Results 1 to 31 of 31
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    739

    Sedona trip (Festival vs. Guided Tour vs. DIY)

    Planning our next MTB trip for March/April timeframe and Sedona is at the top of the list. Can anybody outline the pros/cons with:

    1) Attend Sedona MTB festival (March 1-3)
    - just use demo bikes (can we take a demo bike for a whole day?)
    - crazy lines?
    - trails get too busy?
    - is it still cold/snowy early March?
    - Are the shuttles to good trails we would want to ride?
    2) Going with a guide company
    - likely get all-inclusive bike rental, accommodations, and maybe meals
    - some flexibility with dates
    3) DIY
    - We are 12hr drive to Sedona - borderline
    - will likely fly
    - fly own bike vs. rental
    - are trails hard to navigate?
    - full flexibility with dates

    I'm leaning to option 1 - if the festival is not too crazy, and we can keep the demo bikes for the entire day. Not going to be super picky on which bike model to demo - there are so many good bikes out there. Though my experience is, my personal bike is still way more dialed than any demo bikes I've tried before.

  2. #2
    The .05 percent
    Reputation: sinatorj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    905
    Sedona is a fine destination 51 weeks of the year. That other week, known as the festival weekend the place is covered with goons looking to touch the latest Plus sized and fat bikes, along with 7999 of their closest facebook friends. If this sounds like fun to you, I would make reservations now. Other than that, place is awesome.
    Make Flagstaff RAD Again.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    739
    Quote Originally Posted by sinatorj View Post
    Sedona is a fine destination 51 weeks of the year. That other week, known as the festival weekend the place is covered with goons looking to touch the latest Plus sized and fat bikes, along with 7999 of their closest facebook friends. If this sounds like fun to you, I would make reservations now. Other than that, place is awesome.
    Hmmm - yes over run trails with too wide of rider skills/experience would suck. I guess I'm curious are all the trails overrun? Or are the goons only staying with close-by easier trails? Are the shuttle locations overrun too? I've heard of demo bike lines is a zoo - but again, I'm not too picky with which demo bike to get.

    We did Interbike Northstar park day and it was busy but still very fun. Lines from the bottom lifts were bad, but mid-mountain was fine.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: k2rider1964's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    3,171
    From my experience, people that go to Sedona's festival have been overwhelmingly happy with their experience and I don't recall anybody complaining about crowded trails. However, it was a complete deal breaker when I saw the video from last year where people had to line up outside a rope (with people getting there an hour ahead of time) and then run to the bike vendor when they dropped the rope. I've never experienced that process at Fruita or Hurricane's festivals.

    I personally do the DIY route twice a year from SoCal. Even when I got to festivals, I don't demo bikes for the same reason your mentioned. My personal bikes are built, maintained and set up to my specs so there are no issues. Sedona is easy to navigate if you have the free Trailforks app.
    2019 Yeti SB5C
    2018 Intense Tracer
    2017 Intense Primer

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    1,271
    Quote Originally Posted by smoothmoose View Post
    Planning our next MTB trip for March/April timeframe and Sedona is at the top of the list. Can anybody outline the pros/cons with:

    1) Attend Sedona MTB festival (March 1-3)
    - just use demo bikes (can we take a demo bike for a whole day?)
    - crazy lines?
    - trails get too busy?
    - is it still cold/snowy early March?
    - Are the shuttles to good trails we would want to ride?
    2) Going with a guide company
    - likely get all-inclusive bike rental, accommodations, and maybe meals
    - some flexibility with dates
    3) DIY
    - We are 12hr drive to Sedona - borderline
    - will likely fly
    - fly own bike vs. rental
    - are trails hard to navigate?
    - full flexibility with dates

    I'm leaning to option 1 - if the festival is not too crazy, and we can keep the demo bikes for the entire day. Not going to be super picky on which bike model to demo - there are so many good bikes out there. Though my experience is, my personal bike is still way more dialed than any demo bikes I've tried before.
    A very few vendors are going to allow you to demo all day. The festival is fun if that is your thing. I would drive the twelve hours and bring your own bike. I just drove from Oakland and it was no big deal.

    Navigating has has been made easy with the Trailforks phone app and the local trail map which helps for planning. We should have several new trails by the time of your visit. They wonít be on the local trail map, but they will be in Trailforks app which is updated within a couple days of new trail completion or rerouting.

    Hopefully Transcept will be adopted before you start your trip. I would incorporate it into an out and back from Hiline then buckle up for the backside of Hiline.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rockman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    6,634
    What Switchblade said. Consider a day or two at the Festival but you will want your own bikes. 12 hours isn't that far if you're planning on a week. If you do fly and plan on renting I would line those reservations out sooner than later. Do a little research up front and you'll have no problem figuring out how to navigate the trail network and have a great time. Use the search function.

  7. #7
    C-H
    C-H is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    186
    Option 3.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    428
    I have driven there 3X from the San Francisco area----I'd drive the 12-----yes it is long but trading drivers helps----we do it in one shot------helping is there is no traffic most of the way. Once there I see no reason to pay guide---pretty easy to navigate----and I'd stay south of town for sure.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    3,344
    I don't like being around that many people, especially mountain bikers . JK....kind of.

    Some people love that sort of thing I guess.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Posts
    303
    The few times I've ridden in Sedona have been very much off-peak, and even then the crowds were a bit much. (Traffic was a trainwreck around that tappylackawhackoffplague place making it even worse.) I couldn't imagine trying to get around, let alone how crowded the trails have to be during the MTB festival thing.

    Flying/driving, and renting/bringing bikes is a tossup (I drive/bring since I live in Phoenix) but self-guided is plenty easy there. Trailforks did the trick perfectly, and things seem to be very well marked. Except I didn't delve deep enough in the description to realize that Hiline is 1-way for bikes. Found that out after riding to the wrong damn end in hopes of a loop.

    I see zero reason to fork out moola for guides or even the MTB festival.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    739
    Thanks all for the feedback. I too, am from the SF bay area, but I think 12 hrs 1-way is too much for myself and my riding crew to take the 2 additional days off work and family. So we're either flying/shipping our own or renting bikes.

    Logistically - getting a car rental for 3-4 bikes might be tough, I think the only option is pickup/U-haul rental. Any other options? I haven't done enough research to know which trails should be pedaled vs. shuttled - so that's another consideration for taking the festival or guided options which will have shuttles.

    I do heed the warning on crowds at the festival though. #1stworldMTBproblems

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Bones2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    393
    Quote Originally Posted by smoothmoose View Post
    Thanks all for the feedback. I too, am from the SF bay area, but I think 12 hrs 1-way is too much for myself and my riding crew to take the 2 additional days off work and family. So we're either flying/shipping our own or renting bikes.

    Logistically - getting a car rental for 3-4 bikes might be tough, I think the only option is pickup/U-haul rental. Any other options? I haven't done enough research to know which trails should be pedaled vs. shuttled - so that's another consideration for taking the festival or guided options which will have shuttles.

    I do heed the warning on crowds at the festival though. #1stworldMTBproblems
    If you fly, Southwest is reasonable $75 bike fee each way. There are good rental shops. Over the edge and absolute bikes. But I always prefer my own bike.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    1,271
    Quote Originally Posted by smoothmoose View Post
    Thanks all for the feedback. I too, am from the SF bay area, but I think 12 hrs 1-way is too much for myself and my riding crew to take the 2 additional days off work and family. So we're either flying/shipping our own or renting bikes.

    Logistically - getting a car rental for 3-4 bikes might be tough, I think the only option is pickup/U-haul rental. Any other options? I haven't done enough research to know which trails should be pedaled vs. shuttled - so that's another consideration for taking the festival or guided options which will have shuttles.

    I do heed the warning on crowds at the festival though. #1stworldMTBproblems
    smooth it will be interesting how long your travel time will be from the time you leave your front door and arrive at the door of your Sedona lodging. Let us know what that ends up being.

    As far as shuttles go, it will be interesting what you end up shuttling. There are about five different downhill type shuttles that are not done by the local shuttle operations. The shuttles you may get will be from one area to another. If you had your own vehicle you would just drive from your lodging to the trail area you want to ride.

    As far as lodging goes my recommendation is in the West Sedona area, if your visit is going to be a popular vacation time.

  14. #14
    No known cure
    Reputation: Vader's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,647
    Solo. No wife, kids, dogs or slow riders.

    I won't even tell anyone I'm going until I'm back.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  15. #15
    Meatbomb
    Reputation: Phillbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    6,243
    But John will still ask the question.... How did you find the pit toilets? Were they of your skill set and a nice user experience???

  16. #16
    The .05 percent
    Reputation: sinatorj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    905
    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo View Post
    But John will still ask the question.... How did you find the pit toilets? Were they of your skill set and a nice user experience???
    Shiz gettin old...played.

  17. #17
    No known cure
    Reputation: Vader's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,647
    Quote Originally Posted by smoothmoose View Post
    Thanks all for the feedback. I too, am from the SF bay area, but I think 12 hrs 1-way is too much for myself and my riding crew to take the 2 additional days off work and family. So we're either flying/shipping our own or renting bikes.

    Logistically - getting a car rental for 3-4 bikes might be tough, I think the only option is pickup/U-haul rental. Any other options? I haven't done enough research to know which trails should be pedaled vs. shuttled - so that's another consideration for taking the festival or guided options which will have shuttles.

    I do heed the warning on crowds at the festival though. #1stworldMTBproblems
    I wouldn't bother with a Uhaul. With the huge number of people fleeing California, there's a Uhaul shortage and prices are sky high for UHauls leaving California.

    It's cheaper to pick one up in Phoenix, drive it to San Diego and back than to pick one up in San Diego and drive out to Phoenix.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    58
    From a riding time standpoint there might not be that much difference between driving and flying when you factor in time spent at the airport at each end, time spent on the interminable Sky Harbor rental car shuttle, time spent picking up your rental car, time spent stuck in Phoenix traffic, and time spent getting set up with rental bikes. Also, it goes without saying that there's a significant difference in cost between bikes you already own and bikes that cost $70-90/day but it doesn't sound like cost is that much of an impediment.

    I think Absolute rents racks if you do decide to fly and rent but that obviously doesn't help with you getting from the airport to Sedona if you fly your bikes.

    It's also worth noting that heavy precipitation, either of the solid or liquid variety, is not out of the question in Sedona in March or April. Lot more flexibility to go to Phoenix, Black Canyon City, or Tucson while you wait for Sedona to dry out if you have your own bikes and a good way to transport them.

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    1,271
    Quote Originally Posted by mbr4527 View Post
    From a riding time standpoint there might not be that much difference between driving and flying when you factor in time spent at the airport at each end, time spent on the interminable Sky Harbor rental car shuttle, time spent picking up your rental car, time spent stuck in Phoenix traffic, and time spent getting set up with rental bikes. Also, it goes without saying that there's a significant difference in cost between bikes you already own and bikes that cost $70-90/day but it doesn't sound like cost is that much of an impediment.

    I think Absolute rents racks if you do decide to fly and rent but that obviously doesn't help with you getting from the airport to Sedona if you fly your bikes.

    It's also worth noting that heavy precipitation, either of the solid or liquid variety, is not out of the question in Sedona in March or April. Lot more flexibility to go to Phoenix, Black Canyon City, or Tucson while you wait for Sedona to dry out if you have your own bikes and a good way to transport them.
    As I asked the OP previously. Let us know when you leave your house and when you start your first ride? If you have lots of money just charter a flight to the airport in Sedona. The airport is about one mile from Over the Edge Bike shop. You could stay at the hotel about 1/8 mile from the runway you would be landing on. There is actually a special user created trail that is about 100 yards from the hotel entrance. It will take you to all the great Sedona trails.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    739
    Quote Originally Posted by Switchblade2 View Post
    As I asked the OP previously. Let us know when you leave your house and when you start your first ride? If you have lots of money just charter a flight to the airport in Sedona. The airport is about one mile from Over the Edge Bike shop. You could stay at the hotel about 1/8 mile from the runway you would be landing on. There is actually a special user created trail that is about 100 yards from the hotel entrance. It will take you to all the great Sedona trails.
    LoL...OP here. No I'm not a rich dentist or tech multi-millionaire who can charter my own plane for me and my brahs. It is really that shocking we're considering flying vs. driving when flights can be had for ~$150?

    Total travel vs. riding time may not be huge difference - but flying I THINK can remove at least taking 2 vacation days - as we can fly on both ends in the late afternoon evening. I understand we may lose a couple of hours of riding time on the book ends getting/returning bike/car rentais etc. But that still a lot better than losing 2 days driving during the day.

    I do agree though flying and renting, may prove to be logistically more challenging if we don't plan it properly.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: johnnyspoke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    951
    Quote Originally Posted by smoothmoose View Post
    Logistically - getting a car rental for 3-4 bikes might be tough, I think the only option is pickup/U-haul rental. Any other options? I haven't done enough research to know which trails should be pedaled vs. shuttled - so that's another consideration for taking the festival or guided options which will have shuttles.

    I do heed the warning on crowds at the festival though. #1stworldMTBproblems
    A few years ago me and a few buddies spend 5 days biking in Sedona without a car. Depending on where you're lodging, you could probably bike to most trailheads in less time than loading bikes in a car, driving to the TH, finding (and paying?) for parking, unloading, etc. Sedona is pretty compact.

    Anyway, we didn't miss having a car once. YMMV.

    Edit: What I mean is, once you're they're, you may not need to rent a uhaul to get all your bikes around.
    I'm looking forward to regretting this.......

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: obviouslyme's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    190
    Quote Originally Posted by Switchblade2 View Post

    Hopefully Transcept will be adopted before you start your trip. I would incorporate it into an out and back from Hiline then buckle up for the backside of Hiline.
    I saw in another thread some excitement about Transcept opening this Saturday. We're headed down from Oakland this weekend to ride.

    We were planning on doing a Shady/Hiline/Templeton loop one of the days. How does Transcept get incorporated into that? I couldn't find anything on Trailforks or other online maps.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rockman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    6,634
    Quote Originally Posted by obviouslyme View Post
    I saw in another thread some excitement about Transcept opening this Saturday. We're headed down from Oakland this weekend to ride.

    We were planning on doing a Shady/Hiline/Templeton loop one of the days. How does Transcept get incorporated into that? I couldn't find anything on Trailforks or other online maps.
    Here ya go. The excitement, however, was over a trail day. Not sure when it will actually be open for business.

    Sedona trip (Festival vs. Guided Tour vs. DIY)-transcept.jpg

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    1,271
    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Here ya go. The excitement, however, was over a trail day. Not sure when it will actually be open for business.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Transcept.jpg 
Views:	37 
Size:	360.2 KB 
ID:	1223954
    Rockman as you know 95% of Transcept is rideable. Now that it is being adopted I would assume the hardcore riders will be riding it. If you have to walk a few short sections that is part of the adventure. The 1%íers might be able to ride those difficult sections. Itís going to be awesome. I will see if Trailforks will add it to the current database of trails.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rockman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    6,634
    Quote Originally Posted by Switchblade2 View Post
    Rockman as you know 95% of Transcept is rideable. Now that it is being adopted I would assume the hardcore riders will be riding it. If you have to walk a few short sections that is part of the adventure. The 1%íers might be able to ride those difficult sections. Itís going to be awesome. I will see if Trailforks will add it to the current database of trails.
    Well, it's still closed but of course there are those taking the risk and riding it. Will they just open it after one volunteer event? Perhaps but there's 2.7 miles of trail. Maybe the FS crew has been working on it already. I figured for sure you'd be Johnny-on-the-spot with your video camera documenting the progress and quality of work.

    I just posted the map because someone asked. You can tell the world that it's open for business if you want.

  26. #26
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    1,271
    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Well, it's still closed but of course there are those taking the risk and riding it. Will they just open it after one volunteer event? Perhaps but there's 2.7 miles of trail. Maybe the FS crew has been working on it already. I figured for sure you'd be Johnny-on-the-spot with your video camera documenting the progress and quality of work.

    I just posted the map because someone asked. You can tell the world that it's open for business if you want.
    Rock so you think the FS will bust mountain bikers for riding a trail that they are opening for mountain bikers? That seems like terrible PR to me. In all other trails like that, that they are working on they have not been a$$holes and written tickets. What would their logic be?

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rockman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    6,634
    Quote Originally Posted by Switchblade2 View Post
    Rock so you think the FS will bust mountain bikers for riding a trail that they are opening for mountain bikers? That seems like terrible PR to me. In all other trails like that, that they are working on they have not been a$$holes and written tickets. What would their logic be?
    Nope, that's not what I said. I could also make the argument that the real a$$holes are the ones riding it and getting in their way while they are wrapping up the trail work to bring it into system status. I was under the impression that there's one lengthy section with a lot of crib work and tread-build up required. Whatever, have at it. If it's not signed closed then what's the big deal? Besides the closure order of course which to my knowledge hasn't been rescinded.

    Do us a favor and go have a look.
    Last edited by rockman; 11-07-2018 at 11:14 PM.

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation: rockman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    6,634
    Switch, the word on the street from the FS is the trail won't be opened until the work is done. The volunteer event tomorrow is a realignment on the south end and there is a FS crew working on the north end toward's HiLine. So, another month or sometime in December or early January is the time frame for when it will be open. At least legally.

  29. #29
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    1,271
    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Switch, the word on the street from the FS is the trail won't be opened until the work is done. The volunteer event tomorrow is a realignment on the south end and there is a FS crew working on the north end toward's HiLine. So, another month or sometime in December or early January is the time frame for when it will be open. At least legally.
    Good to know. I will check out the work and report back, so everyone can see the work that is being done to make this user created trail World Class. It should be noted that the Phantom was not a mountain bike, but an ex government employee that worked on trail projects prior to retiring. Since he had only built hiking type trails, he didnít build the trail to the normal Sedona User Created Mountain Biking spec, so consequently the need for 22 days of rework.

    I do give him credit for having come up with an outstanding CONCEPT. When your just one guy creating a trail you tend to cut a lot of corners. I donít think he ever dreamed the trail would oneday be a super popular mountain bike trail.

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    28
    ...

  31. #31
    Meatbomb
    Reputation: Phillbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    6,243
    would that be a world class user built ... ?

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-22-2015, 03:59 PM
  2. Guided Tour Companies in Sedona?
    By starry in forum Arizona
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 02-10-2014, 06:49 PM
  3. Ft. William DH guided tour
    By GuruAtma in forum California - Norcal
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 06-08-2013, 07:16 PM
  4. Utah riding: alone or with guided tour?
    By Wannebe in forum Utah
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-23-2012, 06:24 PM
  5. Need info on guided tour in Mexico
    By lRaphl in forum Mexico
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 04-04-2012, 08:35 PM

Members who have read this thread: 181

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.