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  1. #1
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    Sedona or Tuscon for holiday excursion?

    the wifey (a non-biker) and I (an intermediate biker) are visiting the desert after XMas.

    We'll be there from Dec26th - Dec 31st and cannot decide b/t Sedona and Tuscon...

    which is more likely to be warmer? which is has longer/scenic XC type trails?

    Her idea of a great time --- 10-15 miles of generally flat or slightly downhill trails in very scenic areas.
    My idea of a great time - 30 miles+ with some long climbs and flowy singletrack + scenic. Not really a boulder/downhiller type --- 43 years old and while have endurance, not the slowest/fastest.

    probably will have one trip for her...and another day I'll do something more adventurous. ideas/suggestions for other activities appreciated. Sort of leaning towards Sedona as would like to hike the Petrified Forest.
    thanks for the help!!!
    Joe

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by wareagleguy View Post
    the wifey (a non-biker) and I (an intermediate biker) are visiting the desert after XMas.

    We'll be there from Dec26th - Dec 31st and cannot decide b/t Sedona and Tuscon...

    which is more likely to be warmer? which is has longer/scenic XC type trails?

    Her idea of a great time --- 10-15 miles of generally flat or slightly downhill trails in very scenic areas.
    My idea of a great time - 30 miles+ with some long climbs and flowy singletrack + scenic. Not really a boulder/downhiller type --- 43 years old and while have endurance, not the slowest/fastest.

    probably will have one trip for her...and another day I'll do something more adventurous. ideas/suggestions for other activities appreciated. Sort of leaning towards Sedona as would like to hike the Petrified Forest.
    thanks for the help!!!
    Joe
    Tucson trails are pretty rocky, Fantasy Island notwithstanding. However right now in Sedona it is 29F and in Tucson it is 42F so it will definitely be warmer here in Tucson than Sedona. Still sedona post-christmas will be a lot more scenic than Tucson where all you will see is infinite people driving to buy stuff somewhere.
    Try this: HTFU

  3. #3
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    The petrified forest interesting and Sedona has the goods esp. if you have never been there if coming N to South you may want to check out the McDowell, Hawes, Or South Mtn. or Picketpost option in the Phx area not to take away form Tucson ...Safe travels!

  4. #4
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    Yeah...the weather isn't great right now and definitely wouldn't ride in this weather here, there, or anywhere that cold! We have a certificate on delta for bogo ticket but its limited to phx. So, we bought the tickets to get out there, just now trying to figure out if we head north or head south and, if the weather turns cold like it is now, where would we be better off going? from your comment, it sounds like there's not much to do in Tucson if we're forced to other excursions????
    Joe

  5. #5
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    There is lots to do in Tucson. For mtb rides I would recommend 50 year, AZT three bridges, AZT Bellota Ranch, bugs springs and Sweet Water. Most of these rides are what you are looking for. Also while you are here we will have the 8 days of xmas rides going on. These will all be some great rides. You can check them out on tucsonmtb.com. As far as non mtbing things go I would recommend a hike at Sabino Canyon and visiting The Sonoran Desert Museum. Tucson wont have the colorful bluffs but it is a lot warmer down here then Sedona. Hope this helps

  6. #6
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    Petrified National Forest is not close to Sedona. It will be a 2+ hour drive each way. But you could also hit Wapatki National Monument on the way. It also is dark by 5pm in late December.

    There's other stuff to do around Sedona. Visit Jerome. Tuzigoot National Monument is an old pueblo on a mesa just north of Cottonwood. Tuzigoot National Monument (U.S. National Park Service)
    Montezuma's Castle is another ruin that is quite interesting.

    There's lots of riding of the style you like but you'll be hard pressed to find anything that your wife will like. Lots of good hiking though.
    "Fart in a paper bag, after eating the #17 plate from filibertos. STRAVA!" M77Ranger.

  7. #7
    Meatbomb
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    If you're flying in to Phx, why not stay and ride in Phx? It would be warmer and offers a wide variety of trail options to make both you and your wife happy.

  8. #8
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    Agreed. I like Tucson riding and I like Tucson. Not much there to suit your wife's preferred riding.

    Sedona will likely be pretty cold for us, but not sure where you're coming from. If you're coming into Phx, why not just ride in Phx?

  9. #9
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    I third or whatever Phoenix. Plenty of decent trails to suit both of your desires, some great rates at the resorts can be found, there is plenty to do around town AND- you are only a two hour drive from Sedona and Tucson- so you could hit both for sightseeing etc. The best part of living in Phoenix is the amount of riding we have within a 3 hour drive and the variety. Plus there are a lot of us (forum members) who live in this area to guide etc and plenty who live around the state as guides too. Where are you coming from? Will you need to rent bikes etc?
    Find a ride on FB> AZ MTB

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  10. #10
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    Sedona. Since you will have more options available to you as far as stuff to do see...in my opinion. Want to see a snowy mountain? 20 minutes north is flagstaff. Want to get warm, quick drive down to Phx. Given I haven't spent a ton of time in Tuscon, so I'm a bit partial, but I think Sedona gives you more options both for riding and non-riding. In fact, my wife and I will be spending that same week in Flagstaff and will probably spend a day or 2 in Sedona to get some riding in.....
    Salvation Outdoor
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  11. #11
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    PM me if you decide to visit phoenix. My wife is an intermediate rider, and I'm down for about anything. We'll be on vacation. Live near south Mtn but will ride anywhere.
    AKA: G-wat

  12. #12
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    Sedona. I've never ridden there, but know there's TONS of great riding, but if you want scenic that's it. Phoenix and Tucson are desert and although there's great riding and hiking in both, among other things, there's not much scenic about them. Unless you are going up on Lemmon in Tucson but that'll just get colder and snow may likely present a problem.


  13. #13
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    This may be helpful. Thinking about AZ this winter as well. MountainBikeBill's Mountain biking Trail Reviews, Videos and Pictures

  14. #14
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    Phoenix area

    Quote Originally Posted by wareagleguy View Post
    ...which is more likely to be warmer? which is has longer/scenic XC type trails? Her idea of a great time --- 10-15 miles of generally flat or slightly downhill trails in very scenic areas. My idea of a great time - 30 miles+ with some long climbs and flowy singletrack + scenic. Not really a boulder/downhiller type --- 43 years old and while have endurance, not the slowest/fastest.
    Joe
    Phoenix area. Black Canyon Trail to the north and Arizona Trail to the east and south. Warmer weather and long flowy singletrack for nearly as far as you want to go. Sedona is much more technical and doesn't have a lot of long flow. And Sedona would not have much for your wife. You could still easily zip up there for yourself on a day trip. Many photos, etc. on my biking site.

  15. #15
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    The newer stuff like Arie and Adobe Jack are very flowy. If you have not rode Sedona in a few years much has changed. Will be out there with my crew Xmas-day to New Years day like every year for the past 8 years. In those years we have lost maybe 2 day out if over 50 days riding days to weather. Yes we do snow ride, the biggest problem is ice on the slickrock. Turkey Creek and some of Dry Creek dry out very fast. Another tip to riding Sedona in Winter is to get out early and de the frozen ground before the thaw.
    Last edited by dstepper; 12-11-2013 at 09:26 AM.

  16. #16
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    How is the weather in Sedona in Mid February?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABud View Post
    How is the weather in Sedona in Mid February?
    It could be 60 and sunny or under 6" of snow or anything in between.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is youll crash.
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  18. #18
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    I live and ride in Tucson, and love it. Actually, lots of different types of trails, and some trails with lots of different types of riding. I love the Sonoran desert here, which is a little more "lush" than around Phoenix (though PHX area has lots of pretty places). Introduce yourself to folks on the Tucson MTB forums, and they will help you out like the folks in PHX will.

    That said, if just here to ride for those days, you may want to just consider staying in PHX. Big/spread wide, but there certainly are lots and all types of trails there. I find driving in the PHX area to be stressful (Tucson can be stressful, but usually not like PHX for me), but the locals can give you some tips for easier/faster access to trails.

    But, if you want your stay a little more laid-back, come on down to Tucson. Tucson has a different feel overall than the Phoenix area. Also, great beer, food, and other things.

    Oh, and wrong time of year for Sedona (for most of us). It may be OK, but is also can be very cold. I loved riding Sedona area last year, but it was a whole lot warmer (spring).

  19. #19
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    Sedona is beautiful, but the weather here in Tucson will be more likely to be much better for riding at that time of year. And there are a ton of options for your skill level. Start with the 24-hr course, the 50 yr trail, Sweetwater, Robles, and Star Pass. Each of these areas has a few tricky bits, but are intermediate singletrack for the most part. sdmb.org has directions and maps of each. Plus the town doesn't shut down at 6pm. It shuts down at 9

  20. #20
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    Thanks all for the suggestions and info!!! Last week has been crazy here so haven't had a chance to log on and go through all of this! We bought our plane tix to PHX and rented a vehicle, but will probably make the big decision to go to north or south this weekend. Appreciate all the love for PHX...but trying to avoid the Fiesta bowl crowds too.

    bugaroo -- Thanks for the invitation! May take you up on that! When we've gone places before, we try to ride during a weekday as we find there's much less traffic to "get away'...plus, we're not really being committal in our plans at the moment.
    Wherewolf - Awesome pics!

    Of course...we could always go to Tuscon and then come back to Sedona in the spring, right???
    Thanks!
    Joe

  21. #21
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    Sedona is hitting right now!

  22. #22
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    If it was a better time of year for Sedona, Id point you there, but

    This time of year is not the best for Sedona.

    This time of year is nearly the best for the desert in Tucson.

    Bring up city-data.com and look at the weather plots. On avg, Tucson is always about 10 degrees warmer than Sedona.

    Unfortunately, the AWESOME Mount Lemmon (top side of Tucson) is far too cold, but where else can you go from Saguaros to pines and aspens in 30 minutes?

    You may quickly exhaust your list of things to do in Sedona. It's small and very tourist oriented. Just how many jewelry shops with kokopelli cut-outs can you handle? Dont get me wrong. I love Sedona for the reasons I go, but the tourist trappings is not a reason I go there.

    In Tucson, aside from the 400 miles of trails, there a boatload of touristy stuff to do and see, such as the Desert Museum, the Saguaro National Parks (east AND west), Old Tucson Studios, The Wildlife Museum, the Missions, just to name a few. Theres plenty of non-crowded outdoor stuff to do. Hike Sabino Canyon. Drive up Reddington Rd. Hike Wasson Peak.The town is not too big either. You can actually easily see from the west side to the east side. Its about 25 miles wide.

    If you choose Phoenix, beware that trails systems such as South Mountain get VERY heavily used on the weekends. I'm not sure how many hundreds of peeps show up to kill your buzz, but in Tucson, it NEVER happens. PHX has over 3 times the population of TUC.
    -- Evil Patrick

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  23. #23
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    We just got back from Tucson area and had a great time...

    We only rode for one day...rented bikes from Broadway Bikes and if they're any indication of bike shops in the area, they represented well.

    We did Fantasy Island and the wife enjoyed dodging cacti on the beginner trails. She hung out in the car while I rode the Fenceline Boogie, Lone Cactus, Christmas Tree, Burro/Bo's Loop....hit the cowbell, the over/under, the shaft, and half-pipe --all fun stuff -- great half day of riding and if I lived there, this would probably be a good place to go for a daily after-work type ride.

    We aslo rode on Suguaro Park East --- you can mtn bike the center trail and that was pretty good riding too...even if the trail itself is only 2.5 miles, was great for my beginner level spouse.

    Other fun things in Tucson:
    Desert Museum
    Catalina Highway (awesome to watch roadies climb that)
    Sabino Canyon

    Great food in Tucson:
    Taqueros Jason (sp?) -- supposedly the best Sonoran dog....the only Sonoran dog I've ever had and it was mighty tasty!
    Tucson Tamale --- holy smokes!!! ate there twice...put every other tamale I've ever had to shame.

    Most embarrassing moment for Tucsonians ---
    there was a line at the drive-thru for Taco Bell... WTH people???? Tons of great Mexican restaurants and ya'll drive thru Taco Bell????

    Joe

  24. #24
    Ow!
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    Glad you had a fun time in Tucson. It was exceptional weather and good trail conditions while you were here. A trip to Sedona in the spring would be a great plan.

    Quote Originally Posted by wareagleguy View Post
    Most embarrassing moment for Tucsonians ---
    there was a line at the drive-thru for Taco Bell... WTH people???? Tons of great Mexican restaurants and ya'll drive thru Taco Bell????
    Well, while I love living in Tucson, it is still, like all cities, a fast-food city. Yeah, doesn't make much sense.

  25. #25
    Meatbomb
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    Not everyone is on vacation.

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