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A forum post on Expedition Portal with this title was brought to my attention recently. The article from the link talks about a National Defense Authorization Act that contained language to open some Wildnerness areas to mountain bike access.

This is interesting to see since my impression has always been that Wilderness boundaries would only ever grow and access for mountain bikes or any "mechanized vehicles" would always be restricted. Maybe there is hope for a legal section of trail to connect Schnebly Hill Rd. to Broken Arrow in Sedona through the Munds Mountain Wilderness. Are there any other Wilderness areas in AZ that cut off trail connections?
 

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How much further ???
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The superstition wilderness cuts off the AZT for mountain bikes.
 

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While I don't like bikes being considered mechanized travel and off-limits, I appreciate that there are areas that have been set aside for that designation. Otherwise, there would be roads and development if it's in the least bit interesting. The other side of the coin are, for example, the huge land grabs going on in Montana.

But in AZ in my two riding areas, Sedona is ringed by wilderness at the 4600' elevation contour. How much sense does that make. Besides the obvious Marg's Draw trail, nearby is the 50 yds or so (because of the contour) that prevents access between Lllama and the Big Park area or Rabbit Ears. And if you haven't done it, Jack's between Schnebly Hill and VOC is an epic ride. Ooops, that wilderness thing again.

In Flagstaff, Bear Jaw and Abineau trails are off-limits even though they are logical connectors between Waterline Rd and FS418/AZ trail. That's the best way to ride the SF Peaks as a loop. Not saying I've done that either but the fact that there is not a trail that circles the SF Peaks is a glaring oversight by the land manager. The moto guys burned one in anyway.
 

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Plenty of Wilderness detours along the full route of the AZT. A good portion of those are tough enough to hike, so I don't have any issue with bikes not being allowed there. There are a couple that I can think of that would be nice to have access to, Passage 1 in the Huachuca Mtns was in surprisingly good shape tread-wise. Passage 4 to the north of Patagonia has a sliver of 'W' cutting off about 2-3 miles en route to Gardner Cyn. This one would be nice to ride, since the detour is mostly pavement heading north to Sonoita before re-joining dirt north of town. Passage 20: Four Peaks would be cool too, it would give another loop option on the north side of Four Peaks overlooking Roosevelt Lake. The lower portion is open to bikes, underrated, never ridden and hardly ever talked about.
 

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A forum post on Expedition Portal with this title was brought to my attention recently. The article from the link talks about a National Defense Authorization Act that contained language to open some Wildnerness areas to mountain bike access.

This is interesting to see since my impression has always been that Wilderness boundaries would only ever grow and access for mountain bikes or any "mechanized vehicles" would always be restricted. Maybe there is hope for a legal section of trail to connect Schnebly Hill Rd. to Broken Arrow in Sedona through the Munds Mountain Wilderness. Are there any other Wilderness areas in AZ that cut off trail connections?
While I love mountain biking and think Mt. bikes should not be thrown in with "mechanized vehicles" be careful what you wish for, especially in AZ. When the Wilderness designation is changed, what will be next....mining, ATV's or ? It might be the start of a slippery slope.
 

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What bums me out more in regard to wilderness areas in AZ than not being able to bike in them is the nearly constant presence of cattle grazing in the wilderness areas. As an avid trail runner and hiker, I don't mind having to go on foot into wilderness, but I do mind running into herds of grumpy cattle and having every water source being surrounded by churned up ****...kind of kills the "wilderness" vibe. Obviously there are exceptions (katchina peaks and other higher areas).
 

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Using words like invasion might be counterproductive to this cause.

I'm with rockman, I like having wilderness areas without the bike traffic but a lot of the Sedona boundaries are silly. It seems more like a move to inflate the real estate values than creating actual wilderness areas.
 

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Personally I don't mind not riding in wilderness. I like the fact that places are set aside for those to enjoy without disturbance. Unfortunately it doesn't include the sky and the FAA rules the air space.

I do find that bikes as the only mechanized use banned in Wilderness bothersome. Where do you draw the line? Skis, rafts with motors, rock climbing with camalots, horse saddles, etc. If the wilderness groups like the Sierra Club really want to "protect" wilderness, why aren't they trying to ban the other mechanical uses? Is it because they like to rock climb and backcountry ski in wilderness?
 

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Light and Sound

Light and sound pollution that seeps into a landscape are way, way more damaging than trails, bikes, people with packs, skis, etc. Recreation is minor, really. Maybe the bright color of bikes that are "in" that are upsetting? Cows are cool, its the technique of cattle grazing that often sucks. So, it really goes back to noise and light and then views. Having that McMansion right next to open space is not cool. Who says, "cows over condos"? That guy who wrote for the Zepher in Moab...
 

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Personally I don't mind not riding in wilderness. I like the fact that places are set aside for those to enjoy without disturbance.
I don't mind a few 'non-bike' places, but there needs to be some sense to what's wilderness and what isn't. Most of Sedona makes zero sense.
If the wilderness groups like the Sierra Club really want to "protect" wilderness.... Is it because they like to rock climb and backcountry ski in wilderness?
i suspect that it's more that they cling to the old dogma that bikes are dangerous and destructive, and more importantly, they're hikers and equestrians first, and they simply don't like to share with us.
 
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