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  #1  
Old 5 May 2008
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What is Unmissable in Utah, Nevada, Colarado, Wyoming, New Mexico

Sorry for the long title. We have a trip planned in August, leaving from and arriving back at Vegas.

The route is loosely round upto Yellowstone via Salt Lake City and back via Albubquerque.

It has been suggested that we should take in:

Zion, Bryce Canyon, Escalante, Capitol Reef National Parks

Any other suggestions of 'Must See' places or things.

We are interested in great scenery or places and sights that are truely unmissable.

All suggestions welcome.

Thanks

Piers
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Old 5 May 2008
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Unmissable

Piers...Give some thought to spending spending time in MOAB, UTAH no wait...just do it!!!! ... red rock desert country - read Desert Solitaire - some great ridin/camping in Arches, Canyonlands, White Rim, Sand Flats etc. ....including lots o' 'hairy trails' if you are looking for that sort of thing. Some related links here....

http://www.arrowheadmotorsports.com/

Also recommend you set aside lots of time for SW Colorado - lots of high mountain ridin both on and off pavement- area around Silverton (HU US west meet location) is great....

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/mee...lorado2008.php

Stephen
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Old 5 May 2008
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Thanks for the reply. I should maybe have made it clear. I'm travelling from the UK and have little option but to hire a Harley D for the trip

Anyhow, the route and sights must be capable of accomodating such a beast!

Piers
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Old 5 May 2008
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Thought I'd jump in this thread as well--hi, piersuk.

Couple things:

Las Vegas BMW rents GS12s; don't know how the costs compare, but you might check out one of those instead of a Harley. If you've never ridden on one, they are great touring bikes.

I actually rode from Vegas through Zion, Bryce, etc., to Moab, spent a couple days there checking out Arches and Canyonlands NPs. Fantastic. I did all of this on a cruiser, so you don't need a GS type bike unless you want to go off pavement.

Another "must see" is up by Yellowstone: Beartooth Pass, which is sort of NE of Yellowstone, in the direction of Red Lodge, MT. GREAT road, views. 10k+ feet elevation. Nearby is the "Chief Joseph Highway", which leads from the NE entrance of Yellowstone down to Cody WY. Another GREAT road (and Cody's a cool town, too). You should be able to find ride reports for these and others at ADVRider.

Grand Tetons NP is cool too, but lodging around there is $$$. BTW, generally I tried to avoid making reservations, but you should probably make reservations in Yellowstone, unless you are going to camp (and even some campgrounds require reservations).

Also, really depends what you and your pillion are interested in--natural beauty, fancy resort towns, good mix of the above? Frankly, I was underwhelmed by Taos NM and even Santa Fe--Santa Fe in particular very touristy. Have spent very little time in Colorado, but people who know it well rave about it.
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Old 5 May 2008
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Well, there's lots of just plain 'good riding' roads throughout those areas, so don't hesitate to just wander around, instead of figuring on the quickest route between parks.

Here's a few more suggestions:

Rocky Mtn. National Park (No. Central Colorado)
South Park (just so you can say you were there)
Grand Canyon of the Gunnison N.P. - Colorado
Mesa Verde National Park (SW Colorado)
Million Dollar Hwy (Montrose to Durango, SW Colorado)
Taos, New Mexico
Monument Valley (Arizona)
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Old 5 May 2008
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I always suggest to get into the Navajo Indian Reservation (which you will probably go through on the way back from Albuquerque into Utah), and see Canyon de Chelly (Chelly pronounced "shay"). Much more canyon-esque than the Grand Canyon IMO, and much more intimate, again IMO. Lots and lots of scenery along the 2-lane highways traversing the Reservation, and just into Utah is Monument Valley, another "must-see" since you are in the area (quick, easy ride to/from Canyon de Chelly).
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HD Roads

Piers....paved roads eh? Don't see them very much out west....too many options.....seriously though....and to build on others' comments.....there's tons 'o roads in SW Colorado with nothing but corners and views....and Utah Highway #12 through Escalante will give you the desert experience....if you're coming up through Wyoming, try to come up through Lander, Dubois and into Grand Teton Nat. park just south of Yellowstone.....a very pretty area.....busy though....
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Great Stuff, Thanks.

Keep it coming.

Piers
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Old 5 May 2008
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Utah Highway 12 is definitely a great one. If you go further west: Hwy 33 from Ojai to Maricopa and Highway 4 fom Angels Camp to Markleeville - fantastic roads. Also everything north of Kernville / Lake Isabella, California. And 120 East of Mono Lake. For a night: If you are in Montana check this out: Jackson Hot Springs Lodge, Jackson, Montana . And so much more. Have a great trip!
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Old 6 May 2008
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Well your looking at big area that is underpopulated. look here for some parks National Park Service - Experience Your America. I will try to do this by state most places I have been some im looking to go. One thing to rember some places your looking to go can top out at 130F (54c). Get a park pass for a year it will save you time and money. https://pwrcms.nps.gov/pwr/fees_passes.htm

You will be starting out in Nevada so lets start there.
Las Vegas: sin city it self lots of fun if you like what they offer. Lets start slow
Hoover dam: huge thing 7 billion tons of concrete if you cant stand the heat here it a short run back to LV
Death Valley: it gets hot there -282 feet lowest point in the USA its in California but your so close may want to go there in the vary early morning.
Nevada test sight in near LV my want to take a peek 900 or so nuclear bombs tested there. dont know about getting out and about there, while we are on military things there are bases, testing grounds and target ranges all over Nevada if a sign said stay out. Stay out. lots of UFO sighting and new plane testing happens in the state. Area 51 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Reno area is better biking than a lot of the rest of state in summer. There is the old west town of Virginia city, Lake Tahoe cold and clear, Pyramid lake and its odd fish and the hole of a town and its state capitol Carson city.
A nice state to go in winter but can be hell in the middle of summer your on the western side of the Grate Basin the big empty it has some grate places separated by miles and miles of nothing bring water and stay away from caffen. Riding here different more like and endurance test. Can be rewarding or a great disappointment.

Utah to get here you made it threw the nothing and in to a state that has much to offer. The people here may be more conservative than others.
First the parks
Zion
Bryce Canyon
Capitol Reef
Canyon Lands
Arches
and the Moab area
All grate and different.
There is also
The grate salt lake and its city the Temple there is something to see
Natural Bridges National Monument
Lake Powell
Utah 12 scenic byway a ride worth the time
There is a lot to see here most of it starts to look the same. heres a link of someone with the time to see it right The Oasis Of My Soul » » My Archives

Colorado the mountain roads here are some best anywhere. It can get much colder here than farther west where you stared.
One of the only Interstates worth going on is I70 in the Glenwood Springs area.
There is the San Juan Skyway loop a grate ride. This road is one any one going to the HU meeting must take pass some place of note the town of Telluride, the Derango to Silverton train if your in to train its worth it im told and Masa Verde. it also sets you up for easy side trips to 4 corners (silly and stupid but 4 states converge there) Black Canyon (because the sun can shine there much) and Dinosaur Valley. Just riding the mountins roads are grate fun.

Wyoming much of this state is flat nothing bad news you may have to cross some it. Gut in its northern area are some of grate parks.
the grate one
Yellowstone and its lesser known one
Grand Teton
Can be a slow go with all the people going there look out for the traffic there stopping to get a shot of some poor animal thats looking for a hand out.
one ride you can take is one that pass threw Grand Teton called Centennial scenic byway
other places to go Buffalo Bill center in Cody
Medicine Wheel Natural Historic Landmark
while your there you can go in to Montana and see where Custer got his at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument not much to see if your not in to that sorta thing.

New Mexico
Santa Fe
Taos
city that has there look with laws forbidding new construction to clash with the old, funny in land of the free but there you have it.
Roswell they have that UFO thing.
Los Alamos USA built the worlds first atomic bombs here.
lots and lots of old Spanish missions.
but its the desert and mountins people come to see such as the Gila Scenic byway.
you can pick up route 66 and take it back west to finish your trip.

some links
America's Byways®: National Scenic Byways Online
Top US National Monuments: Travel Guides and Reviews | GORP.com
Maps of Parks in the Southwest and Western USA - DesertUSA
Museum Directory


One thing in the west espechialy rural areas you will see people with guns most are law abiding its may be a little odd for you at first but thats the norm. Just you may not want to start a political argument with them.
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Old 6 May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DLbiten View Post

One thing in the west espechialy rural areas you will see people with guns most are law abiding its may be a little odd for you at first but thats the norm. Just you may not want to start a political argument with them.
I usually shoot people who start arguments with me, or just look at me funny!! LOL
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Old 6 May 2008
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Top Stuff - Thanks

What about the tourist stuff.

Like John Doe lived here
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Old 6 May 2008
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Interesting you ask that, because usually people want to avoid the "tourist" stuff. Monument Valley, a sacred place to the Navajo Tribe, has history as a western-movie production location, and there is plenty of this to read about. In fact, I think this was the first true non-studio location used regularly for movie production.

The downside to these places is that it comes at a cost, as in $$'s, and the touristy places usually will cost more, besides placing you in the vicinity of, dare I even call them by their name, tourists.
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Old 7 May 2008
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look forward lots

I went last Oct .Flew fron London hired 1200Gs in LA, expensive but almost ideal(the bike not the city). dun 3K+ miles in 2 weeks.Expect I missed lots but u must see Zion G.C of course, Sequoia, theres somewhere NE of Glen Canyon thru something called White Canyon I think Outstanding. see the desert somewhere perhaps the Valley of the Gods/Mokeee Dugway near Moument . Check temps before/if Death valley. Finally look forward lots I only had 14 days and saw such contrasts, if you have any specific Q's feel free to contact me.Oh take a camel back and enjoy.
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Old 7 May 2008
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I tried to avoid most of the tourist traps, so can't think of that many to recommend. If Vegas isn't touristy enough for ya, well, you're going to be pretty disappointed by everything else.

I think I mentioned before that Cody WY is a cool little town, with supposedly the biggest firearm museum in the US (as well as a Buffalo Bill museum and some others), and daily rodeos and shoot-em-up shows.

I thought that Jackson Hole was horrible--every building selling some kind of high or low end trinkets--but I guess it's picturesque, and pretty much right there by Grand Teton NP.

The Chief Joseph Highway I mentioned in another thread is named after, you guessed it, Chief Joseph, leader of the Nez Pierce indians, who led his people through hundreds of miles of mountains in an attempt to escape the US Army. Fascinating (and sad) story, and there are little historical signs about his route all around Yellowstone.

I also thought of another cool ride--not a "must do" but worth doing if you're in the area: take the "Historic Route 66" from Kingman AZ (NW corner of AZ) west to Oatman AZ (I think Oatman's in AZ). Very twisty and narrow, with some old buildings thrown in for color. Oatman itself is a tourist joint full of Western buildings, etc.

This is another question where you'd probably get better feedback on ADVRider.
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