Well, another 4th of July has now come and gone. As well as celebrating the birth
of our nation, it also usually creates a good opportunity for an extended
ride. Since my birthday was July 6th, Mrs. C. called this my birthday weekend and said we could do what ever I
wanted to do. So while that is a wide open offer, I opted to use the long weekend for an extended ride. Imagine
Even though I had the opportunity to go anywhere I wanted, there was one place that we had visited briefly before that had been calling me back. A couple of years ago we had ridden up to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, but it was just kind of an in, and right back out type of visit. We really didn't get to explore any of the other roads in the area or see too much at that time, so my brief encounter with the North Rim had left me wanting more and this would be a good weekend to get reacquainted this geological marvel.
Whenever anyone mentions the Grand Canyon, the South Rim is usually what they are referring to. It is the closest to the Phoenix area, the easiest to get to and the most often visited by far. In fact, of the 5 million visitors to the Grand Canyon every year, only about 10% make it to the North Rim. But as far as I'm concerned, those 90% are missing the real beauty of the Grand Canyon. The North Rim is much more beautiful in my opinion. It seems to be enhanced by more erosion which creates more of a 3D look to the canyon versus the "big ditch" look of the South Rim. The views of the sub-canyons seem to be more inviting, affording much more for the eye to see and the mind to process.
The view point at Point Imperial, on the North Rim, is the highest overlook on either rim at 8,803 ft. making it a much cooler place to visit especially during the summer months. Another aspect that makes the North Rim visit more appealing to me is that there is much more vegetation than the South Rim due to the increased rain in the area. And best of all, you can enjoy the North Rim without the traffic jams and elbow to elbow congestion at the viewpoints. You can freely walk the area and feel like you are truly away from it all.
And now for some water cooler trivia. Did you know that it is only 12 miles from the South Rim to the North Rim as the crow flies? But it is 215 miles to get there by paved roads? Or you can take the 21 mile hike through the canyon.
Our trip started on Thursday, July 1st. Mrs. C. had a meeting in Flagstaff early Friday morning, so we decided to ride up on Thursday evening, spend the night, do the meeting and hit the road from there to the North Rim. Good plan on paper, but what we didn't factor in was the 116 degree temps that we would be riding out of town in. Yes, it was extremely hot, but by the time we had gone about 40 miles to Sunset point, it was all the way down to 105 which seemed like a real cooling trend. Of course we had plenty of water with us, and made a couple of stops along the way to drink water and stay hydrated. All in all, it wasn't as bad as you might imagine. We knew it would be getting cooler each mile that we traveled. When we reached Flagstaff it was 80 degrees, making it a 36 degree drop in just 2.5 hours.
The next morning we headed Northbound on Hwy. 89 for 110 miles to the junction of 89A. This is a pretty much straight stretch of 2 lane that will take you through Cameron and the Indian Reservation to just about 20 South of Page where you will head West past the Vermillion Cliffs on your way to Jacobs Lake for the turnoff to the North Rim. Some points of interest along the 89A would be to stop at the Steel Arched Navajo Bridges that cross the Colorado River. Apart from the Glen Canyon Bridge a few miles upstream at Page, this is the only roadway crossing of the river and the Grand Canyon for nearly 600 miles. There is the new bridge that you ride over and the old bridge built in 1929 that you can walk across and get a great view of the Colorado River 470 feet below. Just 1/2 mile past the bridges there is a turnoff to Lee's Ferry Rd. that will take you about 6 miles to the shore of the Colorado River and Marble Canyon. It is a very pretty ride and well worth the short time that it takes to do it.
From the Navajo Bridges you continue your ride 40 miles West that will take you from an elevation of 3200 feet past the Vermillion Cliffs and then through the pines up to 7900 feet at Jacob Lake which is located at the intersection of 89A and Hwy. 67. At Jacob Lake you can get some gas for the ride to the North Rim, have lunch in the restaurant or grab a snack from their fresh baked cookies, muffins or fudge. This is a very good place to eat.
From here you take Hwy. 67, a Ponderosa pine, fir and aspen lined byway, known as the Kaibab Plateau-North Rim Parkway, which takes you 45 miles from the junction at Jacob Lake to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The scenic byway is a one-way road, ending in a dead-end at the rim of the Grand Canyon. This is a very nice road that will feature some sweeping curves and rolling hills as you make your way to the Lodge at around 8300 feet elevation. Once you reach the Park gates, there is a $12 cost per bike or $25 per car. If you do a lot of riding, it is best to get a National Parks annual pass that costs $80 for the year. This will get 2 bikes in for free at any park throughout the year. But you both have to sign the card and they will check ID. This saved us $50 just on this trip alone and we have used it many times before.
About 3 miles before you reach the Lodge, there will be a road that will take you to Point Imperial and Cape Royal Points. It is a 20 mile ride to Cape Royal and an 8 mile ride to Pt. Imperial. from Hwy. 67. I would highly recommend doing these rides. You get some more gorgeous views of the canyon and it is a fun ride. Just beware of the tar snakes on the roads in the park. They are fresh and slippery at times.
Lodging is minimal at the North Rim. There are mostly cabins and a few traditional motel rooms. We stayed in one of the Western cabins that was excellent. It has 2 queen beds, fireplace and dressing area with 2 pine rocking chairs on the front porch. Really nice accommodations. Lodging here ranges from $113 to $182 per night. You could stay at a cabin in Jacob Lake for as low as $86.
Things to do once you get there are to walk some of the trails and viewpoints around the Lodge for incredible views of the North Rim. The only eating accommodations are the main dining room or a deli. There is also a Saloon that stays open till 10:30pm. Besides that, don't expect to be entertained much beyond the riding, the beautiful sunset and the bright stars at the canyon. But that is more than enough.
I would HIGHLY recommend planning a ride to the North Rim. You will not be disappointed. It will get you out of the heat of the valley and have you riding mostly in the 80's with some in the upper 90's near Lee's Ferry and always over 3500 feet in elevation. Lots of different terrain changes to keep in interesting and the payoff at the North Rim is worth the ride. From I-17 and the Loop 101, it is 335 miles one way to the Lodge. Add in the 2 points and you will be at about 380 miles for the day. But it goes much faster that you think because a lot of the ride will be at speeds of at least 65-70 mph. So it is an easy day ride for sure. There is gas at Lee's Ferry, Jacob Lake and Just outside the park. North Rim Park is open Mid-May through Mid-October depending on snowfall. Check with park for specific closure dates.
Next week I will be back with our ride home through the South Rim and Hwy. 180 to Flagstaff.
Click Here for 190 beautiful photos. Click the "Slideshow" button in upper right of page and then click "Fast" in upper left of slideshow page and let it roll.
Click Here for Google Map of route.
Map of North Rim for rides to the points. Click Here.
Here are some Useful Links:
Grand Canyon Lodging
Grand Canyon North Rim Information
Jacob Lake Inn
Highlights This Week
Saturday, July 10th
Join the fun at Chester's as they move their party inside for the Summer of Love Party
Saturday, July 10th
Joins us at Buddy Stubbs Anthem H-D on July 10th from 11-3 for this important presentation.
Bike Nights This Week
Billet Bar Bike Night has moved to Wednesdays as well as Thursdays!
The Bike Night At The Billet Bar. The Billet Bar has now moved bike night to Wednesday nights as well as Thursdays.
Not only that, Billet Bar is now serving food cooked right there on the
That's right, Myron now has a grill and is serving up 1/4 pound cheeseburgers and chips right there hot off the grill for $6.50 every day of the week. On bike night enjoy happy hour pricing on drinks all night long. Click Here for 2 for 1 coupon for your first drink. Print it out and bring it in to redeem.
The Billet was Voted "BEST BIKER BAR IN PHOENIX" by New Times. There is no better place to watch all the Bikes ride down Scottsdale road than from The Billet Bar Patio. The Billet is ALWAYS packed with bikes Every Day. Stop by and take a look at the New Flamed Booths on the Paradise Patio. The new bars front and rear provide spacious seating, fresh air atmosphere, perfect temperature and courteous staff. You can sit at the back bar and watch your favorite TV on any of the seven big inch televisions. Play pool, listen to the latest music and socialize. The front patio seats over 75 people and is perfect for people watching on Scottsdale Rd. The Billet Bar is located on 3752 N. Scottsdale Rd. Check it out this Thursday night and all weekend long. Info: at 480-941-1876.
Every Saturday Night
Chilly Bombers Saturday Bike Night. There is now a place to ride to on Saturday night in the West Valley. Chilly Bombers is hosting a new bike night from 7pm - 10pm every Saturday night located on the SE Corner of 51st Ave. and Bell Rd. You will find a nice mix of indoor and outdoor patio seating with a CO2 Myst System to keep you cool. Enjoy flat screen TV's from your booth inside, sit at the U shaped bar, or sit outside and watch the bikes roll in. Plenty of motorcycle parking. Enjoy a $5 Food Menu, $4 Jack Daniels, $4 Apple Jacks and $4 Jim Beam. On Friday nights from 5pm - 9pm ride by and see the "Cruisin' Car Show". Awards given each night. For more information call 602-298-0843.
Events This Week
Saturday, July 10th
Chester's Summer of Love Party. Join the fun at Chester's as they move their party inside for the Summer of Love Party from 11am - 3pm. Spin the Wheel contest. Test your 70's Trivia skills, Win Prizes
and Discount Specials. Demo a NEW Harley-Davidson. Sub Sandwiches will be served inside. At 9am in the HOG Meeting
room, E.B. Chester will share his Hoka Hey Challenge trip with you. That should really be interesting. Park under
the patio, hang out with other riders, meet new friends and DEMO a brand new Harley-Davidson. Good times to be
had by all. Chester's Harley-Davidson located at 922 S. Country Club Dr. in Mesa, AZ. 480-894-0404.
Saturday, July 10th
Buddy Stubbs Anthem presents "Would you know what to do at a motorcycle accident scene". Joins us at Buddy Stubbs Anthem H-D on July 10th from 11-3. At 12 PM, Phoenix Firefighters will be here to show riders and cagers (thatís right, bring your car-driving friends) what to do in case youíre in a motorcycle accident or youíre the first responder and also, the best ways to avoid a motorcycle accident. This event is back by popular demand and not to be missed. You will walk away with some knowledge that might help you save a life! In addition, we will have free sandwiches and cold drinks. Enjoy them under our misted patio while listening to live music from 11-2. Bring us your dirty bikes-Bikini Bike Wash 11-2. Sidewalk sale with up to 50% off on t-shirts, boots and helmets. Buddy Stubbs Anthem is located at 41715 N. 41st. Dr. in Anthem, AZ. Exit 229 off of I-17.
Friday, July 16th
Chester's Summer Fling Hogs & Paradise. Now this sounds like some real fun! It's HOT outside, so Join Chester's Harley-Davidson poolside at the Hyatt Place Hotel for some Live Caribbean Music, Limbo Contest, Putting Green Contest and a BIKINI CONTEST, There will be a Cash Bar and BBQ available for purchase. Free Admittance. If you want to make a night of it, there are special hotel packages available. The fun will be at the Pool and Patio area of the Hyatt Place located at 1422 West Bass Pro Drive in Mesa next to Toby Keith's Bar & Grill. Should be a good time! If you would like to be in the Bikini Contest, contact Andreanne at 480-894-0404 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Mid Week Updates will be made on the Cyclerides.com Facebook.
New Easy to remember Facebook address. Go to Cyclerides.com Facebook. Over 2500 FANS!
Take a look at all the new photos posted on the wall. If you are not on Facebook, you can still view the page, but you will not be able to post. There will be a link there for you to sign up for Facebook if you are inclined. Click the LIKE button!
Ok, this isn't funny, but it sure is interesting. This guy shows you how to run a battery powered light bulb with 2 candles and 2 nails. I have no idea if this really works, but it appears to. Click Here to View.
This appears to be in Mexico. I don't know how the person got this shot but it is a bad accident as the driver loses control of a small pickup full of people. Warning on this video, it is a little graphic. Click Here to View.
Video of the Week: Amazing what kids will do to entertain themselves. Watch how they power the merry go round and then see what happens. Click Here to View. Click on the Video of the Week graphic on the page.
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