Flag to Sedona RR- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Flag to Sedona RR

    Traditionally there has been two routes riders take from Flagstaff to Sedona. There is the AZ Trail to Morman Lake and a forest service road out to Schnebly Hill. This is typically the bikepacker route pioneered by Chad and Co. This seemed a little out of the way for a simple day trip to the Red Rocks.
    The second route is in the Cosmic Ray book. Basically, follow some forest service roads to Munds Park and hopefully one could find the way to Schnebly Hill Road. Or, in a better case, take the freeway.
    I have been exploring the plateau for a few years on bikes and hikes, and I wanted to put together a route that had a little more singletrack or least future potential for a non-motorized route between the two communities. So came the goal of riding between interstate 17 and highway 89A. Relatively flat ground except for three canyons that can stop progress very quickly. Kelly, James, and Munds have stopped many who tried.
    There is also the case wilderness areas that prohibit bicycles from descending off the rim. No going down Secret Canyon. Oak Creek Canyon provides its list of difficulties as well. Mainly that highway 89 that any sane cyclist avoids like a bad hangover. Needless to say, there were only two options. Go down Casner Mountain and end up in the middle of knowwhere, or the Schnebly. So came a period of connecting a few trails and hardly used roads and get down south. There are some really fun trails down that way if you know where to look. And so today was the day to put it all together.
    I recruited some unsuspecting Sodonuts to go along. We met up at Macy's coffeehouse (nod to CR), the center of the Flagstaff universe and after a cup-o-joe, headed south into the campus of NAU. We rode onto the Flagstaff urban Trail, one of the lesser talked about trail systems here on MTBR. A perfect place for the 29'r.
    Onto the Soldier Trail at Ft. Tuthill. J mentioned it reminded him of his days in the military, the barracks looked exactly the same as the ones he experienced. A short while, we turned onto the trail leading to the Highland trail that crosses 89A and takes a cyclist to Kachina Village. Onto the upper part of Pumphouse. Through the neighborhood and into Kelly Canyon. We followed this around and worked our way to the James Canyon crossing. The photos below show what was involved. But after a few minutes we were across James. If you know this canyon from descending down into its reaches, you may be wondering "HOW"? You gotta know where to look for the old cowboy trail... Wire fence/gate and all. Well reader, these last few sentences tell little on what exactly transpired but its a beautiful epic place to be. A gem of Arizona.
    Anyway, heading south there is a fine forest service road heading toward Munds Park. There is potential for a great non-motorized trail to be developed here by the USFS. But it will take years and $$ for this vision to actually happen. So I don't plan on holding my breath.
    Once in Munds park, we were happy to find ice and chilled beverages. Some tasty cheese and jerky. Ice in the camelbak for the next bit of riding. Heading down to Schnebly Hill road and down the Munds Wagon Road and into Sedona. Yes it was warm but we had some breezes and cloud cover and as long as we kept moving, it was fine. The route saved the most demanding part of the trail for the very end. Munds wagon is kinda washed out, giving quite a thrill for moving along at a good clip.
    Final stats. Milage: 43 miles. Average moving speed 10 mph. Seven hours out on the bikes. 3 happy riders.

    Photo 1 &2. A little HAB. Avoiding the hornet's nest. Photo 3. Even a fun ride on a 7" travel bike! Good Job Boys!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flag to Sedona RR-dsc03112.jpg  

    Flag to Sedona RR-dsc03114.jpg  

    Flag to Sedona RR-dsc03110.jpg  

    There is a big difference between ripping and skidding.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chalkpaw View Post
    Traditionally there has been two routes riders take from Flagstaff to Sedona. There is the AZ Trail to Morman Lake and a forest service road out to Schnebly Hill. This is typically the bikepacker route pioneered by Chad and Co. This seemed a little out of the way for a simple day trip to the Red Rocks.
    The second route is in the Cosmic Ray book. Basically, follow some forest service roads to Munds Park and hopefully one could find the way to Schnebly Hill Road. Or, in a better case, take the freeway.
    I have been exploring the plateau for a few years on bikes and hikes, and I wanted to put together a route that had a little more singletrack or least future potential for a non-motorized route between the two communities. So came the goal of riding between interstate 17 and highway 89A. Relatively flat ground except for three canyons that can stop progress very quickly. Kelly, James, and Munds have stopped many who tried.
    There is also the case wilderness areas that prohibit bicycles from descending off the rim. No going down Secret Canyon. Oak Creek Canyon provides its list of difficulties as well. Mainly that highway 89 that any sane cyclist avoids like a bad hangover. Needless to say, there were only two options. Go down Casner Mountain and end up in the middle of knowwhere, or the Schnebly. So came a period of connecting a few trails and hardly used roads and get down south. There are some really fun trails down that way if you know where to look. And so today was the day to put it all together.
    I recruited some unsuspecting Sodonuts to go along. We met up at Macy's coffeehouse (nod to CR), the center of the Flagstaff universe and after a cup-o-joe, headed south into the campus of NAU. We rode onto the Flagstaff urban Trail, one of the lesser talked about trail systems here on MTBR. A perfect place for the 29'r.
    Onto the Soldier Trail at Ft. Tuthill. J mentioned it reminded him of his days in the military, the barracks looked exactly the same as the ones he experienced. A short while, we turned onto the trail leading to the Highland trail that crosses 89A and takes a cyclist to Kachina Village. Onto the upper part of Pumphouse. Through the neighborhood and into Kelly Canyon. We followed this around and worked our way to the James Canyon crossing. The photos below show what was involved. But after a few minutes we were across James. If you know this canyon from descending down into its reaches, you may be wondering "HOW"? You gotta know where to look for the old cowboy trail... Wire fence/gate and all. Well reader, these last few sentences tell little on what exactly transpired but its a beautiful epic place to be. A gem of Arizona.
    Anyway, heading south there is a fine forest service road heading toward Munds Park. There is potential for a great non-motorized trail to be developed here by the USFS. But it will take years and $$ for this vision to actually happen. So I don't plan on holding my breath.
    Once in Munds park, we were happy to find ice and chilled beverages. Some tasty cheese and jerky. Ice in the camelbak for the next bit of riding. Heading down to Schnebly Hill road and down the Munds Wagon Road and into Sedona. Yes it was warm but we had some breezes and cloud cover and as long as we kept moving, it was fine. The route saved the most demanding part of the trail for the very end. Munds wagon is kinda washed out, giving quite a thrill for moving along at a good clip.
    Final stats. Milage: 43 miles. Average moving speed 10 mph. Seven hours out on the bikes. 3 happy riders.

    Photo 1 &2. A little HAB. Avoiding the hornet's nest. Photo 3. Even a fun ride on a 7" travel bike! Good Job Boys!
    Nice! How much do you think was HAB to cover that much ground?
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you’ll crash.
    - Julie Furtado

  3. #3
    Ahhh the pain....
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    Nice work guys....I'm in Munds Park a lot during the summer and would like to try that route. If you have a GPX file, please post!
    Also, not sure if you connected into the trails out behind Munds park, but there is a bunch of double track back there. Going south from Munds, you can take the Crystal Pt. trail (singletrack) just where Pinewood turns to dirt, then at the top, bushwack a few hundred yards to meet up with the route Chad and Co do for the Coco250...Lots better than riding interstate although it is more effort.
    Love to see more trails in that area. Without getting in a car, the AZT over at Mormon Lake is about the closest singletrack with any length...but it does take 12ish miles of forest road riding to get there.

  4. #4
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    I guess my previous guess of 35 plus miles was INCORRECT. Great job coming up with an epic ride to give Flag/Sedona riders another option for a fun user experience.

    TD

  5. #5
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    Nice work. Posts like these give a beginner like me some inspiration for future trips.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    Nice work guys....I'm in Munds Park a lot during the summer and would like to try that route. If you have a GPX file, please post!
    Also, not sure if you connected into the trails out behind Munds park, but there is a bunch of double track back there. Going south from Munds, you can take the Crystal Pt. trail (singletrack) just where Pinewood turns to dirt, then at the top, bushwack a few hundred yards to meet up with the route Chad and Co do for the Coco250...Lots better than riding interstate although it is more effort.
    Love to see more trails in that area. Without getting in a car, the AZT over at Mormon Lake is about the closest singletrack with any length...but it does take 12ish miles of forest road riding to get there.
    Raybum, the new trail heading east from the top of Crystal Point heads exactly where? I saw this last time but not sure how far it went.
    Bender to AZDog: I'm not the best person to give advice on not riding!

  7. #7
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    Fromt the top of Crystal Pt, it heads east then south then back west into Munds Park. The trail is really well built back there since it recently replaced a social trail that was pretty unrideable. Here are two GPXs that might help...the first is the last MP to Sedona ride I did back in May.
    SS MP to Sedona by raybum at Garmin Connect - Details
    The second, is a loop I do that includes Crystal Pt as well as other Munds Trails.
    SS Crystal Pt + MTS by raybum at Garmin Connect - Details

    If you overlay them on something like topofusion or similar, you can go almost due east from the top of Crystal Pt to hook up with a jeep trail and then tie into Schnebly Hill Rd east of the highway. (basically Chads Coco loop).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    Fromt the top of Crystal Pt, it heads east then south then back west into Munds Park. The trail is really well built back there since it recently replaced a social trail that was pretty unrideable. Here are two GPXs that might help...the first is the last MP to Sedona ride I did back in May.
    SS MP to Sedona by raybum at Garmin Connect - Details
    The second, is a loop I do that includes Crystal Pt as well as other Munds Trails.
    SS Crystal Pt + MTS by raybum at Garmin Connect - Details

    If you overlay them on something like topofusion or similar, you can go almost due east from the top of Crystal Pt to hook up with a jeep trail and then tie into Schnebly Hill Rd east of the highway. (basically Chads Coco loop).
    Awesome, thank you!
    Bender to AZDog: I'm not the best person to give advice on not riding!

  9. #9
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    The Hike a Bike section was only about 20 minutes if one has the route through James canyon dialed in. I placed a couple of rock cairns here and there, but admit that they are easy to miss. Finding the cowboy trail out of James is covered in oak, pine, and a bit of poison ivy duff is a bit tricky as well. I do have a gps file that at some point, can get out to interested riders. I don't mind sharing the goods.
    There is a big difference between ripping and skidding.

  10. #10
    My other ride is your mom
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    Sweet! Adventure is needed here! Thanks for the kick in the pants to get a little more crazy with my route planning.....




  11. #11
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    Here is a gpx file of the route.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    There is a big difference between ripping and skidding.

  12. #12
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    Oh yeah. Really?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flag to Sedona RR-flagstaff-sedona.jpg  

    There is a big difference between ripping and skidding.

  13. #13
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    Wow, 5000' of climbing and 8000' of descending between Flag and Sedona. Awesome!

  14. #14
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    Again thanks for the HARD WORK to bring a Burro Down ride to Sedona. Just think what the ride would be like if you were to throw in Cow Pies, Damifino, Killer Bee, Lavitra, Allens Bend, Midgley Bridge, Jim Thompson, Steam Boat, JT, Birdcage, JT, Jordan, Power Station Plunge, Eight Way, Centennial, Crucifixion, BUGAR KING or SOMETHING DIFFERENT. That would add on about four more miles to get it closer to the Burro to Moab numbers.

    I think the climbing numbers are probably under 2,800 on Burro Down.

    TD

  15. #15
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    Here are a couple of my pics from the outing:











    Thanks to Chalkpaw for organizing the trip!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotth72 View Post

    Thanks to Chalkpaw for organizing the trip!
    What a country!!!!!!

    Where else can you get such an adventure for hardly no cost? Those pictures represent the power of mountain biking.

    Thanks for the post,

    TD

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the trip report with pics. Its not a great bike ride unless theres some hike a bike involved!

  18. #18
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    Bump for some cool adventure riding! No need to wait until spring, conditions are prime.

  19. #19
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    See if Chalkpaw has the gps track. I might be down for doing something silly in the near future.

  20. #20
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    count me in if y'all head out again. i need some new options up there. also, explored some of the area that links into casner trail via donkey, yep that donkey. could link in from several of those old double-track roads on the w side of 17. good but rough.
    .
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  21. #21
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    Hey Raybum, we are in Munds a lot in the summer would love to hook up and do these rides to know them. thx
    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    Fromt the top of Crystal Pt, it heads east then south then back west into Munds Park. The trail is really well built back there since it recently replaced a social trail that was pretty unrideable. Here are two GPXs that might help...the first is the last MP to Sedona ride I did back in May.
    SS MP to Sedona by raybum at Garmin Connect - Details
    The second, is a loop I do that includes Crystal Pt as well as other Munds Trails.
    SS Crystal Pt + MTS by raybum at Garmin Connect - Details

    If you overlay them on something like topofusion or similar, you can go almost due east from the top of Crystal Pt to hook up with a jeep trail and then tie into Schnebly Hill Rd east of the highway. (basically Chads Coco loop).

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