This year we have decided to keep it “local” and travel the western US as we visit some of our most famous national parks and some of those of Canada. Come along with us as we explore the great expanse of the west!!
The first leg of our trip is absolutely packed with awesome places to spend some time. San Diego isn’t exactly close to everything and we don’t like highways on the Gold Wing, so we headed out old school style using the backroads where ever it was practical and sometimes when it wasn’t.
We left San Diego and got quickly away from the city and the highways on some of the backroads of San Diego County. Up and out of San Diego we breezed through Idylwild in the San Jacinto Mountains, a great meeting place of beautiful mountains, eclectic people, and the outdoorsy types. Lots of great little shops, cafes and restaurants to see there. From Idylwild we headed up into the San Bernardino Mountains east of Los Angeles into Big Bear. What a great place to visit and spend some time. A bit bigger than Idylwild and a little more mainstream, there’s tons to do all over Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead.
Down the hill and into the desert, we visited Mojave National Preserve to see the sand dunes of Kelso and the old train depot, beautifully preserved. We were also fortunate to find desert primrose all over the place due to the winter rains. Heading thru Las Vegas, we turned onto Route 167 and saw part of Lake Mead National Recreation Area and encountered wild horses, then through the Valley of Fire State park with its spectacular rock formations.
Utah and Colorado National Parks
Out of Vegas and into Utah (Disneyland for geologists like me) we spent days in Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, and Arches National Parks (Route 12 is amazing!), Natural Bridges National Monument, and Utah state parks including Dead Horse Point, Goosenecks, and Pertified Forest. We rode the Mokai Dugway down the face of a cliff, hit Monument Valley, and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We also saw Antelope Canyon in Page Arizona and rode through Grand Staircase-Escalante. Entering Colorado, we finally hit Mesa Verde National Park, one I had wanted to visit since I was a teenager to see the cliff dwellings.
We hope you read about all our adventures in our upcoming posts by signing up for our newsletter in the footer at the bottom of this page. If you would like to follow our route on your own or with friends you can download any of our trips in our shop section. As a way to trace our steps, we have created helmet flag stickers, country code stickers , and state code stickers that can be used on helmets or vehicles; purchase these stickers so you too can commemorate your travels.