TR - AZ for New Years 2018- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    TR - AZ for New Years 2018

    With New Year's Day on a Tuesday this year and not wanting to work on Monday, a road trip was a good excuse to take the day off and get out of town. Found a couple riders who were interested in Tucson or Phoenix. Still hadn't decided by mid-week but the temps were looking a little less chilly in Phx, so that's what we did. Also decided on an AirBnB in fairly central Tempe rather than freezing our butts off camping.


    We ended up leaving Saturday morning so a ride in Yuma made the most sense. I rode there a few years ago and always mean to stop in, but it never seems to happen. Today we'd have much of the afternoon to ride.


    A trailhead sign and map has appeared since my last visit




    We headed out on Backyard planning to turn north and head around that perimeter of trails




    In the end we took a more direct approach up 8-ball which is a doubletrack that climbs gently up a central valley in the middle of the trail system. Higher up we came across an old steam shovel




    We took a left and climbed up adjacent Steamshovel Trail to the ridge top




    We were going to loop around south here but one of the bypass trails around a high point on the jeep trail unexpectedly turned back north and sent us off the map and toward a completely different area




    The trail was nice but definitely less travelled




    We eventually joined back with Champagne Trail which runs along the ridge top for quite a ways




    Local resident




    Continuing north




    Views of water mean we're almost as far as we can get here




    Dropping off the ridgeline




    We circled around to the left and started making our way west, climbing over and around some smaller ridges




    This was a pretty distinct feature and made for a scenic backdrop




    Cool rock field




    Getting into the golden hour. This outer loop took longer than expected so it was time to head back to the truck




    Makes me wish we had more time to ride.




    I liked this northern side better than what I rode last time but there is still lots to explore. I'll be back....at some point.

    17mi and around +/- 2,000ft

  2. #2
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    Nice! Subscribed.

  3. #3
    Ahhh the pain....
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    So little vegetation down there... could almost be Mars.

  4. #4
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    I live where the I40 runs across AZ, Western part...if you are close enough you might get a kick outta riding Sara Park at the East end of Lake Havasu City. Ya, still desert but rock mountains, dry creek bed crossings and cactus surrounding Lake Havasu make for good rides from green to double black diamond. And, if you like getting air, there is a freeride area with a variety of jumps not a half mile from the parking lot. With the temps in the low 60's, it's been great. "Exciting rides, no injuries to everyone!"

  5. #5
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    I was planning to get a ride in in Yuma on my way out to SoCal last week but didn't get a chance to check out those trails. Looks like I really should make it a priority for the next trip out that way!

  6. #6
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    For sure, it is pretty fun riding and the moonscape is pretty cool.

    I've seen pics of Sara Park and it looks cool as well. Its just kinda out of the way. Some day....

  7. #7
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    The Arizona Trail from Picketpost to Kelvin is one of my favorite rides. I've talked it up for years and years but have only ever gotten a couple people to make the trip from Socal to ride it. So I wanted to try and get Dom and Cristen out there. While I knew they both capable of pulling it off they were skeptical as its a pretty big day. And the 10 hours of daylight we get this time of year isn't much more than the time it normally takes me to do the ride. Add in cold temps and a lack of local riders able to come with us and help shuttle, we opted for an out and back from Picketpost. This would allow for a later start with less worry about finishing in the dark. We brought lights anyways along with extra layers.


    The joys of AirBnB. The rental we picked was newly set up and turns out the owner had forgotten pots, pans and most kitchen utensils. So we had to make do for breakfast. Fortunately the owner dropped off these items while we were out riding and all was good.




    Temps were around 40* by the time we rolled out shortly after 9




    The climb went pretty quick and we were soon at the first overlook




    I never get tired of the cactus out there




    Lots of cars in the parking lot but we had the trail almost to ourselves. Saw 3-4 hikers and one pair of bikepackers on the climb up




    We were all smiles despite the climbing




    Dropping down towards the FR4 jeep road




    Dom will always take on any technical section and made short work of this tricky g-out




    Checking out the views which keep getting better the further you ride




    My goal was to get to the 14 mile overlook to get in the best views. Martinez Canyon looks daunting but it really isn't a huge elevation change from the 12 mile overlook




    There was a bit of pushback to continuing on but the best views were just around the corner




    Dropping down to the saddle




    I pushed and prodded a bit more to get us the last 1/4 mile to the final overlook




    Views are so rad through here....




    The final overlook - you can see all the way to Mt Lemmon above Tucson




    Heading back




    We made it back to the 12 mile overlook in about an hour an a half, which seemed pretty good to me




    And since most of the uphill work was on the way out, we made pretty good time getting back toward Picketpost




    Just a few short climbs, none of which are terrible




    Final miles in the golden hour




    Group shot and time for a beer




    And a spectacular sunset on the drive home. Pic does not do it justice




    New biking shoes. Got fed up of 5.10s falling apart on me so I'll try some trail runners. Hopefully they hold up better. Not quite as grippy but great on the HABs. Light gaiters kept all the rocks and debris out. So far, so good!

    Edit to add - the one downside of these shoes is zero cactus protection on the top of the foot. I kicked a prickly pear pedaling past it and had to yank a couple spines out of my foot. The five-tens are made of tougher material that is more resistant.

    Last edited by evdog; 01-06-2019 at 11:52 AM.

  8. #8
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    Great report 👍.
    Where did you find those Gators

  9. #9
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    Thanks! Got them and the shoes at REI. You can also order similar gaiters online - google Dirty Girl Gaiters. Was going to order those, but REI had these ones in store.

  10. #10
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    The plan for our third day was South Mountain. We had tried to coordinate with some friends of Dom's for the AZT ride but that didn't work out, possibly due to his repeated butchering of the name Picketpost on the phone (Pickpocket, Picklepost, Picketpocketpost). But we would meet up with one of them, Steph, today to ride. She lives nearby so we met her at the Pima Canyon lot. Despite a later start it was cold and windy, so we wasted no time before heading off.

    We headed up Pima Canyon to Mormon and National. Steph is a racer and was charging everything, getting this step up first try. Dom did as well, I couldn't get up it except on foot.




    Lots of fun chunky climbing to be had on this route




    It got even windier up top on Mormon and National




    Taking time to play on a few of the side features




    A sea of rock




    Dom took a lap down the waterfall, but it was getting too cold to play around much




    Not as many hikers with the wind, but we did come across this group of robed monks. They were stoked on our pedal bikes so I can only assume they were up there sacrificing e-bike riders to appease the gods




    No way we'd be doing two laps today so our choices were go back down National or hit Corona do Loma. I hadn't been on CDL in ages so suggested that.




    I'd heard complaints it had been sanitized but it still seemed plenty chunky and fun to me




    We saw occasional rain drops to this point but coming back across Desert classic we got rained on for real and were good and wet by the time we got back to the truck. So soup or noodles was a unanimous choice for food. Chen's Noodle House in Tempe was pretty good!




    We weren't sure what it would be like trying to get dinner on NYE but called around and found room at one of Steph's suggestions. Food was great, then we wandered over to the main drag in Tempe. Home before midnight...


  11. #11
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    Final ride for the trip would be nearby and not too long so we could get home at a decent time.

    I had never ridden PMP and considering it was close by and reportedly good after the rain, it seemed like a good option.


    This would be a pure exploratory since I hadn't done any research. Fortunately we arrived early enough there were still parking spots in the lot




    The ride started with a beat up climb coming out of this underpass




    We stayed on Trail 100 for a while but I think we were on the wrong version of it? Since it was all doubletrack. So we ditched that and headed off on some trails we saw




    A bit of tough climbing and descending took us close to a southern trailhead and it looked like our best option was a gnarly hike a bike up to a pass.




    Dropping down some steep stair steps




    Top of the HAB




    We looped around on better trails to the north side and picked up Chunky Monkey around to Zipper where we picked up another trail back to the trailhead. Fun little ride. I'd like to go back sometime with someone who knows the place as the trails were very hit or miss and trailforks descriptions weren't very helpful.



    We made it home around 6pm which is great compared to most of my trips. Another fun trip in the books. Was later sent pics from friends in Tucson who were riding through a bunch of snow on the ground, so I think Phx was the correct choice!

    Happy New Year everyone

  12. #12
    NedwannaB
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    Great TR of those areas, thank you!
    Wait whuuut, who did he tell you that!?!?....

  13. #13
    parenting for gnarness
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    I bought those same shoes at REI. Hiked in them 3 times and the grip is tremendous. Still getting used to the footbed. Not sure I'd like them for riding, for the reasons you mentioned.
    YES to Scottsdale Prop 420
    Our Preserve, Our Taxes, Our Vote

  14. #14
    parenting for gnarness
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    Sodomy Gulch
    YES to Scottsdale Prop 420
    Our Preserve, Our Taxes, Our Vote

  15. #15
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    Love these threads. Very informative.
    The only trace I leave behind is tire marks.

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