15 Days / 14 Nights
3175 Miles / 5080 KM
Highlights of Desert Trail
Below you can see some of the beautiful scenes and places to visit along the Desert Trail Tour. Some of the highlights including Tombstone AZ, Coronado Trail, Durango Steam Train, Million Dollar Highway, Mesa Verde National Park, Monument Valley, Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, and the Grand Canyon.
The Desert Trail is a 15 day thru the beautiful States of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah. It hits all the wild west sites that the Southwest has to offer. Blooming Cacti and gorgeous Canyon with amazing rock formations cover this untouched landscape that will put you in awe at every turn. The overnight stops in the western towns of Tombstone AZ and Durango CO will have you in amazement and place you back in time. We will travel thru seven National Parks that all are unique in their own way. As we tour thru Monument Valley you will instantly recognize the rock formations as they are the backdrop to many of your favorite movies. Sedona and its red rock formations and the trip would not be complete without a stop at the rim of the Grand Canyon. Our excursion for this tour is a ride on the famous highly rated Steam Train running from Durango to Silverton CO. An experience of a lifetime. It is a Desert Trail that will make you want to turn around and ride it again!
DAY 1 — Arrival — 0 miles / 0 km
Our arrival day in the beautiful hub of the Desert - Phoenix AZ, Sky Harbour airport (PHX). Upon arrival you will be met at the airport and shuttled to the Hotel. We will pick up the bikes in the early afternoon and take a short scenic ride then a visit to a popular Biker Bar in Cave Creek. Arriving back at the Hotel where our group will meet and enjoy a welcoming meal while we introduce ourselves and do an orientation of the tour.
Day 2 — Scottsdale AZ to Tombstone AZ — 223 miles / 357 km
Our trip leaves from the gorgeous Phoenix metro area of Scottsdale. As we depart the urban area it’s not long before we are cruising the desert backroads and are surrounded by the American Desert Symbol the Saguaro Cactus, standing tall and majestic, arms high reaching for the sky. One of our highlight stops for the day is at the Colossal Caves near Tucson. A 45 minute tour showcasing the history, legends and the geology of these caves. Our day ends in the historic western city of Tombstone “the town to tough to die”, home of the OK Corral Gunfight that pitted lawmen Doc Holiday, Wyatt Earp, and his brothers as they fought the cowboy fugitives. A quick visit to Boot hill Cemetery is a must before you leave along with a cool one at Big Nose Kates.
Day 3 — Tombstone AZ to Douglas AZ — 30 miles / 80 km
On this day we take the morning to grab some breakfast and finish visiting the many things to do in Tombstone. Mid-afternoon we will take a leisurely ride to Bisbee AZ a community founded and driven by a booming mining industry that thrived on the areas rich resources of copper and precious metals. Today it draws visitors from around the world who appreciate its historic architecture and creative spirt. The evening ends in the border town of Douglas AZ.
Day 4 — Douglas AZ to Alpine AZ — 325 miles / 520 km
We head directly north on Hwy 191 formerly known as Hwy 666. It takes us thru Cochise County. We stop to visit the Chiricahua National Monument home to the battlegrounds of the Apache Natives lead by the famous Chief Cochise. We then meet us with the Coronado Trail ( The Devils Highway). The next 4 hours are spent climbing from an altitude of 2500 ft to 8000 ft, full of wildlife, 1200 hairpin turns, sheer cliffs and dramatic views. We will view the world’s largest open pit copper mine and pass by one of the highest peaks in Arizona – Escudilla Mt at 10,800 ft. You can stroke off Coronado Trail from your list of roads to ride. One can truly see why it is designated a National scenic byway!
Day 5 — Alpine AZ to Santa Fe NM — 318 miles / 509 km
Today we cross into New Mexico, a southwestern US state with diverse terrain. A stop at the Duke City Harley Davidson, in Albuquerque, to pick up a souvenir T-shirt. Travelling northeast via the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway which runs parallel to the Sandia Mountains, heading to the small town of Madrid, home of Maggie’s Diner, which was an important movie set for the film “Wild Hogs”. Another great day!
Day 6 — Santa Fe NM to Durango CO — 274 miles / 438 km
More beautiful roads with different scenery at every turn. Passing thru the interesting town of Pagasso Springs CO where the San Juan River separates the town and natural Hot Springs are a main attraction. The San Juan Mountains set the stage as we travel on to our destination for the next couple days in Durango CO.
Day 7 — Durango CO — 0 miles / 0 km
An excursion day! Durango Steam Train ride to Silverton CO. A four hour train ride to Silverton with a bus ride back to Durango and time left in the day to experience what this Western Town has to offer.
Day 8 — Durango CO to Cortez CO — 190 miles / 304 km
After a goodnights rest, kickstands up at 8:00 am as we head to higher elevation. The Million Dollar Highway is perhaps one of the most breathtaking journeys you can travel on a motorcycle. It offers spectacular views of the San Juan Mountain Range and the uncompaghre gorge reaching elevations of 11,000 ft at the Summit of Red Mountain Pass. With steep grades hairpin curves and no guardrails, this scenic highway is not for the faint of heart but is worth every mile. Stops in Ouray which many consider to be the Switzerland of the USA and Telluride a famous ski resort town will leave you in awe. We finish the day in Cortez CO. A day to remember!
Day 9 — Cortez CO to Blanding UT — 256 miles / 409 km
We start the day with a trip out to Mesa Verde National Park a well preserves ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings and the Cliff Palace structure are thought to be the largest in North America. Our next stop is the Four Corner Monument which is the only place in the USA that is shared by 4 US States. It marks the quadric point where the states of AZ/CO/UT and NM meet. Don’t pack the cameras to fast, as our next attraction is “Monument Valley”, a red sand desert region known for the towering sandstone buttes. The park is a frequent film location for western movies and is one of the most photographed points on earth. Stop for the night is in Blanding UT.
Day 10 — Blanding UT to Green River UT — 250 miles / 400 km
Travelling north we enter Moab UT the Gateway to massive red rock formations in Arches National Park. Today we visit two of Utah’s 5 mighty. Arches and Canyonlands National Park are visited by over one million visitors each year. The many viewpoints each give you a different view of the amazing vistas. Two more National Parks to cross off your must do list.
Day 11 — Green River UT to Bryce Canyon City UT — 210 miles / 336 km
On our list today are two more National Parks. Bryce Canyon and Capital Reef National will leave you wondering what’s next. The deep golden canyons at Bryce and the hyroglyphics on the stone walls in Capital Reef are well preserved to allow us to view them in their original state. The SD Card may need to be switched out after these last two days indeed.
Day 12 — Bryce Canyon City UT to Kanab UT — 214 miles / 342 km
A low mileage day today with lots to view. As we leave Bryce Canyon we pass thru Red Canyon. The amazing color of the rock walls will see you reaching from your camera once again. A shallow valley in the west side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau surrounded by much orange red limestone. This takes us to Zion National Park the last of Utah’s Mighty Five. You will find yourself gazing at a massive sheared rock of a cream, pink and red soaring into a brilliant blue sky. Our day ends in Kanab UT.
Day 13 — Kanab UT to Flagstaff AZ — 281 miles / 450 km
We have left the best for last, the grande finale, The Grand Canyon National Park. Our seventh and last National Park. If you have only viewed this camera by photos it does not do just. The Colorado River is responsible for this carved out, steep sided canyon. It is 227 miles long, up to 18 miles wide and attains a depth of over one mile. “In the Grand Canyon Arizona has a natural wonder which is kind, absolutely unparalleled throughout the rest of the world” – Theodore Roosevelt.
Day 14 — Flagstaff AZ to Scottsdale AZ — 213 miles / 341 km
The last leg of this tour travels down the scenic byway 89 taking us through Sedona, known for its red rock buttes, steep canyon walls and pine forests. The formations appear to glow in brilliant orange and red when illuminated by the rising or setting sun. The road winds and turns south taking us through intriguing desert communities. Jerome is uniquely built on the slopes of Cleopatra Hill. A mining town that was once the fifth biggest in Arizona but is now reduced to a near ghost town. Our trip winds through Pepples Valley through western town of Wickenburg and then back to our starting location Scottsdale, AZ.
Day 15 — Departure — 0 miles / 0 km
Departure day and a safe trip home. A shuttle to the airport to send you on your way with a load of memories to take with you.