Touring - Crossing Utah: West to East and then South
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09-16-12, 03:22 PM
Looking to come out of Nevada on US 50, to eventually pick up US 89 South in Utah. I will be headed to Page, AZ and then the Four Corners region.
I am looking at turning southeast in Nevada, just before the Utah border, on 487 thru Baker. This becomes 21 in Utah and goes to Milford and Minersville. In Minersville I would continue on 21 to Beaver, then 153 to 89. The other option seems to be to continue on US 50 to US 89. Both routes appear to be thru pretty isolated country. The 21 route seems to be the better choice of the two when looking at the map. Anyone ever traveled that road before? Thoughts?
09-16-12, 04:47 PM
Lots of people have done Hwy 21 - - it's on the Western Express.
The description says it all - esp. the possibility of water midway.
(You can always call the sheriff at Milford and ask if there is still spring water at the corral cabin in Wah Wah.)
You have a fairly high crossing over the Markagunt Plateau.
The lowest crossing is Hwy 20 - but it requires some interstate riding unless you do some dirt.
Hwy 153 is paved on the west side - dirt on the east side - fairly steep, but empty.
Crossing east of Cedar City is a tough climb to Cedar Breaks - paved, moderate traffic.
You should consider some combination of parks - Zion, Bryce, Cedar Breaks.
Zion gets awfully hot in midsummer - the others stay cold until late spring.
Cedar City has all services - Panguitch has most and is charming, albeit a bit touristy.
It's worth an out-and-back from US 89 to visit Bryce.
Or if you are really daring you can take the dirt road thru Grand Staircase-Escalante.
More importantly, I would urge you to consider riding to the North Rim of Grand Canyon.
It is really, really, really worth it - hiker/biker campsites right on the rim - services.
If so, you would cross the Colorado at Lee's Ferry not Page.
US 89A has way less traffic than US 89 - also US 89 is somewhat monotonous.
But, there is a mighty climb on US 89A to Jacob Lake - and then a big descent.
The chocolate cliffs west of Lee's Ferry are stunning.
09-16-12, 04:50 PM
PS - While in Baker take a day to visit Great Basin NP.
Catch a ride to the top and hike in the bristlecone pine groves.
Oldest living things on earth - I'd say is worth it.
09-19-12, 10:28 PM
jamawani said it all. Go through Zion national park no matter what. Definitely go to the North rim of the Grand Canyon (would be an out and back to the lodge but def worth it) if you must go to Page. Four Corners is tits, but its hot and long stretches of nothing. If I were doing a trip from west to east through southern Utah (the place where I grew up), I would ride through Zion, through Bryce, through Escalante, through Boulder, through Capital Reef, to Hanksville, to Blanding, then down to four corners. It is for sure a zig zag route, but you wouldn't be missing anything that southern Utah has to offer, save Arches and Canyonlands. The only reason not to do this route would be if you HAVE to see the Grand Canyon before you die... or something like that. But if it were me... I'd definitely pick the route I described. Or do a mega route and go all these places. That would be unreal.
Take at least 5 or 6 liters of water carrying capacity. Have fun!
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