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  1. #1
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    Road Trip With My Son

    Planning a road trip making a big loop around the desert southwest for Spring Break (Roughly circumnavigating the Four Corners). My wife is going to be busy helping my daughter who should be having a new baby sometime in the next week or two so my 12-year old son and I are on our own.

    I'm really kinda excited about it. There won't be any extreme chunk... just kid friendly flow and good times.

    Here's our Route:

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    Planning on hiking in Arches and doing a few 12year-old friendly rides in Moab (Brand trails, Slick Rock Practice loop, any others?)

    Fruita: 18 Rd Prime Cut to Kessel Run type stuff.
    GJ: I've heard about the Kid's Meal trails out at Tabauache TH. I think he'd enjoy those. Maybe some site-seeing in the Colorado National Monument.

    Then south to Durango and Cortez stopping by Mesa Verde NP. We plan on doing Phil's World if you don't think it'd be too much for the kid. Looks like the kind of stuff he loves. Will there be trails in Durango open and worth doing that's in his ability level this time of year?

    From there we're going to head back west to Monument Valley, Bluff, then on to the South Rim to see the "big hole" and a little hiking (I suspect the Rainbow Rim trail will still be snowed in on the North Rim?)

    Then North to Bryce Canyon catching Thunder Mountain on the way in. If that's still too snowy we may detour towards Zion for some hikes and maybe a run down JEM or Bear Claw Poppy (his favorite trail) instead.

    We also have air soft guns and want to stop and play along the way. Does anyone know of any designated Air Soft fields/arenas along our route? We'll probably have some private battles just out in the hills along the way but it's always fun to test your skill against others too.

    Any other sites or trails or points of interest we should hit along the way? We'll be camping for the most part and can stop and throw up our tent about anywhere, any advice for prime/convenient/scenic/must-stop campsites would be appreciated as well.
    Last edited by KRob; 04-18-2011 at 10:51 PM.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  2. #2
    ready to ride
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    That trip looks pretty sweet. Im jealous.
    Bryce was pretty nice a few years back when I went you will have fun.

    I hear there is some cool stuff in St George as well as Snow Cyn though I have never actually ridden in those places, the camping was nice tho. It would be worth looking into if you are headed that way.

    Either way it looks like an epic time have fun
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  3. #3
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    Awesome! If you're in Grand Junction on a Tuesday evening, we do pretty mellow kids' rides then. Lots of times just on pavement, but it gets the kids out and it's a great excuse for a cookout.

  4. #4
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    That is awesome! I've gone on at least a week-long road trip to various backpacking destinations with my Dad every summer through high school and college. Those are some of my most important memories right there. You guys are gonna have a great time.

  5. #5
    up n over
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    i cant wait till my wife and i have kids and i can do the same.

    take lots of pics!
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  6. #6
    saddlemeat
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    You could drop south from Durango and catch some good stuff at Gallup and the nearby Zuni Mountains, which is National Forest and has plenty of undeveloped camping. The developed camping doesn't open til May.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  7. #7
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    Hey...it's spring break time! My 14YO son and I are leaving for a road trip to Palo Duro SP in TX on Sunday!

    Weather forecast was messing us up since I was initially planning a different destination, but Northern TX is apparently always sunny.
    Last edited by steadite; 04-14-2011 at 05:54 PM.
    whatever...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by screampint
    Awesome! If you're in Grand Junction on a Tuesday evening, we do pretty mellow kids' rides then. Lots of times just on pavement, but it gets the kids out and it's a great excuse for a cookout.
    We'll be in Moab Monday and Tuesday heading to Fruita/GJ for Wednesday Thursday the week of April 24-30. When does the FFTF start? Is it that week?
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  9. #9
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    Deadhorse. Add to your list.

    I'll be off that Tuesday. You should stop by to say hi.

    hfly

  10. #10
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    KRob your an awesome dad! Your kid will never forget this!

  11. #11
    Really I am that slow
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    some new bit of trail Q and DJ have been building near quail creek res that well be kid friendly... near Hurricane ut
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by hfly
    Deadhorse. Add to your list.
    Ah yes. Good suggestion. I've heard there's a pretty good little beginner/intermediate trail around the rim up there now. My dad, brother and I camped up there when I was a kid for a week on a dirtbike trip. We rode much of the WRT (I think) and the Slickrock Trail that week. Good times I'll always cherish.


    Quote Originally Posted by hfly
    You should stop by to say hi.

    hfly
    Will do.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsieb
    You could drop south from Durango and catch some good stuff at Gallup and the nearby Zuni Mountains, which is National Forest and has plenty of undeveloped camping. The developed camping doesn't open til May.
    I read an article about the area in Bike a few years back. Sounds like a cool area. We've already got a pretty ambitious schedule for 7 days though.... too many stops, too much beautiful country.... too little time. Sigh.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  14. #14
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Man, they grow up so fast. Mine's 17, just got his drivers license, and about 10 minutes ago, took off with my car.

    We had a number of good trips, but the Badlands, and Colorado two years apart, are list toppers.

    Great time to spend together, build those memories, cause soon, for about 10 years, you'll be a blip on the radar, have a great time!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Road Trip With My Son-bl-tris.jpg  

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  15. #15
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    Yes, it starts Thursday of that week. I'll definitely be around. Drop me a line if you like.

  16. #16
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    Phil's World is a 12 year old's dream! Don't miss the Rib Cage.

    All of Durango's in town trails are open and dry. Any of the Horse Gulch/Telegraph trails would be a good choice for your son.

  17. #17
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    Sounds like a great trip . . .

    . . . and you've lined up a pretty good agenda.

    I'm taking my 11yr old son on a Moab weekend soon and we've lined up the exact same rides as you have +1--the Intrepid trail at Dead Horse Point State Park. It's nine miles of mostly level singletrack with killer scenery.

    I took him last fall to Fruita and you've definitely got the right ones lined up there as well. There's two additional possibilites next to Kid's Meal at GJ. First is Pet-a-Kes, which is just technical enough to be interesting to you and will give Junior a real thrill. I usually do it as the uphill leg to Holy Cross, but with my son, we took the Tabeguache doubletrack up and rocked Pet-a-Kes back down. There's also some really good photo ops along the way. He'll also probably dig the skills park at the base of the area-there's a fun pump track and some fairly small dirt jumps to play on.

    As far as Phil's World goes, ya' gotta do it! Get a map from the LBS and plot the shortest route that includes the Rib Cage. The trail system is all one way with a number of stacked loops so you can cut out the unnecessary distance that might tire Junior out before you get to the real fun stuff (the whole system is awesome, but it's 20+ miles so cutting a few extraneous loops may be necessary). Bring plenty of water.

    While in Durango, you may want to take the 1-hr detour south to the Alien Run trail outside Aztec, NM. 9 miles of relatively level slickrock that goes by an alleged UFO crash site. I'm looking forward to taking my son there soon.
    All other things are rarely equal . . .

  18. #18
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    My kids really enjoyed Klondike Bluffs about that age. Courthouse Wash would be a place I would explore with kids.

    My son also did Joe's Ridge at 11, so if your boy is competent it will leave a lasting impression on him. Plus it dumps into Kessel

    Quote Originally Posted by hfly
    Deadhorse. Add to your list.

    I'll be off that Tuesday. You should stop by to say hi.

    hfly
    Hi Tim. I hope all is well.

    Rob

  19. #19
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    Hitting all good stuff KRob! I’ve done a very similar route a couple of times now, starting out from SoCal. Yea, work in Thunder Mtn. That is just a fun one, that last home stretch (riding it as a loop – clockwise). And, oh yea… Kessel Run… That’ll make anyone smile!
    .
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  20. #20
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    Looks like you've got the rides dialed so I won't add anything here except to add that my 11 yr old daugher had a blast on Phil's World.

    Rainbow Rim might be a go. The roads are outside of the park and much of the north rim snow has already melted. Check with the Kaibab FS ranger station at Jacob Lake.

    Here's some ideas for camping and hikes on your southern leg. Loads of camping options around Thunder Mtn but a nice spot is just past the Losee trailhead. Lots of places to pull of the road on the North Rim to camp but it will still be chilly and even below freezing. As you drop off the rim and down into House Rock Valley there are two easy 2 tracks off of 89 to awesome overlooks of the Colorado River that make for some fine camping. PM if you want details. Cathedral Wash is a nice 30 or 40 min hike within the Glen Canyon Rec area to the Colorado River. Definitely stop at the bridge and walk out onto the old bridge. If you want a longer hike Jackass takes about an hour to reach the Colorado and a nice beach. Navajo National Monument is worth a stop if you don't have a whole day to kill at Mesa Verde.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by radair
    My kids really enjoyed Klondike Bluffs about that age. Courthouse Wash would be a place I would explore with kids.

    My son also did Joe's Ridge at 11, so if your boy is competent it will leave a lasting impression on him. Plus it dumps into Kessel


    Rob
    Good suggestions Rob, thanks. I think Klondike Bluffs might be too far before you get to the pay off at the end. His tolerance for "boring" trails is pretty low. Ha, ha.

    He's also pretty sketched out by exposure so not sure Joe's ridge will be his thing (That's the one that goes along that knife ridge, right?). After doing one run down Kessel we'll see where he's at.

    Where's Courthouse Wash?
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowerThenSnot
    some new bit of trail Q and DJ have been building near quail creek res that well be kid friendly... near Hurricane ut
    Oh yeah. Kevin was telling me about that. We'll have to stop by the shop and get the beta if we end up going that way. Is it pretty beginner friendly?
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Salt
    Hitting all good stuff KRob! I’ve done a very similar route a couple of times now, starting out from SoCal. Yea, work in Thunder Mtn. That is just a fun one, that last home stretch (riding it as a loop – clockwise). And, oh yea… Kessel Run… That’ll make anyone smile!
    Yeah, I'm really hoping Thunder Mountain is ready. That is one of those trails you take someone one to show them how cool mountain biking is. I can't imagine it not putting a smile on the grumpiest anti-mountainbike-ite.
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  24. #24
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    Thunder Mountain does have some sections of exposure.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith
    Great time to spend together, build those memories, cause soon, for about 10 years, you'll be a blip on the radar, have a great time!!
    Ain't that the truth. One minute you're their hero and the coolest guy in the world, then they hit 13-14 and you become this really annoying old guy that's trying to ruin their life and is best ignored.

    Well, maybe that's overstated a bit. I had a pretty good relationships with my two older boys during those years..... but they definitely didn't have much desire to go riding with dad.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by rippling over canyons
    Thunder Mountain does have some sections of exposure.
    Good point. IIRC the trail is wide enough at those points and there's only a drop-ff on one side, so I'm hoping that he'll be OK. I'm sure he'll walk a few sections like the steep switchbacks coming off the rim.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Avenger
    Phil's World is a 12 year old's dream! Don't miss the Rib Cage.

    All of Durango's in town trails are open and dry. Any of the Horse Gulch/Telegraph trails would be a good choice for your son.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fischman
    .
    As far as Phil's World goes, ya' gotta do it! Get a map from the LBS and plot the shortest route that includes the Rib Cage.
    Sounds like Phil's World is a must.

    May have to check out the Telegraph Trails in Durango too.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman
    Looks like you've got the rides dialed so I won't add anything here except to add that my 11 yr old daugher had a blast on Phil's World.

    Rainbow Rim might be a go. The roads are outside of the park and much of the north rim snow has already melted. Check with the Kaibab FS ranger station at Jacob Lake.

    Here's some ideas for camping and hikes on your southern leg. Loads of camping options around Thunder Mtn but a nice spot is just past the Losee trailhead. Lots of places to pull of the road on the North Rim to camp but it will still be chilly and even below freezing. As you drop off the rim and down into House Rock Valley there are two easy 2 tracks off of 89 to awesome overlooks of the Colorado River that make for some fine camping. PM if you want details. Cathedral Wash is a nice 30 or 40 min hike within the Glen Canyon Rec area to the Colorado River. Definitely stop at the bridge and walk out onto the old bridge. If you want a longer hike Jackass takes about an hour to reach the Colorado and a nice beach. Navajo National Monument is worth a stop if you don't have a whole day to kill at Mesa Verde.
    Thanks for the suggestions, Joe. PM sent.

    Man, we're going to need another week at least to hit all these great spots.
    Guess we'll have to save some for the next trip.
    I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth...
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