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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 7 Dec 2010
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Location: Edmonton, AB Canada
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Smile Route thru Arizona & SoCal in March 2011

Planning a trip in AZ & SoCal for 3 weeks in March 2011.

--The Route/Plan--

Pick bike up in Flagstaff, AZ -> Sedona -> Phoenix
Sonoran National Monument -> Imperial Sand Dunes outside Yuma
San Diego -> Carlsbad -> Joshua Tree Nat'l Park
Santa Barbara -> San Luis Obisbo
Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) -> San Francisco -> Sacramento

Whats the weather like in AZ/CA in March?

We are wanting to camp as much as possible. Tips and suggestions appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 7 Dec 2010
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Mojave Road

What bike are you on?

If it has off-road ability then it's definately worth considering the Mojave Road. 140 miles of dirt track through stunning landscapes steeped in history.

About 100 miles goes through the Mojave Desert National Preserve which has a few campsites or there are areas where you can wild camp. You can get a book which has a mile by mile account of the whole road.

Temperatures during the day in March should be OK, but it may get chilly at night especially as the road goes up to about 5000ft above sea level in places.

The visitor's centre at Kelso Depot is worth a visit as are the nearby "singing" dunes.

You can get more information here.

If you're on a road bike the old Route 66 runs along the bottom of the preserve and there are a few graded roads which cross it north-south, plus there is always Death Valley.
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  #3  
Old 7 Dec 2010
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riding a K1300GT

Yeah, I'm on a road bike, K1300GT BMW

I've rode in 38F temps, have heated seats, handle grips and heated vest. It's still not too bad at 50F in my experience.

I might have to give the heated vest to my girlfriend if the temps are in mid 40's

Thanks for the route 66 tip and what road leads to Death Valley?
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  #4  
Old 8 Dec 2010
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If you're on Route 66, take the Kelbaker Road north near Chambless. This will take you straight through the middle of Mohave National Preserve and past Kelso Dunes and the visitor centre, it's tarmac all the way.

Carry on north to Baker (plenty of cheap motels and food places plus the world's tallest thermometer! The Mad Greek restaurant is'nt bad) then take Route 127 or Death Valley Road pretty much opposite the Kelbaker road. After about 60 miles take a left onto Route 178 just past Shoshone (should be sign posted) which runs straight up through the middle of Death Valley past all the touristy bits like Badwater, Devil's Golf Course, Artist's Paletter etc.

Furnace Creek is pretty much in the middle of the Park and has a couple of restaurants, a bar, a few campsites, hotels and the visitor centre.
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  #5  
Old 8 Dec 2010
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I have been in Flagstaff in mid May and had a couple of inches of snow in the morning. It is at 7,000 ft.
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  #6  
Old 15 Dec 2010
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Flagstaff will be in the high 40's F in March, to very low 50's and the lows in the teens and 20's. It is the largest snow month. And we are known for our 30 inchers at times. HOWEVER it is La Nina (or is it El Nino??) and it is to be a dry warm winter. I have been riding for several weeks and even PHX and back last weekend. It was 65 here 2 days ago and snowing NOW. You just will get to deal with it. Ha.
Allen.
PS I lived in DVNP for a year and it is beautiful in March. 80'sF.
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