How-to: guided motorcycle tours through Grand Canyon

Abby Tegnelia¬†After rising at 3:45 am, taking a private jet charter to Arizona during which we saw the sunrise, and then taking a Papillon helicopter tour through the Grand Canyon, our day had yet to reach the grand finale: ¬†Have you ever considered guided motorcycle tours through this glorious national park? Let me tell you — it was amazing! I had one rather sad attempt at being a biker chick awhile back. I felt so uncomfortable that I didn’t even take any photos. But I made up for it this time! Don’t I look like a natural? And I definitely need to buy a leather jacket…

guided motorcycle tours

Our chariots await!


One of the most fun parts about jumping onto a motorcycle tour was the costume change: We all got to borrow leather jackets. We ended up going at relatively low speeds, but as I learned on my last Harley ride, while traveling at high speeds on asphalt with nothing between it and you in case of a crash, leather is a fantastic option.

Marina Nicola

Our fearless leader, Marina, who arranged the entire trip for us.


Laura Downey Abby Tegnelia

Laura and I model: Don’t we look like naturals?


If you know Zeke, then you will not find it shocking at all that he was the only one of us to ride his own hog. On these guided tours, as long as you have a valid motorcycle license, you may drive yourself.

Zeke Quezada

Photo courtesy of EagleRider.


The joint helicopter/motorcycle tours are brand-new: They started this past August and are an amazing addition to the standard ‘copter ride through the Grand Canyon. Because of relatively low speed limits in the quaint towns around the national park, it was a pleasant ride. All of the guides were fantastic, fun guys who legitimately love riding motorcycles. The leader of the pack: a bad-ass German woman (yes, woman) who is half of the couple that owns the touring company EagleRider. All in all, it was a great group!

Susan Stapleton

Susan is so excited to get moving!


As you can see, all of the bikes have little backrests on them, so you don’t have to hold on for dear life.

Papillon Motorcyles

I am ready to ride! Photo courtesy of @EagleRider.


Unlike the rest of us imposters, this guy is the real deal!



The ride itself was a few hours, including a few stops at lookout points and for lunch. (They packed what was perhaps the best brown bag lunch I’ve ever had!) The ride was almost meditative — the scenery was gorgeous, the speed wasn’t so fast that it hurt your eyes, and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect.

Papillon motorcycles


And we got to take in splendid views like this one!

Grand Canyon


Our tour was arranged through Papillon and included a private plane from Boulder City to the South Rim, a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon, and a motorcycle tour through the surrounding areas. The motorcycle tours are seasonal, so check ahead before planning.

Have fun!

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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