Exploring the Grand Canyon with Americas Adventure Tours

Recently we had the opportunity to spend three days on the trail with Wally and the crew from Side X Side Outfitterz. We first met wally a few years ago when he did a three day run from Calico, CA to Laughlin, NV to Primm, NV. It was the adventure of a lifetime and we couldn’t wait to find time to do it again. Unfortunately it took us almost two years to be able to make our schedule work to do it again. This time instead of going threw the Mohave Desert we did something a little different. We headed up to Mesquite, NV to start our three day adventure. This adventure would take us into the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for an unforgettable view. These adventures aren’t for the faint at heart as you will log over 300 miles in the course of three days and be literally in the middle of nowhere.

The group that joined Wally this time was outstanding as everyone had a good amount of experience behind the wheel and well equipped machines. Our adventure started on a Wednesday morning as we left from the Casa Blanca Parking lot in Mesquite, NV. Our 8am roll call was perfect as it gave us time in the morning to get our final things together and have a quick drivers meeting. When the line assembled there were nine vehicles on the trip. Our group consisted of 5 Kawasaki Teryxs, 3 Yamaha Rhinos, and a Polaris RZR.

As we took off from the hotel, we spent a few miles on the paved roads of Mesquite to get to the trail head to hit the dirt and not see another stretch of pavement for another 300 miles. Our first stop was only about 10 miles into the trip as we stopped on a bluff that overlooked the Mesquite Valley and allowed everyone to do a quick check on their vehicles and make sure things were still good to go. Everything was perfect we buckled up and hit the road heading for higher ground. From this point on we would be gaining elevation as we worked to crest the top of the mountain range. 30 miles into the trip Wally found a great mine ruin with a beautiful view that we stopped at to grab a drink and a snack. The beauty of this trip was that it was about the scenery and destination and not a race to get somewhere. What made it so enjoyable was the pace that Wally lead the ride at. We would make up ground when we could on the flat open stretches and take our time through the beautiful scenery. With a few more breaks along the way we got to see more of the majestic beauty of the Arizona strip and the desert that surrounds it.

At the end of day 1 we made it to our destination the Bar 10 ranch without any major issues. It was now time to grab a couple of cold ones, get cleaned up, and grab a good meal. The Bar 10 ranch is a very popular place as it is a stop along the way for the rafters that are trying to tame the mighty Colorado River. Just down the canyon from us visitors will be helicoptered out from the river and up to the ranch to get cleaned up and a good meal in their stomach before heading back to vegas. The ranch offers ATV and UTV guided rides, horseback rides, and many other activities to keep you entertained. In addition to being a dude ranch, they are also a working cattle ranch and are very well known for their beef. I can tell you first hand that they have some of the best raised meat around. The sound of the dinner bell was always looked forward to because you knew you were getting something good! The accommodations at the ranch were awesome to say the least. They have aprox 20 covered wagons lined up outside that serve as the sleeping quarters. There is nothing quite like sleeping under the stars in a covered wagon. It was probably one of the best nights sleep that I have had in ages. The downfall is when the sun comes up, your up because the white canvas tops don’t offer much in the form of protection from the light if you’re looking for a few extra minutes of shut eye.

Day two of our adventure started out with a ride south from the Bar 10 ranch as we rode about 20 miles to see one view point of the North rim of the Grand Canyon. The view was simply breath taking as you look at the sheer depth of the canyon and the variety of colors on the canyon walls. From there we headed back to the ranch so we wouldn’t miss the lunch bell and another quality meal. After lunch, we headed north to another view point of the Grand Canyon. This trip took us by the old Mt. Trumble school house. The school house had been restored twice after being lost to fires and was great to see a piece of history still standing strong. They even recreated the old school room inside with props and books and all. It really made you think about how our education system has changed today. From this stop we headed off up into the forest to get to our next destination. Our view point of the canyon was inside the Grand Canyon National park and was a pure treat. We spent some time at this spot taking in it’s beauty and staying out of the heat thanks to a huge shade tree. A few photos by the canyons edge and we were ready to head back down the mountain catch dinner. It’s always nice when you don’t have to ride the same trail twice and you get to see more of the scenery around you. Wally did a great job making sure that we didn’t have to cover the same ground twice. The ride back brought us down a rocky mountain side with quite a few sharp turns piled in with some thick dust from the guys in front of us. A stop three quarters of the way down the mountain allowed those to refuel those that needed a little extra gas. We slid back into the ranch just minutes before the dinner bell. No time to clean up before dinner, nobody wanted to be late!

Dinner Thursday night brought us navajo tacos that were fit for a king. Did I mention earlier how good the food was here? As the sun was setting across the Arizona desert the guys took to preparing their rigs for the next days adventure home. We made sure they were full of gas, cleaned the air filters, and there were no major issues. Once complete, it was time to clean up and join the group around the camp fire. The campfire was quite possibly one of the best parts of the trip as we got to listen to the stories of the ranch and old days from the ranchers on hand along with some great guitar playing as well. The stories and jokes were flowing all night long and as the night got later the stories just continued to get better.

Friday morning came to everyones regret as it was time to pack up and head back to reality. Hitting the trail about 8am we were homeward bound! The Friday riding didn’t get off to a great start as only a few miles into the trip one of the Rhinos shoved a rod out the bottom of the motor. The good news is we only had to tow it 80 miles back to the hotel. Not 20 miles later down the trail another vehicle started having some computer issues and wouldn’t run over 10mph. A little time trying to solve that problem and we weren’t looking good. This last day could make out to be the longest day of the trip. As we got back on the road, we started clicking off the miles without any more issues and it was starting to look better. The trail on Friday seemed to take us through a lot more ranches as I was running the tail and seemed to be closing gates all the time. The rule when running in areas like this is to close every gate you come to so the cattle don’t get out and the ranchers don’t loose any cattle. The sheer number of cattle we saw along the trip was impressive! Luckily there were no close encounters or any issues to deal with when it came to the ranchers and cattle. We had been blessed with great weather for the previous two days and Friday would continue as we made our way back to Mesquite. The temperatures picked up and so did the wind! We hit the 100 degree mark with what seemed like 30mph winds. The drop in elevation back into Mesquite didn’t help either. We rolled into town around 3pm and everyone was ready to load up, clean up and hit the road home.

When the dust had cleared and everyone had cleaned up, It had been a great time in the desert and the trip was a blast! It’s not very often that you get to get out into the wild and see what our country has to offer. If you ever have the time and opportunity to do a trip like this, I would highly recommend it! I can’t wait to do it again and bring the whole family! For more information on this Grand Canyon trip and other offerings from America’s Adventure Tours you can visit www.sidexsideoutfitterz.com.

See ya on the trail next time!

About the Author

Mike Lasher is a true Off Road enthusiast down to the core, Growing up in the back seat of a jeep exploring the deserts of Arizona and Nevada, as a kid, as so many of us did. Today Mike spends his free time on the trails with his family and friends in his Kawasaki Teryx or Jeep Wrangler. He also regularly competes in the Best in the Desert series and was second in points in 2009. For more information on mike you can visit www.lashermotorsports.com.

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