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  1. #1
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    Need help planning a 3 day biking/camping trip

    My brother and I want to go on a 3 day trip October 10th-12th, we really want to hit at least three different trails in different parts of AZ, or even just outside of AZ (Utah, Colorado, etc) while camping the nights in between rides. We are leaving from Phoenix where we live.

    I am open to all suggestions for the trip. We have already had our fill of Sedona Trails and South Mountain Trails, I am thinking maybe towards the White Mountains but I am definitely willing to go in another direction for a good trip. Any ideas?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Tucson, AZ
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    Gooseberry
    Moab
    Thunder Mountain

    Choose any of those 2.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by livingword92 View Post
    ...we really want to hit at least three different trails in different parts of AZ, or even just outside of AZ (Utah, Colorado, etc) while camping the nights in between rides...
    Phil's World in Cortez, Colorado.
    Phils World Map in Cortez Colorado

    Rainbow Rim Trail on the Kaibab Plateau. Great camping.
    Rainbow Rim Trail - Kaibab National Forest Trail #10 Mountain Bike Trail, Fredonia, AZ

    However, the distance between these two and lack of a direct route will mean you have to pick one.

    -db-

  4. #4
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    Thank you so much for the feedback! I'm going to definitely research all three of those.

  5. #5
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by dbflg View Post
    Phil's World in Cortez, Colorado.
    Phils World Map in Cortez Colorado

    Rainbow Rim Trail on the Kaibab Plateau. Great camping.
    Rainbow Rim Trail - Kaibab National Forest Trail #10 Mountain Bike Trail, Fredonia, AZ

    However, the distance between these two and lack of a direct route will mean you have to pick one.

    -db-
    thanks, I'm definitely open to just doing one awesome one so thanks for the response-- I'll check them out.

  6. #6
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    Badger trail when your throu Kingman AZ

  7. #7
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    Amazing feedback guys, I'm loving what I am seeing so far. I'm also looking into buying a few trail books and maps to enrich the experience now, but I do have a question for those who are recommending the Colorado trails-- my brother and I have always wanted to go to CO to ride but I'm just curious what sort of weather/temperature might we expect to encounter during this time of year? We would be going Oct 10-12th; so literally next week. Thanks again all-- as a newcomer to this MTBR forum, I can say that I will be on all the time... lol.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by livingword92 View Post
    My brother and I want to go on a 3 day trip October 10th-12th, we really want to hit at least three different trails in different parts of AZ, or even just outside of AZ (Utah, Colorado, etc) while camping the nights in between rides. We are leaving from Phoenix where we live.

    I am open to all suggestions for the trip. We have already had our fill of Sedona Trails and South Mountain Trails, I am thinking maybe towards the White Mountains but I am definitely willing to go in another direction for a good trip. Any ideas?

    Thanks
    I am leaving today for camping /riding trip (2 days) in Prescott. White Mtns will be rather cold this time of year for camping. It is getting down to the 20's at night. Not sure what will happen next weekend. Prescott will get in the upper 30's at night and should be 65 Saturday and 71 sunday. Perfect during the day and a little chilly at night.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  9. #9
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    JoePAZ Thanks for the response! I can only imagine that since the White Mountains are so cold that Colorado would be nearly impossible to camp and enjoy ourselves. If you don't mind me asking, what trails in Prescott do you recommend? I am also going to do some research of my own for that area now.

  10. #10
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    Re: Need help planning a 3 day biking/camping trip

    If you are equipped for cold weather camping I don't think Colorado will be a problem. It's not like it's snowing. And riding should be perfect. Yes it will be chilly at night, but if you have proper shelter and a proper sleeping bag all should be well. I've camped in Utah before when the temperature droped down to 29 degrees at night. I was woefully unprepared for that with my 40 degree sleeping bag, but I just threw on a sweatshirt and hat and made it through the night just fine. The days were awesome.

  11. #11
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    I used to live above Bailey, CO (elev. 10,000 ft), and daytime temps even at that elevation were great this time of year. Nightime temps could hit the low 20s, however, which wouldn't be a problem if you're car camping--a 10 degree bag fits easier in a car than it does on a bike. If you want to ride some great stuff in CO, I would recommend the Buffalo Creek Trail System near Pine, CO (Buffalo Creek Mountain Bike Area Front Range Trail Reviews) and then hit Gunnison on your way back. Or better yet Crested Butte (incredible, incredible riding). The variety of terrain and climate would be pretty awesome this time of year. Have fun wherever you end up riding.

    --Phil
    Last edited by GilaMonster; 10-05-2013 at 10:32 AM. Reason: Crested Butte addition
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by livingword92 View Post
    JoePAZ Thanks for the response! I can only imagine that since the White Mountains are so cold that Colorado would be nearly impossible to camp and enjoy ourselves. If you don't mind me asking, what trails in Prescott do you recommend? I am also going to do some research of my own for that area now.
    Well. Depends on what you want. We were going to camp near Lynx Lake, but all the designated campsites were closed due to gov't shutdown. That mean on the dispersed campsite were taken. We did find one off Senator Hwy.

    So we rode the following.

    Spruce mtn 307. Loop Clockwise. Good ride with tough climb and nice descent.

    We then rode Granite Dells - Lakeshore trail. This is crazy stuff with lots of rock climbing. Ideally ridden with armor.

    Sunday we rode Granite Basin. Parked off Katahn Road - 347 to 341 - 347 - 345 - 351- -349 - 346 and back to 347. Really nice ride eastern ends of 347 are really rocky, but the western ends are flowly smooth with built in jumps.

    Overall the area is really good with lots of great trails. Tough riding with lots of rocks and steep climbs. Really fun.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  13. #13
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    Thanks again JoeP, your responses have been amazingly helpful! I am really considering Colorado at this point but I know that I will be dropping some serious money if my brother and I do go (gas, food, +10 degree sleeping bag, possibly +small 2 person tent)-- but I'm sure that it would be more than worth the money. I may change my mind however considering your posts about riding in Prescott.

  14. #14
    Meatbomb
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    Cortez area of Colorado is not too bad this time of year. Day times upper 60's / night time mid 30's.

    By a couple bags at REI and return them after the trip.

  15. #15
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    20 degree car camping bags can be had cheap. I don't think I paid more than 30 bucks for any of my big sleeping bags and no reason to go goose down for car camping. Big 5 usually has low priced bags that rate for the temps you'll be looking at. Sure, you might need to add a layer or two of clothing but no need to blow hundreds on bags.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by azepicriderandrunner View Post
    Gooseberry
    Moab
    Thunder Mountain

    Choose any of those 2.
    If you have not done Gooseberry Mesa and Thunder Mountain, they are must-dos. They are in good proximity as well. From Thunder Mountain, the Rainbow Rim Trail or Phil's World are great options. Beautiful road trip scenery, too. Temps at Gooseberry will be absolutely perfect this time of year. Thunder Mountain will be good (cold in the a.m.) and Rainbow Rim will be really, really cold at night. Phil's will be great, too. Have fun on your trip!
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  17. #17
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    Okay, so, there are expected snow/rain showers on Thursday for basically everywhere. We are thinking about heading up to Flagstaff on thursday around 2:30, so we would get there around 5-- this is when weather is supposed to clear up.

    Here are our options --
    1. Just go to Flag and sleep at our friends place for the night, to leave the next morning for Rainbow Rim, Gooseberry, or Thunder Mountain -- we have yet to decide. Then arrive wherever we have chosen hopefully before 11am and ride until evening and camp that night (car/truck or tent depending on coldness). Get up early Saturday morning, maybe do a shorter ride then head home.

    2. Go to Flagstaff and possibly try to squeeze in a late 2-3 hour ride on Mt. Elden just for fun because it isn't very far from town where we could stay for the night, to wake up the next morning and go to either Rainbow Rim, Gooseberry, or Thunder Mountain, and finish the same as mentioned in #1

    Any better ideas considering the weather and temperature? I'm completely open minded to other trails.

    Thanks.

  18. #18
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    oh, another option, drive straight to either gooseberry, or rainbow rim, and camp thursday night if possible and wake up there and ride early the next day, all day.

    I am just worried that with the temperature/rain/snow that either the roads will be impassible, icy, or they will be shut down.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by livingword92 View Post
    oh, another option, drive straight to either gooseberry, or rainbow rim, and camp thursday night if possible and wake up there and ride early the next day, all day.

    I am just worried that with the temperature/rain/snow that either the roads will be impassible, icy, or they will be shut down.

    I vote drive to Gooseberry. Forecast shows a.m. showers on Thus and clearing on Fri with very nice temps, even at night.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Need help planning a 3 day biking/camping trip-screenhunter_11-oct.-09-13.52.jpg  


  20. #20
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    My brother had to bail, last minute, for legitimate reasons. I'm now in the process of rushing to find someone to go with me.
    Last edited by livingword92; 10-09-2013 at 10:25 PM.

  21. #21
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    I ended up doing a full day ride of Mt. Elden and will be posting pictures in a thread at some point, as I've seen very little well documented trips of Elden. It was rough but awesome.

  22. #22
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    BTW, this site will give you lots of great data, including historical weather trends.

    I find it really valuable when planning trips.

    As an example:

    Go to Colorado and drill down to Cortez

    ...and search ([CTRL-F]) "Average climate"

    In October, it looks like it can be anywhere between about 27 degrees and 60 degrees, with a possibility of snow.
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