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Old 02-06-11, 07:29 PM   #1
melgarpoe
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Planning to ride in Monument Valley in April. Weather & routes help?

Hi,

A group of friends and I are planning a road riding trip to the Arizona, Utah, Monument Valley area in April. Actually April 15 - 23.

We've got routes set for several of our planned areas, but we'd really like to spend two days riding in the Monument Valley area.

Can anyone offer any advice on a couple things.

We'd like to get in around 70-120 miles a day, so any rides that cover distances in that range would be great. Shorter is fine too, since we can always ride more than one route per day.

Climbing routes are fine too, though a max of 7-10k of elevation gain is probably a good idea since we'll be riding a lot of days in a row and don't want to crush ourselves too much on any given day.

We're thinking it would probably be best to stay in Bluff, Blanding, or Mexican Hat and do rides right from the motel room each day. But if better routes can be had by driving to someplace, we're fine with doing that too.

Also, we're Southern California folk, so we're not used to super cold temps.

Any idea how cold it likely will be in the area? I think we'd be fine if it's near freezing in the a.m., but we're really hoping that it warms up to something closer to 60 or 70 mid-day.

Also, any advice on shops in the area that might be able to offer maps or books on the area would be great too.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts...

Michael

Last edited by melgarpoe; 02-06-11 at 07:34 PM. Reason: Corrected spelling of Monument...Oops.
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Old 02-06-11, 10:36 PM   #2
valygrl
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I've never ridden there, but I've driven through, maybe someone else has a better perspective, but from the drive, I would not say it's a very good cycling destination. It's really exposed to the elements, the scenic stuff is pretty far apart, and roads are gently rolling, no big climbs as I recall (from the car).

Also, it can be crazy-windy there. We had to pull over and wait on the side of the road for a couple of hours because we couldn't drive in our van, it was so windy. I would be prepared to alter your plans if there is high wind in the forecast - it's can be dangerous, and it whips up so much sand you can't really see the scenery anyway.

Sorry to be a downer, hope someone chimes in to correct me, but that was what I saw.

For riding around Monument Valley, I bet the bike shops in Moab would have the best info, I would call one of them. I have some road rides to recommend in the Moab area -Arches National Park, Canyonlans (both the north and south parts, and a loop from Monticello over the Abajos into Canyonlands is on my things to do list.

In Arizona, check out Hwy 191 between Alpine and Morency -92 miles, 13000' climbing, no services - spectacular. Also, Mt Graham as an out-and-back from Safford is a great ride. I'll be out there around the same time frame as you.
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Old 02-07-11, 12:01 AM   #3
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I think I've spoken to every shop in Moab, but no real luck there. I appreciate the AZ suggestions though, they look excellent. I don't think we'll be that far south, but the Hwy 191 ride sounded good enough to maybe change some plans.

Thanks...

Michael
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