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Gila River Ramble Advice in December!

2646 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  phurter

I'm planning to do the Gila River Ramble ride (outlined here: in mid-December and was looking for tips from anyone who's ever done it? Any information about the trail itself, water supply, parking would be really helpful. Or any information that anyone has! Planning to stretch it out to 4 days even though it seems that you can do it in 3. Thanks in advance!
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That's a legit loop - worth doing. Here is a ride report from an abbreviated version we did a while back.

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I haven’t done the Ramble, just the AZT part. On a lean water year and that time of year I would water up extra at the Gila and other good sources and try to skip the cattle ponds.

A generous time window sounds like an excellent way to ensure fun and mitigate night riding.
I haven't done that exact route, but have covered quite a bit of that territory on different rides. Do you plan on starting near Kelvin? There have been reports of vandalism at that AZT trailhead. Not sure what safer options are in that area. That said, picketpost is a bit more safe for parking and there will likely be a camp host there so I feel good parking there for several nights. There is a new-ish water collector right off the AZT (research it) that greatly helps with that grunt from the river to picketpost. At 2500 gallons (and full at last check, even in August) it is fairly reliable. Nothing is guaranteed of course...

Not sure where you are from, but it is rugged and it is a very backcountry experience. Expect limited cell coverage in spots. You need to be very self sufficient and able to repair mechanicals or be willing to walk 20 miles to self extract as vehicle access is limited. Given the most recent monsoon season, the trail is very overgrown in spots and even more rugged than usual. That said, I expect trail conditions to improve as it will be receiving more traffic now that the weather is good. The AZTR (just started today!) should help considerably.

Have fun, it's an absolutely magical place.
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Kearny is a couple of miles off the route. If I wanted to park there for a few days I'd contact Breezeway MH & RV Park. They were totally cool with acommodating me on bike and the town is very trail-centric. Old-Time Pizza is a must if in town.
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How was the route? I'm looking at riding it in the next week.
Has anyone done this route recently and have a good gpx file they could share. Any info would be appreciate.


GPX on is good. If you're following the route as published, the only thing I'd change up is to stay on the AZT when reaching Telegraph Canyon Rd., FS4. Take it almost all the way to Picketpost trailhead, turning right onto Arnett Canyon about 0.1 mile before Picketpost. Take Arnett Canyon trail, stay right after the gate, then take the next left after a couple of miles. Stay on the L.O.S.T. (Legends of Superior Trail) into town, it goes directly behind the Circle K with a short connector trail, only a 100' or so. Resume the route from there. You can grab the Arnett Canyon & LOST gpx from the AES website, use the Picketpost Punisher C Route GPX. Here: Picketpost Punisher
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