Phoenix Trip

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Phoenix Trip

Postby kaysee » August 12th, 2019, 2:31 pm

I’m planning on being in Phoenix for a few days at the end of the month.

I’ve looked up a few places to rent a bike and found some recommended trails from the local threads out there.

But from a visitor’s perspective, does anyone have a recommendation on “how to do it right” if you have visited and rode for a day or two?

Is there a routine you’ve found to be the easiest and get the most ride time from? Such as renting from a specific place that is in riding distance to a awesome trail or catching a group ride from the same shop?

I should be able to drive anywhere inside of 2 hours from Phoenix.


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Re: Phoenix Trip

Postby acedeuce802 » August 12th, 2019, 3:09 pm

I was there earlier this year for work, rented an SUV that I could put a bike in the back of. I did a day in Sedona and rented from Bike and Bean. Then the next weekend rented from Bike Masters and rode South Mountain in south Phoenix. Sedona bike rentals are from rental shops, so they have good "enduro" helmets, tool kits, spare tubes, etc. Phoenix rentals are more likely to be a demo fleet at a bike shop, and they are less prepared to set you up for a ride. They'll grab whatever old helmet they can find, don't have tools/parts to give you, since these people are trying to sell these bikes to locals who already have gear. In a way I actually liked the riding at South Mountain better because it was my first ride of the year. Sedona was beyond my riding ability at the time, and South Mountain was just enough to feel confident pushing myself and was still really fun. I mainly did Hi-line at Sedona, then whatever blue trails got me back to the rental place. At South Mountain, I parked at the end of Pima Canyon road and did the two-track up to the main East trailhead, then climbed Mormon, took National down, the Javelina, Beverly, and Pima West loop back to the lot. Deem Hills was fun, but not enough to go out of your way for, it was real close to my hotel. McDowell was really cool, parked off of Bell road, climbed/walked a miserable ~1500 ft straight up with a big reward at the end.
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Re: Phoenix Trip

Postby DynoDon » August 12th, 2019, 3:29 pm

Phoenix is in the 100+f range daily this time of year. If you go north to Flagstaff (145 miles from Phoenix to Flagstaff) the temps are more like they are here now. There are rentals, and trails there too.
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Re: Phoenix Trip

Postby kaysee » August 12th, 2019, 3:49 pm

But it’s a “dry heat”, right? [emoji23][emoji23]


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Re: Phoenix Trip

Postby DynoDon » August 12th, 2019, 4:02 pm

kaysee wrote:But it’s a “dry heat”, right? [emoji23][emoji23]


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DRY HEAT is just like the heat in your oven, hot is hot, whenever I had to go through AZ i went to I 40, avoided I 10, just too hot. I had to wait till midnight for a load once in Phoenix, I found some shade, (thats hard to do there) had two A/C's going in the truck, and the generator going with the 3 rd A/C, a RV roof top A/C going, I couldn't cool the truck down enough to get any sleep,, its miserable.. you could try about half way up to Flag around Prescott National Forest, anything is better then 100+f.. it takes weeks to get use to that dry heat, I was stationed down in that dry heat in the army.. I never got use to it. good luck
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Re: Phoenix Trip

Postby b_b » August 12th, 2019, 11:08 pm

DynoDon wrote:Phoenix is in the 100+f range daily this time of year. If you go north to Flagstaff (145 miles from Phoenix to Flagstaff) the temps are more like they are here now. There are rentals, and trails there too.


Not only are you going north but you're also gaining almost 6000' altitude which also helps immensely.
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Re: Phoenix Trip

Postby kaysee » August 13th, 2019, 7:28 am

acedeuce802 wrote: McDowell was really cool, parked off of Bell road, climbed/walked a miserable ~1500 ft straight up with a big reward at the end.


How is that trail set up? Climb 1500 in and then are you coming straight back down? Or are there some loops at the top you can ride around before descending all the way? What about Hi-line?


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Re: Phoenix Trip

Postby WICCMB » August 13th, 2019, 7:55 am

As has already been stated, Phoenix is miserably hot this time of the year. I can't imagine even trying to ride during the daylight hours. Many local riders will do night rides this time of the year. There are lots of trails around Phoenix: most well known is probably at South Mountain, not far from Sky Harbor airport. South Mountain has the National Trail, which is fantastic, as well as Desert Classic - which is more tame, but also quite a good taste of what desert riding is like. There are other trails there as well. You can rent locally at Cactus Bikes, or other bike shops nearby: search for bike rentals near South Mountain, and you should find several choices.

However, due to the heat, I would recommend taking a drive north to Sedona (awesome), or even Flagstaff - as has already been recommended. Sedona has trails everywhere, and the scenery is unbeatable. I don't have any experience riding in Flagstaff unfortunately, due to the time of year I normally visit Arizona. There are trails around Prescott as well, but not nearly the quantity or quality as in Sedona.
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Re: Phoenix Trip

Postby WICCMB » August 13th, 2019, 7:56 am

FYI - Sedona is approx. 2 hrs north of Phoenix
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Re: Phoenix Trip

Postby acedeuce802 » August 13th, 2019, 8:32 am

kaysee wrote:
acedeuce802 wrote: McDowell was really cool, parked off of Bell road, climbed/walked a miserable ~1500 ft straight up with a big reward at the end.


How is that trail set up? Climb 1500 in and then are you coming straight back down? Or are there some loops at the top you can ride around before descending all the way? What about Hi-line?


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McDowell is a pretty big MTB trail system, so there's a bunch of different places to park and trails to take. I did the Bell Toll (https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7023784/the-bell-toll) but I rode it the opposite way as MTB Project says. This (https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/701993 ... ble-bypass) may be a better option since the Bell Pass Trail climb wasn't ridable the whole way. If you were to do any other trail at the top of Bell Toll, you'd have to climb back up the the same peak to descend down Bell Pass to get back to the parking lot.

Hi-line (https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/593534/hiline-trail) is a one way trail that goes away from town, then has a bunch of green and blue trails to get back.
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Re: Phoenix Trip

Postby WICCMB » August 14th, 2019, 9:55 am

acedeuce802 wrote:
kaysee wrote:
acedeuce802 wrote: McDowell was really cool, parked off of Bell road, climbed/walked a miserable ~1500 ft straight up with a big reward at the end.


How is that trail set up? Climb 1500 in and then are you coming straight back down? Or are there some loops at the top you can ride around before descending all the way? What about Hi-line?


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McDowell is a pretty big MTB trail system, so there's a bunch of different places to park and trails to take. I did the Bell Toll (https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7023784/the-bell-toll) but I rode it the opposite way as MTB Project says. This (https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/701993 ... ble-bypass) may be a better option since the Bell Pass Trail climb wasn't ridable the whole way. If you were to do any other trail at the top of Bell Toll, you'd have to climb back up the the same peak to descend down Bell Pass to get back to the parking lot.


To the OP, if you are going to Arizona for the first time, I would NOT recommend this trail. I have ridden it, and honestly (depending on the experience you are looking for) it is not what I would call "fun" unless you are a masochist. It's a slog, with lots of rocks, and in the current summer heat, you would be hating your choice. A more fun flowy choice (besides the South Mountain trails that I already suggested) would be on the other side of this mountain ridge - the McDowell Mountain Regional park in Fountain Hills. The trails on that side are mountain-bike oriented (as opposed to hiking oriented), and are considerably more fun. The problem is that Fountain Hills is pretty far from Phoenix - it really depends on where you are staying.

There are MANY trails around the Phoenix area. Your best bet (other than heading to Sedona to get out of the valley heat) would be to pick something close to where you will be staying.

Feel free to hit me up on IM, I will be happy to share my knowledge/experience with you. I spend about 7 days mountain biking in Arizona every spring (for the past 10 years or so) - mostly in Phoenix and Sedona, but I have hit a few other areas as well.
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Re: Phoenix Trip

Postby Leroi Brown » August 14th, 2019, 10:47 am

WICCMB wrote:
acedeuce802 wrote:
kaysee wrote:
acedeuce802 wrote: McDowell was really cool, parked off of Bell road, climbed/walked a miserable ~1500 ft straight up with a big reward at the end.


How is that trail set up? Climb 1500 in and then are you coming straight back down? Or are there some loops at the top you can ride around before descending all the way? What about Hi-line?


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McDowell is a pretty big MTB trail system, so there's a bunch of different places to park and trails to take. I did the Bell Toll (https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7023784/the-bell-toll) but I rode it the opposite way as MTB Project says. This (https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/701993 ... ble-bypass) may be a better option since the Bell Pass Trail climb wasn't ridable the whole way. If you were to do any other trail at the top of Bell Toll, you'd have to climb back up the the same peak to descend down Bell Pass to get back to the parking lot.


To the OP, if you are going to Arizona for the first time, I would NOT recommend this trail. I have ridden it, and honestly (depending on the experience you are looking for) it is not what I would call "fun" unless you are a masochist. It's a slog, with lots of rocks, and in the current summer heat, you would be hating your choice. A more fun flowy choice (besides the South Mountain trails that I already suggested) would be on the other side of this mountain ridge - the McDowell Mountain Regional park in Fountain Hills. The trails on that side are mountain-bike oriented (as opposed to hiking oriented), and are considerably more fun. The problem is that Fountain Hills is pretty far from Phoenix - it really depends on where you are staying.

There are MANY trails around the Phoenix area. Your best bet (other than heading to Sedona to get out of the valley heat) would be to pick something close to where you will be staying.

Feel free to hit me up on IM, I will be happy to share my knowledge/experience with you. I spend about 7 days mountain biking in Arizona every spring (for the past 10 years or so) - mostly in Phoenix and Sedona, but I have hit a few other areas as well.


WICCMB is a very trustworthy source on this topic, and I would most definitely reach out to him if I were you. He will not steer you wrong.

As for rentals, I used Global Bikes in Ahwatukee, and they were fabulous. Their shop is very close to South Mountain (riding distance, actually). Desert Classic is relatively tame, but fun and scenic.
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Re: Phoenix Trip

Postby WICCMB » August 14th, 2019, 12:58 pm

Leroi Brown wrote:WICCMB is a very trustworthy source on this topic, and I would most definitely reach out to him if I were you. He will not steer you wrong.

As for rentals, I used Global Bikes in Ahwatukee, and they were fabulous. Their shop is very close to South Mountain (riding distance, actually). Desert Classic is relatively tame, but fun and scenic.


Awww, shucks....thanks Leroi! And BTW, Global Bikes is the correct bike shop near South Mountain. Cactus Bikes (which I mentioned above) used to be the place, but is no longer in business. Almost forgot about that....
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Re: Phoenix Trip

Postby kaysee » August 14th, 2019, 1:21 pm

I’ll definitely take you up on that offer for some suggestions, especially in Sedona.

Appreciate the suggestions so far. Sounding like south trails in Phoenix and renting right there would be a good bet.

Assuming I should bring my own pedals, helmet, hydro pack right?



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Re: Phoenix Trip

Postby WICCMB » August 15th, 2019, 8:08 am

kaysee wrote:I’ll definitely take you up on that offer for some suggestions, especially in Sedona.

Appreciate the suggestions so far. Sounding like south trails in Phoenix and renting right there would be a good bet.

Assuming I should bring my own pedals, helmet, hydro pack right?



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Yes, that is definitely best practice. You never know what pedals a shop may have to rent (if they will mate with your shoes), or if the helmet will fit. I have a gargantuan head, so I have a tough time with helmets. I have never encountered a shop that will rent a hydropack; I'm sure they will be happy to sell you one though!

When are you headed to Arizona, and in which part of Phoenix are you staying?
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