Thought it would be best to start a new thread since I couldn't change the title on the car camping thread. We opted to skip the camping in below freezing temps per forecast, so after a little gpx massaging this route came to be. It's 48 miles (or 58 if we add the OnB to Area52). See that sticky on the AZ forum 'Top 10 most underestimated AZ rides', we'll be riding #1, doing a small sampling of #7 & possibly #11 with the OnB.
When: Sat. Dec. 7th, 8 am
Where: Kelvin trailhead. (33.089402 N, 110.990432 W) South of Florence on SR79 to the signed Florence-Kelvin Hwy turnoff, take the graded dirt road to the trailhead OR Take US60 East to Superior, then south on rte 177 to a sign for Riverside (Kelvin) turn right and follow the pavement across the Gila River and up the hill to the trailhead. This way only has about a mile of dirt road.
Route: From the Kelvin TH, AZT NORTH down to the Gila River, then AZT west along the river to the large wash area. From there we'll head north to the Artesian Well then continue west along some 4x4 jeep roads meeting back up with the AZT at the bottom of the Gila descent from Martinez Canyon. We'll ford the river near Cochran (Gila River was ankle deep a month ago, but plan accordingly) and ride some more dirt roads, checking out the Coke Oven viewpoint and if time permits an out-n-back to Area52. Then it's back to the dirt roads leading back to the Florence-Kelvin Hwy, a short stint on the powerline road before picking up the AZT once more. The AZT drops down into Ripsey wash, climbs The Big Hill, then follows the famed Ripsey ridgeline and subsequent 5 mile descent back to the Kelvin TH.
GPS track can be found here. **FIle names: GilaRiverRambleLite.gpx & GilaRRLite_POI.gpx**
**Bring a GPS, load the track & know how to use it**
This is not necessarily a group ride, but I'm sure we'll stick together for a good portion. We may split into smaller groups as the day gets long.
This loop is challenging, scenic & remote. Come prepared to be self-sufficient.
Here are some teasers:
AZT above the Gila River
The Big Hill
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