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Canyonlands of Nevada and Utah – 2010

Las Vegas is the start point and where we pick up the bikes.  We then took a short cruise to Hoover Dam for a quick nose around and to get used to the bikes. Returning towards Las Vegas but peel off to the right before Boulder City on to Lakeshore Road/Highway 166, which runs a mile or so out from north east shore of Lake Mead. Before Lake Las Vegas, go right on to North Shore Road/Highway 166. This is possibly one of the best roads I have ever ridden, a rollercoaster, up and down, with some beautiful sweeping curves across this almost luna landscape and next no traffic. The left photo above is of this road. Make sure you have plenty of fuel. We re-joined the freeway north of Overton, heading to George in Utah. At almost the boarder near Mesquite, the freeway becomes the madest interstate, twisting uphill through gorges and reminiscent of the motorways along the north Spanish coast. To reach St George it was about 4 hours in all. As it’s Utah, asking the best place for a pint can be amusing.

Running north south just outside St George is the Pahvant Range of Mountains with some spectacular crossings, we came back and forth about four times between the I-15 and highway 89. Some times we came through gorges, sometimes up through ski resorts such as Brian Head and finally back though Zion National Park, each route was spectacular. Panguitch to the north and Kanab to the south are good lunch points. A side trip to Bryce Canyon is worth while if you have time to enjoy it when you are there. We came south via some ghost towns to Page on the edge of Lake Powell in Arizona for the night. Lots of cheapo places to stay and eat, some a bit too cheap. Looping back we took Highway 89 ALT (the ALT is important). This takes you west of Page and not North. The route is via Bitter Springs; Vermilion Cliffs; Lees Ferry and Marble Canyon. It is breath taking as it descends down into the Arizona River Valley. A long trip too, it took us something like four hours to reach Kanab but worth it. The fours days was just how I imagined the classic dramatic American bike trip to be. If you’ve been considering doing Route 66 but can’t afford it, or have the time, then this is a spectacular alternative.