About the challenge
At 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and in places one mile deep, the Grand Canyon is a breath-taking sight. Celebrating 100 years of the National Parks Service in 2016, the Grand Canyon and its surroundings offer wonderful cycling and a memorable challenge!
This exciting ride offers fabulous views not just of the Grand Canyon, but the colourful desert, rocky gorges and forested plateaus around it. Passing historic towns on the iconic Route 66, this is a fascinating ride with some challenging climbs and fabulous long descents, culminating on the famous Sunset strip in Las Vegas.
Part Payment option available with this challenge
Dates & prices
|Departs||Days||Charity||Availability||Registration fee||Fundraising target||Payment option|
|11 Mar 2017||8||Open challenge||Spaces||£499||+||£4350||Or||£1950||Book now|
|10 Mar 2018||8||Open challenge||Spaces||£499||+||£4350||£1950||Book now|
Cycle 350 miles through stunning scenery
Ride along rim of Grand Canyon – fabulous views
Take in characterful towns of historic Route 66
Fabulous experience of American backroads
Day 1: Fly to Pheonix and arrive Flagstaff
Day 2-3: Great desert views, cycle along rim of Grand Canyon, passing old settlements
Day 4-6: Ride hills and classic Western landscapes of historic Route 66, passing Hoover Dam and Lake Mead to Las Vegas
Day 7-8: Free time to experience Las Vegas; fly back to UK
What makes it demanding?
Open, exposed landscapes – tough if windy
Generally hot, though cool on higher ground
Distances range from 50-85 miles per day
Long gradual climbs and great descents
Some dirt roads for quieter cycling
Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.
For details of our Las Vegas extension trip (adds 2 days min) please contact us
The tour cost includes all flights and transport, accommodation, all meals except two or three as specified in itinerary, and a bicycle. Experienced leaders and doctor (depending on final group size) are also included, along with a local support crew of guides and drivers, with support vehicles carrying luggage, and spares, food, water, etc.
IIt does not include personal travel insurance, airline fuel supplement charged by the airline (capped by Discover Adventure), meals as specified, tip for local support crew, or international departure tax. It also does not include any optional activities.
We strongly recommend you carry a credit card in case of personal emergency.
Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick, (we regret that we are unable to book connecting flights), and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline.
We stay in hotels or lodges convenient to the route with good facilities. Rooms are on a twin-share basis.
All meals are included other than two (or three depending on flight times) as detailed. The food is good, will give you plenty of energy, and there is plenty of it. Please let us know any dietary requirements well in advance.
Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we will be in rural areas and among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice.
Discover Adventure Crew
Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first-aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader.
All our leaders are from the UK or other English-speaking countries. Most work for us on an ad-hoc basis and have ‘real’ jobs in-between trips! We never send our leaders to the same destination for months on end – we want them to be as enthusiastic about your trip as you are. Although our leaders are trained in expedition first-aid, they are accompanied by an expedition doctor or medic (dependent on group size) –who is there to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any incidents. They help the leaders to ensure the trip runs smoothly and encourage you when things get tough. At Discover Adventure we pride ourselves on our high leader: cyclist ratio and believe it leads to greater trip enjoyment as well as excellent trip safety.
Local Support Crew
Our local support crew is made up of local guides, drivers and cooks. Your local guide knows the local area well, and is a great source of knowledge about local customs and lifestyles. Drivers and cooks do not always speak English but are very friendly and approachable. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your ride. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something! All our local crew are paid wages, but bear in mind that the average wage in this country is far less than an average wage at home.
Support vehicles are with the group all the time, wherever possible. All luggage, spares, food, water and camping equipment is carried by them. Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft sailing bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack or large waist-pack for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening. If you wish to take your own bike, it can be transported on flights in bike bags or – a much cheaper option – cardboard bike boxes: ask your local bike shop if they have any. Please be aware the airline is likely to charge you to transport your bike on the flight.
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with radios and emergency satellite phones, extensive medical kit, and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency back-up. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires and travel insurance – is all done with your safety in mind.
Preparing for the challenge
The terrain is predominantly rolling, with some more significant climbs. We start high, with our highest overall point at 2303m (7559ft). Las Vegas lies at 610m (2001ft). Although the route is hilly, the inclines are generally gradual and offset by long descents!
This is a ride which is achievable for all levels of cyclist provided you train well in advance. Cycling is on good tarmac roads. Traffic is usually light and we will cycle at our own pace, but we may re-group at times for busy sections. Some parts of the ride are traffic-free. We are travelling through remote areas and weather may have an impact on road conditions. We will be riding 21-speed mountain bikes with semi-slick tyres.
It is imperative that you supply your own helmet and wear it at all times while cycling, with straps done up.
It is generally clear and sunny, and can get very hot. Elevation has an impact on temperatures – at higher points around the Canyon it will be cooler than at lower elevations near Lake Mead. Nights are colder, and early mornings. Expect some rainfall or strong winds
Clothing & Equipment
We are travelling through remote regions where we could be exposed to bad weather at any time so be prepared for all weathers and temperatures. Weather conditions can change quickly. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice.
Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience and fitness, all ages and backgrounds. We expect all participants to train hard in advance to achieve this challenge, but we respect everyone’s limits. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-riders will find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.
Passport & Visa
A valid ten-year passport is essential; it should be valid for at least the duration of your stay. British passportholders are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). We will provide you with further information nearer to departure. You must have had a Tetanus injection in the last ten years.
We insist that you have had a Tetanus injection in the last ten years, and highly recommend protection against Polio, Hepatitis A and Typhoid. There is a risk of malaria, so check for the most up-to-date advice. You should always check with your GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.
For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! We are very privileged to live in a country with a high standard of living, and travelling exposes us to different challenges – all of which help broaden our horizons. We can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow cyclists and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about! A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you! Our experienced tour leaders and local crew will help bridge the cultural gap; take advantage of their knowledge so you can come away with an understanding of a new culture as well as the achievement of completing a challenging cycle ride.
Worldwide Sustainable Tourism
Long before ‘Responsible Tourism’ became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made minimum impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local communities we pass through.
Discover Adventure Projects
We are supporting a children’s project in Tanzania on a long-term basis. If you would like to ‘give something back’ please consider donating £5 to our projects when you sign up.
We encourage all our customers to offset emissions connected with their trip. You can offset at any time in the lead-up to departure by visiting Climate Care via our website and making a donation to a worthwhile project supported by them. Alternatively, if you wish to take more practical action in the UK you can volunteer for a day with The Conservation Volunteers and work on an environmental project local to you. Work may include construction footpaths, dry stone walling, creating wildlife habitats or planting trees in your community. Volunteer today at www.tcv.org.uk or call 01302 388883.