Bicycle Travel > Connecting ACA Routes

Western Express departure to LA?


I am on the road now (in the Ozarks) West bound on the Trans Am route. I have the Western Express route to San Fran but I would like to go to LA. I have ordered the canyons connector map to review what portion of that I could use but I am wondering if anyone has any experience with more direct, good routes from the Trans Am/Western Express to L.A.? Thanks in advance for any advice.

Two years ago I rode from Colorado Springs to LA.  The route I took is more direct than the Grand Canyon Connector, but I would hesitate to call it a good route.  You would leave the TransAm around Canyon City and then travel southwest through the Four Corners region and the Navajo Nation.  I threw in some extra climbing that could be avoided in Colorado and took a side trip to the Grand Canyon.  

The Four Corners region is extremely desolate and towns are literally 100 miles apart.  There are occasional service statins between towns, but if I had to do it again, I would re-route slightly in this area.

From the Grand Canyon, I headed south and tried to follow Route 66 the rest of the way.  As much fun as Route 66 was, I think the Southern Tier is a better way to enter Southern California.  From San Diego it's just a quick jog up the coast to LA.

Let me know if you want more details.  I live in Southern California so I can help you out a little bit more on this end.


Thanks Sean. I wonder if route 160 out of the 4 corners area was part of that route for you? I am patching together a route now and I intend at this point to include portions of 160 and old route 66. The 'via San Diego' approach is a helpful suggestion and I will begin researching it.
Thanks again.

On my route, I took Hwy 50 west through Gunnison to see a friend, and the on to Montrose.  From there, I headed south on 550 over the "Million Dollar Highway" and three 10,000+ foot passes.  These are the extra climbs that I sought out.  550 dropped me off in Durango, and I headed south west out of Durango on 160, Wildcat Canyon, and 140.  Hwy 140 turns into 170 in New Mexico and I followed it to Farmington.  I took 64 west out of Durango, through Shiprock, and into the Navajo Nation and Arizona.  Just inside on Arizona, I joined up with 160 and continued west through Kayenta and Tuba City.  Instead of heading south down 89 to Flagstaff, I detoured to the Grand Canyon and headed south to Williams before picking up Route 66.

On my route, there were no towns between Shiprock and Kayenta, and again between Kayenta and Tuba City.  Both of those distances are about 100 miles.  Like I said before, there are service stations about every 30 miles, but not much else.  My ride was very hot and mentally taxing.  There was nothing on the horizon except an unendless series of mesas that you must climb and descend.  If I was to do it again, I would strongly consider heading south earlier and avoiding the 4 Corners region completely.


I would ride the WE to SF and hang a left at the ocean.  

Less than a week from SF to LA.  NIce riding. I wouldn't want to be in the southwest / 4 corners area in late summer.  I was there in Spring (in a car) and we experienced hot temps and a serious wind/dust storm.  Plus, you will have to find a way to cross the Sierra...  

On the other hand, if you head towards Mammonth / Lee Vining, you can cross at Tioga Road (hwy 120) and that is very beautiful (but a huge climb).


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