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  1. #1
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    Help with a 6 week trip itinerary to Southwest

    Hello All,
    My wife and I are going to take a short sabbatical from work and tow our travel trailer to the SW US next October through mid-November. I have visited Fruita and Moab before, and look forward to sharing these places with my wife. She is a good motor, but technically cautious. I am wondering if others would chime in with suggested areas, trails and even campgrounds. Please don't limit yourself to Utah. Arizona, New Mexico, Southern Colorado are all game. Basically, anyplace that has good riding and is reasonably temperate that time of year. Thanks in adavance for your help!

    Regards,
    Ward

  2. #2
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    Here's a guide to Utah:
    UtahMountainBiking Home Index

  3. #3
    The Riddler
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    Spent a lot of time in the SW as a younger person and am also planning a road trip back in the next year or two. Here's a rough draft of what I'd do:

    https://goo.gl/maps/drwej6977UG2

    Start in Vegas, go clockwise and hit:

    St George
    Zion
    Bryce
    Moab
    Fruita/GJ
    Durango
    Cortez
    Monument Valley
    Flagstaff
    Sedona

    From there you can add/subtract to hit more hiking/scenery specific locations like Glen or Grand Canyon.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    Here's a guide to Utah:
    UtahMountainBiking Home Index
    Thanks for that!
    Ward

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaparzo View Post
    Spent a lot of time in the SW as a younger person and am also planning a road trip back in the next year or two. Here's a rough draft of what I'd do:

    https://goo.gl/maps/drwej6977UG2

    Start in Vegas, go clockwise and hit:

    St George
    Zion
    Bryce
    Moab
    Fruita/GJ
    Durango
    Cortez
    Monument Valley
    Flagstaff
    Sedona

    From there you can add/subtract to hit more hiking/scenery specific locations like Glen or Grand Canyon.
    That is a good general itinerary and I like the route. My very rough initial idea is:

    Fruita
    Moab
    St. George
    Flagstaff (bonus: old friend there)
    Sedona
    Prescott (check out old haunts)
    over to NM (have no idea at this point, but a friend is in Albuquerque)
    heading back hit Bentonville, AR and Tsali, NC for single days.

    Are Cortez and Durango likely to be relatively snow free mid November?

    Thanks,
    Ward

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by wardo78 View Post
    That is a good general itinerary and I like the route. My very rough initial idea is:

    Fruita
    Moab
    St. George
    Flagstaff (bonus: old friend there)
    Sedona
    Prescott (check out old haunts)
    over to NM (have no idea at this point, but a friend is in Albuquerque)
    heading back hit Bentonville, AR and Tsali, NC for single days.

    Are Cortez and Durango likely to be relatively snow free mid November?

    Thanks,
    Ward
    Cortez possibly ( phils is lower than stuff on mesa), Durango unlikely although in a year like this one you never know. wouldn't count on it tho'

  7. #7
    The Riddler
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcpunk View Post
    Cortez possibly ( phils is lower than stuff on mesa), Durango unlikely although in a year like this one you never know. wouldn't count on it tho'
    agreed. drive from GJ to Durango over Red Mountain pass is stellar though. Ouray, Silverton, and Durango are all awesome towns.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaparzo View Post
    Spent a lot of time in the SW as a younger person and am also planning a road trip back in the next year or two. Here's a rough draft of what I'd do:

    https://goo.gl/maps/drwej6977UG2

    Start in Vegas, go clockwise and hit:

    St George
    Zion
    Bryce
    Moab
    Fruita/GJ
    Durango
    Cortez
    Monument Valley
    Flagstaff
    Sedona

    From there you can add/subtract to hit more hiking/scenery specific locations like Glen or Grand Canyon.
    Seconded.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  9. #9
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    From Sedona I would drop down toward Phoenix for amazing cactus gardens in the mountains. While Saguaro NP is the cream of the crop it is far south in Tucson. A real treat east of Phoenix is Usry Mountain Park. You can camp there and walk around at night among the cactus. Moonlite night is best.

    https://www.google.com/maps/search/u...11.6195668,15z

    You asked about camping. It is easy enough to find RV parks and campgrounds with searches of an area. Primitive areas not so much. Let me know if you want more info on those.

    A bit of a warning. The highway from Grand Junction to Durango has steep narrow winding passes that are quite high elevation. Not a treat for towing a trailer but doable with the right equipment. Very scenic. The same with Utah SR 24 to 12 that includes Capital Reef NP and Bryce. Amazing views though! Stop at the Kiva Coffee House in Escalante Canyon. Big parking area and turn around.

    My wife is cautious but loves the adventure trails anyway. She knows when to hike the bike. South Rim and Hidden Canyon on Gooseberry Mesa near are advanced trails but stunning beautify and very interesting. Same with Guacamole near Virgin on the other side of SR 9. My wife loves the Guac.

    There has been a lot of advice for trails on this forum so search around for all that info.

    Tough to get tickets but Red Bull Rampage is in Virgin, UT at the end of October lately. Ticket sales last about 5 minutes in August and all 2,500 are gone, except the $400 ones. Great event to attend! Zion RV Resort in Virgin is a good place for a base when exploring that area. JEM and Guacamole trails are right there.

    Another great event is the huge Outerbike MTB festival in Moab around the first of October. You can ride just about any bike on great trails and the food is

    Is mid November too late? Not for Zion, Moab, Grand Junction. I'm riding there up to then and there are no crowds and the weather is very comfortable. High passes on Interstates should be fine but ask before attempting the state routes. UT DOT has a great app with cameras everywhere. AZ's is pathetic but Flagstaff is probably your highest point and they have Webcams. Can't help you much with CO. I bike Fruita / Grand Junction often but haven't ventured east of there since the early 70's when I was a ski bum.
    MTB blog for US West trails: http://jimprestonmtb.com. Trail analysis videos, bike and component reviews, other stuff.

  10. #10
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    North Rim Grand Canyon is a pretty special place and not a bad drive from St. George area... I'd recommend that for sure.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    North Rim Grand Canyon is a pretty special place and not a bad drive from St. George area... I'd recommend that for sure.
    In a normal/decent snow year, that's not a good time to for the North Rim. It's above 8k feet.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    In a normal/decent snow year, that's not a good time to for the North Rim. It's above 8k feet.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    That makes sense. We were a little shocked to be in aspens and pines at the Grand Canyon, but then again most of the time when you see pictures it's South Rim.

    It's a desolate drive out there, I wouldn't want to be doing that with heavy snow on the ground.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    That makes sense. We were a little shocked to be in aspens and pines at the Grand Canyon, but then again most of the time when you see pictures it's South Rim.

    It's a desolate drive out there, I wouldn't want to be doing that with heavy snow on the ground.
    Honestly the biggest problem is that trees will fall over the back roads and strand people. The rangers don't know people are down the roads and so you can get stuck there. Bring a chainsaw.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
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  14. #14
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    Bump - I was going to say Grand Canyon North Rim but your time frame you could be talking snow up there. It was pretty nippy mid-September there.

    Six weeks, most of the southwest should be your oyster.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

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