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Getting ready for the big AZ - UT - NV road trip vacation and I've got one day slated to check out a Prescott ride. (Based in Sedona) What would you folks recommend? Looking for something easily navigable, (with map/guidebook) and something indicative of the trails in the area. Climbing, technical, epic not a problem - although I wouldn't mind avoiding massive 'hike-a-bike' situations. I did Spruce Mountain years ago - that was fun. Based on info in the guide books I'm thinking of either Granite Basin or Lynx Lake loop. Also - can anyone recommend a decent map and/or a bike shop in the area that sells it ?

Finally - does anyone have any idea on how the trail conditions are shaping up in Flagstaff and/or the North Rim of the Grand Canyon ? We'll be there in a few weeks.

Thanks
 

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(Tom) said:
Getting ready for the big AZ - UT - NV road trip vacation and I've got one day slated to check out a Prescott ride. (Based in Sedona) What would you folks recommend? Looking for something easily navigable, (with map/guidebook) and something indicative of the trails in the area. Climbing, technical, epic not a problem - although I wouldn't mind avoiding massive 'hike-a-bike' situations. I did Spruce Mountain years ago - that was fun. Based on info in the guide books I'm thinking of either Granite Basin or Lynx Lake loop. Also - can anyone recommend a decent map and/or a bike shop in the area that sells it ?

Finally - does anyone have any idea on how the trail conditions are shaping up in Flagstaff and/or the North Rim of the Grand Canyon ? We'll be there in a few weeks.

Thanks
When are you comming? In the heat of summer granite basin can be a little too much heat-wise, ok at the end of the day, but in the morning the temps can rise fast and in the middle it can be pretty hot. It's the hottest riding area around here in the summer. If you are thinking of comming in a week or two, no problem, but granite basin is more open than any other riding area here, has rocks from granite mountain reflecting radiant heat, and there's just little cover. I'm not trying to make it sound bad, but in the middle of summer it wouldn't necessarily be my choice for the "best taste" of local trails.

BTW, that map above leaves out the best trail in the granite basin area (imo), trail 40.

That said, I do have a great loop that I do out at granit basin, ranging from 30-35 miles depending on exact route (there are options). One thing that I have recently changed though is that I'm not parking out at Williamson Valley anymore, the horses have wrecked trail 308 pretty bad, and the other trails in the immediate area can be pretty messed up. As we get more drier weather these trails should improve, but I've temporarily given up on the williamson valley trail head, as things just got way too bad. Instead we were parking at the Little Granite Mountain trailhead off of Iron Springs Road and riding from there, and doing loops. I know a hard to fine route (not illegal, just hard to find without directions) that allows me to link up with the OHV area to get a nice loop effect and so you don't have to climb up the fairly steep trail 40 (which is a blast to go down and an integral part of my rides in granite basin). I work at the Bikesmith Bike shop 928 445 0280 and I have made up some ride-maps that I could let you borrow. My idea is to eventually sell them but I'm not at that point, so I'll print up a few.

The lynx lake loop is fun, but trail 62 is a hard climb, many short steep climbs can not be cleaned by mortals, and even for immortals I think there's one that is just impossible. The good news is that the ride gets continually better. You suffer up 62 to get up on the "ridge", then the climbs are shorter and more sustainable as you go up and down on trail 299, then you get to Spruce Mtn road and go up it a little ways, and then you meet trail 297 which is a BLAST going down. 297 connects with 305 right across the road, and that again is pretty fun, kind of like 297 but just not as steep and with some short climbs. It's generally downhill on 305 back to the car, but you are in a valley and there are ups and downs. This is a great ride with a little of everything, takes 3-4 hours at a moderately easy pace, sub 3 hours for hammer riders. Again, I have some detailed maps that I've drawn of this loop.

There's some fun (but shorter) riding that can be had in Thumb Butte. The Thumb Butte proper area seems like a maze to people who haven't been in there much, fire roads criss-cross it. There's some singletracks, but they are short and are hard to impossible to really link together for a decent ride. These can be fun after work, but they are just too short to entertain anyone for more than an hour or so. There's some other possibilities in the general area, like the west spruce trail (kind of out and back), or trail 48 off of Copper Basin road, and then a loop at the end of trial 48 that tacks on about 2 miles. I don't recommend continuing down trail 260 at the end of 48 down to the highway, it looks fun on the map, but it's a lot of loose-rock misery and hard to enjoy on any bike.

There's other longer rides that I go out on, but these should give you a decent idea. Granite Basin can be great, so can the Lynx Lake stuff, there are other options as well but they are harder to explain.
 
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