planning outwest trip from MI - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 11 Old Feb 5th, 2011, 12:36 pm Thread Starter
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planning outwest trip from MI

Im planning a trip out west from Michigan this summer. wanted to know if you guys had some suggestion on best places to go and see and best time to go.

here are my tentative plans ( not real firm yet) :
1-planed to leave around the end of May beginning of June.
2-was going to head to Utah to see the arches national part, Bryce and Zion
3- was thinking of heading to Vegas from there for a nights ( or 2) stay then head up towards yellowstone
4 thought I would stop at the black hills of SD and mount Rushmore on the way back home.

the Wife has agreed to go on this trip , which will require Hotel/Motel stays , was thinking of taking 2 weeks but not sure if thats enough time . dont really plan to spend a lot of time at each place . my main goal is to see a lot of the country I havent seen.

plan to take the LT ( obviously) Im thinking of about 500 to 800 miles a day depending on the location.
first thought was to head towards Denver by mostly slab ( not much between Michigan and Denver to see) then once in the scenic part of CO would focus more on side road ( this is were I need the help)
what I dont know is what are the must see areas and best riding road in the CO and Utah areas. as well what would be the best route from the Zion area to yellowstone. Oh would like to get Beartooth Pass in this trip too .

maybe Im trying to bit off too much in one trip , but dont know that I be able to get the wife on another trip out west . although she does like to ride and has gone on many trips , but not quite this far . we have went to PA, Vermont and Ohio together but this will by far be her biggest trip
for me I have ridden to Wyoming to the BMWMOA rally a couple years ago and have made trips to Kanas City ( for work) , and ridden to the TN area many times.

I know Im rambling on a bit here , but would like any suggestions from the group on places to go and see , routes to take. is end of May OK for snow off he top of the mountains? am I getting into a rainy time? picked end of may thinking that the heat may not be too bad yet. any help or suggestions would help me define my route and plans

thanks
mark

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post #2 of 11 Old Feb 5th, 2011, 7:17 pm
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Re: planning outwest trip from MI

You can spend 2 weeks in Colorado and still not see half of it. 1 week in the black hills. 1 Week in the yellowstone area. Looks like vegas is out for this summer. Don't forget the warm clothes. I have been snowed on in Yellowstone in August.

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post #3 of 11 Old Feb 5th, 2011, 8:27 pm Thread Starter
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Re: planning outwest trip from MI

yeah thanks, I know in a perfect world would be nice, I know that putting yellowstone in the mix could be a stretch, we could spend an easy week in yellowstone . may have to do a quick thru of yellowstone if we include it.

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post #4 of 11 Old Feb 5th, 2011, 9:22 pm
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Re: planning outwest trip from MI

Seriously cut those miles in half 250 to 400 so you can stop and look at things. Relax your on vacation.

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post #5 of 11 Old Feb 8th, 2011, 12:24 pm
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Re: planning outwest trip from MI

Quote:
Originally Posted by zzkvsl
... dont really plan to spend a lot of time at each place . my main goal is to see a lot of the country I havent seen. ... any help or suggestions would help me define my route and plans

thanks
mark
Have you checked out "MADMAPS"? www.madmaps.com; it's available at a number of places such as Amazon.com. Volume 1 of the series has 9 interesting routes two of which are along your direction of travel. "Wild West Ride" includes the Black Hills and Beartooth Pass. I wish I had the map when I was in that area last August. Also included is "Four Corners Connection" which is of course the 4-corners states and this is the ride I want to take in early June of this year.

For me the first trip to an area is a ride of discovery that opens new horizons and serves mostly as an introduction to the geography of an area rather than detailed insight. Aren't bucket lists supposed to get smaller as visit and cross destinations off? My list is ever growing and I smile just thinking about it! Bob
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post #6 of 11 Old Feb 8th, 2011, 8:09 pm
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Re: planning outwest trip from MI

FDrom my trips out west, I found some nice rolling two lanes in Iowa....North rim of Grand Canyon was awesome..(less people) Yellowstone is nice..if you get the time also do Glacier natl park.....FYI at your first national Park..buy a yearly pass..will pay for itself in 3 visits
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post #7 of 11 Old Feb 9th, 2011, 11:58 am Thread Starter
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Re: planning outwest trip from MI

thanks brettb10
is the yearly pass good for all parts in differant states.

mark

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post #8 of 11 Old Feb 9th, 2011, 12:39 pm
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Re: planning outwest trip from MI

Quote:
Originally Posted by zzkvsl
thanks brettb10
is the yearly pass good for all parts in differant states.

mark
The pass is good for all of the national parks...... just hitting Brice and Zion, and a quick trip the north rim covers the price......then, any of the national parks you hit will be bonus points..........Check at the gate of the first park you come to......they have a variety of park passes and some of them cover over 55 years old for life time...........the best by far deal you will ever get from our benevolent government................



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post #9 of 11 Old Feb 9th, 2011, 1:51 pm
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Re: planning outwest trip from MI

I do about 2 long distance trips on my RT every year. From experience I have found that on a good day I can get about 380-400 mi when traveling through such beautiful country as you plan to on your trip. Early May might be a tad cold still to hit the area's you have mentioned, especially in the early and late hours. I did a similiar trip in 08 starting from California and toured the southwest and area's you mentioned. A couple of notes: Watch out for deer/bears (yes bears) migrating across the roads. This is a good time of year for them to start moving around. Also, the winds across some of the open deserts can be notorious! From the Grand Canyon to Lake Powel I have encountered 40-60 mile an hour side gusts that left me white knuckled and exhausted.
As far as staying in hotels/motels....most are wonderful to riders, but are hard to find in some of the more desolate locations. Make sure you plan your day well so that you can be sure to land in a big enough town to find lodging. I never had advance reservations and always found a decent place to stay. However, around Bryce and Zion your lodging is very limited! Reserve ahead if you can. Don't sneeze at hostels...they often have single rooms that the younger people won't pop for but are great bargins for "older" adults. I'm 55 and always ask for a senior discount!

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post #10 of 11 Old Feb 9th, 2011, 3:44 pm Thread Starter
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Re: planning outwest trip from MI

thanks
WomynRilder , you mentioned one of the things I was concerned about , the mountain passes. planning on late May or first week of June . will I be able to get thru the high passes?
yeah I guess as far as the miles per day, that was based on flat-lander e-way traveling . us mid-westerners aren't too used to riding in areas with real nice scenery that requires you to slow down to enjoy the view .

thanks mark

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post #11 of 11 Old Feb 9th, 2011, 5:54 pm
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Re: planning outwest trip from MI

The weather is just luck at that time of the year. Did the Black hills 2 yrs ago over the 1st of June and there was snow at Ystone and also the Rocky National was closed because of snow. Also be ready for a lot of wind. cheap places to stay at Deadwood. Keystone is pricecy and kind of a tourist trap near MT Rushmore. I hear Custer also has cheaper motels. I'm planning Colorado, Utah and Vegas Starting labor day weekend. Monument Valley also. Vegas is only on my list because my son lives there. I hope its not to hot. Or I may alter my plans. You should have some alternate plans depending on the weather. Have a great trip.
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