Stretching more than 3,000 miles from Western Canada to New Mexico in the south west of the USA, the Rocky Mountains span a vast area of land across two huge countries.
With some amazing roads on offer, and plenty of dirt tracks too, it’s no surprise that they are a popular riding destination, and our friends at GlobeBusters know the area well.
In the March issue of RiDE Magazine, Kevin & Julia gave some advice to readers who might be considering a fly-ride trip to The Rockies.
- What’s It Like To Ride There?
Cities can be huge, and very busy at rush hour. Bear in mind that filtering is a big no-no. Speed limits vary from one state to the next, as do helmet laws.
Route 66 may be the best known road in America, but there are many others that offer far better riding. A north-south route through The Rockies, starting in Seattle or Portland can take you all the way down to Las Vegas or LA via some amazing national parks, including Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Death Valley but to name a few.
Try and stay away from the interstate roads, which are very straight and boring…
- Where Should You Ride?
America is absolutely huge, so there are many, many options to choose from.
Some of Kevin and Julia’s highlights include the Chief Joseph Highway and Beartooth Highway loop, which takes in one of the USA’s highest roads at 3,337 metres above sea level. If you’re an off-road fan, visit Canyonlands to ride the awesome Shafer Trail, or the dirt road to Toroweap Overlook at North Rim Grand Canyon in Arizona. For vibrant nightlife and entertainment, it has to be a trip to Las Vegas.
- When Should You Go?
Visiting in May, June or September will generally mean milder temperatures, more settled weather and fewer crowds. If you can, avoid July and August.
- What Should You Ride?
If you’re planning a trip of three weeks or more, then shipping your own bike by air freight or sea freight is definitely worth considering. Sea freight is much cheaper, but can take around 8 weeks. Bike rental is available, but be sure to check the insurance carefully. An R1200GS with third party insurance currently costs around $179 per day, but this rises to over $300 per day with fully comprehensive cover.
- What Documents Will You Need?
Your passport will need to be valid for at least six months from date of entry. Although no VISA is required, you will need an ESTA. Don’t forget your UK driving licence, international driving permit and, if taking your own bike, the original V5C to temporarily import it. To ship your own bike, you also require EPA Exemption Approval. Globebusters recommend segurogringo.com for insuring your own bike. Personal Travel & Medical Insurance is essential in the USA for their health care system, and you’ll need to ensure it covers you for medical treatment and repatriation in the event on an injury while riding a motorcycle.
Whether planning to stick to the road, or explore the many amazing off-road routes the Rocky Mountains have to offer, you’ll also need to ensure you have fitted the right tyres for your trip.
You can view the full Continental adventure range here.