The word “grand” conjures up all kinds of adventurous notions, and what better way to explore one of the world’s most magnificent natural wonders than by bicycle? Of course, Grand Canyon National Park’s remoteness, especially on the North Rim, can make planning multi-day, self-contained cycling expeditions difficult. But what if there were vehicle support to transport your gear and water from point to point, leaving you free to ride the trails and winding dirt roads through pine and aspen forests load-free? Then we would have the mountain-biking trip of a lifetime. And that’s just what we’re offering on our van-supported bike tour of the Grand Canyon’s North Rim.
Come take advantage of this opportunity to ride legendary singletrack on the Rainbow Rim and Arizona trails — portions of which were built specifically for mountain bikes. Our overnight locations, some literally perched right on the rim, are jaw dropping. Top all this off with a special, sumptuous dinner at the Grand Canyon Lodge, and the grandeur of this trip can’t be beat.
|Start Date:||Sep 15, 2014||End Date:||Sep 21, 2014|
|Start Location:||Jacob Lake, AZ||End Location:||Jacob Lake, AZ|
|Total Days:||7||Riding Days:||5|
|Average Daily Mileage:||29.6||Surface:||Dirt|
|Riders:||12||Elevation Alert:||High Point: 9000'|
|Airport:||McCarran Intl. (Las Vegas, NV)||Tour Leader:||Maer Siebert, Jay Warren|
|Physical Difficulty:||Advanced||Level of Support:||Van Supported|
Jacob Lake. After a quick van shuttle, you and your fellow adventurers will congregate at Kaibab Camper Village, located just south of Jacob Lake. Here you’ll take part in your group orientation meeting and begin getting acquainted with the rest of the dirt-loving group members while gathered around a tasty meal. When you finally climb into your tent and fall asleep, you’ll dream of the high quality single-track trails and excellent backroads that are in your near future.
Kaibab Camper Village to Crazy Jug Point, 33 miles. Today we’ll set our sights high as we head to our camping spot, perched at nearly 7,500 feet in elevation. As we zigzag up some challenging dirt roads, we’ll ride among the nearly 1,600 plant species that call the Grand Canyon home. Our climbing will be rewarded by stunning views of the Colorado River wrapping around Great Thumb Mesa in the canyon far below, and of the Uinkaret Mountains rising dramatically in the west.
Crazy Jug Point to Timp Point, 26 miles. You have two options today. If you like, you can test your dirt-riding skills as you blast along the famous Rainbow Rim Trail. This single-track trail was built for cyclists (with no grades exceeding 10-percent) and it weaves in and out of valleys, offering incredible canyon views. Alternatively, you can follow meandering Forest Service roads all the way to tonight’s destination: A pristine camp on the canyon’s edge, overlooking Timp Point.
Timp Point to Grand Canyon National Park group campground, 35 miles. We’ll start out on dirt roads before riding into the Grand Canyon National Park campground on pavement. You’ll also have the option of riding a section of the undulating Arizona Trail (recently proclaimed an “Arizona Treasure”) into tonight’s camp, where we’ll enjoy the simple pleasures of showers and a laundry.
Layover Day in Grand Canyon National Park. Did you know that the oldest rocks in the Grand Canyon are close to 2 billion years old? Attend a geology talk with a ranger, go mountain biking, hiking, or horseback riding, of course, simply relaxing. We'll be treated to a feast tonight at the North Rim Lodge.
Grand Canyon National Park Campground to East Rim Viewpoint, 22 miles. After we fuel up for the day with breakfast at the lodge, we’ll pedal out of the park on pavement. Continuing on forest service roads to our last primitive campsite, we’ll take a turn onto the Arizona Trail, which here is made up of a mouth-watering combo of single-track trail and decommissioned dirt roads. The trail ambles through aspen groves, connecting with the enchanting high meadows of the Kaibab Plateau. Although it is not apparent, the north wall of the Canyon rises one thousand feet higher than the South Rim, giving the North Rim nearly twice as much annual precipitation than is received on the other side. At our final campsite, we’ll enjoy our last backcountry dinner beneath a stand of old-growth ponderosa pine.
East Rim Viewpoint to Jacob Lake, 32 miles. We'll spend our last day cycling on rolling dirt roads back to Jacob Lake, where we’ll say our good-byes — but only after an amazing thousand-foot descent! High fives all around before we pack up and head on our way, basking in the glow of a completely fantastic cycling experience.
"We enjoyed riding on the Rainbow Trail, the Arizona Trail, and hiking into the Grand Canyon. The wild flowers and the colorful mushrooms were a treat and an unexpected surprise."
2012 Tour Participant
"The Rainbow Rim singletrack was a blast with scenery to die for."
2012 Tour Participant
"The staff was great! This mountain bike trip was successful for me because there were double track options."
2011 Tour Participant
"Looking back on it, I think I enjoyed the whole experience. Other participants were friendly and caring. The single track was challenging but ridable. The views were majestic!"
2012 Tour Participant