Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

If you had 4 weeks to ride from Santa Rosa to the North Rim, how would you go?

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

If you had 4 weeks to ride from Santa Rosa to the North Rim, how would you go?

Reply

Old 12-02-15, 03:38 PM
  #1  
Brett A
...
Thread Starter
 
Brett A's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: North-Central Mass
Posts: 74

Bikes: Many of different types

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
If you had 4 weeks to ride from Santa Rosa to the North Rim, how would you go?

Hi all.

Iím planning a solo tour next fall, Sept 14th to October 14th, 2016. I will be starting at a friendís house in Sebastopol,CA (just outside Santa Rosa) and meeting other friends at a camp site south of Jacob Lake, AZ/Grand Canyon North Rim

Restricted by the amount of time I can be away from home, I am giving myself four weeks to be on the bike. (Five weeks total with days on either end to set up and tear down/ship home.) Iíve been to the Sebastopol/SF Bay area several years ago and was just out at the North Rim last July, but I am unfamiliar with the terrain in between.

Here is what I can tell you at this point:
  • Four weeks to be out on the bike.
  • Start in Sebastopol, CA mid-Sept. Arrive at Jacob Lake, AZ mid-Oct.
  • I do not plan to ride with anyone else.
  • Happy to take my time/poke along/take days off in interesting areas.
  • Iím not averse to riding on dirt. (I donít think)
  • I do not want to tax my nerves with high traffic/narrow roads and would be open to choosing longer routes to avoid that.
  • I will be fully self-supported and expect to camp in a variety of ways, from campgrounds to dispersed, to stealth. I also hope to get a cheap motel once or twice a week.

So, with those points in mind. How would you go? Carson Pass then US 50? (This is what Iíve looked most closely at so far) Maybe Yosemite over to US 6? Or all the way down to Bakersfield then over? I know Iím casting a wide net at this point, but any thoughts/opinions/advice would be appreciated.

Thanks for your time.
Brett A is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-15, 03:54 PM
  #2  
psy
Senior Member
 
psy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: east bay area,CA
Posts: 335

Bikes: Salsa Fargo commuter,Litespeed Ocoee titanium mountain bike cannondale caad9 105 road bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Brett A View Post
Hi all.

I’m planning a solo tour next fall, Sept 14th to October 14th, 2016. I will be starting at a friend’s house in Sebastopol,CA (just outside Santa Rosa) and meeting other friends at a camp site south of Jacob Lake, AZ/Grand Canyon North Rim

Restricted by the amount of time I can be away from home, I am giving myself four weeks to be on the bike. (Five weeks total with days on either end to set up and tear down/ship home.) I’ve been to the Sebastopol/SF Bay area several years ago and was just out at the North Rim last July, but I am unfamiliar with the terrain in between.

Here is what I can tell you at this point:
  • Four weeks to be out on the bike.
  • Start in Sebastopol, CA mid-Sept. Arrive at Jacob Lake, AZ mid-Oct.
  • I do not plan to ride with anyone else.
  • Happy to take my time/poke along/take days off in interesting areas.
  • I’m not averse to riding on dirt. (I don’t think)
  • I do not want to tax my nerves with high traffic/narrow roads and would be open to choosing longer routes to avoid that.
  • I will be fully self-supported and expect to camp in a variety of ways, from campgrounds to dispersed, to stealth. I also hope to get a cheap motel once or twice a week.

So, with those points in mind. How would you go? Carson Pass then US 50? (This is what I’ve looked most closely at so far) Maybe Yosemite over to US 6? Or all the way down to Bakersfield then over? I know I’m casting a wide net at this point, but any thoughts/opinions/advice would be appreciated.

Thanks for your time.
Two years ago I did a Utah/ Arizona tour that was one of my favorite so far. I took the train to Salt Lake City and rode my bike from there to Moab and connected the dots hitting all the national parks on the way to the Grand Canyon. Utah is spectacular and you'd be hitting it at a good time of year. That's not a ride from your house type tour but I thought I'd throw it out as a suggestion as I seriously underestimated the beauty of Utah.
psy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-15, 04:01 PM
  #3  
imi
aka Timi
 
imi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Posts: 2,856

Bikes: Bob Jackson World Tour (touring) and a Miyata 100 (commuting)

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
If you had 4 weeks to ride from Santa Rosa to the North Rim, how would you go?

Through Death Valley north to south?
imi is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-15, 04:07 PM
  #4  
Brett A
...
Thread Starter
 
Brett A's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: North-Central Mass
Posts: 74

Bikes: Many of different types

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
Originally Posted by psy View Post
Two years ago I did a Utah/ Arizona tour that was one of my favorite so far.
Thanks, I'll see what that might look like.

Originally Posted by imi View Post
Through Death Valley north to south?
I considered Death Valley, but it's still too hot there in Sept/Oct. This year, it was between 102 and 112f (39 and 44c) during the window of time I'd be there. I could probably do it, but I don't think I will chose to.
Brett A is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-15, 04:10 PM
  #5  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 36,049

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 121 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4329 Post(s)
I'd work my way south east shooting for a nice route through Yosemite, then due east through Tonopah and Crystal Springs to come around to the north rim. Going farther south means going through Las Vegas and onto a busy corridor which brings you to the wrong side of the canyon. Farther north means a busy corridor to Reno or Carson City then more time in the desert.

If you have the speed and ability, there's an interesting detour through Bishop and Big Pine which has a fringe benefit of keeping you off the beaten track, but it adds another 60-70 miles to the trip, most of that in Nevada's central desert (bring water).

If it works, here's a link to a rough version of my proposed route. You'll need to flesh out the details, especially where it's on major roads.

However you go, best wishes for a great trip, with lots of good experiences.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

ďNever argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.Ē, George Carlin

ďOne accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinionsĒ - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-15, 04:21 PM
  #6  
Salamandrine 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,615

Bikes: 78 Masi Criterium, 68 PX10, 2016 Mercian King of Mercia, Rivendell Clem Smith Jr

Mentioned: 99 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1595 Post(s)
Originally Posted by Brett A View Post
So, with those points in mind. How would you go? Carson Pass then US 50? (This is what I’ve looked most closely at so far) Maybe Yosemite over to US 6? Or all the way down to Bakersfield then over? I know I’m casting a wide net at this point, but any thoughts/opinions/advice would be appreciated.

Thanks for your time.
There's really endless ways to go. You could do Carson Pass or Yosemite or somewhere else through the mid Sierra Nevadas. I'd be tempted to go down the Owens valley from there and then head east before it drops back down. Maybe from about Lone Pine.

Or, you could ride down the coastal range, the coast, or through the central valley before heading east.

One thing to keep in mind: once you cross over to the eastern side of the Sierras, you are in a rain shadow and it is the high desert. It is hot and harsh. Consider your water needs and stops carefully. OTOH, if you go further south through California, then you are pretty much committed to riding through the Mojave.
Salamandrine is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-15, 04:37 PM
  #7  
hueyhoolihan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Above ground, Walnut Creek, Ca
Posts: 6,689

Bikes: 8 ss bikes, 1 5-speed touring bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 86 Post(s)
i left SF on Dec 14 and was on the East side of Phoenix on New Years Day as part of a long tour a while back. solo, loaded touring. little to no experience or conditioning before hand. was in my mid-forties at the time. i followed the ACA Pacific coast route and the Souther Tier route. if i were wanting to end up on the north rim using that route (not necessarily advising it) i would probably veer off the Southern Tier Route just before reaching Wickenburg and head up through Prescott and Flagstaff. that should take about three weeks.

i think that if you go directly through Nevada you've allocated more time than necessary. not that there's anything wrong with that.

but if i wanted to travel through Nevada (and it's a glorious route i've traveled many time via motorcyle), i would probably want to cross the Sierras on 120, to Tonapah, to Caliente then to either St. George to Jacob's Lake or to Cedar City to Knabe (Cedar Breaks National Monument is quite something) to Jacob's Lake.

note there is a 200 mile stretch between Tonopah and Agua Caliente with no public water or food. there are ranches that may or may not be accessible by bike, IDK. there are a few buildings along the road at the "Extra Terrestrial Highway" sign but i don't know if any people are there on a regular basis or not. it may be fenced in, i haven't taken the time to poke around it.

BTW, the mention of flying to somewhere first, like Montana for instance, and riding through Utah sounds like a good idea to me. Utah is fantasic. so is New Mexico and Colorado for that matter. in any event, it sounds like a good time.

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 12-02-15 at 04:49 PM.
hueyhoolihan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-15, 04:47 PM
  #8  
rm -rf
don't try this at home.
 
rm -rf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: N. KY
Posts: 5,008
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 596 Post(s)
I've been trying out the new Strava Route Builder. My local Ohio test routes were all routed on popular biking roads, off the main highways. It uses the Strava Heat Map data to make the routes.


Here's Sebastopol CA to Jacob Lake AZ, made by using the Popularity option and clicking the starting and ending points. You can Edit the route, and drag a point along the route line to a new road. It'll take a few seconds to reroute to include that point.

Wow, it tops out at 9600 feet, on Tioga Pass Road.

These may be popular bike roads, but it won't include routing for food, water, and overnight stays. Still, it's an interesting starting point.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EDIT -- the Strava route follows this advice, passing through all these towns. Interesting.

Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
i left SF on Dec 14 and was on the East side of Phoenix on New Years Day as part of a long tour a while back. solo, loaded touring. little to no experience or conditioning before hand. was in my mid-forties at the time. i followed the ACA Pacific coast route and the Souther Tier route. if i were wanting to end up on the north rim using that route (not necessarily advising it) i would probably veer off the Southern Tier Route just before reaching Wickenburg and head up through Prescott and Flagstaff. that should take about three weeks.

i think that if you go directly through Nevada you've allocated more time than necessary. not that there's anything wrong with that.

but if i wanted to travel through Nevada (and it's a glorious route i've traveled many time via motorcyle), i would probably want to cross the Sierras on 120, to Tonapah, to Caliente then to either St. George to Jacob's Lake or to Cedar City to Knabe (Cedar Breaks National Monument is quite something) to Jacob's Lake.

note there is a 200 mile stretch between Tonopah and Agua Caliente with no public water or food. there are ranches that may or may not be accessible by bike, IDK. there are a few buildings along the road at the "Extra Terrestrial Highway" sign but i don't know if any people are there on a regular basis or not. it may be fenced in, i haven't taken the time to poke around it.

BTW, the mention of flying to somewhere first, like Montana for instance, and riding through Utah sounds like a good idea to me. Utah is fantasic. so is New Mexico and Colorado for that matter. in any event, it sounds like a good time.

Last edited by rm -rf; 12-02-15 at 04:59 PM.
rm -rf is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-15, 04:53 PM
  #9  
hueyhoolihan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Above ground, Walnut Creek, Ca
Posts: 6,689

Bikes: 8 ss bikes, 1 5-speed touring bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 86 Post(s)
yes, that's the most direct route. and not an unattractive one. i'm interested in the route from Caliente to St. George though, hmmmm.. wondering if it's paved.

the only paved route i know of from Caliente to St. George is through Beryl Junction. it looks like, and i can't tell clearly from the Strava map, like it's routing through some kind of dirt road.

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 12-02-15 at 05:08 PM.
hueyhoolihan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-15, 05:05 PM
  #10  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 8,980

Bikes: '76 Paramount, Salsa Timberjack, Burley Samba, Terra Trike

Mentioned: 52 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1249 Post(s)
Well, this thread just sent me down a Wikipedia crawl ending at the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-15, 09:47 PM
  #11  
DXchulo
Upgrading my engine
 
DXchulo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Alamogordo
Posts: 6,209
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 122 Post(s)
Here's the route I used this summer from Pescadero: Route - Petoji That gets you to Kanab, which is the gateway to the North Rim.

120 through Yosemite is busy, but I think it's the best way across the Sierra Nevada. 108 and 4 are great and scenic on their own, but then you'd have to spend a lot of time going south on 395 and it doesn't sound like you would like that.

120 was busy through Yosemite, but once you cross 395 it's very scenic and there's not much traffic. Coaldale to Tonopah is high volume/low shoulder, but once you get east of Tonopah onto 6 and 375 traffic is very light.
DXchulo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-15, 10:27 PM
  #12  
jamawani 
Hooked on Touring
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,579
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 171 Post(s)
Take a look at this route - Half Moon Bay - Panoche - Yosemite - Lee Vining - Tonopah - Caliente - Zion - North Rim

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/...c_id=1168&v=sM

I've biked from the Bay Area to Grand Canyon a half dozen time.
On the linked trip, I had to go over Sonora Pass because Tioga was still closed.
Although higher, Tioga is much easier because of lower grades.
(If you can persuade someone to shuttle your bike to Tuolumne, you can hike up the JMT.)
You can stay one night at the backcountry campground (not Camp 4) if you enter the park on a bike.

Hwy 120 east of Lee Vining is remote - but a great ride. Minimal services at Benton.
Tonopah is one of my favorite Nevada towns. Stay at the Mizpah if you can afford it.
Sneak into the hot springs at Warm Springs (closed) -
or the huge cool springs at the junction of Hwy 375 and Hwy 319.
There's a wailer of a downhill into Caliente.

In Utah you can either cut south thru Enterprise and St. George -
or you can continue east to Cedar City and up over Cedar Breaks.
Or you can combine the two to Cedar City and Zion using a stretch of I-15.
If you want to do Zion, then #1 is best - but you will need to catch a ride thru the tunnel.
Kanab is a friendly town - used to have a hostel - stock up here.

From Fredonia, there is a steady climb in the open - often with a headwind -
then a steeper climb in the national forest, but easier without the wind.
The Kanab Plateau can be pretty cold by October - often with a stiff breeze.
But the North Rim is certainly worth it - with great hiker/biker campsites.

That late, you should be able to get backcountry camping at Cottonwood -
If you can get two nights - hike down late - then hike to Phantom Ranch and back -
and then hike up early the next morning.
I rarely use a tent in the inner canyon - less weight.



Stone Cabin Valley in central Nevada
jamawani is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-15, 02:16 AM
  #13  
hueyhoolihan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Above ground, Walnut Creek, Ca
Posts: 6,689

Bikes: 8 ss bikes, 1 5-speed touring bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 86 Post(s)
if i may ask, what do you do for food and water between Tonopah and Caliente? it's right around 200 miles without, at least from what i've seen, not one place to secure food or water. barring wells and ranch houses (not seen from the road. though there are gravel roads that i assume lead to the few that exist). although i suppose it would be possible to carry two day's worth of supplies.

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 12-03-15 at 03:11 AM.
hueyhoolihan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-15, 10:27 AM
  #14  
DXchulo
Upgrading my engine
 
DXchulo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Alamogordo
Posts: 6,209
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 122 Post(s)
Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
if i may ask, what do you do for food and water between Tonopah and Caliente? it's right around 200 miles without, at least from what i've seen, not one place to secure food or water. barring wells and ranch houses (not seen from the road. though there are gravel roads that i assume lead to the few that exist). although i suppose it would be possible to carry two day's worth of supplies.
There's food and water in Rachel (Little A'Le'Inn) and the 375/93 junction (E-T-Fresh Jerky).
DXchulo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-15, 11:12 AM
  #15  
hueyhoolihan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Above ground, Walnut Creek, Ca
Posts: 6,689

Bikes: 8 ss bikes, 1 5-speed touring bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 86 Post(s)
well i'll be... even a website.

will be sure to make a point of stopping there and dropping some "green" on them the next time i pass by, which may not be long now.

and i didn't notice that just a few miles south of Crystal Springs (a picnic table and two overflowing with trash, 55 gallon oil cans, IIRC) on route 93, there are services including gasoline.

not surprising, i guess, in as much as i always turn northeast on to the Extraterrestrial Highway before getting there.

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 12-03-15 at 11:29 AM.
hueyhoolihan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-15, 07:38 PM
  #16  
stevepusser
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 711
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Originally Posted by imi View Post
Through Death Valley north to south?
Still very hot at that time of year...

If you head a bit northeast from Santa Rosa to Yuba City, you can cross over the easiest Sierra pass, Yuba Pass, on Hwy 49--the toughest hill is right at the start, climbing up toward Bullard's Bar reservoir, then the road drops into the North Yuba canyon and follows along the beautiful clear tumbling river in its deep narrow canyon all the way to the pass. 49 is winding and without shoulders, but has little traffic except on weekends, with lots of USFS campgrounds along it. Then you could head south to Tahoe on 89, which has hike and bike sites at Donner SP in Truckee and at DL Bliss SP, and catch US 50 from the east shore.

Last edited by stevepusser; 12-03-15 at 09:28 PM.
stevepusser is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-15, 09:08 PM
  #17  
Brett A
...
Thread Starter
 
Brett A's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: North-Central Mass
Posts: 74

Bikes: Many of different types

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
OP here. Just a quick thanks at this point. A lot of good info here. I will have more time to read through and reply in a day or two. Just didn't want ya'll to think I'd gone AWOL. Looking forward...
Brett A is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service