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  1. #1
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    Flagstaff: Rocky Ridge/Brookbank/Sunset/Shultz good loop?

    I'll be in Flagstaff Saturday and looking to do about a 2 hour loop. I've ridden in Flag a few times and remember doing Shultz down very well and want to do again. I'll be riding solo this time so looking for well marked trails. I ride singlespeed in the Prescott area and good at climbing and technical and based on the trail descriptions they sound like fun. It's just sometimes on paper it's not always what you expect.

    Is this a good way to do this loop and is 2 hours reasonable?

  2. #2
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    Go RR but skip the L BB climb, it's terrible. Continue up the road to Red Onion. It goes straight where the road makes a hard right up and out of a gully. The trail meanders up through a wash, a little steep but manageable and this will connect you to Sunset. Little Bear has been awesome this year and it's right at this junction. Try that and wrap back around on the Little Elden trail to Shultz pass or you can just bomb down Sunset after a short climb from Lil Bear.

  3. #3
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    One thing that is a little confusing is does Rocky Ridge come up to the road and continue to parallel it to the Brookbank trailhead or cross the road? The section that parallels the road isn't really labeled on the FS map. So if I was to get on the road, where would I get on at according to this map?

    Coconino National Forest - Rocky Ridge Trail #153

    Thanks for the advice.

  4. #4
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    I used Strava and found the route. Also researched Little Bear and I don't think I can miss that. Plus adds some miles. Was looking a little short once I added up the original loop.

  5. #5
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    Better to go up Schultz, take the Little Gnarly trail on the right, take Upper Brookbank (nowhere near as ridiculous as lower BB and has some fun tech sections to try yourself on) and then left on Sunset and down to the top of Schultz...OR turn right after Upper BB and continue on Sunset to the top of the Hobbit Forest, or even further to the top of Organ Doner, then do the Little Bear loop back to Shultz.

    Here is the map you seek:

    Elden Map 7-5-12
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Better to go up Schultz, take the Little Gnarly trail on the right, take Upper Brookbank (nowhere near as ridiculous as lower BB and has some fun tech sections to try yourself on) and then left on Sunset and down to the top of Schultz...OR turn right after Upper BB and continue on Sunset to the top of the Hobbit Forest, or even further to the top of Organ Doner, then do the Little Bear loop back to Shultz.

    Here is the map you seek:

    Elden Map 7-5-12
    Jayem, haven't you and RA had this little discussion before? The merits of Elden Lookout Rd vs the additional miles/climbing Schultz has to get to the goods.

    To the OP, either way is good. By all means climb singletrack if you have the time. The road will get you up there quicker and Red Onion is short and sweet. L. Knarly and Upper Brookbank are tough on a singlespeed but lots of locals do it. I find it brutal 32-20 but then again I am fat and old. Climb#3 is easier.

    The top of Schultz is shady and might still be a bit icy. As are higher elevation trails that face north like Sunset and sections of L. Bear. If it's late in the day consider other trails like AZ trail and Moto or Dogfood for a warmer, sunnier descent.

  7. #7
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    Yep, getting buzzed by trucks power sliding around curves whilst you suck in dust and swerve to avoid some guy on a hardtail riding down the road at mach 3 for some crazy reason

    But I did ride up the road on my 48lb rig sometimes...well, some parts of it linking trails. I know for some people riding up the road is an "all day" type thing, whereas for others it's a 20 minute spin. It kind of depends on many factors IMO whether it's "worth it", like the amount of traffic, what the user likes doing, sustained climb vs ups and downs on singletrack, etc. Still beautiful scenery which ever way you go. As long as people know there are reasonable trails to get up there, especially if you are going to do Little Bear. If you don't have the endurance for the all-day singletrack, the road might allow you to ride some of those other trails before you get tired.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  8. #8
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    Jayem: Thanks for the map link! I was trying to find one of Dale's maps but was finding old links. Everyone in Arizona owes that guy a debt of gratitude.

    Rockman: I didn't even think about snow and ice. Anyone have recent reports on the trails?

  9. #9
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    My favorite is to climb up rocky ridge. From there I have two choices. Lower and upper bookbank or the road to top. Road is a hard climb, but boring. 100% cardio climb. Lower brookbank starts ok, but then turns nasty. Steep and lots of loose rocks. I have to HAB the upper parts that trail. The only good part is that it short so you spend less time HAB than climbing the road. Upper Brookbank is nice climb. Fun with some HAB in places. Not sure how it is on a single speed. The biggest difference is that if you climb the road you then take the catwalk and hobbit forest down to Little bear junction. Catwalk has nice exposure and hobbit forest is a boulder field (6-8 foot boulders) Somewhat rideable on an a hardtail. If you take upper brookbank you come out at the the otherside of the valley from the top of the mtn. This time go east to little bear or head back to the west to take sunset down.

    Personally Love ending my ride on schultz. Nice fast flowing descent when you legs are tired of climbing.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guido39 View Post

    I didn't even think about snow and ice. Anyone have recent reports on the trails?
    I rode up Schultz to the Sunset TH on 12/03. There were patches of snow/ice in the trail in the upper sections where it is shady. Any place that is sunny for more than a few hours a day was dry.

    Sunset is north facing and gets little sun this time of year -- so I would expect there to be patches of ice/snow on that trail.

    Someone posted a recent photo of the Hobbit Forest section of Sunset and there was ice/snow there as well. (Image: AZ Photo Friday - Nov. 30th )

    -db-

  11. #11
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    Thanks to everyone for the help. I ended up doing Rocky Ridge, crossed over the road at the top and did the short singletrack back to road, up to Red Onion and then Little Bear, Little Elden and Shultz. Ended up with 14.5 miles and about 1 hour and 50 minutes ride time. Took a little longer overall due to some picture taking but I wasn't out to try and capture Strava KOMs My impressions:

    Rocky Ridge: Great trail and like the name implies, it's rocky but I like that stuff. Cleaned 99% of it on the singlespeed and with knowing a couple lines a little better could probably do it all.

    Mt Elden Rd: Was only on for a little over a mile. Not any harder than doing the roads on the Whiskey 25/50 but a lot shorter.

    Red Onion: This trail was awesome! Completely ride able on a singlespeed. I had to take one quick breather but that was it. Thanks for recommending this.

    Little Bear: A guy on Rocky Ridge recommended not taking it since it had snow last weekend but I found that a good reason to ride it. This was a fun trail but I thought it would drop a little faster. I still enjoyed it.

    Little Elden: Nice easy trail back to Shultz and I liked the varying terrain (woods, meadows, etc).

    Schultz: A lot of fun, as I mostly remembered, but I thought it had more sweeping banked turns. It definitely went by too fast. I talked to a guy riding up it and he said it had been rerouted some to slow people down since it was so heavily traveled.

    This was on Little Bear. There was a little more snow down the trail but very ride able.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flagstaff: Rocky Ridge/Brookbank/Sunset/Shultz good loop?-img_0580.jpg  


  12. #12
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    Awesome ride dude!

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