Vacation/2nd home recommendations? Getting sick of cold winters.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Vacation/2nd home recommendations? Getting sick of cold winters.

    I live in MN and man the winters can get loooong. A guy can only do so much fatbiking in 0 degree weather.

    I've ridden a bit in Phoenix, was kinda targeting the north side of the city to give easy access to Sedona, Payson, Prescott as well as all the trails in and around town. Any other cities or areas I should be considering?

    Should be:

    -near major airport
    -family friendly, 4 and 7 yr old
    -70+ degree winters
    -lots of good riding nearby or within an 1-2 hour drive

  2. #2
    Viva la Vida!
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    Vegas baby!
    We do not stop playing because we grow old;
    We grow old because we stop playing

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camaleon View Post
    Vegas baby!
    Ha, ya, I had thought of Vegas, what area of town would you think?

  4. #4
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    If I was just buying a second home, I will probably try to get a House in Boulder City. Small Western Town, right outside Las Vegas, you have the Mountain Bike Mecca "Bootleg Canyon" and Lake Mead. You also have Kingman within one hour drive.
    Now since you live in the land of the 10,000 lakes a lake is not really an attraction to you so to speak, and that puts you at about a 30-40 min. (depending on traffic) drive from the other Network Trails and about 1hr to MT Charlestone. If you are here just as a Snow Bird, Mt Charlestone is almost irrelevant.
    Other than that I say Summerlin, and then you have Blue Diamond/Cottonwood, 100's of miles to ride year round at about 20 -25 min drive, you have the South West Ridge 10-15 min. drive, The Cowboy Trails 10-15 min. Drive, The Burbs 10-15 min drive, Bear's Best 5-10 min drive, The Stash 10-15 min. ride, Mt Charlestone 30 -40 min drive, Bootleg Canyon 30-40 min Drive.
    You are also closer to UT (St George/Hurricane)
    As I was reading the post I realized that as a second home I will try to get a House In Blue Diamond before Summerlin and maybe even before Boulder City and that way I could ride everyday right out of my front door.
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  5. #5
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    Thanks! Perfect, exactly the kind info I am looking for, will do a bit of research into houses in those areas.

  6. #6
    Viva la Vida!
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  7. #7
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    Don't want to beat up on other posters but I would strongly advise you pass on Las Vegas. It is the antithesis of family friendly. Lots of drugs, lots of crime, endless amounts of smut.

    My wife's twin sister live in Boulder City. We spend a lot of time visiting her. Other than running in to Las Vegas to visit Yama Sushi, there is no reason to waste time heading into Las Vegas.

    Bootleg Canyon and the surrounding cross country trails are not a mecca. They are a bunch of downhill specific trails and a couple cross country trails that are below average.

    We've been riding out west near Blue Diamond for many years. When I'm in Las Vegas for CES (Consumer Electronic Show) in January, We like to get out to ride the trails just southwest of town. They are average quality trails. Expect lots of loose rocks and sand. There is often horse traffic tearing up the trails for bike riders.

    We have a second home in Phoenix, on the north side of town, next to the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. A lot of good trails in the heart of Phoenix. We ride from home to the trails. The Phoenix Sonoran Preserve has just expanded. It now connects to Cave Creek trails. Excellent housing opportunities are within a few miles if that Preserve.

    Some local riders prefer South Mountain to ride more technical trails and the fairly easy Desert Classic Trail.

    The jem of the metro area is McDowell Sonoran Preserve, that also connect to McDowell Mountain Park, where there is a competitive race course and a dozen other trails with a variety of difficulty. Browns Ranch in North Scottsdale has expanded to 60+ miles of well maintained and designed trails. None are difficult, all are fast and fun. It's a 35 minute drive for me.

    Housing is still affordable in Phoenix. We paid $85k five years ago for a 3/2 we had to completely remodel. We are 15 minutes from the airport.

  8. #8
    Viva la Vida!
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    Wherever you go there you are.

    If the only reason worth visiting Vegas is an all you can eat Sushi place. "ALL YOU CAN EAT" places are also known for the great quality of their food right....?....?

    That gives "me" a good baseline on these guy point of view to begin with.
    It also make me wonder what do the other 41,000,000 visitors that came here last year see in this shit hole, do they all really come hear to eat as much raw fish as they can for $30 when we don't even have a Coastline..?

    BTW I lived on the heart of Scottdale (Kirland) and use to ride the McDowell Mountain Park
    Last edited by Camaleon; 10-19-2015 at 01:58 PM.
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  9. #9
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    In Austin, we don't exactly have mountains, but we do have hills. There are a lot of trails in the city and within an hour AustinBike.com - Your home for Central Texas Mountain Biking

    The winter is mild. Although, it's not a constant temperature. It's unpredictable. We can get cold fronts for a few days that will drop the temperature down to the 30's just like the rest of the country. But as soon as the front is gone after a few days, it warms back up again. There is ice on the ground probably only 2-3 days in a year, if that.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Camaleon View Post
    Wherever you go there you are.

    If the only reason worth visiting Vegas is an all you can eat Sushi place. "ALL YOU CAN EAT" places are also known for the great quality of their food right....?....?

    That gives "me" a good baseline on these guy point of view to begin with.
    It also make me wonder what do the other 41,000,000 visitors that came here last year see in this shit hole, do they all really come hear to eat as much raw fish as they can for $30 when we don't even have a Coastline..?

    BTW I lived on the heart of Scottdale (Kirland) and use to ride the McDowell Mountain Park
    Wow!, Dude was just giving his opinion.

  11. #11
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    I'd pick pretty much anywhere over Vegas as well.... I lived there from 99-08.... Luckily I got out before the economy tanked I come back every year in March to race and usually bring my bike along... The trails are fun and plentiful but I tend to agree with the previous post the town its self is a dump.... It's always been a sketchy place sure it's concentrated in certain areas but it can and will overflow into the nice ones.... Transient gypsy types flock there. I use to ride my ATV at Nellis dunes in the morning hours before the heat in the summer it was a regular occurrence to find cars ditched in the desert with the lights still on... Sometimes rolled over you never knew what you'd find... People living out in the middle of nowhere in culverts or old RV's...sure that happens everywhere but seems real common there .I currently live in Charlotte NC and love it... However it does not fit into you temp range for winters...

  12. #12
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    The temp range eliminates a lot of places. Family friendly definitely eliminates Las Vegas.

    I was in Las Vegas in March and got invited to ride with the owner of Niner bikes. Both my wife and I ride R.I.P. 9's. It was a fun ride but he mentioned that it was nearly the last ride at that location before developers plowed the trail.


    It's amazing what has happened in the greater Phoenix area the last ten years. There use to be a half dozen riding locations. Now there are dozens. Every level of riding experience. No matter where you live, there will be riding nearby. I am astonished at how they find the funding to develop these expensive trail systems. One of the newer ones required a $184 million dollar infrastructure investment. New bike friendly road, large free parking area, restrooms, six new trails that include fast trails rolling in and out of dry washes, plus two trails climbing up and over steep mountains with fun twisty downhill runs. They marked the trails well and included signs with mile markings and trail descriptions. They have plans to expand the systems and connect them to other trails nearby.

    This weekend, I'm driving out to the East Valley to ride on a new trail system. Local riders and trail builders are leading a tour of the new trails.

    Existing Mountain Preserves in Phoenix have plans to expand their trail systems and some of the new trails have already been completed.

    The local freeway system seems to be one of the best in the U.S. for getting drivers from one side of town to the other. This is great news for mountain bikers looking to mix up their rides. If I had children, I think I could keep them bust with a variety of activities. The housing market has improved since it bottomed out but homes are priced well under 2007 prices.

    Phoenix doesn't have as many great BBQ restaurants as Austin, but once you visit Little Miss BBQ, you'll never try anywhere else. The Brisket and Beef Ribs are right up there with Franklin's. Oh, Camaleon, I stopped off for all-you-can eat sushi yesterday on my way to the airport, after a morning group ride and didn't end up in the hospital. The hamachi was particularly delicious. Go figure.

  13. #13
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    Maybe not as glamorous as some of the areas, but Tyler Texas is great. Temps can be a little less than 70's during the winter, but not much. Lots of local riding, more and more all the time. Very family friendly area. Like someone else posted, Austin is a great choice also.

  14. #14
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    Vegas is cold in the winter. At least for this Californian. People mistakenly think that deserts are always hot or warm. They are not. I've seen snow there.

    Next week highs around 50, lows 30.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zignzag View Post
    Vegas is cold in the winter. At least for this Californian. People mistakenly think that deserts are always hot or warm. They are not. I've seen snow there.

    Next week highs around 50, lows 30.
    Perfect temps for riding! But in reality, yeah it would be colder here than your requirements.

    I've lived in Boulder City for only a few months, but I love it here. I also moved from MN. I really like that we are far enough out of Vegas/Henderson to maintain the small town atmosphere, but also close enough that we can go out for a night on the town. The town will become even more quiet once the bypass is finished.

    Not sure what the above poster was talking about with "a couple below average xc trails" at Bootleg. Sure, there are gnarly DH trails, but there are also miles and miles of great XC riding. However I will say that nome of the xc trails are too beginner friendly - this is not hardtail territory. But I will say that this is a place that will improve your technical riding in a hurry! If you like to be challenged Bootleg is fantastic. If you are looking for something more mellow, Cottonwood would be the place to go.

    Sent from my SCH-S968C using Tapatalk

  16. #16
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    Vegas - I looked into this last year. All signs were pointing to drive to the St George/Hurricane area to ride. There is more trail then you could ride in 2-3 weeks there and it seemed to have everything from kid friendly beginner to some of the most insane trails that have ever seen.

  17. #17
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    St. George, Utah is a nice area - close to Vegas - close to Sedona - close to Moab and a lot of great Utah Trails. Even not a huge haul to Fruita.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  18. #18
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    If someone thinks there are great XC trails in Boulder City, they have never ridden great XC trails. Monarch Crest, Surveyors Ridge, McKenzie River, Umpqua River, Flume Trail, Tumalo Falls, Porcupine Rim, Jem Trail. These are great XC trails. Boulder City has some trails worth riding, but none are epic or great or memorable. Boulder City does have a great bike and skate park for the youngsters. My wife's twin sister and her family live across the street and visit the park a lot. There is also a very nice paved riding trail that runs through Lake Mead Recreation Area. It's over 30 miles distance in the loop. It is 34 degrees in Boulder City right now, with a high in the mid 50's.

    St. George, Utah has experienced a trail building boom in recent years. It's a wonderful town with low crime and lots of nearby outdoor recreation. Hurricane is a short drive and has some of the best trails in the region.

    Yet another new trail is being completed in the greater Phoenix Area. The Maricopa Trail that will circle the city. There is no other large city in the United States with as many mountain biking trails to ride. It's quite staggering. The next 5 to 5 1/2 months will be perfect riding weather. Then it will be hot for four months. That's when I head up to Flagstaff or ride early in the morning. Brown's Ranch Trail system in north Scottsdale is both a family friendly place to ride and a ton of fun for serious riders. Housing costs are likely 40% cheaper than in St. George and slightly less than in Boulder City or Las Vegas. One negative for someone raising children is that in the next year, Phoenix will likely have legalized recreational marijuana use. Also, there is more crime than in other cities.

  19. #19
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    So basically the cartels will have a store front to sell their products.....I've spent quiet a bit of time in Phoenix,racing at PIR and ex was from there... It's a beautiful city and I'm excited to one day ride some of the trails. The one constant on each visit is the amount of sketch areas you can find yourself in rather quickly.

  20. #20
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    Sedona. Moab.

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