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  1. #1
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    New AZT from Picket Post

    Three of us rode the AZT today from Picket Post and went about 13 or so miles from the trailhead and rode some recently constructed trail that was absolutely incredible...cat claw wasn't too bad, just a few scrapes but nothing major. Great day and amazing trail out there... The new stuff is hard to describe...even the pictures don't do it justice.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New AZT from Picket Post-canyon1.jpg  

    New AZT from Picket Post-canyon2.jpg  

    New AZT from Picket Post-canyon3.jpg  

    New AZT from Picket Post-canyon4.jpg  

    New AZT from Picket Post-canyon6.jpg  

    New AZT from Picket Post-poppy.jpg  

    New AZT from Picket Post-ppostsouth.jpg  

    New AZT from Picket Post-rocks1.jpg  

    New AZT from Picket Post-snake.jpg  


  2. #2
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    major bummer! we should have went.

  3. #3
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    Nice pics Raybum, are those last 5 looking south from your turnaround point? Last year I rode out to the end of the then new section, about 12.5 miles from PP TH, but didn't see anything like that. Could this be the White Canyon re-route?? Do you have a gpx of your ride? Thanks.
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  4. #4
    Ahhh the pain....
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    We went 13.3 miles...and I believe based on the map posted on the AZT site that this is the new White Canyon reroute. I don't know how to describe it other than amazing... In hindsight, I wished we kept going ... there was more we didn't ride. The new stuff looks to be built better too... Here's a link to the GPX file...It's one way...started my garmin at the turnaround point.
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/82876004

    @Sean....you and Brent missed a great ride!

  5. #5
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    Nice pics thanks for the update. I had the opportunity to walk that section during the layout process. Once this new section connects to the Gila River stuff it's going to be one hell of a ride.
    Singin' I love hike a bike!!!

  6. #6
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    There are actually 2 stories to this ride.

    1. Somebody did a hell of a lot of trimming of catclaw. Last time we were on this trail it was a bloodbath. This time I got only a couple of small scratches. Many, many thanks to whomever it was that did that. However, it is growing back again. Some things you can't stop.

    2. That new section of trail is just spectacular. Pictures just don't do it justice. I think it is just after mile 11 that you come over a hill and see this amazing trail stretching out in the distance. The view of the canyon only gets better as you go further on.

    We definitely need to continue on and explore the rest of that section some day. A shuttle ride from the Picket Post trailhead to the Florence-Kelvin Hwy trailhead (planned for 2012) would be most excellent.

  7. #7
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    Ray-

    Awesome Pix. Looks like I missed a sweet ride. Maybe the heat will stay at bay for awhile for a Picket Post, round 2. The shuttle from the Florence-Kelvin Hwy is certainly something that needs to be arranged when the temps start to cool back down.
    Last edited by ARIZycle; 05-02-2011 at 07:51 AM.

  8. #8
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    That trail makes me seriously want take up Bikepacking !

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum
    We went 13.3 miles...and I believe based on the map posted on the AZT site that this is the new White Canyon reroute. I don't know how to describe it other than amazing... In hindsight, I wished we kept going ... there was more we didn't ride. The new stuff looks to be built better too... Here's a link to the GPX file...It's one way...started my garmin at the turnaround point.
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/82876004
    Thanks Ray! I just overlayed your route & it looks like you made it about a mile past my turn around point. Does anyone know how far south the new section runs? By the looks of the pics it stretches out quite a ways. Man I hope the heat stays down for one more good weekend, not likely this coming one however.

    With this new build it's starting to have AZSF written all over it!!
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  10. #10
    Lurky Lou
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    I rode out to the end Easter Sunday. No GPS, so I couldn't tell you how far. All I know is, it was SS friendly for the most part.

    Lots of great views and felt very remote pedaling out there by myself.

    Nothing really techy out there, but hopefully that will change once traffic and weather take it's toll.

    Too me, the new stuff was Ok, but feel like the stuff closer to Picket Post trailhead is flat out more fun due to it's constant twists and turns.

    --Dave


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by dryheat?
    Too me, the new stuff was Ok, but feel like the stuff closer to Picket Post trailhead is flat out more fun due to it's constant twists and turns.

    --Dave
    I hear ya, but in an 800 mile long trail I don't think they are adding any extra twist and turns for no good reason.
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  12. #12
    Scott in Tucson
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    Awesome, many thanks for the report and esp. GPS file. Comparing it to the GPS file AZTtripper and I laid out a year and a half ago it looks like they stuck right with our line, even the switchbacks. It also appears they have almost built the whole section, esp. if you turned around before the trail petered out.

    Francisco at the BLM didn't seem too confident that it would be all finished by winter 2012, but we'll see. They are probably wrapping up construction for the summer soon I would think.

    Oracle -> Picketpost is going to be one of the most epic rides in AZ. Can't wait for it all to be done.
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  13. #13
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    You can probably see in that 4th photo how the trail continues on the ridge at the right side of the picture and I guess then heads south before heading back east? Scott, what would you estimate the mileage to eventually be from Oracle to Ppost?

  14. #14
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    Any idea how far past the the waterhole (tank) the trail goes?
    Because, one is never enough.

  15. #15
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum
    You can probably see in that 4th photo how the trail continues on the ridge at the right side of the picture and I guess then heads south before heading back east? Scott, what would you estimate the mileage to eventually be from Oracle to Ppost?
    Not quite 100. Might be as low as 80 when it's all done, but almost all singletrack and so many incredible sections...
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  16. #16
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    Oh man, that is sweet stuff. Need....to.....get out ...there. Power to resist.....fading......Thanks for the pics.
    Today's the day I eat bikes.

  17. #17
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    I'd hate to be a party pooper, but looking at the gpx in TF, it looks like the route blasts right over the wilderness boundary. True? My impression was that it was supposed to go around it.



    I dearly hope I just don't know how to read a map.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dag Nabbit
    I'd hate to be a party pooper, but looking at the gpx in TF, it looks like the route blasts right over the wilderness boundary. True? My impression was that it was supposed to go around it.



    I dearly hope I just don't know how to read a map.
    Pretty sure you are just misreading the map. I believe the wilderness boundry follows that skinny red line to the north in your picture. I believe the thick red line is something else - maybe the Tonto boundries.

  19. #19
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    Not to worry Dag the trail will be outside the Wilderness. As part of the layout job Krein and I got to see the whole planned route on paper. In fact it's not just the Wilderness that they are bypassing there is also a large mining claim in that area. The mining claim is in fact larger then and completely encompasses the Wilderness go figure. At any rate the trail will head south far below the Wilderness to get below the mining claim before turning east to meet the existing trail.

    Picket Post to the Gila is going to be one sweet point to point ride (cross country shuttle) when it's finished. And Freeman road to the Gila already is. Jimfab, Rhyno and I did a 2 day bikepacking trip up there this spring and Freeman to the river was a sweet ride. Once both sides are done it's going to be a great place to spend a couple of days setting shuttles. Just have to figure out the best camp/party spot in the middle.
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  20. #20
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    Thanks guys. I really figured not, with all the chat of it bypassing wilderness - I'm sure you fellas are on top of it. It looks like is the forest boundary line that splits off from the White Canyon Wilderness. I'm pretty excited about this section. As it ends on Raybum's data, its only about 3.5 miles from the Gila as the crow flies. It seems so close! Of course this could be another 7 miles of trail to go, easily. 2012 seems so far away now....
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  21. #21
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    drool......




  22. #22
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    Looks like another small window of nice weather is going to be here M-T next week...I happen to have the week off and thinking about finding the end of that trail on Monday (we didn't go all the way to the end last Sunday). Anyone interested?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dag Nabbit
    Thanks guys., its only about 3.5 miles from the Gila as the crow flies. It seems so close! Of course this could be another 7 miles of trail to go, easily. 2012 seems so far away now....
    It may only be a short flight to the river but the trail has to go east all the way to the Kelvin Bridge over by where the Ripsey ride ends. Thus allowing the use of the highway bridge to cross the river. There's already about 6 miles of trail built over at that end but it still doesn't connect to any good access points.

    The 2012 bikepacking season is right around the corner. Once this section and the stuff that's already in the works up by Flag is all done the AZT Full Meal Deal is going to be one hell of a big single track ride.
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  24. #24
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    So does it go east by the artesian well and then south through Walnut Canyon, or will it make a break straight for the river then head east?
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  25. #25
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    Unfortunately the artesian well is also within the mining claim. So yes the trail will head south and then east along the river.

    When Max and I did the Martinez Canyon to Cochran to the well ride I saw the spot where the trail crosses the jeep road east of Cochran. Should have made a way point but at any rate it may all change again in the future if the mine buys up a bunch of land on the south side of the river. Then the whole trail on the south side would have to move west to cross the river near Cochran. On the plus side since the trail is all built that means that the mine would have to pay to replace the trail.
    Singin' I love hike a bike!!!

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum
    Looks like another small window of nice weather is going to be here M-T next week...I happen to have the week off and thinking about finding the end of that trail on Monday (we didn't go all the way to the end last Sunday). Anyone interested?
    Yer killing me Ray. I really want to ride that to the end. Wish we had pressed on. However, gotta work. Send me the track if you do this. Oh, and take more pics if you go.

  27. #27
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    i can't wait to ride this! during my tenure doing trail work i spent 8 days clearing corridor in telegraph canyon, then another 8 days almost a year later digging new tread to the tank. beautiful place! i'm glad that people enjoy the ride!

  28. #28
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    So after seeing this post last week I just had to get out there. The temps broke just enough in my book, so I took off to the TH early this morning. Before I get too far, here's the gps data all the way to the dozer sitting on the trail:

    I rode at my usual snails pace, but made good time in my book. The catclaw as reported in earlier posts is non-existant up to the mile 6 overlook, then there's only a few to dodge for the next 6 miles. Nothing on the new 3.5 mile section. The new cut-in is quite the work of art, hugging the mountain side while incorporating a few rock features/views along the way. I was reminded frequently of BCT while heading south, only the switchbacks are a bit tighter in spots. On my way back I was in for a big surprise, when Picketpost mountain came back into view I saw a shroud of billowing smoke surrounding the western flanks. As I drew near, I could tell it was a fairly substantial brush fire, was my car ok? Could I get out? It's a good thing my ride didn't last another 15 minutes as the 10 foot high flames were only about 25 yards from my car!! There was one other vehicle in the lot & no one to be seen. Here's a few shots from the day:

    This is my Golden Spike pano, current end-of-trail on the left and I'm guessing a section of trail coming up from the south on the right. Looked to be only a 1/2 to 3/4 mile apart!!
    From Picketpost EOT 5.8.11


    View from behind a rock spire
    From Picketpost EOT 5.8.11


    Superb cut-in
    From Picketpost EOT 5.8.11


    Not the way I wanted to finish the day
    From Picketpost EOT 5.8.11
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  29. #29
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    A bit to close for comfort , where can one find one of those fireblankets the forest firefighters use? Might be that one more thing to stuff in the 'ol camelback on the next big Trek!

  30. #30
    Scott in Tucson
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    Wow, great photos. That section where the trails goes around those spires is the stuff AZTtripper and I were lucky enough to work on. I won't be able to ride it before the summer, but next fall even if not done, a big out and back like your ride seems like a very good idea.

    Too bad on the fire, hopefully it doesn't scorch the whole area.
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  31. #31
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    there's a silver lining in every cloud......cat claw supression.




  32. #32
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    Thanks for sharing!

    Two Nice updates with GPX!

    The fire fortunately seems to be handled
    http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region...uts-down-us-60

  33. #33
    dirt visionary
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    its only 40% contained as of 54mins ago . With winds reaching 20mph I hope it doesn't flare up again
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  34. #34
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    went to go check this trail out this morning, and the whole area was closed. i don't know about the trailhead, but the road out to it any everything i could see was burnt and black with smoke coming up from hotspots. looks like this trail is off the books for a bit.

  35. #35
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    yup its grown 450+ acres today for a total of 1250acres
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  36. #36
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    Thanks for the pics. Looks like fun trail. This serves as a reminder If you BBQ or plan to camp and have a fire, PLEASE bring enough water to put it DEAD OUT. Although it is good for the desert to burn all of the dead vegetation. and help pop the seeds for new growth, It gives ammo to the greenies trying to close our fine trails in AZ,


    Glad no one was hurt out there or left stranded behind the fire line.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Wow, great photos. That section where the trails goes around those spires is the stuff AZTtripper and I were lucky enough to work on. I won't be able to ride it before the summer, but next fall even if not done, a big out and back like your ride seems like a very good idea.

    Too bad on the fire, hopefully it doesn't scorch the whole area.
    I remember reading about your experience during the routing weekend you did a while back. It was really cool to see the trail come to life out there, great lines all around. From what I saw near the trails end, it appears work is going to continue a bit more this season.
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  38. #38
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    Man, I can't wait to hit that!

    Tracey and I did an O-n-B up there about 2 years ago and it was sweet. Now, it looks even
    better!!



    'cept for that fire s h i t.
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by LJYJ
    Thanks for the pics. Looks like fun trail. This serves as a reminder If you BBQ or plan to camp and have a fire, PLEASE bring enough water to put it DEAD OUT. Although it is good for the desert to burn all of the dead vegetation. and help pop the seeds for new growth, It gives ammo to the greenies trying to close our fine trails in AZ,


    Glad no one was hurt out there or left stranded behind the fire line.
    LJYJ, just an FYI: the Sonoran desert flora did not evolve with fire as an ecological factor. Neither Sonoran flora nor seeds survive fire (or land-bound fauna for that matter). Historically, the Sonoran Desert did not burn as it does today. Thanks to the intentional and unintentional introduction of exotic and invasive species (buffel grass, in particular), the lower deserts have greater fuel density than normal, and it is for this reason that we see desert wildfires take off as they do today. Compounding the fire problem is that once a fire burns through, incinerating native species, the first plants to take hold are the highly flammable, invasive species that are the root of the fire problem in the first place.

    The east-facing slopes on the hills on the north side of US-60 through Gonzales Pass is a perfect example. You will notice the absence of saguaros, cholla and palo verde on these slopes as compared to surrounding landscape, and upon closer inspection, you'll see that these slopes (that burned in ~1990) are now densely populated with buffel grass. Twenty years on, and still no native species recovery on these slopes, but a complete takeover by an invasive grass. There are areas in the McDowell Mountain Park along the Pemberton system (Dixie Mine Trail, especially) that burned in 1994, and these areas have yet to recover, and probably will not in our lifetime.

    I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but it is a common--and dangerous--misconception that fire spurs regeneration in the Sonoran Desert as it certainly does in lodgepole pine and spruce forests (e.g. Yellowstone).

    Click here for more info on invasive species, especially buffel grass, the Sonoran Desert fire problem, and efforts to deal with this problem.

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