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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking to plan a week-long get-away to a warm(er) area to escape the Seattle winter blues. Targeting mid December.

Looks like the major AZ areas are Flagstaff, Phoenix and Tuscon. On my home turf I do a lot of climbing and technical single track (blacks) descending but open to anything.

Not necessarily looking for the best terrain, but the best riding whereby others will be out and about, whether for group rides or just in case I do down hard. Thanks in advance.
 

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I alway recommend Hawes trail system, but It depends on which side of the valley you are staying. It’s hard to beat the Fall, Winter, Spring riding weather here and there is good riding on the West, North, East or South side.


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Sedona and Prescott will have snow off and on in the winter. I'm partial to my playground called the White Tanks in Surprise. It's not for everyone though. Especially flowriders.
 

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If you absolutely need to make some firm plans well in advance, I'd choose PHX for sure. I live in Prescott and ride Sedona weekly during the cooler months but it's possible a snowstorm could shut you down if you chose Flagstaff and/or other areas up in this direction. That being said, the riding was stellar almost all of December & January up here this past year. The other reason I would choose PHX is because it's so different than the PNW stuff. Flagstaff is the most similar for sure. I'm not anti-Tucson and need to give it another try but aside from Mount Lemmon stuff, I wasn't enamored with the riding in Tucson.

Prior to moving to Prescott, we used to make yearly trips to PHX in the Spring. There is no "best" place to stay because there is good riding spread all over the valley. We had some lengthy drives but usually stayed in Glendale or Peoria because of all the great food options pus access to an MLB Spring Training game for cheap or a hockey game if the Coyotes were in town. South Mountain and the National Trail are probably PHX's signature trail and if you ride on a weekend or start after 9am on a weekday, you WILL have plenty of hikers out there if you fall. o_O If you're going for a week, it's absolutely a must ride IMO.

I personally like to ride the Cave Creek Cactus Cup loop (rarely see other riders but some hikers within 1st mile of the start) , Gold Canyon (rarely see other riders or hikers) and the BCT (rarely see anybody midweek). You're guaranteed to have others around you almost any day at Browns Ranch & Apache Wash or McDowell's and Hawes, especially on weekends. Hawes is a place I haven't explored enough and need to do so this Winter. If the weather s good and you want to ride Sedona at some point, hit me up. I'll meet you if I'm around but going to Cabo for 10 days as well.
 

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...

I personally like to ride the Cave Creek Cactus Cup loop (rarely see other riders but some hikers within 1st mile of the start)

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Just a heads-up- not sure if it's still an issue, but the last time I rode the C4 trail back in June, someone had deposited a whole load of big rocks right at the base of one of those rounded cattle gates. I went up and over the gate and didn't see the rocks until it was too late. Front wheel washed out and i went OTB. This was ~10 miles away from my car back in town and made for a pretty rough trek back. I have ridden this trail numerous times and these rocks were new. After I got up and dusted myself off, I did my best to clear the path for the next rider. As you said, there are not many people out there, so if you do decide to ride this trail, it might not be a bad idea to go with a buddy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, all. Helps tremendously. Phoenix it is! Just gotta a new Trek Slash and got stymied by a bad shock from the factory (just got it back a few days ago) and the weather has turned up here, so have hardly any miles on it. Gotta break it in proper!
 

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Thanks, all. Helps tremendously. Phoenix it is! Just gotta a new Trek Slash and got stymied by a bad shock from the factory (just got it back a few days ago) and the weather has turned up here, so have hardly any miles on it. Gotta break it in proper!
South Mountain is the most the unique riding in the area. I would definitely hit National tail...look for SomoRollingPin in trailforks for a great sample. I would also go down Geronimo as it is completely different than anything you will ride in PNW. If you love those hit Corona De Loma.

I ride all over the valley and there is good riding everywhere. South Mountain is head and shoulders above all other riding here.
 

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If your staying in Tempe, Mesa, or Scottsdale, South Mountain and Hawes, are easy drives. Northern Tucson, like 50 year trail, is only 1.5-2 hour drive from there too.
  • South Mountain, Mormon and National Trail are the must dos. You gotta climb, but others said, its unlike anything else.
  • Hawes, the new Red Mountain Rush is 2 miles of tech (small amount near the top) and flowy down hill. You'll need to either shuttle or climb the 1200 feet to ride it though.
  • 50 year has big rock rolls that are well known. Its a very fun ride with lots of features to stop and ride.
On the west side of Phoenix, Glendale, Peoria, or Goodyear, FINS, Pirate Trails, or White Tanks. To me the west valley trails are more old school natural style of trails. Even from my area in one corner of the valley, its only a 40 min drive to South Mountain. So really there's riding close to where ever you stay, with the big attractions easy to get to.
 

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If your staying in Tempe, Mesa, or Scottsdale, South Mountain and Hawes, are easy drives. Northern Tucson, like 50 year trail, is only 1.5-2 hour drive from there too.
  • South Mountain, Mormon and National Trail are the must dos. You gotta climb, but others said, its unlike anything else.
  • Hawes, the new Red Mountain Rush is 2 miles of tech (small amount near the top) and flowy down hill. You'll need to either shuttle or climb the 1200 feet to ride it though.
  • 50 year has big rock rolls that are well known. Its a very fun ride with lots of features to stop and ride.
On the west side of Phoenix, Glendale, Peoria, or Goodyear, FINS, Pirate Trails, or White Tanks. To me the west valley trails are more old school natural style of trails. Even from my area in one corner of the valley, its only a 40 min drive to South Mountain. So really there's riding close to where ever you stay, with the big attractions easy to get to.
Well, now you've done it, I'm going to have to get out there and ride RMR. This is the first I've heard of it. When I used to road trip to PHX from San Diego in the Spring, I could never figure Hawes out but the designated RMR loop on Trailforks looks like a winner. Now I just have to get these Brown's Ranch addicts up here in Prescott to try some thing new. :eek:
 

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I have ridden it. A lot. That makes no sense. All the newer Hawes stuff on the east side from Usery is rad. Trying to shuttle it is nonsense. Go earn your turns.
Like I said, I haven’t done it. Just what several riders told us while on the trail. I drive all the way from Surprise to ride there every few months, I make sure I ride as much as possible.
 

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Well, now you've done it, I'm going to have to get out there and ride RMR. This is the first I've heard of it. When I used to road trip to PHX from San Diego in the Spring, I could never figure Hawes out but the designated RMR loop on Trailforks looks like a winner. Now I just have to get these Brown's Ranch addicts up here in Prescott to try some thing new. :eek:
RMR makes the climb worth it. I usually do RMR, but did Goat and High Ridge today instead. All three options are bueno!


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East Hawes is pretty great. Especially RMR. Or if jumps are your thing, Iron Goat scratches that itch. I like to start where Scorpion meets Bush Hwy. I wish the parking were better, but it's not bad. Climb up to the top of Alp. Loop High Ridge or Iron Goat/Cactus Nectar to add mileage, but it's hard to pass up RMR, so fun. If you just do RMR and then come down Stinger and Bush Lite it's about 11.5 miles. Great ride.
 

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East Hawes is pretty great. Especially RMR. Or if jumps are your thing, Iron Goat scratches that itch. I like to start where Scorpion meets Bush Hwy. I wish the parking were better. Climb up to the top of Alp. Loop High Ridge or Iron Goat/Cactus Nectar to add mileage, but it's hard to pass up RMR, so fun. If you just do RMR and then come down Stinger and Bush Lite it's about 11.5 miles. Great ride.

Thanks, I plan to get down there as soon as it cools down and "cools down" for me as a Prescottonian means temps in the 70's, not "below 100". :p
 
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