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  1. #1
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    Cool-blue Rhythm Grandview Loop over 3 nights (near Bryce)

    Hey all - I'm planning on riding the Grandview Loop with a friend toward the end of May and wanted to get some tips from people more familiar with the environment. I've ridden Utah many times before (Gooseberry, Thunder Mtn, Cassidy-Losee, etc) but never done a multi-night bikepacking trip through there.

    The plan is to follow this route (Strava: https://www.strava.com/routes/9901248) and give us 3.5 days to comfortably get through it. We would start by riding Thunder Mountain (can't wait) and continue on Grandview trail and complete the loop.

    My question is, does anyone have a sense of the following toward the end of May?:

    - I know the trail isn't very maintained, but will it be enjoyable riding or constant obstacle hopping?
    - Will there be plenty of water sources in general or should we plan around bringing more water?
    - How's the weather generally that time of year?
    - Has anyone seen a trail report from this route or similar that they can point to?

    Any and all tips are welcome! As an FYI, here are the two threads I've looked at for research so far:

    - Here is a thread from last year that touched on it: http://forums.mtbr.com/utah/grand-vi...n-1029770.html
    - Here is an old bikepacking thread about it: Trip Report - Grandview Trail on Utah's Paunsaugunt Plateau

    Thanks all!

  2. #2
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    I rode some sections of Grandview a few years ago- that second link was my TR. That was in September. I also did some of it as part of the Dixie 200 route, which was in late June. TR for that: TR: Bikepacking the Dixie 200

    It's hard to say what kind of shape it will be in for end of May. I don't think they had a huge snow year, but could be wrong. I've seen people use the Snotel site to estimate snow packs for the Dixie 200 event. Downed trees are the other big wild card. I've heard some years it has been horrible with hundreds of trees down. When I did the Dixie there were just a few. Problem with May timeframe is that very few people will have been on the trail yet in the season, so nothing will have been cut out yet. Hopefully if it was indeed a low snow year there won't be many trees down.

    Water sources shouldn't be a problem. You'll cross a number of streams as you head south, and there is a good spring that pipes right out next to the trail a mile or two north of Swapp Canyon Trail (that one is on Trailforks). There were a number of small streams flowing that do not appear on the map. If you're not finding water, you can climb back up to the Paunsaugunt at Mill Creek or Crawford Pass and you'll find streams in the valley bottoms there. There are cattle in those valleys so you'll need to filter. I haven't ridden anything beyond Road 092 which is where it starts to cross south of Bryce but the map does show some streams after you round the east side of Bryce. I'd carry water and fill up whenever you can and you should be ok. Hopefully weather will be good in late May. I've ridden Thunder Mtn early may and had cold and snow; another year same time it was nice and dry. In June temps can get hot even at 9000ft.

    A couple other tips - the Crawford Pass trail is worth a side trip to check out and ride. You can loop back on roads 092 and 203 or do an out and back. Pink Cliffs Viewpoint is also worth a side trip. Get the Bryce Canyon and Brian Head trail map from Adventuremaps.net. You might be able to order it through REI - that's where I got mine. This map is a great map of the area and has all the trails, OHV trails and roads and is a good backup.

    Edit - looking at your strava route... this route may take you off Grandview around Upper Straight Canyon or Mill Creek starting right where the route shows a long straight section. The Grandview does continue a long ways past that and is fairly good much of the way. I'd personally take it all the way to Crawford Pass, take that north and then hook in to the rest of the route. You could also take Grandview all the way around Bryce. That's still something I'd like to do at some point.

    Hopefully your trip goes well. Post up a trip report! Happy to help with any other questions....

  3. #3
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    Thanks so much for the quick response evdog! This info is super helpful.

    We've updated the route on Strava based on your feedback to more accurately ride along Grandview, would love for you to take a quick look and provide feedback: https://www.strava.com/routes/12650549 ... we'll be taking another pass at it to try to incorporate some of your feedback on Crawford Pass

    Also just had a few follow up questions. Excited to report back once we complete the route:

    - Regarding Snotel, which page would you look at for the most accurate info? There are a few that I've found, but curious if there's an area most people look at
    - Would love to ask around the forums to get a good sense of how bad downed trees are this year in that area. Given Grandview doesn't get as much traffic, do you know of other trails in the area that could be a good proxy for how bad fallen trees at the end of May?
    - Could trail visibility be an issue at all end of May?

    Thanks again !

  4. #4
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    The trail can be faint in some places but was mostly easy to follow. There shouldn't be much issue with trail visibility. There was only one area I had trouble following it, which was on day 4 heading north after the nasty down hike-a-bike. On my paper map this section isn't actually labelled as Grandview, instead it is Camp Fir Tr which connects to Big Hollow Tr. On Trailforks it is labelled as Grandview. What shows as Grandview on the paper map gets onto some roads - easier route, but not singletrack. You can see in my trip report photos that the trail there is relatively faint. I had a hard time finding it out of that drainage where it turns onto Big Hollow, mainly because of the way it turned up a side draw. There was no trailforks back then so I was going off a paper map, which is harder to navigate from. Another spot to watch out for is where Swapp Canyon trail crosses Grandview and drops down to Rd 207. I went down Swapp rather than continue on Grandview, which was obscured by some overgrowth at the intersection. If you do make the same wrong turn there was a spring down there to filter from. You'll soon realize the error and just have to climb back up. The trail going south around Bryce could be harder to follow. I've never done it nor have I ever seen a trip report from that part, so it likely sees even less use than other parts of Grandview. Trail condition could be a big unknown.

    I can't help much with Snotel. I've only found it on google and poked around a bit, never could get much info from it myself. Person to ask would be DaveH on bikepacking.net. He lives in StGeorge and may know of conditions or know people who do. Dixie 200 - 2017. I'd post up your questions about trees and snow level in this thread.

    Cool to see you added in the rest of Grandview. I can't vouch for that part of the route but have always wanted to try it. If you do include it in your route I can't wait to see the trip report. The one problem I see with your route is it goes through Bryce Canyon NP up Sheep Creek Trail and Under the Rim, where bike's aren't allowed. I'm not going to tell you not to do it, but there is always the risk of getting busted. If it were me I'd do it late as possible in the day or in the dark. More likely I'd disassemble the bike and hike through with it strapped to my backpack. That is what the riders do on the Arizona trail portage of the Grand Canyon. It isn't wilderness so you can possess a bike, but being National Park the wheels aren't allowed to touch the ground. I have no idea what the disposition of park rangers would be, but if you pack the bike they'd have a hard time saying you aren't following the spirit of their rules. You could always call the park, tell them what you're doing and ask if that would be allowed. Then you can follow your route and drop down to Tropic Reservoir. There is a killer spring there at the south end of Tropic, right off the east side road. You'd have to go off your route, but this would allow you to take Chimney Rock Tr back up to the campground on the west side. If you opt against this, the stream north of Tropic Res would be good to filter from as well.

    If you want to avoid the National Park entirely you could ride east from the end of Grandview to Cottonwood Canyon Rd. There are some interesting looking trails across the road at Kodachrome State Park. Then find a way north from there. Not sure what the private property situation is like in the area but there appears to be dirt roads east of Kodachrome which head north, or take Hwy 12 north to Tropic town. Then take Henderson Canyon Tr north, connect to Sweetwater Rd, Mud Spring Draw, and then over to Showalter Bench, Fremont ATV and Casto Canyon. Finish the loop down Cassidy to Losee canyon. All of that stuff is on Trailforks. The Losee trailhead would be a good alternate place to park for this ride.

    Of course if this makes the route too long you could either ride Hwy 12 all the way back to Red Canyon, around 18-20mi. Or use your original route going up Crawford Pass. The OHV route (Great Western Trail) up the east side after Crawford is nice as far as doubletracks go. Nicer than the main road #087.

  5. #5
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    I'm headed to Grand View next week for a 2 night solo bikepacking mission.
    Looks like Henderson Canyon is closed to bikes: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...rdb5136468.pdf
    Plan is to park at the lower end of Red Canyon and ride Grand View south/counter clockwise to Crawford Pass to Tropic Reservoir to Thunder Mnt. After that I plan on showering at Kodachrome and hitting up those trails, then maybe drive down Cottonwood Canyon Road and ride some AZT.

  6. #6
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    Ok, I'm back. What a place! Awesome bikepack mission, can't wait to go back. Check out this link to my ride:
    https://www.strava.com/activities/1533574230

    There was almost no snow and very few trees down, nothing to write home about. My water planning was poor. I highly recommend that you buy the Adventuremap.net of this area for your phone, and possibly even get the hard copy for pre-planning. The phone version with GPS location really helped with navigation (along with Trailforks).

    I started at the Equestrian Camp and did Thunder Mnt first, so keep that in mind with regards to mileage. Evdog must have had more water than me, or better planning. I carried a 3-liter camelback and a 1 liter collapsible bottle for backup. I saw several sources on the first day, but 3 liters got me 17 miles to Proctor Canyon. I got 3 liters here, and then proceeded to skip the next opportunity (at Big Hollow maybe?). I then topped out on the rim, it was getting dark, and I ran out of water! So I had to melt snow with the stove and I used up all the fuel. The next water wasn't until the spring in Water Canyon the next day (mile 42). After that, the next source was only 9 miles further, in a different Water Canyon just before Mill Creek Canyon.

    I bailed from Grand View Trail at Mill Creek (steep hike a bike), rode to the Pink Cliffs overlook to camp, and then took the road to Chimney Rock and Kings Hill. I missed the Tropic Spring, maybe it's next to the reservoir, and the campground water was shut down. Luckily the river is nearby so I just filtered from there.

    So, the first day there's lots of water, just don't miss the last opportunity (Big Hollow?? Maybe it IS Proctor?). I highly recommend camping on the rim this first night to maximize sightseeing, so a few spare liters carrying capacity would help (have fun hauling this up Camp Eli hike a bike). On day 2, the 2 Water Canyons make it possible to just carry a couple liters at a time. The Crawford Pass section sounds real nice, sorry I missed it. I doubt there's water in there, everything is really dry this year, so fill up at 2nd Water Canyon. Then camp at Crawford Creek.

    The Pink Cliffs View was amazing, but skip it if you do Crawford. Upon exiting the rim I was tired and took the main road instead of the Fremont Trail, and I think this was a fine choice.

    The eastern section beyond Crawford looks intriguing, but with questionable water availability it would take some thought. Maybe hike into Bryce to Riggs Spring.

    Edit: the Dixie 200 water doc lists Robinson Guzzler, which is on the rim 5 miles before Water Canyon spring. I actually found it but didn't know what it was. It's a metal roof contraption for water collection, and the tank must be accessible somewhere. Maybe Dave H can help.
    Last edited by afraid; 05-02-2018 at 11:46 AM.

  7. #7
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    So good to hear! Thank you both for the feedback. Going to put a route together now and start poking around to find water sources.

    One question I had based on your feedback is when you mention "I highly recommend that you buy the Adventuremap.net of this area for your phone" – I bought the hard copy already but don't see a version for the phone on the website or elsewhere. Is that something I somehow missed?

  8. #8
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    Yeah I had problems with that as well, so I called them and they sent me a link.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by afraid View Post
    Evdog must have had more water than me, or better planning.
    Glad you had a great ride. Yeah water was a concern which is why I explored by doing day trips rather than by bikepacking it. At the time, I had only a less useful USFS map, not the Adventuremap map. Good to know there is an app.

    I'm a camel when it comes to water, I don't drink that much unless it is really hot, so I rarely use 100oz in a full day. It was September when I did my rides, so temps were perfect. Had a lot more trouble including some heat exhaustion on the Dixie 200.

    The Fremont is pretty nice but not as fast as the main road, as it dips in an out of a bunch of drainages. That and Crawford you can always check out another time. The Tropic spring is just around the south end of the reservoir, here. It is hard to miss, had a fence around it to keep cattle out. Not very far out of the way.

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Tr...4d-112.0821359

  10. #10
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    How'd it go?

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