Where and when in Arizona?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Where and when in Arizona?

    My buddies and I plan a yearly mountain biking trip. We've done Durango, Crested Butte, Moab, Sun Valley and Tahoe and are itching to try something new. Several of them are suggesting Arizona, but none have any personal experience.

    To those of you have ridden there, where would you go (make your base, what areas/trails, etc.) and what times of year are good (thinking Oct-Nov)? Thanks for any tips!

  2. #2
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    What type of riding are you intrested in doing?

  3. #3
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    Mostly cross country. Looking for good singletrack. Don't mind the occasional shuttle run trails for point to point, but preferably stuff you can do out and back or loops without shuttles. Everyone is on XC bikes with 4-5" of travel.

  4. #4
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    End of October, and November is a great time to come. Phoenix is probably a good hub, because you can get to almost anything within a couple hours, or less.
    ~Aaron~
    "I like the night life. I like to boogie."
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  5. #5
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    Great cross country almost anywhere in the state . Would definatly recomend the White Mountains and Flagstaff thru Sept. Starts to get cold after that . Phx. or Tucson in Oct./Nov. is getting good temps . Some good rides in Prescott area as well as Sedona , Both of these areas are easily accessable from Phx. No lack of great riding almost anywhere you care to go.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tahoe Gator
    My buddies and I plan a yearly mountain biking trip. We've done Durango, Crested Butte, Moab, Sun Valley and Tahoe and are itching to try something new. Several of them are suggesting Arizona, but none have any personal experience.

    To those of you have ridden there, where would you go (make your base, what areas/trails, etc.) and what times of year are good (thinking Oct-Nov)? Thanks for any tips!
    Gator:

    Sedona is great that time of year, but you have to enjoy world class uphill riding. We have over 135 trails* to test your riding skills, You might want to check out this mtbbill video (http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=487394) to see if this is the kind of riding that floats your boat. It takes about 8 minutes to download.

    Obviously Moab is also great that time of year.

    TD

    *Sedona Trails:

    Green Circle (OK for a beginner)

    Plumber's Crack
    Bell Rock Pathway
    Soldiers Pass Jeep Road
    Dry Creek Jeep Road
    Wilson Canyon
    Court House Loop (illegal)
    Big Park Loop
    Mystic
    OK
    Jim Thompson
    Powerline
    Dawa
    Rupp
    Az Cypress
    Grasshopper Point
    Bike Path (High School Trail) (you mean the Red Rock Loop? or High School Trail?)
    Centennial
    Cockscomb Wash to Dawa


    Blue Square

    Soldiers Pass Singletrack
    Snake
    Deadmans Pass
    Ridge
    Old Post
    Submarine Rock
    HT
    Lama (<-- that's Llama Loop)
    Baldwin
    Color Cove
    Thunder Mountain
    Old Man
    Herkenham
    Lost & Found
    Grand Central
    Andante
    Jordan
    Broken Arrow
    Little Horse
    Girdner
    Turkey Creek
    Bandit
    Pyramid
    Chapel
    Lost Watch
    Upper Snake
    Two Fences
    Cockscomb
    Chuck Wagon


    Black Diamond

    Templeton
    Brewer
    Sunset
    Lower Lizard Head
    Mescal
    Hot Loop
    Upper Lizard Head
    Crucifixion Wash
    Rocky Ridge
    Eagles Nest
    Carroll Canyon
    Tea Cup
    Munds Wagon
    Schnebly Hill
    Huckaby
    Chimney Rock (illegal)
    Rabbit Ears
    Scheurman Mountain
    Ledge' n 'Airy
    Cow Pies


    Double Black Diamond (I walk a lot on these trails)

    Casner Canyon (seriously, why would you ride this?)
    Damifino
    Table Top
    Windsurfer
    Airport (Backside)


    Don't Know This trail (or know them by a different name?)

    Anaconda Bypass to Az Cypress
    Lemonade Bypass
    Easy Rider
    New Ramshead
    Baseball
    Bogus
    Touron
    Ant Hill
    Anaconda
    Grassy Knoll
    Brew Pub
    Birdcage
    Pot Farm
    Roller Coaster
    Mouse Fingers
    Missing in Action
    High Baller
    Unknown Bandit
    Harms Way
    Kachina Stables
    Sketch
    Upper Rams Head
    Roller Coaster Proper
    Hangover
    G Spot
    Wall Ride
    Power Station Plunge
    Canyon of Fools
    Secret Slickrock
    Old Rams Head
    Under the Radar
    Under Under the Radar
    Second Coming
    Wash Up
    Compactor
    Lavitra
    Napoleons Tomb
    Witch's Tit
    Killer Bee
    Sick Boy
    Skid Mark
    Sick Rock
    Double Trouble
    Cedar Ridge
    Old Ridge
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc
    Gator:

    Sedona is great that time of year, but you have to enjoy world class uphill riding. We have over 135 trails* to test your riding skills, You might want to check out this mtbbill video (http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=487394) to see if this is the kind of riding that floats your boat. It takes about 8 minutes to download.

    Obviously Moab is also great that time of year.

    TD

    *Sedona Trails:

    Green Circle (OK for a beginner)

    Plumber's Crack
    Bell Rock Pathway
    Soldiers Pass Jeep Road
    Dry Creek Jeep Road
    Wilson Canyon
    Court House Loop (illegal)
    Big Park Loop
    Mystic
    OK
    Jim Thompson
    Powerline
    Dawa
    Rupp
    Az Cypress
    Grasshopper Point
    Bike Path (High School Trail) (you mean the Red Rock Loop? or High School Trail?)
    Centennial
    Cockscomb Wash to Dawa


    Blue Square

    Soldiers Pass Singletrack
    Snake
    Deadmans Pass
    Ridge
    Old Post
    Submarine Rock
    HT
    Lama (<-- that's Llama Loop)
    Baldwin
    Color Cove
    Thunder Mountain
    Old Man
    Herkenham
    Lost & Found
    Grand Central
    Andante
    Jordan
    Broken Arrow
    Little Horse
    Girdner
    Turkey Creek
    Bandit
    Pyramid
    Chapel
    Lost Watch
    Upper Snake
    Two Fences
    Cockscomb
    Chuck Wagon


    Black Diamond

    Templeton
    Brewer
    Sunset
    Lower Lizard Head
    Mescal
    Hot Loop
    Upper Lizard Head
    Crucifixion Wash
    Rocky Ridge
    Eagles Nest
    Carroll Canyon
    Tea Cup
    Munds Wagon
    Schnebly Hill
    Huckaby
    Chimney Rock (illegal)
    Rabbit Ears
    Scheurman Mountain
    Ledge' n 'Airy
    Cow Pies


    Double Black Diamond (I walk a lot on these trails)

    Casner Canyon (seriously, why would you ride this?)
    Damifino
    Table Top
    Windsurfer
    Airport (Backside)


    Don't Know This trail (or know them by a different name?)

    Anaconda Bypass to Az Cypress
    Lemonade Bypass
    Easy Rider
    New Ramshead
    Baseball
    Bogus
    Touron
    Ant Hill
    Anaconda
    Grassy Knoll
    Brew Pub
    Birdcage
    Pot Farm
    Roller Coaster
    Mouse Fingers
    Missing in Action
    High Baller
    Unknown Bandit
    Harms Way
    Kachina Stables
    Sketch
    Upper Rams Head
    Roller Coaster Proper
    Hangover
    G Spot
    Wall Ride
    Power Station Plunge
    Canyon of Fools
    Secret Slickrock
    Old Rams Head
    Under the Radar
    Under Under the Radar
    Second Coming
    Wash Up
    Compactor
    Lavitra
    Napoleons Tomb
    Witch's Tit
    Killer Bee
    Sick Boy
    Skid Mark
    Sick Rock
    Double Trouble
    Cedar Ridge
    Old Ridge

    Post, then smoke crack

  8. #8
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    I must say riding meticulously slow to avoid falling down a cliff does not float my boat too much. I enjoy technical riding but this (http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=487394) seems just too slow going and with risks not warranting the reward. Looking for sinuous single track that isn't so steep you are either in the largest granny gear on way up or on the brakes the whole time on the way down.

  9. #9
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    if you can try to swing out for the spring fling around st patties day and you can get a guided tour of the best trails in the state from sedona to tucson.
    and the lurker returns to the dark corner

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tahoe Gator
    I must say riding meticulously slow to avoid falling down a cliff does not float my boat too much. I enjoy technical riding but this (http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=487394) seems just too slow going and with risks not warranting the reward. Looking for sinuous single track that isn't so steep you are either in the largest granny gear on way up or on the brakes the whole time on the way down.
    Gator:

    Your right Sedona is really best suited for riders who are interested in improving their technical skill sets. We do have some intermediate skill fast and flowy singletrack, but not enough to make a week of it. Almost all trails in Sedona have short sections that intermediate fast flowy riders might find frustrating. Actually Prescot would probably be a better bet since it is more like what you are use to riding back home, otherwise the Phoenix area has tons of flowy singletrack.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tahoe Gator
    I must say riding meticulously slow to avoid falling down a cliff does not float my boat too much. I enjoy technical riding but this (http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=487394) seems just too slow going and with risks not warranting the reward. Looking for sinuous single track that isn't so steep you are either in the largest granny gear on way up or on the brakes the whole time on the way down.

    It sounds to be like you just described Flagstaff. Don't worry about everything in Sedona being like that video. There is plenty of flowy singletrack goodness there too.

  12. #12
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    80% of what Traildoc says is made up. The other 20% is shameless self promotion.

  13. #13
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    Over 200 miles of trail in the White Mountains including killer single track. The town of Show Low can be used as base , 30 minutes from Sunrise with its lift assisted downhill , 180 miles of local trails .

  14. #14
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    my friends and I are all skilled riders...we can ride most anything...most of us have raced XC and/or some downhill, including stuff like Downieville...but the issue is what we want to ride and downhill at 4 mph not because the trail is challenging but rather just to avoid a cliff to your side is not so fun in my book...we prefer screaming downhill as a reward for riding uphill

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JrockFeltaz
    80% of what Traildoc says is made up. The other 20% is shameless self promotion.
    Rock:

    Care to be more specific.

    TD

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc
    Rock:

    Care to be more specific.

    TD
    Doc, great ride today. The temp was just right. To bad 80% of it was made up . Did 2 of sedonuts finest. Thanks Doc.
    SHITBIRD

  17. #17
    Beetlejuice!
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    I'm curious if there is a better resource/map/database of all the trails in AZ? We have the Fat Tire guide book but obviously that doesn't have nearly as much listed as what actually exists.
    "too weird to live, too rare to die" - HST
    "Oh Gravity, thou art a heartless bitch" - Sheldon

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by helimech
    Doc, great ride today. The temp was just right. To bad 80% of it was made up . Did 2 of sedonuts finest. Thanks Doc.
    heli:

    Thanks for the kind words, where do I send the check? I am still enjoying the nice weather in Cali might even head up to Downieville for some super fast flowy singletrack.

    Did you see any Hogs?

    TD
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc
    Rock:

    Care to be more specific.

    TD

    95% of what I say is mindless bollocks

  20. #20
    Kathleen in AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by weezerbot
    I'm curious if there is a better resource/map/database of all the trails in AZ? We have the Fat Tire guide book but obviously that doesn't have nearly as much listed as what actually exists.
    Weezer - check out the maps of Sedona by Dale on his website www.singletrack.us (click on Jen's butt to enter site). He's also posted the great map by Fishman. Traildoc has been doodling on Fishman's map and there was this tread where he'd post his doodles and then I'd do an overlay onto Dale's map. Let's just say it's a work in progress and ride at your own risk, but lots of trails are highlighted here that you'll find on no other map:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...77348#poststop
    Last edited by DurtGurl; 08-10-2009 at 02:12 PM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by traildoc
    heli:

    Did you see any Hogs?

    TD
    Yep they were HIGH .
    SHITBIRD

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DurtGurl
    Weezer - check out the maps of Sedona by Dale on his website www.singletrack.us (click on Jen's butt to enter site). He's also posted the great map by Fishman. Traildoc has been doodling on Fishman's map and there was this tread where he'd post his doodles and then I'd do an overlay onto Dale's map. Let's just say it's a work in progress and ride at your own risk, but lots of trails are highlighted here that you'll find on no other map:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...ghlight=sedona

    Thanks for the links DG!!
    "too weird to live, too rare to die" - HST
    "Oh Gravity, thou art a heartless bitch" - Sheldon

  23. #23
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    Hey, spend some time reading our VISITORS READ HERE FIRST megathread, stickied @ the top of the forum. Lots and lots and lots of resources there just for people like you.

    p.
    Don't be that guy! Read the forum guidelines.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul B
    Hey, spend some time reading our VISITORS READ HERE FIRST megathread, stickied @ the top of the forum. Lots and lots and lots of resources there just for people like you.p.
    Paul:

    If every Arizona visitor were to look at the Sticky before asking for trail information on the Arizona forum I would have to quit my job as the self-appointed Sedona ambassador. Half of the extremely valuable information I provide to the Arizona viewers would never be posted.

    Those riders who want that personal touch and want to be on the cutting edge of what loops to ride in Sedona would miss out on the current Intel. Where do you think Cosmic Ray gets some of the updated trail beta for his guide book?

    There are rumors that the Sedona mountain biking community leaders are getting close to developing a multi-faceted comprehensive plan (sounds like the President speaking) with the Forest Service to promote Sedona as having some of the most progressive riding and hiking in the whole country. Up to this point it seems like the Forest Service has been trying to keep the mountain biking potential in Sedona a secret. If that happens Sedona will definitely become a more popular national and international mountain bike destination.

    If and when this happens the Arizona forum will be flooded with posts about where to ride and when the MTBR ambassadors get frustrated with all the redundant questions about where to ride they will just remind the visitor that they can look at the Sticky and figure it out themselves.

    TD
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  25. #25
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    Maybes time for a new ambassador?

  26. #26
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    Oct through Apr Fantasy IsLand, Tucson, Google it, live it, love it, ride it. You four & five inchers will have a blast!!! No land permit needed to ride just show and go to get down with the flow bro...

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by JrockFeltaz
    Maybes time for a new ambassador?

    maybe one that is not sooo annoying?
    and the lurker returns to the dark corner

  28. #28
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    I would suggest riding at all locations from Phoenix to Flagstaff. The first two weeks in October would almost be a sure go at really ideal weather in all areas. It's only a two hour drive on 17 and the different spots and terrain they offer varies so much it would make your trip epic. Black Canyon City on your way up is also another worthy stop for nice flowy single track, Sedona is a must hit and I think Flag is as well. Prescot has the goods I hear as well.

  29. #29
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    There's great stuff in Flagstaff - I mean, it's FANTASTIC, but you'll be at the mercy of what
    I would consider to be pretty cold weather in the Oct/Nov time-frame. Just my opinion. I'm
    not sure, but there might even be snow up there by that time.

    Oct/Nov is a perfect time to hit Phoenix and Sedona area trails.

    I've never ridden the Black Canyon Trails (aka BCT), but they're inbetween Sedona and PHX
    and have a good reputation, so if you're on the route, you'll probably want to try them out.
    The Oct/Nov time-frame should be great for that area.

    Oct/Nov is a perfect time to hit Tucson low elevation trails; down in the desert.
    There's Tucson Mountain Park, which connects to Robles and offers all kinds of loops and
    options with something like 40 miles of trail. And up in Oro Valley, there's The 50-Year
    Trail (and friends), which offers some spectacular riding with lot's of loopable options and
    sections that have "A-lines" and "B-lines" to test your courage (aka stupidity).

    And there are vast stretches of the AZ Trail to roll on both sides of Tucson (N and SE).

    You might have fun at Fantasy Island, but it's pretty flat and not technically challenging
    at all. [Before someone gets "up in arms" about that comment, Tucson-area trails such as
    Butterfly, Crystal Springs, Green Mountain, and Milagrosa are technically challenging.
    Fantasy Island is not.]

    You can hit some of the great riding on Mt Lemmon, but if you try to go above 7000 ft, it'll
    be a bit chilly, IMO. But there's a ton of very challenging, big pines and aspens riding
    up there.

    These are just a few possibilities for AZ riding. There's a hella lotta great stuff in this state.
    -- Evil Patrick

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  30. #30
    Shred...it's the new drug
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    Oct/Nov will be prime time for some of the most well known municipal riding in the country...National Trail on South Mountain or T100 in PMP!!! Shuttleable(somo) or ridable(both), both super fun and gnar! Must ride trails if you are down this way. Give us a shout out if you want a proper tour. I wish I was in Tahoe right now...lucky

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Patrick
    There's great stuff in Flagstaff - I mean, it's FANTASTIC, but you'll be at the mercy of what
    I would consider to be pretty cold weather in the Oct/Nov time-frame. Just my opinion. I'm
    not sure, but there might even be snow up there by that time.

    Oct/Nov is a perfect time to hit Phoenix and Sedona area trails.

    I've never ridden the Black Canyon Trails (aka BCT), but they're inbetween Sedona and PHX
    and have a good reputation, so if you're on the route, you'll probably want to try them out.
    The Oct/Nov time-frame should be great for that area.

    Oct/Nov is a perfect time to hit Tucson low elevation trails; down in the desert.
    There's Tucson Mountain Park, which connects to Robles and offers all kinds of loops and
    options with something like 40 miles of trail. And up in Oro Valley, there's The 50-Year
    Trail (and friends), which offers some spectacular riding with lot's of loopable options and
    sections that have "A-lines" and "B-lines" to test your courage (aka stupidity).

    And there are vast stretches of the AZ Trail to roll on both sides of Tucson (N and SE).

    You might have fun at Fantasy Island, but it's pretty flat and not technically challenging
    at all. [Before someone gets "up in arms" about that comment, Tucson-area trails such as
    Butterfly, Crystal Springs, Green Mountain, and Milagrosa are technically challenging.
    Fantasy Island is not.]

    You can hit some of the great riding on Mt Lemmon, but if you try to go above 7000 ft, it'll
    be a bit chilly, IMO. But there's a ton of very challenging, big pines and aspens riding
    up there.

    These are just a few possibilities for AZ riding. There's a hella lotta great stuff in this state.
    Evil:

    Great write up. I think the OP has gotten so much info his head is spinning. He has probably decided to head to New Mexico instead.
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  32. #32
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    TD nice posts! Tahoe I think we have some sweet XC stuff up here in Preskit. Sedona is better for tech, many short and steep ups and downs. I dig Llama.....flowy!

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