Author Topic: Fry Canyon Lodge  (Read 5428 times)

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Offline FX

Fry Canyon Lodge
« on: January 16, 2011, 01:39:20 pm »

hi,

On crazy-guy-on-a-bike, I have been reading some journals of people who rode the Western Express. Their stories have made me curious about doing this route myself.

There is one section that puzzles me, and that is the section between Hanksville UT and Blanding UT. The only service between those two (when following US95) is "Fry Canyon Store and RV Park". I picked up some stories about it having a motel (Fry Canyon Lodge), but in no bike journal I have read a report of someone staying there, nor someone had diner, nor someone picked up water.

If I plan to do this route, should I count on finding a lodge there? I really don't like camping so I hope there really is a motel.

The reason why I ask this, is because I could pick up next day going to Mexican Hat (Valle) and Monument Valley. If Fry Canyon Lodge is unavailable I have no other option than to push through to Blanding, missing out on Monument Valley.

Offline FX

Re: Fry Canyon Lodge
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2011, 03:15:59 pm »
never mind,

I found this blog: http://bikeacrosstheus.blogspot.com/2010/07/et-tu-utah.html where the man tells us that Fry Canyon Lodge is closed. It has been since 2005 (bad water) and the story dates from July 26th 2010... so there is no hope in finding a lodge there. There is a water pump, but maybe not a good idea to drink it.

Offline aggie

Re: Fry Canyon Lodge
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2011, 05:43:48 pm »
You may want to take a look at the Hite Marina in the Glen Canyon NRA.  It is listed as having potable water.  You could stop there to get some water.  If open it also has a restaurant/snack bar.  You can check to see if it is open by calling the park headquarters at 928-608-6200.  

You could also stop at Natural Bridges National Monument and get water at the visitors center.  It is right off the 95 before you get to Fry Canyon.  If you get water and decide to go to Monument Valley I recommend you take route 261.  It has a spectacular view of the Valley of the Gods.  It also cuts off some mileage going to Mexican Hat.  There is set of switchbacks that are dirt/gravel going down the mesa but it is a short section and you can walk if it you need to. 

Depending on when you are going you could also take 276 through Bullfrog (part of the NRA and there is an admission fee) and then take the ferry across the lake and hook back up with the 95.  There is a good sized store at Bullfrog as well as camping.  The ferry is closed until sometime in the spring for maintenance so check to see if it has reopened before going that way.  
« Last Edit: January 16, 2011, 05:48:35 pm by aggie »

Offline FX

Re: Fry Canyon Lodge
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2011, 02:26:20 pm »
hey aggie,

thank you for all this information, it made me realize more that I need to plan ahead to make sure I have plenty water. Not that I realized this before, but asking locals where I can find stations and campings (maybe even calling ahead) is absolutely trivial, or better said "priority one". Dehydration saps so much energy, it could ruin the trip.

If Fry Canyon Lodge is unavailable, maybe I should consider carrying a bivvy sac and sleep in Natural Bridges. It's extra weight but might as well be used in emergencies (no vacancies in the motels).

I have learned about the 261 road to Mexican Hat (Valle) by reading the journal of a Dutch man who did this route. Here is the page which describes his adventure: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=RrzKj&page_id=110472&v=Xt... amazing.

all the best,

Offline aggie

Re: Fry Canyon Lodge
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2011, 09:29:44 am »
I forgot to mention that there is a hotel in Bullfrog with an ok restaurant.

Offline tsteven4

Re: Fry Canyon Lodge
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2011, 04:37:17 pm »
In 2003 we camped in a dirt parking lot in Hite.  ONE HUNDRED FIFTEEN DEGREES.  It was not reasonable to get to Lake Powell as the water was very low that year and it would have involved tramping through a lot of mud.  The park service had an outdoor shower at the rest room.  We took showers every 15 minutes in a tee shirt to help with the heat.  There was an air conditioned store.  I think the rented some bungalows as well.  We might have stayed at Fry Canyon lodge, but we called ahead and they were going to be closed when we went by.

At times we carried two gallons of water each.  Most cyclist we saw ran out of water on the section between Milford, UT and Baker NV.  We left Milford at 3am at made it to the Border Inn on Hwy 50 (off route) at about 1pm.  Two gallons each was sufficient for us given the early start.  We had called ahead to Baker and the accommodations were all booked so we went to the Border Inn.  Never having seen the accommodations in Baker I have to believe they are a better choice than the Border Inn, but the Border Inn did have food and lodging.

I would highly recommend you strive to be self sufficient.  There are few if any opportunities for water between towns for many sections.  Other cyclist told us they spent many hours besides the side of the road trying to get someone to stop when they ran out of water.  People seem to be afraid to stop on some of the lonely sections such as the one  between Baker and Milford, and there is very little traffic, I seem to remember one car an hour.  Our strategy of starting early (rolling between 3-5am) and arriving around noon worked well.  The sun rises are spectacular.  Carry lots of water anyway, although you will use less when you ride in the cooler parts of the day/night.  Of course another strategy would be not to ride in July (or August)!

Be aware of the possibility rattlesnakes on the shoulder or road.  They can be difficult to spot off the road in the dirt and brush, at times you may want to just pee in the road.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Fry Canyon Lodge
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2011, 01:19:16 pm »
If you get water and decide to go to Monument Valley I recommend you take route 261.  It has a spectacular view of the Valley of the Gods.  It also cuts off some mileage going to Mexican Hat.  There is set of switchbacks that are dirt/gravel going down the mesa but it is a short section and you can walk if it you need to.

I drove up Rte. 261 back in '00.  Definitely a great view.  I would love to ride down it on a bike but not up.  It descends 1,100' in 3 miles.

Check out the video:

http://durangoworldamerica.blogspot.com/2009/06/utah-moki-dugway.html