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Rockies and Canyons Tour

The Rockies and Canyons "Doubleback"
Motorcycle Expedition

Jun 18-29, 2019

Tuesday—Arrival Day—Let's arrive at our top notch full service hotel in Grand Junction, CO. It has every amenity we'll need, and is strategically located near a main east-west Interstate Hwy and a short distance from the Grand Junction Airport. Relax and meet some new friends as we enjoy our opening reception and dinner, where your Tour Leaders will give an overview of what you'll be experiencing over the next 11 days. The tour will return to this location upon its completion.

Wednesday—While everyone else in Grand Junction is heading off to work, we're going off to play, as we'll be up and out on the road to start our expedition. We have two excellent options to reach today's destination. They're both great rides, and it's a tough choice to make! Both options can start off with a local ride through the beautiful Colorado National Monument, which is actually just minutes from downtown Grand Junction. From there, you can opt to head west toward the Utah border on the slightly shorter option, which takes you along the Colorado River Scenic Byway route past Arches National Park and through Moab, and then runs south through the Canyonlands National Park region, where there are several side excursions that can be explored. The slightly longer option goes east from Grand Junction, before turning southbound into the amazing Unaweep National Recreation Area. This route rolls through the lightly traveled Dolores River Canyon before looping back to the west and joining up with the other optional route. By day's end, we'll arrive at one of our favorite lodges in the small town of Bluff, UT. How did we find this cool lodge? We got lucky!

Thursday—It's tough to leave Bluff (that rhymes!), but don't worry because we'll actually be stopping there again in a few more days. Today allows us to get the true, southern Utah experience, as we cover mile after mile of the sparsely populated Glen Canyon region. The scenery fills the horizon as the secluded pavement eventually reaches the very northern end of Lake Powell, right where it captures the southward flow of the Colorado River. Continuing west, we will enter the Capitol Reef area, which is a place unlike anything else we will see on our expedition. Soon we leave the arid, red rock zone and climb up to more than 9,000' where we'll find high forests and scenic overlooks along the way. Before long, we'll descend into the tiny, secluded village of Boulder, UT, where we'll enjoy the evening at a wonderful, rustic resort.

Friday—Departing Boulder, we're in for a treat, as the morning's section of highway 12, has been rated as one of the Top 10 motorcycle roads in the U.S.A. It twists and climbs over the "Hogsback" and through the Grand Escalante, or "Grand Staircase" region of southern Utah. Route 12 eventually brings us to the famous Bryce Canyon, with its hundreds of square miles of pink Hoodoo rock formations. It's well worth an in-and-out visit before we turn south for the final push toward Zion National Park. We will be staying for two consecutive nights at another great lodge in Springdale, UT, situated at the western gateway to Zion.

Saturday—Today is the first of the "Free Days" on this expedition, which will allow you to head back to explore the main section of Zion, or follow another one of our recommended routes that climbs up to Lava Point, a very secluded part of the park that few folks ever see. It's one of our favorite spots, so don't tell anyone!  Or perhaps you'd enjoy a nice cruise up to Cedar Breaks National Monument along some beautiful roads that take you back through Zion along the way? Perhaps you want to reconnoiter northern Arizona and spend the day at the Grand Canyon's less visited North Rim?  Once again, it's a "Free Day" and the choice is up to you!

Sunday—Leaving Springdale, UT, we'll get to ride through Zion one last time before turning southeast toward the Arizona border. The road gains altitude and the air temperature cools as we enter the Grand Canyon's North Rim region, which itself lies further to our south. We'll cross the Colorado River before reaching the turn-off for East Rim Drive, which will trace a path along the Grand Canyon's South Rim. There are simply no words to describe the scenery you will experience along the way? We will stop for the evening at the Grand Canyon South Rim lodge that is just a short stroll from the edge of the canyon. Enjoy!

Monday—Today we'll leave the South Rim and roll east, retracing our path back along the edge of the canyon, then turn northwest. Most of the signs and scenery may look like we're in the state of Arizona, but we are actually in the Navajo Nation. The landscape is mostly desert, and the views seem to go on forever. But before we leave the Navajo Nation (Arizona) and cross the border into Utah, how about a ride through Monument Valley? It's a spectacular area, and you'll feel like you're on the set of an old John Wayne western movie! So, take your time and enjoy the ride! All too soon, we will climb up out of Monument Valley, cross over the San Juan River, and return back to our beautiful lodge in Bluff, UT, where we stayed on Wednesday night. As you'll recall from our earlier visit, Bluff is truly in the middle of nowhere. After sundown, the starlit sky is unbelievable.

Tuesday—From Bluff, Utah, we will continue our northeast push towards Colorado. We have a couple of options along the way; one option is to experience the Four Corners location where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona all converge at a single point. From there, we'll tackle the San Juan Scenic Skyway, which includes a 10,000' pass. Another less visited option is a scenic trip to the ancient Indian ruins in the remote and scenic Hovenweep National Monument. Both riding options converge near Telluride, which makes a good in-and-out visit, before we complete today's ride at the Little Switzerland of America, the town of Ouray, CO. Feel free to fully unpack your luggage, because we'll be staying in this very special "Old West" location for two nights.

Wednesday—This is another of our tour's "Free Days", and today, you're free to ride an amazing loop that includes the infamous Million Dollar Highway and its three high altitude passes, plus the San Juan Scenic Skyway. Or perhaps you'd like to stop at Silverton along the way and buy a ticket to board and ride its historic narrow-gauge railroad? If ancient, Native American ruins intrigue you, Mesa Verde has the most extensive Indian ruins in the U.S.A., and it can be easily reached from Ouray. Maybe the sport rider in you would like to head north to challenge the twisties that arc around the Black Canyon of the Gunnison to the north?  If none of that sounds appealing, how about a long soak in the natural hot springs located right at our lodge in Ouray? The choice is yours! 

Thursday—If you didn't get to ride the Million Dollar Highway (and visit Silverton) yesterday, or if you missed the San Juan Scenic Skyway on either of the two previous days, you'll have those available choices today. You can also carve out some time to visit the ruins at Mesa Verde. No matter which route you select, we'll push through the wonderful, motorcycle-friendly town of Durango, CO, and then continue eastbound into Pagosa Springs. When we arrive at our lodge in Pagosa Springs, will we be near any of the town's renown hot springs? Yes, our lodge is right on top of them. So be sure to enjoy a hot soak!

Friday—Today a longer day is in store, but it is full of great riding and fantastic scenery.  Before we're done, we will have crossed the Continental Divide three (3) times and climbed up and over four (4) passes in excess of 10,000' each. All in one day! So where do we begin? How about an assault on the nearly 11,000' Wolf Creek Pass on the Continental Divide, just east of Pagosa Springs? Then we'll turn north to tackle three more 10,000+ passes (one of which is on the Divide) along one of our favorite routes on the tour. We'll skirt the shore of the Blue Mesa Reservoir (Colorado's largest lake), and then turn east for a run up and over the 11,312' Monarch Pass, again along the Continental Divide. The day will certainly have had plenty of ups-and-downs, before we're welcomed to our lodge in Buena Vista, CO.

Saturday—It's our final day, but our two-wheeled adventures are far from over as we still have some more high-altitude riding on tap. Yes, we saved our highest pass for today: the 12,093' Independence Pass! We should see some snow up top; enough for some snowball fights, but the roadways will be clear. Descending Independence, we'll be on some narrow, single lane pavement that will twist its way into Aspen, a quaint, unpretentious little village. We'll continue west, and then south over McClure Pass, before ascending onto the Grand Mesa, one of the most unique landscapes on the tour. Climbing the largest flat-topped mountain on earth, we'll soon be back up over 10,000' where the road meanders along its flat, forested summit for many miles. The terrain on the back end of the Mesa changes dramatically as the road drops us down onto some excellent, canyon twisties for a grand finale before our return to Grand Junction, CO. How did you enjoy your ride?!

Note: Total trip mileage including Free Day options is approximately 2,500 miles, with the longest riding day at approximately 260 miles.  Daily mileages of 200-250 miles are typical.  This is a challenging excursion designed for experienced touring riders. It is not suitable for novice or beginning riders. 
 
Motorcycle Rental and Shipping Information

Motorcycle Rental—We recommend Eagle Rider, which has a location in Grand Junction. Vist: www.eaglerider.com for more information.

Motorcycle Shipping—We recommend Federal Motorcycle Transport. They are the premier motorcycle shipping company in the U.S.A., and they have shipped dozens of motorcycles used on our tours. They can be reached at: (800) 747-4100, x2217, or visit: www.funtransport.com

Federal can suggest various motorcycle pick-up and drop-off locations that are suitable. Grand Junction Harley-Davidson, which is a short distance from our Grand Junction accommodations, has been used as a drop-off/pick-up location for this tour in the past. Federal also has drop-off/pick-up locations in the Denver area, which is a couple of hours drive east of Grand Junction.

Price of the Tour Includes

Hotel Rooms—From Tuesday night, June 18th, through Saturday night, June 29th (12 nights). Our selection of lodges includes unique and scenic locations, peaceful rustic inns, and modern full service hotels.

Full Dinners—Tues June 18th, Fri June 21st, Sun June 23th, Tues June 25th and Sat, June 29th. Included dinners are either multi-course or complete buffets. Note: Except for the "Free Nights", group dinners are scheduled for most evenings, even on the nights when the cost of the dinner is not included in the tour price.         

Breakfasts—All mornings from Wed. June 19th through Sat. June 29th. Included breakfasts are either cooked to order, buffets, or continental. 

Trip Resources—Professional tour leaders, custom-designed Tour Books, official highway road maps, travel literature, and commemorative apparel. Your tour leaders will handle all applicable lodging and meal arrangements, as well as ongoing communication of trip information to participants. Chase vehicles are NOT available on this tour.

Your Tour Cost

One tour member in a room - $3,995 per person.
 
Two tour members in a room - $2,845 per person.

 
Reserve Your Space
 
A $500 per person deposit is required to reserve a spot on this tour. Please send a check or money order to:

Frank Covucci Tours
13705 Nantucket
Pickerington, Ohio 43147

Your deposit is fully refundable if you cancel before MARCH 17, 2019

Reservations are first come, first served, and we do expect the tour to fill completely.  We have a maximum capacity of between 15 and 25 group members. 

Once you have made your deposit, we will be back in touch to provide additional information about the tour plans and final payment schedule. Please note that the tour plan, dates, accommodations, meals and tour price may be subject to changes due to circumstances beyond our control.

Our tours are structured so that each rider must purchase their space for the ENTIRE length of the tour. Sorry, partial tour bookings cannot be accommodated.