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Thread: Arizona Ride Advice

  1. #1
    Rally Rat
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    Arizona Ride Advice

    My wife and I are planning to trip to AZ for our 30th anniversary at the end of Sept. We are planning on spending Friday night in Phoenix with some friends, but we have made arrangements to rent a 1200GS all day Saturday and Sunday. We have to return the bike by 6:00 pm Sunday evening. We thought about a trip to to the Grand Canyon, but have heard that it is not a great motorcycle destination because of all the cars. Can anyone out there from the AZ area suggest a great 2 day route starting and ending in Phoenix? We are not afraid to spend long days in the saddle.

    Thanks,

    Jim N.
    Weston, FL
    BMWMOA#130631

  2. #2
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
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    My wife and I stayed in Phoenix last year and rented a car for a day ride to Sedona. From memory, I think it was about an hour and a half drive north of Phoenix. Rather than take 17 all the way up to Hwy 179, we took 260 over to Alt 89 near Cottonwood and drove over to west Sedona that way. Very nice roads and with great scenery all around.
    Sedona is a cool spot to visit for sure.

    From Sedona to southern Grand Canyon I believe it's another 2 hours. Hope that helps.

  3. #3
    Riding where it's hot! AZ-J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RTRandy View Post
    My wife and I stayed in Phoenix last year and rented a car for a day ride to Sedona. From memory, I think it was about an hour and a half drive north of Phoenix. Rather than take 17 all the way up to Hwy 179, we took 260 over to Alt 89 near Cottonwood and drove over to west Sedona that way. Very nice roads and with great scenery all around.
    Sedona is a cool spot to visit for sure.

    From Sedona to southern Grand Canyon I believe it's another 2 hours. Hope that helps.

    Coming from an AZ'n of the last 25 years (a Phoenician) I concur with this, and in Sept. you should be free of snow AZ's high country brings. But the trip from Sedona to the South Rim of the Canyon may be closer to 2.5 to 3, depending on how much scenery you take in, and/or what off-roading you want to do after Sedona. You could also go from Sedona to Kayenta (the mouth of Monument Valley). That is breathtaking but if you haven't seen the Canyon, it is too. The trips (Canyon v Kayenta) are divergent; it would be tough to do both in 2 days. Accommodations at the Canyon are better, too, just a bit pricier. The accommodations at Kayenta are far less nice, and Reservation controlled. Far more rustic, too. At Monument Valley, you will need a permit for off-roading on the GS, as well, or you can go on a guided jeep tour.

    Tweety1
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  4. #4
    *Safety Queen*
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    The Superstition mountains to the east are very pretty too. I've ridden out by Globe and down to Tucson and was delighted! I'm sure there's plenty more where my ride came from, too.

  5. #5
    Riding where it's hot! AZ-J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sachiwilson View Post
    The Superstition mountains to the east are very pretty too. I've ridden out by Globe and down to Tucson and was delighted! I'm sure there's plenty more where my ride came from, too.
    And if you want to go that way on a 2-day adventure, an overnight at the Copper Queen in Bisbee, and a loop from there to include Tombstone, might be fun, too. BTW, La Berge in Sedona, and the Copper Queen in Bisbee are elegant, romantic places, great for anniversaries. This is coming from the AZ'n that posted before, but I left out that my wife and I are just heading into our 27th year after our 8/10/2007 26th Anniversary.

    Here's to your great trip!

    Tweety1
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  6. #6
    NJN EAR njnear's Avatar
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    It will still be nice in the mountains. Possible route to the east on US 60 head up to Show Low and make your way over to US 191. Head south and take in the views at the Morenci open pit copper mine. East into NM and Silver City has some very pretty country.

    Since you're on a GS a great ride would be across the Chiracahua's from Portal, AZ in the SE corner of AZ. A quaint little restaurant (can't remember the name) right in Portal (don't worry, you can't miss it, as Portal is a 1 horse town).

    From the Chiricahua's ride head south to Bisbee (ex-copper mining town) then up through Tombstone (tourist trap; but the old courthouse has some neat history) and over to Patagonia. Excellent riding through here.

    Have never taken the route, but on the GS you can get through the mountains via Madera Canyon just north of Sonoita.

    Don't miss the Desert Museum if you have time to stop in Tucson and ride through the Saguaro Nat'l Park/Monument on the west side of town. A lot of roads that are favorable for the GS.

    Another GS route would take you east out of Tucson on the Catalina Highway. You can actually go east and cross the mountains to the north east and end up in San Manuel and back to Phoenix.

    I wouldn't go to far west of I-17 (i.e towards Yuma or Lake Havasu City) as the Mojave is still quite warm in the day time.

    I would estimate that 2 days would not allow a lot of side trips, but the SE corner of AZ is quite scenic throughout and has a lot to offer for someone in your position. Chances are you won't go wrong where ever you go as AZ is a great m/c state.

    Safe Riding.
    '09 K 1300 GT

  7. #7
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    191...

    A couple of hundred miles east of Phoenix there's Rte 191 (used to be 666, the devil's Hwy). From Alpine to Duncan, it's about 125 miles of one of the best motorcycling roads in the country - if you're an experienced rider and your tires are good. Magnificent country, sparsely populated, very light traffic - and great twisty's and sweepers - down-hill almost all the way. Check it out.

  8. #8
    Riding where it's hot! AZ-J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nortonrt View Post
    A couple of hundred miles east of Phoenix there's Rte 191 (used to be 666, the devil's Hwy). From Alpine to Duncan, it's about 125 miles of one of the best motorcycling roads in the country - if you're an experienced rider and your tires are good. Magnificent country, sparsely populated, very light traffic - and great twisty's and sweepers - down-hill almost all the way. Check it out.

    This is great riding on a sport or ST bike - done it at least 4x on different bikes each time, and last time was in late May 2007 on my new F800S, using 2nd gear for 45++++ in the 15mph twisties. That was fun!

    Two up on a GS for their anniversary, I'd recommend against it. It could be just a little frightening, dizzying, etc. for a nearly fully loaded bike with two on, GS or not. It is certainly not a romantic kind of trip, unless she likes sky-diving.
    Just my $.02

    Tweety1
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  9. #9
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    Looks like U got alot of good advice. If your on Highway 89 15 miles south of Prescott in the desert, stop in No Where at the Burro Inn for an adult beverage break. I really enjoyed my stop there and the piano bar.

  10. #10
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sachiwilson View Post
    The Superstition mountains to the east are very pretty too. I've ridden out by Globe and down to Tucson and was delighted! I'm sure there's plenty more where my ride came from, too.

    The Apache Trail, AZ88, is a great GS route. Sand but very easy to ride. Goes right through the Superstition range.

    From there, head north on AZ188 and AZ260 to the Mogollon Rim (it's that line across the top of the cliff...)



    ian
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  11. #11
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    Wow....so many choices and so little time!

    Thanks to all for your great suggestions. You've given us a lot of good choices!

    Jim N.
    Weston, FL

  12. #12
    World Traveler LUCKYEXPLORER's Avatar
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    To Grand Canyon

    Jim, if you have never been to GCN then try this route idea on a map:
    50 WIckenburg
    55 Prescott
    60 Sedona
    30 Flagstaff
    85 Grand Canyon 280

    55 Cameron
    50 Flagstaff (add 20 if Wupatki np)
    105 Payson
    85 Phoenix 295

    Nice roads and very doable. GCN traffic is not that bad and late Sept is down much from summer visitors.
    I live in Flagstaff (and GCN for 14 years), and know this routing well.
    Allen.

  13. #13
    Spiegeltuxer
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    Phoenix/Sedona/Grand Canyon

    I have relatives in Sedona, actually Oak Creek 5 miles south, across from Bell Rock. I rode from Sedona to GC to Williams, Prescott, Cottonwood and back to Sedona in 1 day. 500 miles about and spent 3 1/2 hours in GC. The ride to the Desert View from GC Village is awesome. The ride back thru Jerome is great too.

  14. #14
    Dagley
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    Ride Guide for Phoenix

    Go here:
    http://www.daggertrails.com/page4/fi...AB%20Final.pdf

    for some ideas.

    Free, no registering or anything just download it and enjoy.

    D. Dag

  15. #15
    Rally Rat
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    Payson

    The Payson area is great with little traffic and some twisties you might enjoy.

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