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  1. #1
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    NorCal Crew(s) Going to Sedona MTB Festival?

    Who's going? I'm on the fence, but might drive out.

    Advice on logistics, where to stay, drinking, etc?

    http://sedonamtbfestival.com/

  2. #2
    sbd
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    Never been to this event or region but it doesn't look horrible.

    Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    I went last year and had a blast. I'm not sure if I'm going again this year, but I know for a fact I will be taking a trip to Sedona this March around that time.

    First off, the trails and scenery in Sedona are some of the best I have ridden, if not the best. I would almost call Sedona the desert equivalent of Yosemite Valley. The desert is beautiful, just like the Sierra Nevada; and then you have places like Yosemite Valley that just turn the beauty up to 11. Sedona is like that, but for the desert. The trails are great, even for intermediate hacks like me. I didn't ride any of the super gnarly double black stuff (though I plan on maybe working my way up to it this year), but the riding was varied, and challenging, very different from Norcal riding. There are no big descents or climbs, and most of the climbing is steep and punchy. The elevation is basically all in the 4200-5000ft range. Lots of rock, ledges, slickrock off-camber traverses and rock rolls; definitely some serious exposure on many trails (especially given the prickly plants on the non-exposed side :P). There's many types of terrain ranging from pine forest to dry creekbed to slickrock to smooth hero dirt. The dirt is very good, when I was there last year it snowed the Wednesday before the festival leading to epicly good dirt during.

    As far as logistics, I can speak to my experience which was a bit unique. I decided to go without renting a car for the time I was there just to see what would happen. I flew into PHX, took a shuttle to Sedona, and rented a bike from Over the Edge Sedona. First off, if you want to rent a bike during the festival, I'd procure your rental right now. I booked a month out and they were booked up; only thing I could get for the days of the festival was a Trek Roscoe plus hardtail. I got to Sedona Wednesday afternoon as the snow came down. I was staying at an Airbnb near 89A and Dry Creek Rd, only a few miles from the shop, so it was an easy spin back to the Airbnb. The next day, I rode out to the Chuckwagon trailhead in the morning and did this route https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/700...st-sedona-tour and some other trails there. That evening, I rode trails in the Soldier Pass area near the festival to try and scope out good trails to test the demo on; on that ride I smashed my hand pretty badly which limited my riding for the rest of the trip to 3-4 hours a day which was a bummer. After swapping bikes out, for the next 3 days, I went to the festival, mostly riding demos at the Soldier Pass area near the festival. I had a ton of fun riding the bike park they have right at the festival too -- they have a "beginner" jump line/flow trail that is still pretty sketchy (HUGE tables with steep lips and a lot of speed), pump track, etc. I think they've expanded since. Saturday and Sunday each day I did a shuttle; the first one was out to West Sedona, where I screwed up and ran out of water leading to a miserable ride back (it's worth noting the shuttles are one way for the most part, they don't pick up frequently so you're encouraged to pedal back to the festival on roads), the second one was to Broken Arrow, which was an awesome ride and takes you by some of the best views in Sedona. After all that, broken and bonked I took the shuttle back to PHX Monday morning.

    What I'm doing differently this year on my Sedona trip:
    1. Bringing my own bike and renting a car. I would honestly skip renting a car again, especially if I were going for the festival weekend (because of the shuttles), but the shuttle wasn't very convenient and I doubt you would be able to take it with a bike bag. I ended up sucking up a lot of my day at PHX on Monday because of the timing of my flight vs. the shuttle, and it was stressful on the way in as my flight was delayed a bit out of SFO. After demos at the festival, I decided to buy my Yeti and I would (mostly) prefer to ride my bike over a demo.
    2. Get to the festival earlier. Guys were lining up 30mins before demo booths opened to take out Santa Cruz, Yeti, Pivot, etc
    3. Drink more water and take even more advantage of free food available. Riding all day for days on end, especially in the desert, is tough; you might as well drink a bunch of free drink mix if you have access to it.

    Things I'm not changing:
    1. Airbnb in West Sedona. This was a good location for easy access to trails and the festival. I liked being near Dry Creek for proximity to trails, but that was when I had to pedal there (though I still prefer to pedal 2-3mi to a trailhead than drive, even on road).
    2. Drinking lots of beer at the beer garden. They ran out fairly early each day last year but I still got my fill; I'm sure they'll be fixing supply problems this year too, the management of this festival is on point.
    3. Being stoked on the red rock vortexes!

  4. #4
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    ^^^ GREAT feedback! I may borrow a friend's big ass RV (or rent one). We'll see. I definitely will drive with my bike either way.

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    Hmmm. I can be of assistance if u wanna know where to camp for free. I'm debating going

  6. #6
    NRP
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    Yeah Sedona is rad if you've never been. We've been going each year for the past 4 or 5 years. We've always camped a little farther up 89A, but an Air BnB would be best if can snag one.

  7. #7
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    I grew up in AZ. Ridden a ton in sedona. Camping and fly fishing too.

  8. #8
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    Maybe some carpooling? Err. Truck pooling?

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    Also, check in to place called page springs campground. It's like 10 mins outside of sedona. Has good rates for rvs tents or cabin rentals. It's right on a creek. Really pretty place.

  10. #10
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    Sedona trips are a must, but a few of us went for the MTB Festival in 2017, and afterwards, we all agreed that it wasn't worth planning a trip around the Festival especially because none of us were interested in riding demo bikes. Also, it's very easy to set up your own shuttles, or plan rides that start and finish at the same spot, if you do a little research. The lines for the shuttles from the Festival can get pretty long, too. And, of course, the trails are much more crowded during Festival weekend.

  11. #11
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    Good thread on pros/cons of Sedona MTB festival vs. just Sedona here:
    https://forums.mtbr.com/arizona/sedo...y-1091102.html

    Never done the festival personally, but have done Sedona last couple of years and it's amazing. Consensus on the thread above seems to suggest Sedona DIY is better than fest. IDK personally.

    Don't miss trails:
    *Hiline. Can combine w/ Slim Shady (go DH north from Hiline trailhead) and/or Transept (new fun trail) for a longer ride potentially. Or multiple rides. Hiline worth doing multiple times, IMO
    *Hogs (Broken Arrow > High on the Hog > Hog Heaven > Pig Tail > Hog Wash)
    *Hangover (scary, but less scary than the internet suggests, IMO)
    *West Sedona Tour (Chuck Wago > Long Canyon > Deadmans Pass > Mescal > Canyon of Fools > Dawa > Cockscomb > Aerie > Mescal > Chuck Wagon).

    Other than that, I really liked Soliders Pass Area - start on Teacup trail by Sugarloaf mountain (near your Airbnb most likely if you're in West Sedona--recommended), hit Soliders Pass, and then take Grand Central over Ant hill down to the 89. You'll end right at Mariposa, which has great food, views and Mezcal Margs.

  12. #12
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    I'll be going before my next bike purchase.

    Thinking about a trip this spring, sedona vs moab?

  13. #13
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    So much good here. Thanks guys.

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    If you can get a few ppl together, have someone drive out from California w/a bunch of bikes, and everyone else can fly/take a shuttle or rent a car from PHX (car can be cheaper). There are two shuttle companies, or maybe more now, so scheduling can be tweaked by picking one or the other.

    What's nice about Sedona is you really don't need a car or practically an event. I'll make it out some spring... maybe this one! Maybe during the festival or maybe before...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Azflyfishing View Post
    Hmmm. I can be of assistance if u wanna know where to camp for free. I'm debating going
    I would love to know. I'll be bringing my then new to me 30' 5er and a few friends.

  16. #16
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    Will firm my plans up later, but could potentially carry 4 additional bikes if anyone is flying and wants a bike there.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
    I would love to know. I'll be bringing my then new to me 30' 5er and a few friends.
    There is a campground that the festival reserved, check out the website. No water or electric hookups. I had to google 5'er, it's a 5th wheel, a camper trailer you tow, right? Knowing nothing about that stuff, no idea if they would consider that a "medium RV"

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmtb View Post
    If you can get a few ppl together, have someone drive out from California w/a bunch of bikes, and everyone else can fly/take a shuttle or rent a car from PHX (car can be cheaper). There are two shuttle companies, or maybe more now, so scheduling can be tweaked by picking one or the other.

    What's nice about Sedona is you really don't need a car or practically an event. I'll make it out some spring... maybe this one! Maybe during the festival or maybe before...
    You can fly Alaska to PHX from SFO, $25 each way for bikes, free if you get the Alaska credit card. I might still consider this option if anyone wants to drive my bike down. I'd pay to avoid having to get my bike bag to SFO, means either paying a $50+ each for Lyft Plus to/from SFO or driving down there and paying for parking. Not fun either way.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tburger View Post
    Sedona trips are a must, but a few of us went for the MTB Festival in 2017, and afterwards, we all agreed that it wasn't worth planning a trip around the Festival especially because none of us were interested in riding demo bikes. Also, it's very easy to set up your own shuttles, or plan rides that start and finish at the same spot, if you do a little research. The lines for the shuttles from the Festival can get pretty long, too. And, of course, the trails are much more crowded during Festival weekend.
    On the fence here too about whether I will go festival weekend. The trails were pretty crowded during the festival (though I got the impression they will always be crowded that time of year, even just with hikers; good vibes hikers who get out of the way and walk heads up though). I'm not very interested in demos either, I love my bike. I think the main thing I'd miss out on if I went out on a different weekend was the social aspect, group rides, the beer garden/music at the concert. Not sure if that's worth the hassle.

  20. #20
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    Sedona is probably my favorite place to ride. I'd agree that it's desert Yosemite. Truly one of a kind and very special.

    I would recommend going 1-4 weeks after the festival. The weather starts to get warmer and if you go mid-April, you can get a sweet Airbnb with a pool, etc and bring the family.

    My avatar is the famous jeep line on Broken Arrow...

  21. #21
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    Bump with an AWESOME BKXC video.


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