Author Topic: Diversion from Western express - advice needed !  (Read 2431 times)

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Offline preston uk

Diversion from Western express - advice needed !
« on: October 23, 2015, 12:18:58 pm »
I'm planning to ride the Transam  west bound to Pueblo then take the western express. I am thinking of leaving the W.E. to  visit the Grand canyon North Rim. The route I had in mind is as follows :
Divert at Bluff onto either the 163 to Kayenta or 191 to Mexican Hat.
Then take the 160 and 98 to Page.
Then take the 89 to Bitter Springs.
Then the 89A to the north rim.
Then the 89 to rejoin the Western express.
I'm going to buy the Grand Canyon Connector ACA maps  but they leave a gap between Bluff and Bitter Springs.
Can anyone give me advice on the route I've planned from Bluff ? Will I be able to get water and food ?
What are the roads like ?  I saw a video blog that said the 163 was a dangerous road.
I'm hoping to be there in mid June.

Many thanks.

Offline aggie

Re: Diversion from Western express - advice needed !
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2015, 05:20:32 pm »
The 163 from Kayenta to Mexican Hat can be a very hazardous route.  It is a very heavily traveled road with no shoulder.  Expect a lot of RV's driven by gawking tourists.  The road passes by Monument Valley (think John Wayne westerns) so it gets lots of tourists.  If all the beer cans on the side of the road were smashed flat you could repave the highway with aluminum.  That is part of the hazard.  The scenery is beautiful but I refuse to ride a bike on that highway.   The rest of your route should be OK just expect high traffic. 

Offline jamawani

Re: Diversion from Western express - advice needed !
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2015, 02:29:02 am »
Preston -

I have ridden the US 163 from Kayenta to Mexican Hat a few times without concern.
Yes, it has a little more traffic than surrounding roads, but nothing like E.U. roads.
Also, by this time you will have acclimated to American road conditions - albeit without shoulders at times.

There is a lovely route from Dolores, CO to Bluff, UT via Cortez, McElmo Creek Rd., and Aneth.

Are you aware that there is a shuttle service that may take your bike from rim to rim at the Grand Canyon?
I've ridden to one rim and hiked across a half dozen times. But the service has to be begged to shuttle the bike.
Just another option, in case you are interested.

Hiking Down into the Grand Canyon

I have also ridden in to the North Rim (which has an amazing hiker/biker campground) a number of times.
It's a hefty climb in heat and with little shade up to the Kaibab Plateau - esp. for a Limey.
US 89 has heavy traffic and inconsistent shoulders - less traffic on US 89A, but still a good deal.


If you are already doing this, you might want to consider taking US 6 across Nevada rather than US 50 -
And then crossing the Sierra Nevadas on CA 120 - in Yosemite National Park.
US 6 is even more remote than US 50 - and Yosemite is, well, Yosemite.

Best - J

Offline preston uk

Re: Diversion from Western express - advice needed !
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2015, 12:29:02 pm »
Thanks for tips on the roads. I've ordered my Aca maps . They will take a lot of the effort out of planning for water and supplies. I'm hoping to be at the GC in late  June/early July  and  am hoping traffic might not be too bad at that time of year.