If you are going to go all the way to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to camp and ride the Rainbow Rim trail, it is well worth it to add a segment or two of the Arizona Trail that runs through the area into the mix. This is from an 18 mile snippet of the trail south of Jacob Lake. We did this on Day 11 of August MTB Vacation.
Getting out to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to ride the Rainbow Rim trail is not an easy feat. For just about everyone it will be a camping trip. This is from my August MTB vacation were we camped on Locust Point for a handful of days and enjoyed the views and the riding on this trails as well a bit of the Arizona Trail. The video really does not do the experience justice. You need to get there to enjoy it for yourself.
I had to put the videos on hold while I went down the rabbit hole of squaring away data storage and backup system. I came back from the August trip with just about a terabyte of video and photos which put my overall storage at near capacity. I now have a more robust system that should scale a lot better in the future.
For Day 5 of the August MTB Vacation I cut my wife some slack and we did a shuttle up to the top of Schultz pass. We then did the half of the loop I climbed on day 2 as a descent (Previous video). We did a snippet of Secret to the AZT. Then Lower Moto to Chimney and the the lower bit of Schultz Creek. She was most appreciative of not throwing a beat down on her out of the gate. Pretty much all green trail goodness.
Here is the first video of an upcoming series from my August MTB Vacation. This is of Schultz Creek coming off of the Mount Elden in Flagstaff Arizona. I have ridden Schultz Creek and handful of times going back to 2006. It has always been fun!
Day 18 Bunker Creek. Coming off of Brianhead Peak this was a doozie. Starting just at 11,000 feet, you had long views, Alpine meadows, Aspens, Pines. Much of this area burned in 2017 and the trails have been rebuilt, improved and extended.
Day 19 VRRT – Navajo Peak. I started out with plans to do the Navajo Lake Loop, but half way around I chose to peel off and get my climb on. There was plenty of work to be done but much like the Strawberry Point segment the views were worth the effort.
On Day 20 I finished off the “Big 3” at Brianhead with the Blowhard Mountain Trail. I rode with a group of guys from the Giant Bicycle shop in Las Vegas. A great group of guys. The trail was every bit as technical as it was billed to be. Such good stuff.
My body decreed that today would be a rest day so for Day 21 I tooled around the countryside a bit which included a stop at Paragon Gap to check out the Indian Rock Art.
For Day 22, I ventured off the mountians to check out the Iron Hills trail system in Cedar City. This is an exceptional designed and built trail system which was a hoot. I did 14 miles and change with 1,700 feet of climbing. After spending much of my time over the last two weeks around 9,000 feet the thick oxygen rich air down at 6,000 feet was a real joy!
After camp near Navajo Lake since being in Utah, for Day 23 I felt the need to knock of Navajo Lake Loop proper since I had only done part of it.
Day 24 Time to head home. Ahh hell, time to go do some of that adult stuff. It has been a fabulous trip. I have gotten everything thing I needed and wanted out of this trip. I’m no sure what that need and want is exactly yet, but I found it out here. For now I’m looking forward to seeing both wife and dogs.
I have amassed nearly a terabyte of footage and photos to do stuff with that will take months to get through. I have melon full killer memories of this trip that I’m bringing back as well. I’ll share when I can.
For now, the RV’s shitter tank is not going to dump itself!
The big August MTB vacation continues! Part 3 of the roadtrip covers Bill O’Neil and I in Utah.
Day 13 – We started the day heading out to Thunder Mountain. The weather in the area turned for the worst. With too much thunder on Thunder Mountain we had had to come up with a Plan B.
Plan B was the Virgin River Rim Trail starting from Strawberry Point. This was an amazingly beautiful and challenging trail. The combination of terrain, grade and elevation all worked together to make for some spicey climbing. Oh the downhills were good! That night severe weather swept through the region and we good numerous flash flood warnings/alerts throughout the night.
After the rain out day, for Day 15 we took another crack at Thunder Mountain. We managed to catch a good weather window and for the most part we were rewarded some near hero dirt. We only had a couple of squishy spots that were created by some irresponsible equestrians who went out on the trail way too soon.
For Day 16, we did the Dark Hollow, Second Left-Hand Canyon Shuttle. With nearly 5,000 feet of descent this was one impressive route with a some amazing trail itself and phenomenal scenery.
Bill O’Neil had to go back to adulting so Dark Hollow was our last ride together for this trip. I still have some time left before I have to reenage the realm of adulting.
Solo adventures to be continued….
The August Roadtrip continues on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. My longtime buddy Bill O’Neil joined us on the segment of the trip arriving a couple of hours after we setup camp.
Day 8 – We rode the Rainbow Rim Trail from Locust Point to Parisswapitts Point as an Out-And-Back. On our way back, at the best downhill section I had a pretty castistrophic tire slash. Somehow I got 1.5″ slash in side of the tire. I was able to boot the tire with duct tape, but it did not last. I ended up bailing and letting Bill drive back and pick me up near Fence Point.
Day 9 was an side trip to Hurricane Utah to get a new tire. Hats off to Quentin an the fellows at Over The Edge Hurricane for getting me taken care of and back rolling. I also bought a spare tire so should such a thing happen again I won’t have to make another unscheduled day trip.
Day 10 – The Rainbow Rim Trail from Locust Point to Timp Point and back. Nichol had to roll out and go back to adulting so Bill and I were left to our methods of mayhem.
Day 11 – The Arizona Trail. Telephone Hill to Highway 89A. Boy did we thread the needle with a weather window. We got sprinkled on a little on the ride, but not one minute after we got in the truck at the far end did the skies shutdown and pounding began. On our way back to camp we thought there was snow on the ground but it was piled up hail. Crazy!
Day 12 – Moved to Navajo Lake. The forest service roads getting off the north rim held up well from the storms. While not terribly far of a drive, between some admin tasks like tear down, dumping tanks, getting more fresh water and setting up and the new location it took up the bulk of the day. A good rest day.
The Utah Adventure starts!
So I am on three-week MTB vacation. These posts are quite a bit time late as I typically have the choice of riding, enjoying tasty beverages, chilling or posting stuff on the internet. Guess which one gets bottom billing? Here is a quick recap of the events of the first part.
Day 1 was the transit to Flagstaff with the travel trailer. The first ride was on day 2 in the Fort Valley area. I climbed up Chimney, Lower Moto, a bit of the AZT, connected up with Secret and then descended Schultz Creek. Schultz Creek was ever bit as good as I remembered it
On Day 3, I checked out the Flagstaff MTB skills park which was right next to where I camped at Fort Tuthill. This is an impressive skills park with access to the regional network of trails. After playing around at the park, I hit up Soldiers Trail and The Bridge trail to loop right back to camp.
Day 4 was Chicken Noodle Soup for the MTB Soul. The Walnut Creek Segment of Arizona Trail is simply amazing. I did about an 18 mile loop that included the AZT, the Flagstaff loop trail and other tasty singletrack. Later that evening my lovely wife and dogs arrived to join in the vacation festivities.
For Day 5 I cut my wife some slack and we did a shuttle up to the top of Schultz pass. We then did the half of the loop I climbed in day 2 as a descent. Secret to AZT to Moto to Chimney and the the lower bit of Schultz Creek. She was most appreciative of not throwing a beat down on her out of the gate.
For Day 6, I did a 24 mile dumbell looking route from camp that included Highland, Soldiers, Flagstaff Loop, Rogers. Gold Digger and Two-Spot. It was a glorious morning when I started. Pretty much at the apex of my ride the thunderstorms rolled in. I had 10 miles with a hill in the middle to get over. I arrived back at camp a waterlogged mess. It was kinda awesome in its own way.
Day 7 was move day. It sucked having to pack up all the stuff that got caught out in the storm. Everything has “its place” with our little house on wheels and stuff being wet meant stuff had to go in different places. I managed to get rolling by 10AM enroute to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Now I have been to Locust Point a handful of times but I had never traveled those 20 miles of dirt roads towing a trailer. A handful of miles down the main dirt road. I parked my truck and trailer and hopped in my wife’s Outback and we drove the rest of the way to access the remaining roads and potential spots. After a successful scouting mission in the Outback (Dubbed the Lunar Lander), I was back in the truck with the Command Module in tow. We got a primo spot with the Rainbow Rim trail about 30 feet out our door with the canyon a few feet beyond that.
The adventure continues…
One more of the old skool videos remastered. This video is one of first videos with an HDV camcorder and the optical stabilization was so not geared to handle MTB type action. I tried some stabilization with this video but the crop required is just no good. I plan to put together a video of a scouting I did out here back in May so I wanted to get this out for comparison later. I really hope this area can recover back from the fires to something akin to what it was in this video.
A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of chatting with Susie Murphy the Executive Director of SDMBA about dealing with the heat of summer and trail preparedness in general.
Check out the 20 min or so talk here.