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Discussion Starter #1
Just thinking ahead of having some down time around Christmas and wanting to go out for some off the beaten path rides. with my fitness currently, I'm comfortable with about 20 miles 3-4 hours, depending on how much climbing and tech riding there is.

Just as a point of reference, I did Mesquite to Willow loop this weekend at White Tanks. Its not a true back country ride, but it has the feel of one. I've done the lower section of BCT, out and back, and while thats cool, kinda looking for something that doesn't need a shuttle to go further.

Anyways, suggestions?
 

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EDR
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Anyways, suggestions?
Remote?

Picket Post. Go south to wherever, and back (nice lookout at around 10.5miles). You could (with shuttle) go all the way to Kelvin hwy but I think that's more than you are asking for.

It's a beautiful ride and it's much faster on the way back which is great.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Remote doesn’t bother me.

I was thinking of AZT around Picket Post, just wasn’t sure where to start and finish.
 

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Picketpost AZT as an OnB is for sure, the best "remote" experience for that time of year you can get with the parameter of 20 miles and and/or 3-4 hours. I would also consider the shorter loop of the Kentucky Camp AES series or a variation of the longer one....that terrain also has a remote feel, but with more dirt road bail options that may or may not add to your comfort with the ride (or take away from the remote feel). Lastly, you can always do an OnB on the AZT from Freeman road, heading north. That section is perhaps the most remote feel of any segment that exists on the AZT.

There's a couple more that come to mind that time of year, but would involve a shuttle. If you're open to that, and really want a "remote experience" have someone drop you at the AZT Parker Canyon Lake trailhead and you can ride to the pass, or push it to Patagonia. But I would only recommend that if you want to f^c7 yourself.
 

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Have you guys ridden the Canelo's since the new re-routes? It's not as hard as it used to be.

The AZT north of Picketpost is nice too but requires some dirt road riding. This would probably be the Picketpost C loop. Arnett Canyon is really nice. If you have access to a shuttle both the Tiger Mine to Freeman Rd and Freeman to Kelvin AZT sections are very nice, and maybe 27-28 mi each, but within realm if you can do 20mi. First half of the Freeman to Kelvin section is very mellow elevation wise, then one big climb up Ripsey.

If you can head south to Tucson for a few days a ride at the 24hr OP course that includes Painter Boy is some nice primitive trail. Some of the stuff at upper 50-year is worth exploring too. It's not real backcountry but Bugs-Prison-Milagrosa is a great ride and I think Bugs/Prison is open again. The Tortolitas north of Tucson are another nice ride, start at Honeybee.

Pinal Mtn in Globe is good to explore. Might have snow come December? I've climbed Telephone and dropped Six Shooter.

North of Phx Gold Ridge #47 is fun if you like steep descents. You can ride it as a loop with a bit of pavement.

@schillingsworth, are you forgetting the Goldfields? Hard to get more backcountry in Phx than that, and December should be prime.
 

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EDR
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Remote doesn’t bother me.

I was thinking of AZT around Picket Post, just wasn’t sure where to start and finish.
Start at the picket post trailhead just shy of superior, off the US 60, south side.

It's one of my favorite rides because it gives you that feeling of just being "out there" in the wilderness. And you are. If you go during a weekday it's possible you don't see another person after the first mile or two. It's also possible you see hikers and equestrians further out, especially on the weekends of course.

Just go prepared with the idea that if your bike breaks down you're on your own. In other words make sure you have plugs and a tube and maybe a spare hanger, length of chain or at least quick links. There are no bailout options onto a highway. Just old Jeep roads.

I think this ride might be exactly what you're looking for even though it's quite a drive from the West valley. If you've never done it, you got to do it... at least once. Although I've done it solo several times I actually prefer doing it with a friend or two. There's plenty of opportunities to stop and shoot the shiit, explore the creek beds or hang out at the overlook. Who knows, depending on your timing I might be up for going out with you. Post up when you are ready if you're looking for company.



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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah I’m not afraid to drive, I cover the whole state and NM for work, so a 90 min drive isn’t bad. I have off time around Christmas and New Years, so if anyone wants to I’m good with meeting up for this ride.

I think the picket post ride is going to happen.
 

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Yeah I’m not afraid to drive, I cover the whole state and NM for work, so a 90 min drive isn’t bad. I have off time around Christmas and New Years, so if anyone wants to I’m good with meeting up for this ride.

I think the picket post ride is going to happen.
Hey man, post up a couple days before you do this - I might head out there if I am available. Just can't commit to anything this far out.
 

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If you don't want to drive too far; see the myriad of looping , mostly Blue, trails on FB at GOLD CANYON; seldom see others; and lovely scenery.
and yes, the Goldfields are super; but largely horse trail dev & maint status.

post again when yer comin; as many of us will offer to tour you, if desired.
Cheers. TS
 

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EDR
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So I found my Garmin Connect ride of PP south I did last December. Anybody know how to 'share' this from Connect? If nothing else I can maybe post a screen shot so you have some idea of the layout/time needed.
Here's an attempt...



Capture.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That helps eatdrinkride. Guessing it was about 2.5ish hours out on the climb and 1.5ish back?
 

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What exactly is a "backcountry" ride?

I tend to do big mountain xc riding and I do most of that is the front country but if I'm doing big, BIG mountain riding with a side of enduro I dabble a bit in the side country. Where is the backcountry again and what type of tire do I need for that place?
 

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What exactly is a "backcountry" ride?

I tend to do big mountain xc riding and I do most of that is the front country but if I'm doing big, BIG mountain riding with a side of enduro I dabble a bit in the side country. Where is the backcountry again and what type of tire do I need for that place?
I feel like backcountry is pretty vague, like saying "I want to go on a long ride". It really depends on who you ask. For most people I think backcountry just means getting fairly remote, not seeing other people and being a good distance away from your car or other services. If you ride at South Mountain and rip a hole in the sidewall of your tire, you can push it back to the car. On a backcountry ride you better be self sufficient or you could get yourself in trouble.

I don't know... like I said, it depends on who you ask. I am sure Alexandra Houchin would have a much different definition of "backcountry" lol
 

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BCT Little Pan Loop. 24 miles, 3000 feet of climbing. 3 to 5 hours depending on stops. No big tech, but lots of "small" tech to keep you busy the entire ride.
 

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Definitely BCT / AZT at PP season.
Anyone know trail conditions? BCT usually gets a little more trail maintenance then AZT. Cat claw can get thick on both. But without the monsoons hopefully trail will still be in good condition.
 
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