Hey moto fam! Big thanks to everyone who commented
and recommended routes and stops through the Southwest. Planned this trip over 1 month, and definitely used your advice out there. So, thank you. Especially IllIII
!! Right off the bat, I’d like to provide you with a quick TL;DR link to some trip flicks
I covered 2,200 miles over 7 days of riding around Arizona, California, and Nevada. It was a great way to start the new year. This map is neither complete nor 100% correct
, but it's the best Google would let me produce. Gives an idea of the ground covered. Odometer view by the end of it all
. And yes, the title is a little misleading as most of my girls ride, but I really wanted this to be a solo adventure without a dude on the back of my bike. Day 1: 200+ miles. Phoenix (Tempe to Glendale) to Tucson (Mt. Lemmon).
Rented a Dyna
via EagleRider and set out to ride around Phoenix before heading to Tucson on the 10. Loved the bike from the get go, as it was absurdly comfortable on the highway. Got to Tucson and headed up Mt. Lemmon
(so cold by the top!) before sunset
. Felt like every minute further was a degree colder. Checked into a B&B I’ll recommend to you all: Jeremiah Inn
. Don’t worry, I switch to Motel 6 & 8 by Day 3, guys. Day 2: 150+ miles. Tucson (Mini Time Machine, San Xavier Mission, Saguaro NP) to Globe.
Set out to the museum
, so it was fitting) then right to San Xavier
for a walkthrough inside (avoided the tour) and right on up to Saguaro NP (Kinney and Bopp so I could send some love to combichristo
’s fam). Beautiful park, not a lot of cars on the road. Headed up 77 North to 60 and settled in Globe for the night. Highly recommend this B&B converted from a schoolhouse
. My room was massive. Headed out for dinner and when I tried to navigate back to my hotel, kept finding myself on top of hills and on dead ends. Recent construction made the routing hard, and had one close call on the edge of a little cliff and on to a 5MPH rock (huge rocks) road into someone’s backyard junkyard. Sorry about my 5 minute U turn on your property, sir. Day 3: 300+ miles. Globe to Payson to Sedona to Jerome to Prescott to Wickenburg.
Woke up to a delicious breakfast
and took 60 to 188 N passed Tonto NP and Roosevelt Lake
. Pretty sure a Mexican Wolf
ran in front of my bike, but maybe it was an enormous coyote… Continued from 188 to 87 to 260. The ride through 3 NPs (Tonto, Coconino, Prescott) was breathtaking. And cold. So many different landscapes, I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Cacti to snow-laden forests, to rich green forests, to red rocks. It was absolutely unreal. 10/10 would ride again. Headed to 89A and arrived in Sedona
. Super touristy, tons of traffic with all the roundabouts, so cruised down the bike (bicycle) lane and hopped no hippie cop would pull me over. Success. As soon as I saw signs for 89A, I was so excited to take it down. Absolutely phenomenal route. Can’t wait to do it on a sportier bike I can throw around a bit more. Jerome was also quite touristy, and super hilly. Be aware if you’re afraid of heights! Continued down 89A from Jerome to Prescott and saw one of the most amazing sites on a moto ride, the split mountain roads in Yarnell. Couldn’t fathom what I was seeing, and riding through! Can anyone share a photo so I can put it up at my desk to day dream??
10/10 would ride again. Made it to Wickenburg for the night, cute town. Day 4: 400+ miles. Wickenburg to Vegas (Lake Mead, Hoover Dam) to Death Valley.
Woke up and thought, I have 2 options today, cruise around Arizona or just go full force into this trip and attempt Death Valley before the end of the day. So glad I chose the latter. Left Wickenburg to take 93 north up to Nevada (did I miss a sign for Nothing, AZ? Didn’t see any markers). Passed through Hoover Dam, Lake Mead
, on to Vegas and continued on 160 to Pahrump. Filled up my tank (wishing I had a spare can with me) and went on Bell Vista Rd into Death Valley at around 2 PM. Little concerned about losing the sun and running out of gas, but I went in as far as mileage would allow and took a ride up to Dante’s View
. My phone either froze or just had an iOs fail, because it wouldn’t turn on when I got there. In need of a selfie and furious at the timing, charged it up on the bike and had some fellow tourists snap a pic of me
. Got back to a casino hotel for a smoker’s buffet (gross) and sent out some “Happy New Years!” to east coast buds before passing out before midnight. Day 5: 350+ miles. Pahrump to Oatman to Lake Havasu City to Quartzsite. Headed to Oatman
to see some donkeys
and check out Route 66. Nice ride. Continued on 95S down to LHC
and the ever-so-lovely Havasu Springs near the Colorado River. Knew I wanted to shop the gem show in Quartzsite
for souvenirs (let me live), so I wound up there for the night. Day 6: 400+ miles. Quartzsite to Joshua Tree to Carefree (Horseshoe Dam).
Woke up and felt the weight of my trip coming to an end, so pushed for a long day. Mostly highway, took the 10 to JT NP for a quick loop
. Roadrunner ran across my path, so awkward. Highways some more, took the 10 to 60 to 74 so I could check out Carefree and Cave Creek
. Per recommendations, took it down to where pavement meets dirt
, and wrapped up the night in Phoenix. Day 7: 300+ miles. Phoenix (Usery Mountain Regional Park, Tortilla Flats) to Gila Bend to Phoenix.
The trip coming to an end, headed to Usery Pass/N Bush/Ellsworth
to see if I could find any of the Salt River wild horses
. Coyote or fox ran across my path, just a little guy. Then, it was time for Tortilla Flats. So beautiful
. So glad I did this ride
. Yes, the road was shitty and it felt like a broken carnival ride, but so worth the pay out at the end (THAT VIEW!!!) The ride back
was a little quicker, knowing what the lil twisties were all about. Stopped at a swap meet
to see some friends and then it was on to Gila Bend for the last of it. Rode 10 down to 85 for a scoot through farmland with enough straightaways to take my first few moto selfies. Bird flew into my helmet, not sure if he made it. Looped back the same way and ended up in Glendale
for the night. Day 8: 50+ miles. Phoenix.
Saddest day ever. Looked for some miniatures and took her back to EagleRider. So much of the trip was themed “no one in front of me, no one behind me” because I really did have the roads and views to myself. Highly recommend Arizona as a moto getaway and looking forward to coming back soon. THAT'S A WRAP!
Thanks again for making it here, and yes, the same TL;DR
for you fine wheeled fam.
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