Grand Canyon South Rim + ADD NEW ROUTE
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From Flagstaff, AZ. take State route 89 North to Cameron, this is about 2 miles after your turn off but you'll be ready for a little break by now any way. After taking in Cameron's Trading Post and fueling up backtrack 2 miles to Route 64. From here there are no forks in the road untill Vale, about 28 miles after leaving the south entrance of the park. This is a good place to stretch and fuel up, there is lodging here if you get in late.From Vale it is another 28 miles to Williams. With an early start this could be a day loop out of Flagstaff or Williams. Even in the hottest part of summer it gets cool at his elevation after the sun goes down so bring your jacket and cool weather gear in case you're out late and of course experienced riders never head out without their rain gear. This is a MUST SEE road in Arizona!
From Cameron to the Little Colorado River Gorge (stop here to start preparing for great views, and buy some pottery) is high desert and interesting but, from here on it just goes from good to breathtaking. Beginning at Desert View and Mary Colter's Watchtower all the way to Mather Point the problem is making any time due to stopping constantly for photos and to take in the view. I came in the park entrance at about 3:30 pm in early Oct. and the sun was setting as I left the park about 26 miles (4 hours)later, it is that stunning especially at sunset or sunrise.
The road is well maintained inside the park. While some of the route is better than others none of it was any source for complaint.
Not much to see or do between Flagstaff and Cameron. Cameron is a historic trading post and is a nice spot for a break although I found it a little too "rubber tomahawk,touristy" for my taste. At the Little Co. River Gorge, the Navajo are selling real hand made goods, the pottery is probably the best bang for $ you can buy. There is a small fee to get in but it is worth it. After entering Grand Canyon Park (east entrance) there are full services, stores, camping, restaurant, rv hook up at Desert View for part of the year. After that there is the Tusayan indian ruins and museum. There are several picninc spots along the road and the scenery is breath taking. At the other end of the road near the South entrance is the El Tovar, a Fred Harvey Lodge, and is Five star all the way, great dining, great rooms and spectacular views. From here south to Tusayn, Vale and Williams is just great country. Williams features great dinning and roads to all points of the country.
f you don't want to cover the mileage in one day there is lodging at the El Tovar (make reservations) and just south of the park in the town of Tusayan and in Vale as well. This would allow for a more leisurely trip without the need to push on. This is one road that you really want to take the time to smell the roses on.
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