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  1. #1
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    Prescott area rides

    I'll be in Prescott for 10 weeks starting April 1st and was wondering if anyone here knows of some fun group rides that go on in that area. I'll be on a M-F work schedule from 8-5 so anything at night or on the weekends would be great. I'm coming from front-range Colorado riding so I'm hoping AZ will be just as sweet! Let me know...

  2. #2
    sonoranbiker
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    Some ideas...

    Prescott's not really the place for group rides (lived there for 6 years, just moved to Tucson), but two good starting points would be Ironclad Bike Shop, High Gear Bike Shop, and Southwest Sounds & Cyclery (locally just known as Ed's). Ed is a really nice guy and knows most of the goings on in the local scene. Give him a call. He's also the best and generally cheapest mechanic in Prescott, as long as you're not in a hurry.

    The riding in Prescott is fantastic, although often burly and technical. Granite Mountain riding is world class.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonoranbiker
    The riding in Prescott is fantastic, although often burly and technical. Granite Mountain riding is world class.

    Good luck.
    Maybe you haven't ridden in many places, but the riding here in prescott is NOT very technical, and Granite Gasin, while fun, is not on the same scale as Phoenix, Flagstaff, or Sedona.

    Save for a few spots on trail 40 and 345, there isn't any real technical in Granite Basin.

    As far as technical in all the surrounding area, there just isn't much. Spruce Mountain is loose, but there are only a couple short 5-10 foot "technical" sections.

    Don't come here to ride "technical". We do have a lot of trails, and if you play the loops right, a good amount of vertical (rides from 2000-5000' of vertical, but 20-30 miles of big elevation changes can take a big toll on someone not used to the altitude or grades on some of the climbs). There are several good "roller coaster" type trails.

    During that time-frame, I'll be doing many rides, Granite Basin, Spruce Mtn, starting up trail 62 or 305 for a loop out near Costco, or a few other areas. I usually ride alone or with a small group of 2-4 riders. We don't really have any big group rides because the serious mountain bikers kind of keep to themselves in smaller groups (such as I do). The "group" rides put on by the local club are usually out-and back rides on fairly tame and short trails. Usually there are a lot of less-serious riders in the groups so the rides are taylored to account for it. There are a lot of places to ride though, and you should do some searches through the archives on this board for "Granite Basin" "Spruce Mountain/mtn" "costco" "walker road" "copper basin" "turley trail", and so on. You'll probably find some good information by doing that.

    Also, Flagstaff and some other places won't be far away during that time period (and possibly rideable). Bill Williams Mountain is directly to the north of Prescott and has a truely amazing set of trails (two) that run up and down the mountain. The milege isn't great, but the trail surface is amazing and the vertical gain/loss is significant. Really cool technical stuff, aspens, and the cool thing is that there are usually NO people up there...you have it to yourself, and it totally eclipses any trail here in Prescott. It's a great close getaway.
    "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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  4. #4
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    Thanks guys for the replies. Granite Basin was one of the first trails I was going to check out after searching on this board. It seems like most people really have a good time out there. I haven't seen any info on Bill Williams Mountain but it sounds like that's one I should check out fairly quickly too.

    I can't wait for this trip to start! I'm stopping at Moab (maybe Fruita) on the way down Thurs/Fri and then driving to Prescott and checking into the Prescottonian on Saturday for the ten weeks. I should be out riding Granite or Williams Mtn on Sunday if anyone's out there.

    One more thing...are there any trails that I could ride to from my hotel without any major traffic headaches? Thanks!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by acro
    I'll be on a M-F work schedule from 8-5 so anything at night or on the weekends would be great.
    I work a similar schedule (7-2ish, M-F). Gimme a buzz when you get here.

    -Dave

  6. #6
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    Ditto, Acro. We have a great group ride (3-8 people) that goes out every Sunday and most Saturdays, 8 or 9 AM. Mellow and laid-back but we keep it fast and usually 2-4 hours. I happen to think we're a great bunch of fellas. LOL

    I get off at 5 PM and the days are just now getting long enough to get in a nice 60-90 minute after-work spin during the weekdays. Couple more weeks and MORNING will be the primo time to head out during the week. Still chilly at 6 AM right now though.

    Would love to show you around. There is some killer riding here, for sure. Shoot me an e-mail: velokid1@yahoo.com.

    Greg
    Last edited by Velokid1; 03-12-2007 at 09:56 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by acro
    One more thing...are there any trails that I could ride to from my hotel without any major traffic headaches? Thanks!
    All of the trails fall under that category, actually. Hope to meet up with ya.

  8. #8
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    I ride 2-3 hours pretty much every sunday at pre-dawn. Need to finish by 9:45, so as the day comes earlier, the rides get longer.

    Never met Velokid1, but would like to.

    Try to do a weekly thursday afternoon ride.

    You can ride anywhere from town if you don't mind 20 minutes on the road.
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    And I thought I had a bike obsession. You are at once tragic and awesome.

  9. #9
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    Enel,

    We've actually met before at Ed's shop, I believe. Ed and I usually have a group going out Sundays from his house, but not as early as you're heading out. If you're ever up for an 8-11 o'clock ride, just shout at Ed. The more the merrier!

    I live in Mtn Club, so I've been hitting Schoolhouse/Banning Creek in the evenings real quick, get home just in time for my wife to not get too mad. We actually just did Schoolhouse Gulch/Banning/61/Goldwater/Senator Hwy/Groom Creek Boulders Trail (not sure what the real name is)/Schoolhouse yesterday for a nice 19-mile loop that was a surprising little asskicker. Weather was incredible.

    But normally we'll leave from Ed's and ride from the Butte over to Granite Basin, do a loop there. Or we'll just head up White Rock then to the Alligator Juniper at the top of TB Road, down Bear Claw, for a shorter loop.

    Hope to see you around soon.

    PS Re: riding on the roads, you can pretty much take trails or fire roads from any point A to any point B. I guess if you've only got 2 hours and you're wanting to ride at Granite Basin, it's not very practical to ride Gurley up to Thumb Butte and then over on the trails, 'tis true.
    Last edited by Velokid1; 03-12-2007 at 12:37 PM.

  10. #10
    Kathleen in AZ
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    Here is where I go for trail maps in the Prescott area:
    http://www.sharlot.org/archives/maps/trailmaps/
    I suppose the Prescott guys will chime in if these maps are out of date...

  11. #11
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    I was new to Prescott just 4 years ago and while I think the Sharlot maps are a wonderful resource, the fire of 2002 and the subsequent logging operations have made it so the older maps are very difficult to follow. The trails you want are on the maps, but the trails you don't want come every 300 yards... and those are not on the maps.

    I railed on Prescott for having the worst mtbing I've ever seen the first year I was here, because nobody had shown me the trails and I just kept finding all this destroyed forest and the crappiest trails you can imagine. The Forest Service was actually paying logging companies to clear the forests until about a year ago... now they're finally selling. But for a long time, the logging operations went unchecked and they just destroyed everything in sight. The forest is coming back together now finally.

    The major rides are well-documented and the maps along with trail markers make it easy to follow... Spruce and Granite Basin, 105, and the trails near Thumb Butte... but there are many more great rides around here that you have to be shown or stumble across right now, because they're marked wrong or not at all, and the existing maps aren't that great.

    There are also 2-3 newly cut trails that the Forest Service has put in that are great and aren't on the maps. A friend and I have been carrying a GPS and mapping these new trails and loops lately, for our own pleasure. Once we get a few together, I'll be sure to share.

  12. #12
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by DurtGurl
    Here is where I go for trail maps in the Prescott area:
    http://www.sharlot.org/archives/maps/trailmaps/
    I suppose the Prescott guys will chime in if these maps are out of date...
    That site is 95 or 99% accurate. Pretty darn good. I wouldn't consider them "out of date".

    Yes, there are trails that are not on there, but by and large they are fragmented and very short, so there isn't much point to them. Thumb Butte isn't great for riding due to this, and I've been on pretty much everything in the area. If one day the forest service or volunteers build connecting trails, then maybe, but no matter what you do, new trails are going to cut across lots of fire roads. Yes, there are a few new "trails" that have been added in Thumb Butte, but again they are extremely short and don't really connect with anything, so again, it's puzzling.

    I've done lots of exploring in Thumb Butte, even just walking through huge swaths of it.

    The sharlot website IS updated every once and a while.

    Maybe what Velo is referring to is the fact that you can put together lots of "rides" that are fun, based on the maps. These aren't in a book or anything, just a logical combination of trails for a fun ride. Such as the "big" and "real big" loops out at costco, going up trail 62 to Spruce Mtn Road eventually, and either down 297 or more climbing and down the front side of Spruce Mountain, and so on. You can put together some big rides in Thumb Butte if you don't mind riding quite a bit of connecting fire-roads or rail-road grade, but with a little imagination you can do something epic like go up the trails (and some road) to West Spruce Trail, over to West Spruce Mtn Road, then on the connecting trail a little ways down, to Dosie Pitts, back up on the "new" trail to 37 in Granite Basin, and so on.
    "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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  13. #13
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    As a new AZ resident, I'm excited to ride the Prescott area. I've lots of great things about it.

    I was up at the IMBA trail building school and meet a bunch of local builders between the city and Forest Service, both of which are repersented by MTBer's, are really stepping up the new trail effort. we worked on a section of the new "circle trail" when finished will be ~40 miles and encircle Prescott. we even worked in a neat rock ride tech section.

    Velokid, did you make the IMBA day? i just remembered that you were planing to be there. my brain is fried when it comes to meeting new people and names.
    b

  14. #14
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    Sweet!! That would be great to have some locals show me around. I'll definately shoot you guys a message when I get into town. Hopefully I'll be up to 2-3 hours of mtbing by then (have a nagging achilles injury ). See ya in a few weeks!

  15. #15
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    The issue with the existing maps is partly a problem with the maps but moreso a problem with the trails around here not being marked well. That's been driving me nuts since I first arrived. From a Prescott newb's perspective, the trails and maps were confusing. Unless you want to ride the standard Spruce or Granite Basin areas.

    All the little trails spider-webbing all over are a result of logging activity and ATVs going off the regular trails and impacting an arid landscape. All those little trails peter out after a few hundred yards and get really confusing when you're trying to navigate from maps that don't give many reference points. Definite room for improvement.

    The loops we do definitely include fire roads, railroad grades and even some pavement here and there. I've lived all over and there are few places where you get to ride 4 hours of nothing but pristine singletrack that never doubles back on itself.

    Brianc- I didn't make the trail day... we saw Willie Nelson Friday night and I ended up repaying the Friday night babysitting favor by watching their kid on Saturday. I thought about visiting the trail to see what you all were up to but didn't want to drag the two 4 year olds there. How did it go?

    Acro-
    Don't sweat the fitness too much. We're an accommodating crew. Take care of that tendon and give me a shout when you're in town. Be happy to have you along.

  16. #16
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    I'm going to be in Prescott next weekend visiting my brother. He lives near Thumb Butte, nice view out of his kitchen window.

    I would love to go for a ride Sunday morning, April 1. Are there shops that rents bikes, large 29'er preferred, or anyone have one they would loan/rent me? I'm from North Texas, we have lots of trails with short climbs, a long climb would probably kill me but downhill or moderate climbs would work. I'm going to Moab in early May with a small group of friends so am taking advantage of any riding time I have between now and then.

    Randy

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Maybe you haven't ridden in many places, but the riding here in prescott is NOT very technical, and Granite Gasin, while fun, is not on the same scale as Phoenix, Flagstaff, or Sedona.

    Save for a few spots on trail 40 and 345, there isn't any real technical in Granite Basin.

    As far as technical in all the surrounding area, there just isn't much. Spruce Mountain is loose, but there are only a couple short 5-10 foot "technical" sections.

    Don't come here to ride "technical". We do have a lot of trails, and if you play the loops right, a good amount of vertical (rides from 2000-5000' of vertical, but 20-30 miles of big elevation changes can take a big toll on someone not used to the altitude or grades on some of the climbs). There are several good "roller coaster" type trails.

    During that time-frame, I'll be doing many rides, Granite Basin, Spruce Mtn, starting up trail 62 or 305 for a loop out near Costco, or a few other areas. I usually ride alone or with a small group of 2-4 riders. We don't really have any big group rides because the serious mountain bikers kind of keep to themselves in smaller groups (such as I do). The "group" rides put on by the local club are usually out-and back rides on fairly tame and short trails. Usually there are a lot of less-serious riders in the groups so the rides are taylored to account for it. There are a lot of places to ride though, and you should do some searches through the archives on this board for "Granite Basin" "Spruce Mountain/mtn" "costco" "walker road" "copper basin" "turley trail", and so on. You'll probably find some good information by doing that.

    Also, Flagstaff and some other places won't be far away during that time period (and possibly rideable). Bill Williams Mountain is directly to the north of Prescott and has a truely amazing set of trails (two) that run up and down the mountain. The milege isn't great, but the trail surface is amazing and the vertical gain/loss is significant. Really cool technical stuff, aspens, and the cool thing is that there are usually NO people up there...you have it to yourself, and it totally eclipses any trail here in Prescott. It's a great close getaway.
    Technical?
    Have you ever ridden yankee doodle? Try that out, both sections, makes for a good day lots of climbing, lots of technical stuff, cold creek to dunk yer head in, etc

    Another spot I used to frequent in the ptown area was 264 aka west spruce( not spruce mtn) It heads west from just below the sierra prieta overlook, you can take it all the way to dosie pit road, one of the biggest legal downhills in the state, tie this up with little granite mtn trails and you can get in a full day of fun.

  18. #18
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by freebiker
    Technical?
    Have you ever ridden yankee doodle? Try that out, both sections, makes for a good day lots of climbing, lots of technical stuff, cold creek to dunk yer head in, etc

    Another spot I used to frequent in the ptown area was 264 aka west spruce( not spruce mtn) It heads west from just below the sierra prieta overlook, you can take it all the way to dosie pit road, one of the biggest legal downhills in the state, tie this up with little granite mtn trails and you can get in a full day of fun.
    Of course I've done Yankee Doodle, as well as the trail on the opposite side of Senator Highway that leads up to the place where the road for Mt Union takes off of Senator Highway.

    Unfortunately, the trail is too washed out and loose (riding on marbles) to be much fun. I've done it, I've had fun, but I wouldn't recommend it for most people. I took the IMBA guys out there back in the day. It takes a LONG time to get out there on Senator Highway to do Yankee Doodle, and then the trail is just mega washed out and all loose rock. I wish I could say the rocky little chute areas are worth it, but you're better off doing 28 off of Mingus Mtn, nice technical bits and far less loose stuff.

    Also done 264 north of West Spruce Mtn trail, but lately every time I've tried I've run into a stupid mechanical.

    Again, I have to wonder what you've ridden. Trails in flagstaff, or even bill williams trail on the north side of that mountain easily eclipse these trails you are describing.
    "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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  19. #19
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    Bona-

    We'll most likely be leaving from a buddy's home about 100' below the Butte and would love to have you along. The tricky spot will be finding a bike for yourself. I don't have a line on one. Naturally, I don't rent bikes here, but I'd try Ironclad Bicycles first. They have rentals, though I'm unsure of the selection.

    If you can get a bike, we'll be leaving at 9 AM most likely. Feel free to e-mail me at velokid1@yahoo.com to confirm. I don't come by these forums consistently and I may miss a message posted here.

    Greg

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Of course I've done Yankee Doodle, as well as the trail on the opposite side of Senator Highway that leads up to the place where the road for Mt Union takes off of Senator Highway.

    Unfortunately, the trail is too washed out and loose (riding on marbles) to be much fun. I've done it, I've had fun, but I wouldn't recommend it for most people. I took the IMBA guys out there back in the day. It takes a LONG time to get out there on Senator Highway to do Yankee Doodle, and then the trail is just mega washed out and all loose rock. I wish I could say the rocky little chute areas are worth it, but you're better off doing 28 off of Mingus Mtn, nice technical bits and far less loose stuff.

    Also done 264 north of West Spruce Mtn trail, but lately every time I've tried I've run into a stupid mechanical.

    Again, I have to wonder what you've ridden. Trails in flagstaff, or even bill williams trail on the north side of that mountain easily eclipse these trails you are describing.
    I used to live in flg and work in williams, so I have ridden a bit in both places, as far as big legal dh's go 264 down to dosie pit road is a big one, its way past the ridgeline where might have had your mechanicals, follow the 264 ridge west for a while then come out to a gate on a road and go left thru the gate and follow the road down to the west for a while and 264 continues on your right and descends and descends all the way down to dosie pit road, its a sweet trail too, it looks like something the ccc built. anyways go out dosie pit, right on iron springs and climb up to little granite mtn trailhead for more, etc etc.

  21. #21
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    If I can find a bike I'll email you. My brother lives near the top of Skyline drive.

    Thanks
    Randy

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