It was mid-June. We had some plans to do a ride with Drew Martin, one of the best adventure moto photographers, and had a slot on the calendar to plan a ride.
The dates were set: July 8-12th.
The plan was to go ride in Utah for 4 days. July is one of the hottest months for riding in the canyons, but it’s also the time when the nights are warm, when we all could get on the road together, and so we got to route planning.
Utah National Parks are a true gem, yet there is so much more to see. You can easily spend two weeks gliding through the canyons and amazing scenery of this state with its National Parks, camping spots, resorts, hot springs, and everything in between.
FOR THE 4 RIDING DAYS, WE SET OUR ROUTE:
We packed some of the Utah essential spots to make it a fun loop starting and ending in SALT LAKE CITY.
We asked Drew to build a crew he wanted to take on this trip. He called up a few riders he knew from before and assembled an awesome crew of people for the adventure.
On most of these content rides, it’s very hard to really create a bond between the riders and have everyone embrace the amazing scenery and want to stay together as a pack from sunrise till the sky is full of shooting stars.
SALT LAKE CITY – CAPITOL REEF.
Day 1 was light on scenery until we arrived at Capitol Reef National Park for sunset and overnight stay.
After a quick rental pickup process at EAGLERIDER SALT LAKE CITY, we stopped at TIMPANOGOS HARLEY-DAVIDSON to see one of the best dealerships in the nation, a building constructed of recycled steel taken from a local factory.
This $15 million project in person looks and feels exactly what the Harley-Davidson brand means to most of us in four words – heritage, authenticity, quality, and community.
We filmed some of the initial interviews here, had lunch, and headed back on the road.
Our first day of riding we had an amazing treat in the evening – the ride through Capitol Reef National Park. Inside the park, you have about 7 miles of curves, amazing lookouts, and the sun setting behind the red cliffs in the horizon.
CAPITOL REEF – MONUMENT VALLEY.
Day 2 was forecasted to be really hot, but luckily, we found a creek with fresh ice-cold water to cool down before hitting the road again. From Capitol Reef you can ride one of two ways.
HWY 12 through Escalante to Bryce Canyon National Park is one of the best roads in Utah. We decided to keep that stretch of riding for another time and opted in for another set of roads that are no less beautiful.
First stop was in Hanksville for lunch in a spot that doesn’t have much to offer if you’re vegan. We found that out the hard way. After some food, fries, blueberry shakes, and some time in an air-conditioned space, we headed out back to 100-degree heat and 120 more miles utill Monument Valley.
Riding to Hite overlook and then to Moki Dugway is great. Nobody is around and it’s just you, the revving engine, your beating heart, and your mind full of joy. By now we all started to let go of the daily worries and were really able to take in the experience.
For someone who has never ridden a motorcycle, this feeling is amazing. Not everyone fully embraces what riding can be – a happy place no matter where you are. A time to get off your devices, a time to be in the moment.
Moki Dugway, if this is the first time you’re hearing about this road, it is a 9-mile gravel section taking you down into the Valley of the Gods and to Mexican Hat. It’s somewhat intimidating at first, but the further you make it down or up, you realize this is one of the best 20 minutes of riding you’ll remember for a long time.
The views around you are insane. You’ve got cliffs on one side of you and endless valley stretching for miles ahead. You hug the canyon, hit shade and sunny parts, and really are one with your motorcycle because you must work together to safely get through these miles.
After a quick fuel stop, we headed to see our camping spot, didn’t like it, decided to ditch it and cancel out reservation, headed to get groceries and camping essentials for the night, and stopped at Forrest Gump overlook for sunset views. Monument Valley leaves most people speechless. It’s truly the place of serenity.
Drew pulled out his phone to find a familiar spot for camping. We rode for about 30 minutes in the dusk to get to the Valley of the Gods, where you can camp for free for up to 14 days. It’s an amazing place hidden from the main roads and with very few people around.
At night, we counted the shooting stars, talked about life, friendships, motorcycles, gushers, and listened to Courtney’s playlist.
VALLEY OF THE GODS – MOAB.
Day 3 began with the sounds of tires moving on the dirt. Drew was moving bikes to stage them by the tents. As we unzipped our tents our immediate view right from our sleeping pad is the soft tones of canyons in the early hours of the morning and it was a moment to remember.
After some coffee and avocado toasts for breakfast, we packed up to start riding towards Moab.
We had another 180 miles of riding that day. We shortened the route a little to make more time to ride near Moab at sunset and also to find good food and a place to cool down on the nearby Mill Creek Trail only 10 minutes away from Moab.
The Moab Kitchen was the place our resort hosts at Under Canvas, where we planned to spend the night, suggested as the best local vegan food. We headed there for a meal, then grabbed a coffee at Moab Garage Co., cooled down in the creek, and dropped off our bags at Under Canvas tents before regrouping for the final shoot ride of the trip.
Moab, Utah, is one of those destinations where you can stay for days and will always find something to do or see. Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Dead Horse Point State Park are all within a 30-minute ride.
For us, the grand finale was the ride on HWY 128 on the banks of Colorado River. It’s about 45 miles of amazing riding until you either continue riding or turn back to do it in reverse. There is also a full day look you can do that’s about 5 hours long.
This was the third night of bonfire dinners together and our last overnight stay together. It’s hard to put in words the bonds that are created on the road over multiple days of riding together, having meals together, seeing new places for the first time, getting to know everyone, seeing how every rider reacts and handles heat, food, safe riding as a pack, and all the demands of being a rider and a model on a shoot.
We could not have asked for a better crew to do this 4-day ride with. This shoot was a joint production with Harley-Davidson. We had a small crew that planned and produced this trip. But the fun we had together and the breathtaking places we rode through can be seen in every shot and in every video clip.
On most of these content rides, it’s very hard to really create a bond between the riders and have everyone embrace the amazing scenery and want to stay together as a pack from sunrise till the sky is full of shooting stars. On this ride, we came home feeling like we will be friends for many years to come.
In the morning we headed back to Salt Lake City to make our 8PM flights. It was hard to say goodbye at the airport. We had our last dinner together, hugged goodbye, and boarded our flights.
These routes that were packed with canyon curves and are there any time you’re ready to do the ride yourself. Join CLUB EAGLERIDER, accumulate some rental credits and use them to pay for the bikes next time you want to go riding. This is the most affordable way to ride different bikes in different cities. You can learn more about Club HERE.
None of our hotels were expensive, bikes can be paid for with CLUB EAGLERIDER CREDITS, and it’s truly an attainable adventure that even someone who just started riding 3-6 months ago can complete safely on smaller displacement motorcycles.
We’ll bring more adventures like this to share with you. For now, ride safe and we look forward to seeing you at one of our RENTAL LOCATIONS.