1996 Motorcycle Vacation in Arizona and Utah

During 1996, Fred decided to take up Motorcycling again. As part of this renewed interest, we took a "Fly and Ride" vacation on a rental Harley Davidson Motorcycle. On July 17th, 1996, we departed the Harley Davidson dealer in Phoenix, Arizona for a trip north through some of the most beautiful country that you could imagine riding through. The map below shows the route that we took. Click on the red dots or the route highlighted in red to see some pictures from a segment of the trip.

Route Map

We rode together on a 1996 Harley Davidson Electra Glide Classic for about 1800 miles over 8 days.


Start Location

Intermediate Point

End Location

7/17/96 Phoenix, AZ.   Williams, AZ. 252 252
7/18/96 Williams, AZ. Grand Canyon Natl. Park, AZ. Tusayan, AZ. 115 367
7/19/96 Tusayan, AZ. Lake Powell, AZ. Kanab, UT. 258 625
7/20/96 Kanab, UT. Zion Natl. Park, UT. Kanab, UT. 201 826
7/21/96 Kanab, UT.   Bryce Canyon Natl. Park, UT. 122 948
7/22/96 Bryce Canyon Natl. Park, UT. Capitol Reef Natl. Park, UT. Bryce Canyon Natl. Park, UT. 289 1237
7/23/96 Bryce Canyon Natl. Park, UT.   Sedona, AZ. 345 1582
7/24/96 Sedona, AZ.   Phoenix, AZ. 204 1786

We began our trip in Phoenix. This is where we picked up the Electra Glide Classic that was to be our home for the next 8 days. These pictures show Fred on the Electra Glide and the palm trees and high buildings that characterize Phoenix that were a stark contrast from the scenery that we were about to see.

We visited the following places on this trip:

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Lake Powell, Arizona
Zion National Park, Utah
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Scenic Highway 12 and Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
Sedona, Arizona

Step one before we left was deciding what to bring along. Even through the luggage capacity on the Electra Glide Classic was much larger than the saddlebags on our Dyna Wide Glide, there was only room for about half of what we wanted to take. We learned some useful things from a book called Motorcycle Arizona by Frank Del Monte (Copyright 1994, Golden West Publishers, ISBN #0-914846-99-X). The first is to separate everything you plan to bring into two categories: everything that is absolutely necessary and other things that would be nice to have along. The next step is to cut back on items in the first category until everything fits. Another useful tip is to roll up clothes (shirts, jeans, etc.) and secure them with a rubber band. This makes clothing items much easier to pack in the storage compartments on a motorcycle. There was only room for one pair of footwear and we were torn between motorcycle boots for protection and comfortable shoes for hiking. If you plan to do any amount of hiking, the best solution is to buy a pair of ankle-high hiking boots - and make sure to bring padded socks. Also, don't forget the rain gear and a canteen for water (especially if you are planning a ride in a warm area). Spread out on the bed in the picture below is everything that we packed with us.

We used the Web extensively in planning this trip. There are many good sites with travel information for this part of the country and seeing the pictures on these sites made us even more anxious for the day our trip would start! We planned our trip fairly late - in May for a July trip - and many of the hotels where we wanted to stay were booked. There are plenty of places to camp but that would have meant more stuff to pack on the Harley. We booked some rooms in places that were more distant from the parks we wanted to visit and then used the Web to wait for rooms to open up in the hotels we really wanted to stay in. Many hotel chains let you check availability and book rooms on their web sites. By checking these sites every day or two, we were able to find openings and ended up in the places where we really wanted to stay.

The following are some useful links to sites on the Web that we used to plan this trip:

Welcome to Arizona Guide
Grand Canyon National Park
Lake Powell and Page, Arizona
Max Bertola's Southern Utah
Utah Travel and Adventure Online
Utah's Color Country
Best Western On-line Reservations - US
Courtyard by Marriott

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