West coast and back - your "Must see" list. | GTAMotorcycle.com

West coast and back - your "Must see" list.

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
Contemplating something with a friend(s) for this summer with the likelyhood of the border reopening at some point. Destination California. Timeline, 8-9 days.

My list of gotta-see things is reasonably small at this point.

Westward:

- Pass through Vegas, just want to ride down the strip, don't care about gambling.
- Death Valley
- ?

California itself:

- Night aboard the Queen Mary. A bucket list thing for me. The company managing it just went bankrupt, hopefully it reopens in some fashion...grrrr.
- Pacific Coast Highway
- ?

Eastbound leg:
- Beartooth Pass
- Bighorn Mountains
- Black Hills, lunch in Sturgis just because.
- ?

With that timeline I'm not looking at spending any excessive amount of time stopping and smelling the roses...I like to keep moving. I just want to rack some big miles and see some cool stuff, not really needing to stop and stare at all of it for long periods of time lol. 1400-1800km days on the boring stretches is just fine and not even that hard given the high speed limits in many of the (often, boring) east/west stretches.

Camping some of the nights when the weather plays nice. Motels the rest of the time aside from California urban areas obviously.

Suggestions?
 

Wingboy

Well-known member
Moderator
Site Supporter
I was born in Vancouver. Moved to Toronto when i was 3. My dad talked about how awesome it was all his life.
Wife and i were going to tour out there in retirement, but that ain't happening now.
Maybe someday. I'm only 67.
 

Evoex

The God
Site Supporter
Travel to the U.S. before the fall? You're a brave soul.

PCH is on my to do list, but i'm in no hurry.

@Wingboy go find us a perfectly good airplane to jump out of!

Is freefalling considered social distancing? Just wear hazmat suits in the plane.
 

Lightcycle

Snowmadic
Site Supporter
8-9 days for a ~10-12,000 km ride is really pushing it. You're basically on the Interstate non-stop for 10-12 hours a day. I can't see that being very enjoyable.

I know you said you're not stopping to do any sightseeing, but if you get off the Interstates and ride the scenic destination roads like US 550 (Million Dollar Highway), you're not going to be riding 70 mph on those routes, so your average mileage is going to drop off. And there are some amazing roads through the National Parks but you'll be crawling through there stuck behind RVs and Harleys. Hwy 1 on the California coast is a must, but again, that's nowhere near a 70mph road...

If you can book off 12-14 days, I'd recommend spending the majority of your time in the four corners area of the SW US: CO, NM, AZ and UT. Moab, Valley of Fire, Monument Valley, Taos, Flagstaff... so many areas to spend time in... not doable in 8-9 days from Toronto, IMO.
 

ToSlow

Well-known member
Site Supporter
I was born in Vancouver. Moved to Toronto when i was 3. My dad talked about how awesome it was all his life.
Wife and i were going to tour out there in retirement, but that ain't happening now.
Maybe someday. I'm only 67.
My wife and I did the west coast last summer in out motor home.

Spent 4 days in Vancouver. It’s a great place when you’re outside the big smoke but like all major cities, need to be careful and be aware of your surroundings
 

Wingboy

Well-known member
Moderator
Site Supporter
My wife and I did the west coast last summer in out motor home.

Spent 4 days in Vancouver. It’s a great place when you’re outside the big smoke but like all major cities, need to be careful and be aware of your surroundings
It probably wasn't like that in 1953.
My Dad used to fish for salmon on the way home from work.
 
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Trials

Well-known member
Sequoia National Park but you have to be there at the right time of year,
or unless you are really good in deep snow.

and Moab

and Mesa Verde
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
8-9 days for a ~10-12,000 km ride is really pushing it. You're basically on the Interstate non-stop for 10-12 hours a day. I can't see that being very enjoyable.

Not when 3 or 4 of those days are 1500-1800km days.

That's the key. There's huge swaths of road with nothing to see or do aside from interstate. The stretch between Sturgis and home for example - 2300km and really jack **** to see based on having been across those roads quite a few times. Average speed we were running when I rode to Sturgis in 2019 was 140kph (150+ kph in some stretches), so if you maintain those sorts of speeds you make ground FAST, especially if you're up early and are perfectly good with riding a 15-16 hour day...ie 6AM to 9-10PM. You can easily chew up 1800-1900km in a single day.

Westbound....Denver is 2400km give or take (kick off point for the Million Dollar Highway, thanks added - not sure how I forgot that one), and then the mileages can slow down. But 2400km is a solid day 1 and there by lunch on Day 2.

I'm a multiple iron butt rider, I absolutely love big mile days - my biggest Iron Butt was 1900km in 21 hours non stop, and had it not been below zero at the end of the trip I could have kept going.

Key is...there's not much to see anyways across the middle - the interesting stuff is on the west coast. Stuff like Route 66 kitch and stuff doesn't interest me at all.

Anyhow, timeline is flexible ultimately, would probably do the trip over a 2 week vacation period so there's a 15-16 day window in there, I'd just rather not blow it all on one trip...without my wife...she not into this sort of riding. But, if there's an issue anywhere that costs us a day or whatever, well, it's also not the end of the world.

Terry Fox Memorial outside of Thunder Bay.

Thx - did it last summer going to/from Pickle Lake. Route would be to and from entirely through the USA via Windsor/Detroit as that's where the big mile days are possible on the east and west stretches. I've done the trip over the top of Superior and across Canada several times (as well as Vancouver and the Rockies) and it's not in the cards for this trip.
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
Site Supporter
Travel to the U.S. before the fall?

The goal of camping as often as possible has a side effect of keeping us free and clear of any Covid crazies and reducing the exposure overall.

It's very much east-sleep-ride in a lot of stretches on the east and west legs. ;)
 

Trials

Well-known member
I was born in Vancouver. Moved to Toronto when i was 3. My dad talked about how awesome it was all his life.
Wife and i were going to tour out there in retirement, but that ain't happening now.
Maybe someday. I'm only 67.
It's a great place to visit.
 

ToSlow

Well-known member
Site Supporter
The goal of camping as often as possible has a side effect of keeping us free and clear of any Covid crazies and reducing the exposure overall.

It's very much east-sleep-ride in a lot of stretches on the east and west legs. ;)
I like the thought of camping off a bike

Bought some camping equipment last summer and thought i would be able to get a few trips in, but we all know how that went.

I was going to adventure camp leaving CG out.
 

tiborgh

Well-known member
Site Supporter
On the way to Vegas Moab (taking UT 128 just before Moab), Utah Hwy 12, Bryce and Zion would be the highlights. On the eastbound leg you can skip the Bighorns, nothing special to see there. Between Beartooth and Sturgis I would recommend US 212 and a detour to Devil's Tower (if you remember Close Encounter of the 3rd Kind) instead of I-90.
 

Hack

Well-known member
I was born in Vancouver. Moved to Toronto when i was 3. My dad talked about how awesome it was all his life.


I'm in Vancouver right now...
Yes it's nice... It's the middle of January and bikes are on the road...

Only thing is... traffic sucks... drivers suck... there's nowhere to park and everything costs more.
Nice place to visit, but I would want to live here.
 

ReSTored

Well-known member
If you're looking for nice roads in California check out this site. Pashnit California Motorcycle Roads | Tours | Maps | Best Rides Sample: Pleasant Valley Rd | Bridgeport Covered Bridge | Pashnit.com

Nice photos, maps and itineraries. When we go to CA we rent a car for about 10 days and usually have a few things we want to see or do in a specific area. I then check out the Pashnit site to see what featured roads are in the area that we can hit going there, being there or returning. I'm never disappointed as this guy has been just about everywhere in the state at some point.
 

Mad Mike

Well-known member
Contemplating something with a friend(s) for this summer with the likelyhood of the border reopening at some point. Destination California. Timeline, 8-9 days.

My list of gotta-see things is reasonably small at this point.

Westward:

- Pass through Vegas, just want to ride down the strip, don't care about gambling.
- Death Valley
- ?

California itself:

- Night aboard the Queen Mary. A bucket list thing for me. The company managing it just went bankrupt, hopefully it reopens in some fashion...grrrr.
- Pacific Coast Highway
- ?

Eastbound leg:
- Beartooth Pass
- Bighorn Mountains
- Black Hills, lunch in Sturgis just because.
- ?

With that timeline I'm not looking at spending any excessive amount of time stopping and smelling the roses...I like to keep moving. I just want to rack some big miles and see some cool stuff, not really needing to stop and stare at all of it for long periods of time lol. 1400-1800km days on the boring stretches is just fine and not even that hard given the high speed limits in many of the (often, boring) east/west stretches.

Camping some of the nights when the weather plays nice. Motels the rest of the time aside from California urban areas obviously.

Suggestions?
 

Mad Mike

Well-known member
I could write a book on this. Been to CA and back by road 15 times. Tell us what turns your crank and I’ll give you a TripTik.
 

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