Get the app

Destination: Grand Canyon South Rim

Cameron, Arizona , United States
|
August 12, 2019
|
60 mi

60

mi

5.6k

ft elev +


Story

The Grand Canyon is one of Arizona's postcard and I, as someone who loves adventures and to ride his bike, always had the goal to ride to the Grand Canyon (or at least alongside it). The problem is either you start at the Gran Canyon Village and ride alongside the South Rim or there's really no other town closeby... or is there?
Cameron is a little town with a small population of 885 (accordingly to the 2010 census).
Most of the town's economy is tourist food and craft stalls, restaurants, and other services for north-south traffic from Flagstaff and Page. We rode to Cameron (from Flagstaff) the day before and we found a little hotel - the only hotel? - which is run by the Navajo Nation. As a FYI, they have a few difference rules and laws namely time zones which kinda disrupt our entire plan initially but we quickly turned it around. The ride to Cameron from Flagstaff was roughly 5 hours long (we went through Sun Carter Volcanic Park loop) and it was beautiful but our goal was actually just to get to Cameron so we could ride to the GC the next day. 
On the day before I had to brief the group on the task we would be facing the next day: ride to the top of the South Rim on the Grand Canyon with the scorching heat of Arizona's summer.
While the ride to the Grand Canyon village was the goal we would not stay at GC so our day was looking to be at least 120 miles long as we would then turn back straight into Williams, AZ, for a night of sleep. This ride was only possible due to the incredibly support of my wife who tagged along as SAG.
The morning off the ride to GC presented by the awesome morning light.
Off Cameron we headed towards Flagstaff for just a few miles (2-3 miles?) before making a right turn towards the South Rim. Make no mistake: the ride to the GC is all uphill but unless you look back, you don't really get to see the beauty of the ride.  The road is quite good and there is a shoulder for pretty much the entire way. Car traffic doesn't usually flow from Cameron, most people either go up to the GC Village via Williams or they go through Cameron to the North Rim, not to the South Rim. Therefore we felt pretty safe most of the way and got to enjoy the ride. 
The backdrop of our entire ride were red rocks.
There's not much story telling behind the ride until you get to the South Rim. The guard at the entrance of the Grand Canyon National Park was nice enough to not charge us the full amount since there were 8 of us plus SAG car and that would easily reach the $100 (total) but beware that you need to carry cash or card to pay for you entry into the park once you reach the rim. 
Ladies and gentlemen...
Riding along the rim is unique and words will never be able to describe it. The road from the South East gate to the Grand Canyon village is one of the most beautiful rides you will ever do in Arizona. You will ride with the massive "hole" on your right and in multiple places you ride really close to the edge (in safety tho) enjoying the breathtaking views the Canyon provides. 
Lunch stop!
We rode all the way to the Grand Canyon village for lunch for a total of roughly 60 miles of pure joy. The Grand Canyon in the summer is PACKED even with the temperatures raising up to the 100s F mid day. We got our food at the Gran Rental Coffee shop and prepared for what would be a demanding ride down the rim to Williams, AZ. The ride file posted here stops at Grand Canyon Village but believe me we still rode for another 65 miles that day in the afternoon for a grand total of 125 miles. A grand ride for a grand canyon day and some sore bodies at the end. 


Statistics

AVG

MAX

Speed (mph)

18.0

Heart rate (bpm)

134

155

Cadence

75

Max altitude

7,497

Weather

97°f

Max grade

14%

Ride category

Paved