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  1. #1
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    Sedona Mtn. Bike Fesitival March 4-6 - worth the trek down from out of state?

    Sedona looks like a beautiful place to ride and I'm tempted to journey down from out of state for the MTB festival but am trying to decide if it's better to come down for the festival (where there will be many more people but also demo bikes available and shuttles) versus coming down on my own time to just rent a bike and explore myself (where I probably won't have the crowds and won't have to worry about getting demo bikes returned in time, etc). I'm not as interested in the "party atmosphere" that the Festival may provide.

    Here's my specific questions:
    1. Not familiar with the area, is the festival located around an area with plenty of beginner/intermediate trails that can be ridden to (not interested in doing the real techie stuff)
    2. Do you have much freedom with the bike demos as far as how long you take them out?

    I don't want to spend travel time and money to come down if I'm going to feel like I'm sitting around waiting in line just to take a bike out for an quick 30-60 minute spin.

    Thanks for any input!

  2. #2
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    Reputation: evdog's Avatar
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    I went to the Sedona festival in its first year. It was awesome, a fairly small grassroots type of event with maybe 50-60 riders total.

    I missed a few years and it now seems to have gone corporate. I heard 800 people last year and massive lineups for everything.

    The trails are enough of a gong show because hikers have found them now that the USFS has legalized and signed many trails.

    Personally I wouldn't go back for this festival. And I avoid Sedona on any long weekend and peak season in general.

    The Hurricane Festival is still small and more worthwhile, and around the same time of year. Might be worth checking that out instead. IMO the trail quality and quantity and scenery are just as good and you don't really have to deal with retarded tourists everywhere you go.

    Or go to Sedona another weekend. Tag along on a shop ride if you need a tour.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MHCBH View Post
    Sedona looks like a beautiful place to ride and I'm tempted to journey down from out of state for the MTB festival but am trying to decide if it's better to come down for the festival (where there will be many more people but also demo bikes available and shuttles) versus coming down on my own time to just rent a bike and explore myself (where I probably won't have the crowds and won't have to worry about getting demo bikes returned in time, etc). I'm not as interested in the "party atmosphere" that the Festival may provide.

    Here's my specific questions:
    1. Not familiar with the area, is the festival located around an area with plenty of beginner/intermediate trails that can be ridden to (not interested in doing the real techie stuff)
    2. Do you have much freedom with the bike demos as far as how long you take them out?

    I don't want to spend travel time and money to come down if I'm going to feel like I'm sitting around waiting in line just to take a bike out for an quick 30-60 minute spin.

    Thanks for any input!
    I haven't been to the Sedona festival (but have been to Sedona) because I don't like the fact that they charge double the money compared to the Hurricane and Fruita festivals for essentially the same thing. As evdog mentioned. the Hurricane Festival is more manageable due to the size but the number of vendors there in minimal as well. The Fruita festival is the most established and pretty much every manufacturer is at the event. The demos run smoothly overall and while some companies want you back after 1/2 day, it's not possible for the most part and nothing is ever said. We've been (3) time stop Fruita and twice to the Hurricane festival.

    Sedona is a blast and worth visiting but I'd go at a time other than the festival if you can.

  4. #4
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    Reputation: Justin MD's Avatar
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    I went last year. It was very enjoyable. I did not find the amount of bikers a problem. We all basically rode the same direction. I was always on one of the first shuttles and didn't return until near the end of the day. No big deal.

    Just don't expect a tour guide. There were many than had no clue where to go after stepping out of the van.

  5. #5
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    I went last year...If you go don't pay the $50 unless you need to shuttle...there are lots of close rides and tons of folks heading out. Also, hotels are expensive and there isn't much dispersed camping close by. Lots of vendors and crazy traffic! The riding is epic as Sedona is!

  6. #6
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    Pretty much agree wit what's been said except I think evdog may have been a bit harsh. But I think he likes remote and lonely rides.

    I think there were about 500 people at the Sedona festival last year and it was a little crazy in and around the festival as far as traffic goes (I think this is true on any nice spring weekend in Sedona though), but getting bikes at vendor tents was actually pretty easy and they were all cool about letting you keep the bike for as long as you wanted.

    On the trails, crowds of riders was never a problem and we didn't run into that many hikers either. They don't do guided rides like they do at Hurricane but the trails aren't too hard to find and navigate and they have shuttles that take you to two or three major trailheads and give you maps of each area with a brief trail description. Download the mtbproject or trail forks app onto your smart phone and it's hard to get lost. It's also fairly easy to hook up with other riders on the shuttle or at the trailhead.

    We had a great time at both the Sedona festival and the one in hurricane.

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