Must Ride Trails in Arizona

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Must Ride Trails in Arizona

Postby jakegasau » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:03 pm

I'm headed out on a trip to Arizona in a few weeks. I mainly ride in Colorado and I'll be approaching Arizona from the north-east corner (after hitting some of my favorite trials in Durango and Cortez) I've never ridden in the state and I'd like some suggestions on must ride trails in the Arizona. What/where do you suggest I ride?
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Re: Must Ride Trails in Arizona

Postby John Fisch » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:24 pm

Jake,
Just did a 10 day trip, including 8 in AZ. Have posted the first two blogs about the trip on this site:
http://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-tr ... ew-mexico/
http://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-tr ... phase-one/

The rest probably won't get posted before you depart, so here's my two cents based on this, and my previous trips:

First, it sounds like you know your way around Cortez and Durango--we went through there on the way back, but since you already know your way around, I won't add anything there. However, if you're going that way, you should make time to his a couple rides in NW NM as we did on the way down. Check the first blog entry above. We were particularly impressed by Alien Run--I'd ride that one over and over if I could.

As for AZ, we hit Tucson, Phoenix and Sedona.

My must rides for Tucson:
50 Year Trail
Fantasy Island

My must rides for Phoenix:
South Mountain
Cloudview

My must rides for Sedona:
All of them!
Actually, I put the HIghline/Baldwin/Templeton loop at the top of the list
Broken Arrow/Llama is also a must to
This trip, we also fell in love with Chuckwagon/Mescal/Aerie
We also hit an excellent route outside Prescott, Granite Basin

We went early enough that the rides around Flagstaff were not an option--you might check to see if they've dried out by the time you get there. Also, keep in mind that, by then, Phoenix could be quite hot.
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Re: Must Ride Trails in Arizona

Postby ddeufgiris » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:48 am

skibum wrote:Jake,
Just did a 10 day trip, including 8 in AZ. Have posted the first two blogs about the trip on this site:
http://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-tr ... ew-mexico/
http://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-tr ... phase-one/

The rest probably won't get posted before you depart, so here's my two cents based on this, and my previous trips:

First, it sounds like you know your way around Cortez and Durango--we went through there on the way back, but since you already know your way around, I won't add anything there. However, if you're going that way, you should make time to his a couple rides in NW NM as we did on the way down. Check the first blog entry above. We were particularly impressed by Alien Run--I'd ride that one over and over if I could.

As for AZ, we hit Tucson, Phoenix and Sedona.

My must rides for Tucson:
50 Year Trail
Fantasy Island

My must rides for Phoenix:
South Mountain
Cloudview

My must rides for Sedona:
All of them!
Actually, I put the HIghline/Baldwin/Templeton loop at the top of the list
Broken Arrow/Llama is also a must to
This trip, we also fell in love with Chuckwagon/Mescal/Aerie
We also hit an excellent route outside Prescott, Granite Basin

We went early enough that the rides around Flagstaff were not an option--you might check to see if they've dried out by the time you get there. Also, keep in mind that, by then, Phoenix could be quite hot.

Good luck to you. I'm looking forward to for a long time.
Football can teach a life lesson. If you're not quick enough to make decisions, you're going to get tackled.
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Re: Must Ride Trails in Arizona

Postby RideHandsome » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:32 pm

Also 24 hour trail (Willow Springs) where they have the 24 hour race. Thats my favorite. I second the suggestion for 50 year trail.

Here is a great site with trails and directions to them: http://www.sdmb.org/trails/
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Re: Must Ride Trails in Arizona

Postby abegold » Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:21 pm

Start your riding in Flagstaff (6900'-10000'). Just north of town is the great network on the most beautiful mountain in Arizona the volcanic San Francisco Peaks. Don't miss Supermoto or Jedi if you're a tech rider.
Sadly you'll have to drive right thru the Navajo and Hopi reservations that are full of slickrock but you can't ride there without a guide or you'd be subject to arrest. There are a couple good rides at Page, the Rimview Trail and slickrock north of town near the Utah border.
Then there's the beautiful Rainbow Rim Trail on the Grand Canyon's North rim.
From Flagstaff, Sedona has a 400+ mile network in an amazingly beautiful setting. More in Prescott, it's being planned as a IMBA 'ride center' so the network will grow there and it's already pretty good.
Between Prescott and Phoenix is about 80 miles of singletrack, the Black Canyon Trail, beautifully built.
I'd check the temps before heading to Phoenix or Tucson, as a Coloradan. But Tucson does have trails on the Santa Catalina Mountains that are sweet. (2400'-9150') Near Phoenix I love the Gold Canyon Network (someone mentioned Cloudview which is actually the parking lot and northernmost trail). Take Cloudview to K-Trail and descend it for a very fun ride, elevation is around 2000' so use a cool day. A little farther east you cross the AZ Trail and the section there is Picketpost. Very scenic but a ton of climbing.
Last edited by abegold on Sun Dec 29, 2013 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Handy map tool

Postby chukt » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:36 am

This maps shows many of those trails all at once. Works great on smartphone browsers too.

Also shows the recent Sedona MTB restrictions. :)
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Re: Must Ride Trails in Arizona

Postby jakegasau » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:48 pm

Thanks everyone for the suggestions. skibum, I actually used to live in Durango and commute to Aztec, so Alien Run was my after work ride and a great ride for anyone wanting something without intense climbs. The Road Apple trail system in Farmington can be fun soon. We've had snow all week and I'm starting to wonder about high elevation rides. Anyone know how town looks in Durango? I want to ride twin buttes. Cortez, is Phil's world ridable? Has Flagstaff seen any of the snow falling up north? If so, I think I might hit these rides on the return trip and head south through Moab. Thanks again everyone and let me know if you have the scoop on the snow.
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Re: Must Ride Trails in Arizona

Postby chukt » Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:13 pm

The weather system looks like a Front Range system.

Cams:
Durango Downtown
Cortez cam(on right side of page)

You get the idea...

Kokopelli Bike Club has latest Cortez trail conditions on FaceBook.
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Re: Must Ride Trails in Arizona

Postby bvana1 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:28 am

would anyone care to rank the top 5 rides within an hour from Phoenix?

Thanks!
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Re: Must Ride Trails in Arizona

Postby John Fisch » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:51 pm

Since nobody else has responded, I'll chime in.
I haven't ridden that many trails around Phoenix, but even if I got to ride every last mile of singletrack, I'm sure my #1 and #2 would always remain South Mountain and Gold Canyon. Judging by what I've read and the pictures I've seen, I'd guess that Black Canyon, Hawes Loop and Pass Mountain would nicely round out a top 5.
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