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Riding Sedona on Monday and am looking for suggestions tips?

I'm coming from pisgah NC so I'm good with longer climbs etc but it seems like the riding in Sedona is technical! Going to stay clear of hangover since I'll be by myself without a local guide.

What are the best trails to ride solo for the first time? I've got cathedral rock and Chuck wagon/mescal on the list so far.

Really looking forward to it


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I’m from the Kansas City area and my wife and I rode out in Sedona twice last year so I’m coming from a visitor/tourist perspective for sure.

Really enjoyed Chuckwagon/Mescal so would agree with that area. Didnt get to ride to the Hogs area but have heard good things about the tech riding there. Little Horse and Templeton were fun and got to ride a short section of Slim Shady. All pretty iconic trails.

Coming from flatland Midwest type trails, they all seemed pretty fun to us, though. Trailforks and MTB Project were good resources for us to get trail reviews and intel before we made the trip out there. Ran into Steve from Hardtail Party channel out there on one trip and he let us tag along and ride with him for a bit. Super nice guy and lives in the Sedona area so him and his wife show quite a bit of the trails there in there YouTube videos.


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When I take qualified first timers out to Sedona for the first time, we always ride the Chuckwagon loop on day one. I personally like starting at the Little Horse TH and heading out to the Hogs trails via Chicken Point and Broken Arrow. Hi Line is definitely doable solo as well though you might want to stop and take a look at the blind drops/rolls, etc as there is some sketch involved. Others will disagree but Hangover doesn't deserve it's "scary" reputation in my opinion. I find more opportunities to get hurt on Hi Line.
 

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Make sure your tire sealant is topped up.

Miles in Sedona are more than most anywhere else. Plan food and hydration accordingly.

Solid technical stills are good. There's stuff that's easier to ride than it is to walk, but if you ride it, you have to do with confidence. Some armor like elbow/knee guards might be in order for some riders.
 

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Just got back from there Friday. I have been a few times.

Check out the Hogs off of the Mystic Trail. I believe it will go Hog Wash > Broken Arrow > High on the Hog > Hog Heaven. Then take Pig Tail on the way out then climb back to Mystic.

If you like that then check out HiLine. Its my favorite trail in Sedona. The last section from the notch move down is intense, but you can walk it all. Enough people on it that being by yourself isn't a big deal. I have ridden all the H's solo and there are people enough to be ok.

Slim shady gets ridden on the HiLine loop, but you can also do that as well as it is super fun.

If you are just there for a day I would run Hogs then HiLine. Views are spectacular and you can walk anything you don't like.
 

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If you're by yourself and worried about very technical stuff, I'd avoid the Hogs recommendations here. Those trails are amazing, but being by yourself there's definitely opportunity to get hurt. Hogs has a lot of exposure and off camber techy stuff. I personally walk a lot of it when I'm solo.


If you want a really nice Sedona ride where you really don't have to worry about getting hurt but still get some tech and amazing views, check out the mtbproject.com loops over in the Cockscomb area. I believe the bigger one is called Two Fence since that's the trail it starts on.
 

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I'm also from the KC area and have ridden Sedona twice, also try to avoid anything that might kill me..if at all possible.

Lots of tech mixed in throughout. The locals are freaking GOOD at this $hit and it's fun to see some guys clean what look like near impossible ups! LOL But you'll have a little rocky up, turn a corner and another, then maybe another...and right when you clean the last one with heart rate at 400, patting yourself on the back, you'll come around one more corner and get punched in the gut again! But in between stuff like that is some FUN flow and moderate climbs.

A good warm up as suggested above, Chuckwagon to Mezcal and whatever else you can find in there to spend your time. Gets you up close to the base of the mtns/cliffs.

Llama, little horse, Slim Shady (north to south). We took off from Bell Rock and just rode that way and took Slim Shady back. It's Disney Land here. The landscape is surreal.

Flagstaff has become one of my favorite places to ride of everywhere. While you don't have the red rocks, there is some solitude and zen in the pines. Might be a tad chilly right now.
 

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As suggested before. Mescal and chuck wagon areas are great. Around there, dead mans pass was my second favorite next to mescal. Very fast and fun.

A good loop would be to do mescal - dead mans - then work your way back to chuck wagon.

I also enjoyed llama, which is south by the village of oak creek.

Coming from Midwest type trails, the blue rated trails were the most fun (with the expecting of mescal). The rest of the black diamonds seemed a bit over my head.

Definitely use trail forks for guidance and best rideable direction.


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From KC as well, and my wife really enjoyed Llama. She doesn’t do much technical riding so Llama was a good one for her. Just enough on that trail for me to play around a little bit here & there. Little Horse appealed to me because of the tricky tech sections on it. I’m not a great rider but love the challenge of technical climbs on particular. Fortunately Sedona offers a ton of that!


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