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  1. #1
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    Tucson, Phoenix, Sedona January

    Thinking of taking a mtn bike vacation to Ariz in January. Heard the temps may be milder than in Massachusetts and the trails with a tad less snow.(I like my winter mukluking but would love a warm break with new stuff). Wondering, which spot would be best. I'm comfortable with riding most anything but my wife is more of an intermediate rider (she has good wind, can climb and is good for 3-4 hr riding but, shaky with technical features and steep downs). I'd also love to find a spot that is ,mapped with well marked trails so we don't spend a night in the desert. We also like to hike. Would probably rent bikes for the week so a place that had a good LBS with nice rentals is also key. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated for towns, trails, LBS's etc. Thanks-Mike

  2. #2
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    Tucson has over 450 miles of trails and average temps are in the 60's then. Sedona will usually be 10-15 degrees cooler. Phoenix has a bunch also, more spread out. Averages about 7+ degrees warmer in Phoenix than Tucson. We have a free winter MTB fest over Christmas thru New Years, the 8ish Days of Christmas. Search it on TucsonMTB.com and there's a schedule thread.
    Some Tucson trails; Tucson Mountains/Sweetwater/Robles Pass, 50 Year Trail network, Arizona Trail, Mt Lemmon with Bug Springs and Milagrosa, Tortolitas and more. Trails from 2400'-9157'.
    Phoenix; South Mountain, Picketpost, Gold Canyon network, Black Canyon Trail, White Tanks, Casa Grande Mountain and more.
    Sedona has trails all around the town and more near Prescott. Pricier lodging on average. Very scenic area.
    agmtb

  3. #3
    The Original Suspect
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    To add to your Phoenix area list: McDowell Mtn Park-Sport/Tech loops and Pemberton Trail, Usery Mountain Park has good trails as well as Gold Canyon. In more central Phoenix there is a trail system in the Dreamy Draw recreation area. Many to choose from! Good luck.

  4. #4
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    I have spent January /February in Arizona the last two winters to escape the cold in Idaho. If you have any questions, the Arizona forum is great!


    Mikey in Idaho
    Spoke and Wheel Bike Shop

  5. #5
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    Visited some family that relocated from Michigan to Tucson in August of this year and loved every minute. Hit the road and conquered Mt. Lemmon and part of Pistol Hill on a Colnago rented from Miles Ahead Cyclery. Great service, advice, info, decently close to the McD's/Le Buzz start for Mt. Lemmon.

    Have a 10 day visit scheduled over Christmas/New Years and looking to put in a "Training Camp" like effort at altitude. Bringing the mtb this time and have plans to get to Sedona as well.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the feedback and suggestions. Getting psyched!!

  7. #7
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    Curious how your trip was? I'll be in Phoenix/Tucson with the wife in February and would love trail suggestions. She sounds almost identical in ability to your wife! =)

    Cheers!

    Jeremy

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by uber_franz View Post
    Curious how your trip was? I'll be in Phoenix/Tucson with the wife in February and would love trail suggestions. She sounds almost identical in ability to your wife! =)

    Cheers!

    Jeremy
    In Tucson try to avoid the world class Gem and Mineral Show unless it's a focus of your trip. It's a shopping bonanza but can be a lodging headache as prices rise and availability shrinks. First 3 weeks in February you'll need reservations.
    Trails you may enjoy around town include Sweetwater Preserve, Robles Junction and many more in the Tucson Mountains, 50 Year Trail is a really fun network with several levels of unmarked, highly scenic and fun. The Arizona Trail runs thru the area, Rincon Valley section is scenic. AZT/ATV includes another section. 24 Hours of the Old Pueblo MTB race is 2/15-17. If you crave tech seek Milagrosa or easier but just above is Bug Springs on Mt Lemmon.
    agmtb

  9. #9
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    Awesome! Thanks Abe! You're right about lodging... Most places are pretty booked up.

    Looking over SDMB.org, it looks like the Tucson Mountain trails will be just our speed.

    Cheers!

  10. #10
    thisismyarizona
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    Good job! Choose hotels with bike repair/wash facilities?

    I like to do my own maintenance while on mtb trips and would rather not carry my bike stand and all my tools. I try to find area hotels that offer an area with a bike stand, some basic tools and a wash area. This is especially good in the winter with sometimes muddy conditions. They are few and far between. Does anyone else out there like to have these facilities available todo their own work?
    Last edited by thisismyarizona; 01-29-2013 at 02:41 PM. Reason: want to post, not reply to another posting

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by thisismyarizona View Post
    I like to do my own maintenance while on mtb trips and would rather not carry my bike stand and all my tools. I try to find area hotels that offer an area with a bike stand, some basic tools and a wash area. This is especially good in the winter with sometimes muddy conditions. They are few and far between. Does anyone else out there like to have these facilities available todo their own work?
    I would bet Way Out West does in Catalina, AZ, just north of Tucson. It's a bed and breakfast right at the foot of the 50 Year Trail, the area's best XC riding and some excellent freeriding as well. They carry Cannondale bikes for guests.
    Last edited by abegold; 01-29-2013 at 07:03 PM. Reason: correction
    agmtb

  12. #12
    DLd
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    Quote Originally Posted by uber_franz View Post
    Awesome! Thanks Abe! You're right about lodging... Most places are pretty booked up.

    Looking over SDMB.org, it looks like the Tucson Mountain trails will be just our speed.

    Cheers!
    To avoid the Gem Show traffic headaches, and lodging price hikes, you might want to consider basing yourself up in Oro Valley. It puts you right at the start of the 50-year trail, which I think has the best mix of scenery and fast, smooth, flowy, fun trail. Still easy access to Sweetwater, and Starr Pass if you want a rockier, but still fun trail experience. There's also stellar road riding up this way. For example you can ride to the BioSphere on Oracle road with a nice 12ft shoulder/bike lane and get in a nice 35+ mile while only hitting about 3 traffic lights that you might actually need to stop at. Good hiking in Catalina State Park too. Definitely less nightlife options in OV, but there are plenty of options toward Tucson less than 20 minutes away (La Encantada for one, has plenty of restaurants on the upscale side).

    I've heard good things about Way Out West in Catalina too. Especially if you'll need bikes while you're here.
    "Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion."-Jack Kerouac

  13. #13
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    Phoenix MTB

    In Phoenix I recommend a starting at 40th Street just south of Shea at the parking lot trail head. Start on 40th Street traveling north and then follow trail 100 west under the 51 freeway, out to Shaw Butte, up to the top and return. Goto the city of phoenix trail website for maps. There is plenty of opportunity to fill up water on your ride, a couple of bottles should be sufficient.

    Quote Originally Posted by DLd View Post
    To avoid the Gem Show traffic headaches, and lodging price hikes, you might want to consider basing yourself up in Oro Valley. It puts you right at the start of the 50-year trail, which I think has the best mix of scenery and fast, smooth, flowy, fun trail. Still easy access to Sweetwater, and Starr Pass if you want a rockier, but still fun trail experience. There's also stellar road riding up this way. For example you can ride to the BioSphere on Oracle road with a nice 12ft shoulder/bike lane and get in a nice 35+ mile while only hitting about 3 traffic lights that you might actually need to stop at. Good hiking in Catalina State Park too. Definitely less nightlife options in OV, but there are plenty of options toward Tucson less than 20 minutes away (La Encantada for one, has plenty of restaurants on the upscale side).

    I've heard good things about Way Out West in Catalina too. Especially if you'll need bikes while you're here.

  14. #14
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    Our trip

    We opted to stay in Oak Creek Canyon just north of Sedona for the Jan trip. It was AWESOME. Rode and hiked trails about Sedona daily. Loved the riding there-great flow, fun stuff. Only missed 1 day of riding from torrential rains. We'd definitely go next yr! Mike

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by uber_franz View Post
    Curious how your trip was? I'll be in Phoenix/Tucson with the wife in February and would love trail suggestions. She sounds almost identical in ability to your wife! =)

    Cheers!

    Jeremy
    There are a lot of places to ride around Phx/the valley in general. McDowell Mountain Regional Park has trails for pretty much all levels of ability. I'm just getting into it myself and have gotten tied in with some of the people at Arizona Outback Adventures in Scottsdale. It's an adventure tour company but they also do bike rentals and guided rides and stuff like that. Really nice people with lots of info about the area and trail maps and whatnot. You should check them out, especially if you need to rent bikes when you're in the area, they have great gear and really reasonable prices. I think they even have pre-organized mountain bike vacations.

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