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  1. #1
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    Roadtripping UT to AZ

    The wife and I are headed out west for a few weeks of R&R and some family time for thanksgiving. We have a rough plan laid out, but I'm always open to suggestions, since I have only gotten a few first person recommendations.

    We've got tickets into SLC on Wednesday Nov 15th and tickets out of Phoenix on Tuesday Nov 28th.

    Our current tentative plan is to head straight to Fruita, do a few days there, then Moab for a few days, a quick overnight by Antelope Canyon and some hiking and then high tail it to Phoenix for Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. We'll follow that up with a 2 day trip back north to Sedona on the weekend of the 25-26th.

    I know that some stuff will be closed out due to higher elevation snow. While I'm content to just bike, I think my wife will want to do some day hiking.

    Our biggest conundrum right now is what type of vehicle do we rent? We've looked at mini-vans, full size vans, and RVs. Whatever we get, we'd likely return it when we arrive in Phoenix and borrow my family's vehicles for the rest of our trip. With an RV, can you park it pretty much anywhere to camp/sleep? Are there roads that will be impassible in an RV that we'd be better off in a van or SUV?

    I've been told to eat at Hot Tomato in Fruita and go to Miguels in Moab for Mexican and Margaritas. Open to any/all food and trail suggestions. I'm figuring that weather is going to be a large dictator as to what is rideable.
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  2. #2
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    Renting bikes for each ride or taking your own? Some rides along that route are easily worth doing if you have a bike with you but not really worth a big hassle.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by PearlJam09 View Post
    The wife and I are headed out west for a few weeks of R&R and some family time for thanksgiving. We have a rough plan laid out, but I'm always open to suggestions, since I have only gotten a few first person recommendations.

    We've got tickets into SLC on Wednesday Nov 15th and tickets out of Phoenix on Tuesday Nov 28th.

    Our current tentative plan is to head straight to Fruita, do a few days there, then Moab for a few days, a quick overnight by Antelope Canyon and some hiking and then high tail it to Phoenix for Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. We'll follow that up with a 2 day trip back north to Sedona on the weekend of the 25-26th.

    I know that some stuff will be closed out due to higher elevation snow. While I'm content to just bike, I think my wife will want to do some day hiking.

    Our biggest conundrum right now is what type of vehicle do we rent? We've looked at mini-vans, full size vans, and RVs. Whatever we get, we'd likely return it when we arrive in Phoenix and borrow my family's vehicles for the rest of our trip. With an RV, can you park it pretty much anywhere to camp/sleep? Are there roads that will be impassible in an RV that we'd be better off in a van or SUV?

    I've been told to eat at Hot Tomato in Fruita and go to Miguels in Moab for Mexican and Margaritas. Open to any/all food and trail suggestions. I'm figuring that weather is going to be a large dictator as to what is rideable.
    It really depends on where you want to camp. There are more remote campsites and more difficult trailheads to access that require some clearance. But if you're content to sleep close to the road or in a developed campground, an rv will work.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jono View Post
    Renting bikes for each ride or taking your own? Some rides along that route are easily worth doing if you have a bike with you but not really worth a big hassle.
    Bringing our own. Shipping them out via Bikeflights next week. Hence the need for a large vehicle.
    It's not tragic to die doing what you love.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirshredalot View Post
    It really depends on where you want to camp. There are more remote campsites and more difficult trailheads to access that require some clearance. But if you're content to sleep close to the road or in a developed campground, an rv will work.
    I'm happy to sleep wherever. Can we actually just pull over and stay on the side of the road somewhere? On the east coast, everything is so compact and developed that there's no "open space".
    It's not tragic to die doing what you love.
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  6. #6
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    Some good suggestions in the 4 corners thread. With your own bikes and stopping in Page I'll mention the Rim trail around Page--at least the North end of it where it touches all that slickrock is kinda cool, though short.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PearlJam09 View Post
    I'm happy to sleep wherever. Can we actually just pull over and stay on the side of the road somewhere? On the east coast, everything is so compact and developed that there's no "open space".
    Yes and no. A lot of the BLM land (and some forest service land) is just pull over and camp wherever. In more popular areas, like in close to Moab, they have cut down on that and designated campgrounds. There are also private, commercial campgrounds like KOA that will rent you a spot for the rv with power and water, showers, a camp store, maybe a pool, etc.

    If you're flexible, you will find plenty of places to camp with the rv.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirshredalot View Post
    Yes and no. A lot of the BLM land (and some forest service land) is just pull over and camp wherever. In more popular areas, like in close to Moab, they have cut down on that and designated campgrounds. There are also private, commercial campgrounds like KOA that will rent you a spot for the rv with power and water, showers, a camp store, maybe a pool, etc.

    If you're flexible, you will find plenty of places to camp with the rv.
    Is that area no longer in "High Season"? Do I have to worry about calling to make reservations at these campgrounds? I know, Southwest Road Trip JONG here....
    It's not tragic to die doing what you love.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PearlJam09 View Post
    Is that area no longer in "High Season"? Do I have to worry about calling to make reservations at these campgrounds? I know, Southwest Road Trip JONG here....
    It can't hurt to call around to make sure that there isn't a festival going on or something in Moab or Fruita. But we should be into the offseason.

  10. #10
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    Fruita trails don't do well with rain, but Moab trails do, fyi. Moab trails can dry out same-day with enough sun.

  11. #11
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    As a JONG in the 4 corners area myself, I was a little surprised at how long it took to cross the Navajo lands getting to Page. Which impacted our camping plans; wished I'd looked at that leg of the trip more carefully.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by muted View Post
    Fruita trails don't do well with rain, but Moab trails do, fyi. Moab trails can dry out same-day with enough sun.
    Agreed. Did a week long trip to Fruita/Moab last year Thanksgiving week. After the first day Fruita/GJ got heavy rain, so we moved down to Moab for 3-4 days. Once it dried enough we came back for a couple days in GJ. It was nice during the daytime but windy. But got mighty cold starting around 4pm. We camped a couple days then were able to get into a friends condo in Moab, and was very glad for that. Gonna ride in AZ instead this T-giving where it will be warmer. I'd keep an eye on the forecast and plan accordingly. For rental get something like a van (or even a u-haul) that you can keep the bikes inside and likely sleep inside. Van would be a lot cheaper than an RV and more mobile, which would get you into better campsites. There are plenty of free dispersed sites even near Moab (mostly north of town). Best to get away from the highways, noise carries without trees. Its getting out of high season for Fruita, Moab seems to always be busy.

    Depending what time you fly in, there is riding along the way to Fruita/Moab. There is a trail network outside Price I just saw on Trailforks. I've ridden Goodwater Rim before, it has a pretty fun/fast ride (90min to 2hrs) that has some good views of "Little Grand Canyon". And good, free camping. There are also some petroglyphs on the Green River Cutoff Rd back to Hwy 6. If you like highly technical riding check out 5 Miles of Hell. Its actually more like 7 miles plus getting in/out makes for 20. Cool ride and scenery though. http://lacemine29.blogspot.com/2012/11/go-to-hell.html

    The normal stuff everyone rides is 18 Rd, Kokopelli and Lunch Loops. The latter two have some more technical riding. 18 Rd tends to be more buff trail and ridge top spines. I wanted to ride Sarlaac to Edge loop last year but it had gotten snow. Has a rope rappel down at one point. Palisade Rim looks fun. A bit out of the way there is some good riding near Delta/Montrose. Sidewinder is a good one, here is TR from last year https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...er#post4832060. There is another network just west of Montrose I'm seeing now on Trailforks too. Could be worth it if conditions are good and you get into the desert riding.

    Moab has tons more riding than you'll have time for. The big 3 everyone seems to ride these days is Whole Enchilada, Mag7 and Hymasa/Ahab. Navajo Rocks is good too as is Chisholm. Then whatever else you have time for. TR from last year's trip: https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/...nksgiving-2016.

    Tons of options in Phx area too. Would help to know where you're staying there for suggestions.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post

    Tons of options in Phx area too. Would help to know where you're staying there for suggestions.
    Thanks for all this. Staying in Scottsdale in the northeastern part of the city, close to McDowell Mountain Golf Club.
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  14. #14
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    I really don't know anything about AZ trails...but coincidentally I was researching because I'm heading out there for work in two weeks and was looking for something to pull off a half day ride in PHX area...came across South Mountain Trails...looked pretty cool right south of the city...

  15. #15
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    You might check out riding around Flagstaff and Sedona on your way down. Alternatively, heading down to Phx via Payson keeps you off the main drag for camping and a nice drive if new to the area.


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by PearlJam09 View Post
    Thanks for all this. Staying in Scottsdale in the northeastern part of the city, close to McDowell Mountain Golf Club.
    Cool. Tons of trail in that area. McDowell Mtn right there has some pretty rugged steep trails. On the east side the McDowell Regional Park and to the north Brown's Ranch are more flat-ish xc riding. Trailforks is the best source of info for AZ, they do a good job keeping it up to date.

    South Mountain is fun especially if you like riding tech. Popular for a reason. Tons of hikers though. Every Phx roadtrip used to be 2 days at SM and one at White Tanks. Got a little South Mountain'd out years ago, but I'm planning to ride there next trip. The east side is ridden more than west side. National goes along the top of the range, then most of the trails dropping off it are fun descents - Holbert, Geronimo, Mormon, Corona de Loma, etc. Desert Classic is a fast xc rip on the south side. I usually start at the east end, climb Javalina to National, then do whatever drop and climb back up. Maybe drop CDL and return on Desert Classic or ride back down National. Hard to go wrong and tons of options for any length ride.

  17. #17
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    Ever seen Mesa Verdi ? 4 Corners, Grand Canyon ?

    Look at a map, might be in the cards. I would
    Own your fail. ~Jer~

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTT View Post
    Ever seen Mesa Verdi ? 4 Corners, Grand Canyon ?

    Look at a map, might be in the cards. I would
    Was going to suggest similar. If you have never been to the Grand Canyon, you'd be crazy not to work some time in there. Mesa Verde is definitely worth a day. Do not bother with 4 corners, there's nothing really to it.

    As for reservations or open camp spots, I am fairly certain you wouldn't need to worry weeknights, but weekends in Fruita or Moab could get crowded if the weather is good.
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  19. #19
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    Monument Valley is also cool.

  20. #20
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    Lots of great beta above. The only thing I'd add is the Black Canyon Trail that goes north-south next to I-17, from Phoenix all the way to the Prescott cutoff.

    Really fun. Do short out and back sections like out of Black Canyon City.

    http://www.bctaz.com/maps/
    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/700...-bct-imba-epic
    http://mtbikeaz.com/trail-index/phoe...-trail-system/

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    Was going to suggest similar. If you have never been to the Grand Canyon, you'd be crazy not to work some time in there. Mesa Verde is definitely worth a day. Do not bother with 4 corners, there's nothing really to it.

    As for reservations or open camp spots, I am fairly certain you wouldn't need to worry weeknights, but weekends in Fruita or Moab could get crowded if the weather is good.
    I mention 4 corners because it's a 10 min stop while driving from Mesa Verdi to the Grand Canyon. - Interesting 1 day drive.
    Own your fail. ~Jer~

  22. #22
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    Lots of good info here. Mesa Verde and Phil's World is a full day. You will not be able to get down to the actual ruins. However it is nice to hang out and look around when the park is empty. My friend just headed down to Mcdowell with his trailer. Will be there till Jan1. Been doing this for a few years. Speaks highly of the place. Thank's evdog good information.
    off your knees Louie

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jono View Post
    As a JONG in the 4 corners area myself, I was a little surprised at how long it took to cross the Navajo lands getting to Page. Which impacted our camping plans; wished I'd looked at that leg of the trip more carefully.
    What I liked about driving on the res, so vast and baron. A completely different way of life. I found it fascinating - But yes it's a very long drive

    I once drove from Mesa Verdi to the North Rim in one day.
    Own your fail. ~Jer~

  24. #24
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    We're planning to do as much of the Whole Enchilada in Moab as possible on Saturday Nov 18th. Anyone want to play tour guide? We'll pay for the shuttle as well as provide post ride beverages and food.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by homemadesalsa View Post
    Lots of great beta above. The only thing I'd add is the Black Canyon Trail that goes north-south next to I-17, from Phoenix all the way to the Prescott cutoff.

    Really fun. Do short out and back sections like out of Black Canyon City.

    http://www.bctaz.com/maps/
    https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/700...-bct-imba-epic
    http://mtbikeaz.com/trail-index/phoe...-trail-system/

    Ev-dog- do this!
    Been there, got the T-shirt! http://forums.mtbr.com/arizona/rr-bc...n-1038955.html

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