to my projected return date
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wicked94s10 View Post
I did 8000 miles in 13 days last year with as many stops. I will be riding morning to night all 14 days. If i can't see everything i want in those days ill just have to come back a second time. I usually ride with no map and just see where the road takes me most of the time. This usually adds a day or two to my projected return date
That's pretty important when tackling a trip this ambitious in such a short span. It can be done but you've got to be pretty disciplined. Getting up at the crack of dawn to maximize daylight and places being open and having the foresight to schedule long stretches of highway at night to get from point A to B to chew up unwanted spans of land. If you did 8k in 13 days I'm sure you already know this.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:58 PM   #14
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AZ1
That route takes you through Phoenix. I like it because it includes Yarnell/Prescott forest and the whole 89A but it will add some really boring miles through Phoenix to the trip.

AZ2
If you want to avoid Phoenix then you head up from 191 and continue riding the rim through Payson.

I'm just giving you that for now for AZ because I have no idea where you'll be coming from the day you enter into AZ. I assume through Silver City since you'll be visiting Carlsbad.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:11 PM   #15
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Looks like ill be taking 82, 70 to 191 that way i can pass through white sands
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