Motorcycle tours are not always easy. You are often so focused on planning the trip that you forget to have fun and enjoy the journey. The weather and other interesting sights are what keep you motivated to ride. You’ll also meet some interesting people along the way. You’ll find that total strangers will ask you about your trip and you’ll gain a new perspective. Here are some stories from motorcycle tours that may inspire you to take your next trip.
Elspeth Beard: A disenfranchised Londoner at age 23, Elspeth set out on a 35,000-mile solo tour. She endured life-threatening diseases, sexual attacks, and war-torn countries. Despite these challenges, she managed to survive. Despite her physical limitations, Elspeth’s story is one that inspires women everywhere. This book explains her amazing journey to us and may inspire you to travel more.
Robert Pirsig: This Minnesota native took off for his California tour in 1968. He had suffered from mental problems a few years prior, and was worried that his son might experience the same problems. His book, published in 1974, has sold more than five million copies worldwide. The book is a travelogue that takes on a philosophical aspect. However, many readers have been turned off by Pirsig’s over-the-top style.
Florence Blenkiron: The pair rode motorcycles across Africa. They spent two years on their journey, arguing with the French Foreign Legion along the way, re-building their motorcycle’s engine in Agades, and meeting gorillas and lions. In their journey, there are many stories from travelers who experienced the thrill of motorcycle touring and returned from their trip with a different perspective. The best motorcycle touring story is unique, and it’s worth sharing.
If you are in the mood for a longer hike, there are several options in Canyonlands. There are numerous trailheads throughout the park, so you are likely to find a trail that fits your preferences. Popular trails include the Mesa Arch, Chesler Park, and the Squaw Canyon / Lost Canyon loop trail. Here are a few of my favorites. Let me know which one you prefer!
You can hike on a variety of trails in Canyonlands National, but you should make sure to get a backcountry permit from the visitor center before you leave. It is recommended that you go in mid-September through early October, as temperatures can rise up to 100 degrees during the summer months. The park is also open year-round, but during the summer months it can be extremely hot. For this reason, you should pack plenty of water and sunscreen. You can download the park map here.
Alternatively, you can take a walk to Elephant Canyon. The park’s southern entrance is a 2.5-mile loop with backcountry campsites and historic ranching operations, dating back before the national park was established. Depending on your level of fitness, you can hike the entire loop in a day or two. In order to get there, you need to pay a $25 entrance fee to Canyonlands National Park.
The trail in Chesler Park is relatively easy to follow, allowing you to take in the scenery of the surrounding canyon lands. From here, you can take the scenic overlook of the Colorado River and the Fins of the Maze district. If you want a more challenging hike, you can follow the trail 1.6 miles farther to Elephant Hill. This hike is recommended for hikers with little experience. If you don’t want to hike all that far, you can turn back and hike to the junction at the EC1 campground.
For more challenging hikes, head up the 2.8-mile Elephant Hill Trail, which winds through sandstone and slickrock. This trail is difficult to follow because it crosses over small obstacles and sensitive cryptobiotic soil. This soil is critical to the ecosystem and prevents erosion. You can even take the train up to Elephant Hill. But be warned: the trail is not for everyone! And you shouldn’t expect to reach the top without a guide.
A trail in Chesler Park takes you to a grassy plain surrounded by sandstone formations. At the end of the trail, you’ll reach a junction with a 2.9 mile loop, which leads to the trailhead for the Joint Trail, which continues up the hill. The junction is not a perfect viewpoint, but if you’re feeling ambitious, you can continue further to appreciate the area.
After crossing the first trail junction, take the second trail to reach Elephant Canyon. You’ll reach a saddle with an incredible view of the park and Druid Arch in 0.8 miles. After that, you’ll be able to return to Chesler Park. It is a loop that takes about 10 minutes to complete. The park is home to several unique features that make hiking here so popular.
You’ve probably heard of the Mesa Arch hike in Canyonlands National Park, but what is it exactly? It’s a popular destination for photographers. While the arch is gorgeous, the most popular time to visit is sunrise. Be prepared to find crowds, especially in summer and winter, but you can find a better vantage point in between. You can also hike to other nearby vantage points to see the arch at different times of the day.
The trail starts by climbing a small hill and then descending gradually to the arch itself. You can also see Washer Woman Arch, which sits behind a steep drop. If you have children, be sure to keep a close eye on them while hiking on this trail. You may want to pack a camera because the arch is not particularly safe for photo taking. The view is stunning, but you must be careful to avoid tripping.
The hike to Mesa Arch is a great family outing. The hike involves traversing brush flats and slickrock before reaching the mesa rim and arch. Along the way, you can see canyons, cliffs, and the Colorado River. The hike is easy enough for children, but older families should take it on their own. If you have a car, you’ll be better off staying near the Arch rather than on the side of the road.
A loop trail can be done after reaching the arch. You can either start from the parking lot or continue onward to the main trail. The trail is a mixture of slickrock and dirt, with a few stairs and a long drop. However, be careful as the trail is crowded. Mesa Arch is not as tall as other arches nearby, so you need to take your time. The views from the arch are stunning.
While a long trail can be challenging, the short, easy Mesa Arch trail is great for beginners and families with young children. The trail is also managed by the National Park Service. It is a loop, which means it’s easy for families to complete. The trail begins at a parking lot 6.3 miles south of the Island in the Sky Visitor Center. The hiking route can be completed in fifteen to thirty minutes.
When visiting Canyonlands, be sure to make time for the Mesa Arch hike. This stunning arch can be photographed at any time of day, but sunrise is the best time to catch the best light. It stays aglow until well after sunrise. You’ll be amazed at how beautiful it is at sunrise! If you have time, take some time to view Mesa Arch and other popular sites. A Mesa Arch hike is a great way to take in the beauty of this beautiful park.
Squaw Canyon / Lost Canyon loop trail
The Squaw-Lost Canyon loop trail in the park travels through the rocky, lush Squaw Flat before winding down through the lush, fern-filled Lost Creek. The loop begins at Squaw Flat Trailhead A and splits at the mouth of Squaw Canyon. The Lost Canyon trail climbs a short slickrock section before descending into the narrow sandstone canyon. At the end of the loop, the trail returns to the beginning.
Squaw Canyon is a wide, narrow gorge with a large variety of vegetation, including big sagebrush, cottonwood trees, and willows. The northeast-bearing canyon is also home to mushroom-shaped knobs. The trail’s easy-to-follow cairns mark the route. The final stretch to Lost Canyon is approximately 1.5 miles and features views of the Needles, Big Spring Canyon, and the sandstone walls of Bryce Canyon.
The descent begins by crossing a slickrock ridge. While there’s one notch on the left that’s too steep to cross, the second gully offers a safer descent. Once at a flat, the slickrock gives way to sand. A right turn leads to Elephant Canyon, and a left turn continues the descent. At the end of the loop, there’s a scenic viewpoint of Big Spring Canyon, with the famous North Six Shooter Peak rising to the east.
The Squaw-Lost Canyon loop trail begins from Squaw Flat Campground and heads southeast. After a short distance, it crosses the narrow rim between Lost and Squaw Canyons. The trail then drops into the secluded, slick-rock canyon. The trail then loops back and intersects with the Squaw Canyon loop trail. This route is one of the most scenic trails in the park.
The Squaw Canyon/Lost-Canyon Loop is 8.9 miles long and a moderately difficult hike. It climbs 800 feet in elevation over two days. Generally, this hike takes between three to five hours. For those interested in seeing the Needles, the loop takes about four to five hours to complete. You can spend as much as two or three days hiking the canyons.
Squaw and Lost Canyons are major west-side tributaries of Salt Creek. They’re both dominated by red rock and white rock. The Squaw is narrower, but Lost is deeper. You can’t miss the city-like spires in the west as you hike. And remember to bring a bottle of water, as water in this park can be hard to find.
From the saddle, the Lost Canyon trail begins its descent. The trail follows a wide bench towards the east before descending to the bottom of the canyon. As you continue down the canyon, you’ll come across a short ladder and begin descending. You’ll reach the main drainage of Lost Canyon, which you’ll cross at a junction. After the descent, you’ll arrive at a trailhead.