Author Topic: Grand Canyon to Wester Express  (Read 2722 times)

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Offline crosari2

Grand Canyon to Wester Express
« on: November 03, 2010, 01:44:35 pm »
My plans are to visit both the south and north rim and the four corners area. Going to take the ACA Grand Canyon route and intersect with ACA Western Express. My final destination is Colorado Springs. Starting time: middle of March 2011. Using a recumbent with panniers. Any advise/information concerning route/timing is welcome.

crosari2

Offline valygrl

Re: Grand Canyon to Wester Express
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2010, 06:58:45 pm »
Sounds too early to me.  North Rim of the GC is at 9000 feet, I think the road is closed in winter, I bet the NPS has info on historical open/close dates.  You go by a couple of ski areas on the W.E. and through CO.  I think it warrants careful research - weather.com has seasonal averages, make sure you look for the high spots on the route, and look at closing dates for the ski areas you will be passing in UT and CO.

Otherwise, sounds like a great trip -- if you can start early or mid May I bet you'll be happier, or start in SoCal on the S.T. and make it a longer trip.

CyclesafeSr

  • Guest
Re: Grand Canyon to Wester Express
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2010, 08:04:27 pm »
The North Rim road usually opens at Jacob Lake on May 15.  The next potential trouble spot is Monarch Pass (between Sargeant and Poncho Springs).  On June 1, 2009 I was riding in a blizzard through 4 inches of slush for the two miles flanking both directions from / to the summit.  

The Western Express around Escalante has some ridiculous grades.  Be ready to push!

But the South Rim, Zion (you're going downhill), Cedar Breaks, Bryce, Elcalante, Boulder, Glen Canyon etc are very beautiful.  Just wanted to end on a positive note!

Offline crosari2

Re: Grand Canyon to Wester Express
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2010, 10:35:40 pm »
Thanks for the advise. Will research further. What about thunderstorms in the high altitude during summer?

crosari2

Offline valygrl

Re: Grand Canyon to Wester Express
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2010, 08:02:34 am »
Thanks for the advise. Will research further. What about thunderstorms in the high altitude during summer?

crosari2

Yes, those happen for sure, and are something to be aware of.  But they usually (not always) happen between 1-5pm so as long as you are off the top of the pass by then, you won't be affected too much.  I spent 5 weeks touring the mountains of CO starting in early July, and only got caught in one storm, for a couple of hours.  Whereas, in March you are still regularly getting snow storms, and in April & May still regularly getting rain storms that last all day.  Monarch Pass expected closing date is April 11 (google ski are name + closing date).

Edit - the best weather in the high mountains in CO is late July thru Sept, but the whole late May - early Oct is reasonable.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 08:08:23 am by valygrl »