The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world for a reason. Simply standing on the canyon’s rim and viewing the vast, breathtaking scenery below is enough to understand why this national park attracts almost six million visitors each year.
Many Grand Canyon visitors prefer to extend their trips over a weekend or week to see some of the canyon’s best viewing spots, complete a few day hikes, and take plenty of photos. Completing your Grand Canyon trip on your motorcycle offers an excellent opportunity to hit all the essential stops and enjoy a few days of riding.
Read on to learn everything you know about taking a Grand Canyon motorcycle tour.
Preparing For Your Trip
Whether you’re planning a there-and-back day trip or a week-long Grand Canyon excursion, you’ll want to spend time preparing for your journey. Here are a few tips to help you plan intelligently for your Grand Canyon motorcycle tour:
- Pack plenty of layers: The Grand Canyon tends to be ten to twenty degrees cooler than Phoenix and the surrounding desert areas. Be sure to pack plenty of layers to wear on your trip, as you may get chilly — especially if you’re traveling in the fall or winter.
- Determine where you’ll stay: You have several lodging options near the Grand Canyon. You can camp in a tent, rent a cabin, stay in a hotel, or rent an Airbnb. Whichever option you choose, you’ll want to reserve it well in advance — at least three months, in many cases.
- Bring emergency supplies: Some of the roads surrounding the Grand Canyon are relatively remote. You’ll want to bring any emergency supplies you may need — including a first aid kit, motorcycle tool kit, backup phone batteries, and keep plenty of extra water in your saddlebags — just in case you need them.
Grand Canyon Motorcycle Tour Routes
You’ll also want to plan your motorcycle route in advance to ensure that you hit all the scenic viewpoints and divide your trip appropriately. Here are a few popular Grand Canyon routes:
Grand Canyon Scenic Circle
One of the most popular roads surrounding the Grand Canyon is the Grand Canyon Scenic Circle. This 169-mile route takes you through several scenic areas throughout Arizona and leads you directly to the Grand Canyon.
This route starts in Prescott, Arizona, and takes you through the following stops:
- Whiskey Row
- Prescott National Forest
- The Ghost Town of Jerome
- Tuzigoot National Monument
Driving this route will take almost four hours from start to finish. However, you’ll probably want to spend some time at each stop to take photos and appreciate the natural beauty. As a result, you may want to dedicate the first day of your journey to traveling this route, then spend a couple more days within the Grand Canyon.
Once you reach the Grand Canyon, you can take several routes around the rim to witness the best views of the canyon. Hermit Road is a scenic route that can take you from viewpoint to viewpoint inside Grand Canyon National Park.
This paved road begins near Grand Canyon Village and spans 7 miles. However, if you plan to stop at all of the viewpoints along the way, you can expect the entire journey to take you about four hours.
North Rim Parkway
North Rim Parkway is another scenic drive that you can use to access or leave the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. This road starts near Jacob Lake on Highway 67, then spans 43 miles, ending at the north entrance to the canyon.
Cape Royal Road
This road features some of the most spectacular viewpoints along the northern rim of the Grand Canyon. It begins north of Grand Canyon Lodge and spans 19.7 miles across one of the park’s highest vantage points, offering stunning views of the canyon below.
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