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ooga-booga 04-23-13 02:17 PM

anyone ridden az hwy 67 from jacob's lake to north rim grand canyon & back??
looking to ride arizona hwy 67 that goes from jacob lake/hwy 89 to the north rim of the grand canyon through the kaibab plateau.
would be riding it mid-week in early june. it is reputedly the most gorgeous hwy in arizona which would be saying something.
has anyone ridden it? road quality? any recommendations? i know it's closed in winter but thinking the road should be open by june.
looks like there are minimal facilities/stores between jacob lake and road's end so 4 water bottles would be a must. thanks in advance for helpful responses!

Daspydyr 04-24-13 11:22 AM

Phoenix, AZ native here. I have never biked that location, but I love the area. It is beautiful. 8000' elevation, so bring your lungs. You never know what the winter has done to the highway, so every year is different. It was a mild winter, so hopefully it won't be bad. I have been itching for an adventure, so I might get up there and scout it out in the next couple of weeks.

ooga-booga 04-25-13 12:47 AM

been "itching" to get up there for a few years with it likely being my biggest cycling 'getaway' from southern california this year.
hoping you get that opportunity to scout it out and enjoy the ride before me. cheers!

PlanetU 06-09-13 09:16 AM

Ridden that many times. Beautiful. Be sure and do the bonus miles in the park! You can get water at the mini-mart/gas station before the entrance; and of course at the lodge in the Park. I've never taken more than 2 bottles and have been fine with that. Have fun!

ooga-booga 06-29-13 12:40 AM

so...finally made it 2 weeks ago. started from jacob lake on a weekday around 10am. weather forecast was for 75-79 degrees but with winds gusting
up to 50 mph. decided to give it a try seeing as how it wasn't the easiest place to get to. very light traffic the whole way and the road itself was good quality.
the shoulder was difficult to ride on though due to the last 2 repaving efforts not covering the previous effort on the shoulder. it resulted in a "2-level" shoulder
and rendered it pretty uniformly unrideable for a road bike because of the potential to catch a tire on an edge and go down.

first 14 miles or so south from jacob lake were kinda blah but not too windy. occasional gusts here and there. after the scenery picked up on the first significant descent,
unfortunately so did the wind. fought a consistent 25-30 mph headwind along with a slightly less consistent but considerably more vicious crosswind in that 50 mph
range. not being able to use the 1.5-2 foot wide shoulder because of the 2-level really made it difficult to handle the bike with any degree of safety. if there had been any more
traffic, i would have turned around much sooner. as it was, made it to the little gas station/store at north rim (about 5 miles from the park entrance). just really needed a break
because my shoulders, neck and arms were so beat up from trying to not get blown into the road the last 12 miles. after talking to the proprietor who said it had been windy as
all get out for the last month, i decided to turn around and to stop risking injury or worse by continuing. since i had been going 6-10 mph anyway, seemed like the right thing to do.

the fun continued on the way back since i now had a substantial enough tailwind to easily ride 20+ mph without much pedalling. still had the crosswind though and that made for some
sketchy descending trying to avoid being blown off the road at 40 mph.

even though it wasn't a great experience, the scenery was stunning. gorgeous meadows stretching for miles and miles alongside the highway. looked like something straight out of italy.
would love to attempt it again although not sure when that will happen. better luck next time. did manage to salvage the little quickie trip by riding upper zion and the main valley
along with a scorching (105 degrees!) ride through much of nevada's valley of fire state park. had 4 water bottles and needed all 4 for a 28 mile ride there. at least the scenery was top
notch on the cycling trip even if the weather didn't cooperate at the grand canyon. even though the entire ride was above 7900 feet, didn't feel the effects of the elevation
but i was going pretty slow.

Daspydyr 07-11-13 01:02 PM

Thanks for the report. Seems they are always repaving in that part of the world. I really want to get up there and ride that. But I live too boring to get out of town.

ooga-booga 07-12-13 01:46 AM

there were no repaving efforts at the time along the route from jacob lake to the north rim of gcnp but there were some below jacob lake on hwy 89a east of fredonia.

you really should get up there to do the ride. not being able to finish it really haunts me. planning on another attempt in the late sept/early oct range before the road closes.
those first dozen boring miles or so south of jacob lake will come alive because there are plenty of aspens on both sides of the road. the addition of the replendent aspen
colors should totally transform that first stretch.

it took me almost exactly 8.5 hours (driving from 1am-9:30am on a wed so no traffic) to get to jacob lake from san diego. seems like it took about 4 hours from las vegas and that includes
two 5-7 minute stops for gas/bathroom break & drive-thru breakfast.

zonatandem 09-22-13 05:48 PM

Have ridden the north rim back in the 1980s on our tandem.
Great ride and darn few cars/people. Did it round trip and stayed overnight at one of the tiny cabins.
It was end of May just as the park opened.
Spectacular weather . . . 75 degrees with snow on the roadside under the trees!

ooga-booga 09-25-13 11:51 PM

i have just got to get back up there!

rsn473 02-04-14 04:56 PM

Sounds like a great ride! Anyone know if you can ride when the road is still "closed" - like in early May? I have ridden hwy 120 through Tuoulumne Meadows in early summer when the road is still closed to motor vehicles, but bikes are OK.


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