This is a fully guided tour, led by experienced Harley-Davidson rider and tour leader Gary France. We have worked out a route and booked the hotels (all 3 or 4-star) that gives a great balance of comfort and terrific riding. The tour visits many of the greatest sights to be seen in the USA including many of the best national parks. We will see the Grand Canyon, Route 66, Las Vegas, Death Valley, Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, Monument Valley and much more!
The cost of rental motorcycles is included in the tour price. You can choose the model you want to ride, with the choice normally being from 1200T Sportster, Breakout, Heritage, Fatboy, Road King, Street Glide, Road Glide or Ultra.
We will ride almost every day, but do have two rest days where we take it easy. The total distance we will ride is 2,500 miles. A lot of these miles are done on some of the very best riding roads available, set among wonderful scenery. There are a good mixture of road types.
This is a round-trip tour and the price includes all accommodation (3 and 4-star), the rental motorcycle, fuel and National Park entry fees.
Day One – Saturday 22 September 2018
This is ‘Arrival day’. When you land at Phoenix Airport in Arizona, it is a short complimentary shuttle bus ride to our hotel for the first night. You will likely land early evening and there will be drinks at the hotel for the group to meet each other. Alternatively, and many people tend to do this, you could choose to arrive a day or so earlier to help overcome jet-lag.
Day Two – Sunday 23 September 2018
This is ‘Getting Started day’. We collect the rental motorcycles in Phoenix. After packing the bikes and loading your luggage on our support van, we then start the tour by riding some lovely twisty roads in the Weaver Mountains and Prescott National Forest before then arriving in the town of Prescott where we stay in a historic hotel. A short day riding of just 122 miles to get us warmed up for the rest of the tour!
Day Three – Monday 24 September 2018
This is ‘Route 89A day’. We leave Prescott and start to ride route 89A. This is a fabulous riding road which twists and turns its way through places steeped in history. In the Kaibab National Forest we ride to the very small city of Jerome, which in the 1920’s was a thriving copper mining town of 10,000 people but today has less a population of less than 500. We then ride onto beautiful Sedona, well-known for its red sandstone rock formations that dominate the landscape. We stay the night in Flagstaff, Arizona and we will have ridden about 127 miles today.
Day Four – Tuesday 25 September 2018
This is ‘Grand Canyon and Route 66 day’. First we ride into the Grand Canyon National Park and gaze over one of the seven wonders of the world. It is truly spectacular. We will stop and look at two of the main viewpoints on the south rim and finish with the main visitor center at the Grand Canyon Village. We then move onto riding what we consider to the best part of the famous Route 66. We join the ‘mother road’ at Seligman and check out the well-known places to visit there. We will also stop at the fabulous Hackberry General Store, a well-known historic shop on Route 66. Our hotel for the night is in Kingman which we reach after 292 miles on the road. With so much to see, this will be a long day.
Day Five – Wednesday 26 September 2018
This is ‘Historic Route 66 to Las Vegas’ day. We start the day by riding the Oatman Highway which is part of the historic Route 66. This takes us to the former mining town of Oatman, with its burros (similar to donkeys) that wander freely around the town. We then ride onto fabulous Las Vegas. Built in the middle of the desert, Las Vegas is a colourful and vibrant city, designed almost exclusively for gambling and entertainment. We will stay here for 2 nights, at the Golden Nugget hotel in Fremont street. We will have traveled 208 miles today. One of the best ways to see the Las Vegas Strip is from a tour bus which stops at many of the large themed hotels.
Day Six – Thursday 27 September 2018
This is ‘Death Valley day’. You have a choice of what to do today. You can relax at the hotel, go sightseeing in Las Vegas, or enjoy a long days ride to experience Death Valley, in California. The round trip out to Death Valley is 326 miles, so it is a long way and the ride there and back will take almost all day, but if you haven’t been before, it is worth it. Summer temperatures in Death Valley can be some of the highest on our planet but we will be there in early October, when the temperature will likely be around 100f / 38c. When there, we will walk on the salt flats, go to Badwater, Zabriskie Point and ride up into the mountains to gaze down on the valley from Dante’s View.
Subject to confirmation (at the time of preparing this webpage the dates have not been finalised) you could also choose to go to the Las Vegas BikeFest.
Day Seven – Friday 28 September 2018
We ride 221 miles today and soon after leaving Las Vegas we ride alongside Lake Mead and then ride through the Valley of Fire State Park. This has a dramatic landscape and it derives its name from red sandstone formations that dominate the park. We then ride some interstate and re-enter Utah before briefly visiting the abandoned town of Grafton. There is a old cowboy cemetery here, plus you may recognise some of the buildings as this is where the bicycle scenes were filmed from the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. When we arrive at the edge of Zion National Park and we stay at a hotel near the park entrance.
Day Eight – Saturday 29 September 2018
This is ‘Bryce Canyon day’. On day nine we first ride the hairpin bends of Zion National Park and hopefully spot some of the Bighorn Sheep that live in the park. We ride 203 miles today as we head towards to Bryce and we will arrive there early afternoon, allowing us plenty of time to then visit Bryce Canyon National Park. When we arrive we shall go straight into the park and ride its entire length, stopping to see all of the best views of this most wonderful of natures creations.
Day Nine – Sunday 30 September 2018
This is a long days riding as we have 308 miles to cover, most of them very scenic. We start by riding to Escalante and Torrey and through the wonderful but little-known Capitol Reef National Park. Then it is through the spooky moon-like landscape near Caineville before joining the I-70 interstate for about 55 miles. After we leave the interstate we turn south towards Moab where we stay for three nights.
Day Ten – Monday 1 October 2018
Today is take-it-easy day, but there are many things you could choose to do in and around Moab. You could ride alongside the Colorado River and have a picnic lunch on the banks of the river, in scenery reminiscent of John Wayne movies. You could visit Arches National Park, or walk to the famous Corona Arch.
Day Eleven – Tuesday 2 October 2018
Again you have a choice what to do today as this is a day off any major riding. You can relax around the hotel or do some sightseeing in Moab. Or you could, um, go riding! We intend to ride a much shorter day (well, 134 miles) to see Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse State Park if we have time. Canyonlands National Park has two rivers – the Colorado River and the Green River – flowing through it which have eroded the soft rock to form magnificent canyons. One of the best places to see these canyons is where the two rivers meet, so of course we will ride there to see this natural wonder. Some say that Canyonlands is as impressive as the Grand Canyon. On the return journey, we will stop and gaze over Dead Horse State Park and learn about its curious name.
Day Twelve – Wednesday 3 October 2018
This is ‘Monument Valley day’ but you will also see so much more! We will ride 224 miles today and in the morning we will ride Moki Dugway – an old mining road built in 1958 to transport uranium ore and the road is special with a spectacular view over the rock desert below. Then we divert to see Goosenecks State Park, with its meandering gorge carved into the rock by the San Juan River. The canyon is 1,000 feet deep in places, carved by what appears from above to be a tiny river. Next, we stop to look at Mexican Hat, an extraordinary rock formation that is meant to look, well, like a Mexican Hat. We then ride onto one of the most beautiful places on earth, Monument Valley, with its rock buttes rising into the air from the surrounding plains. We will go to the places with the best views, including a 2.5 hour tour by a member of the Navajo tribe in an off-road vehicle to see many of the hidden treasures in the park. We will stay at Monument Valley until sunset and then ride to our hotel.
Day Thirteen – Thursday 4 October 2018
This is ‘Antelope Canyon day’. We ride 167 miles today and first we look at one of the most iconic views in America – the one looking along US 163 with the line of the straight road and the amazing rock buttes rising high above it in the background. This was the scene used in the movie Forest Gump when Tom Hanks’ character suddenly stopped running, claiming he was tired. Early morning is the best time to see this view as the sun illuminates the rock. We also ride past Agathla Peak, which was originally formed underground when magma hardened inside a volcano. Over millions of years, the land around the volcano was washed away to leave the inside of the volcano exposed. When then ride onto the town of Page, on the northern edge of Arizona where you could spend a leisurely afternoon or visit another natural phenomenon, Antelope Canyon. The canyon is stunning – formed by water running along and carving a slot into the soft sandstone rock. We will walk through the canyon guided by a Navajo Indian. Antelope Canyon has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Day Fourteen – Friday 5 October 2018
This is our final main riding day of the tour and we have 284 miles to ride today, almost all of it due south. Half of this is riding on normal roads and half on Interstate. In the late morning, we divert away from the main roads to go see something most people don’t know exists in Arizona – a volcano. The Sunset Crater volcano last erupted in 1085 AD and created an impressive ash cone and a few lava flows. We will go see both before getting back onto the bikes and heading back to Phoenix and our hotel for the night.
Day Fifteen – Saturday 6 October 2018
Sadly, this is the final day and it is time to fly home. In the morning (or possibly on the previous evening), we return the rental motorcycles in Phoenix, bid farewell to your new riding friends and you catch the short complimentary shuttle bus ride from the hotel back to the airport to then fly back to the UK. The majority of flights from Phoenix on Saturday afternoon get back to the UK on Sunday.
Our group sizes normally range from 10 to 14 motorcycles.
Each day, we normally start riding at 8.30am sharp and cover in the region of 150 to 320 miles. We try to avoid interstates wherever possible and only use these when there is no real alternative. We take mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks and of course find somewhere for lunch. Our plan is to normally arrive at that evening’s hotel by around 6pm.
We use good quality hotels – not super luxury and not bottom end, but mid-range – normally 3 and 4-star.
We ride at a pace to suit all of the riders. We stick to all speed limits in towns, but in rural areas we ride at, let’s call them ‘more appropriate’ speeds. We generally ride in staggered convoy on straighter roads.
As we have pre-booked hotels and a schedule to stick to, we ride in all weathers. During any exceptionally inclement weather, we will pull over for short periods. We could experience a range of different types of weather, so bring waterproofs and warm layers, just in case.
Each of our rides has a difficulty rating and this tour is rated as ‘moderate’. That means this tour is not recommended for new riders. You should have at least four years of riding experience on large motorcycles. You must have ridden on the right-hand side of the road before and you must be comfortable with travelling in a group of riders and be able to keep a good pace within that group. We do not ride fast, but at the same time, it is better if riders do not go too slowly. While there is not much interstate riding on the tour, as a guide, the group will be riding at speeds of 75mph on interstates. You must be confident of riding in rain and on wet roads.
Each day’s riding will be around 9 hours, with breaks. You should be able to ride all day. If you are at all unsure if your riding ability is good enough for this tour, then you must contact us by telephone to discuss.