AZT - Phoenix to Flagstaff

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chelseabrian
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AZT - Phoenix to Flagstaff

Post by chelseabrian » Sep 04 2017 7:09 am

Hi there,

I am travelling to Phoenix at the beginning of October and am meeting a friend in Flagstaff to bikepack the Coconino Loop. I will arrive in Phoenix five days ahead of the meetup in Flagstaff and am wondering what is the most scenic way to ride from Phoenix to Flagstaff. I was thing of riding the AZT and would appreciate any advice? Is this a good option and is five days enough time? Many thanks. :)

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CannondaleKid
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Re: AZT - Phoenix to Flagstaff

Post by CannondaleKid » Sep 04 2017 9:30 am

@chelseabrian
My quick answer would be AZ State Route 87 from Phoenix through Payson to Lake Mary Road and following that to Flagstaff. (Roughly 165-170 miles & 16,000' accumulated elevation gain.)

To provide the most usable information it would be helpful to know a few things:
1. Do I understand correctly by 'scenic way to ride' you mean bikepack your way to Flagstaff in 5 days?
2. If so, what kind of daily mileage are you used to riding?
3. What kind of terrain can you handle?
4. How many day's worth of food/water would you have? (I'd guess at least for water you'd want to resupply daily)

As far as riding on the AZT from Phoenix to Flagstaff, in my opinion the easy answer is NO.
1. The AZT does not come within 40-50 miles of Phoenix proper (no matter where you joined it, you'd need a ride to reach it)
2. As far as I am aware, there are at least a few sections not conducive to biking... and certainly not within a 5 day time frame. (You'd probably be walking next to the bike more than you'd like.)
3. The closest easy (car) access from Phoenix to the AZT would be taking Highway 87 the 50+ miles to Sunflower, where Sycamore Creek crosses Highway 87.
Even from that point you are talking 185-190 miles on the AZT, including almost 20,000 feet of accumulated elevation gain.
CannondaleKid

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amy1300
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Re: AZT - Phoenix to Flagstaff

Post by amy1300 » Sep 04 2017 10:43 am

http://www.aztrail.org/passages/passages.php
Detailed descriptions of the various trail sections, called "passages," plus topo maps, are available at the above website for the AZ Trail. Check it out, to decide what's do-able for you, I'd suggest. Enjoy AZ!
"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy . . ." -- John Denver :D

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Nighthiker
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Re: AZT - Phoenix to Flagstaff

Post by Nighthiker » Sep 05 2017 7:36 am

You may wish to visit the website crazyguyonabike and check out the trip log sections which is broken down to continent, country and state/province and take note and review triplogs for Arizona.

Bicycling is not allowed in wilderness area which you would have to travel through on the Arizona Trail.

For further information on cycling the Arizona Trail, I would recommend Biking the Arizona Trail by Andrea Lankford.
jk

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chelseabrian
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Re: AZT - Phoenix to Flagstaff

Post by chelseabrian » Sep 05 2017 4:18 pm

@CannondaleKid
Many thanks CannondaleKid.

Great questions all. This link references the route I am thinking of following which seems to mirror your recommendation. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/6572619

1. Do I understand correctly by 'scenic way to ride' you mean bikepack your way to Flagstaff in 5 days? Yes. Reasonable?
2. If so, what kind of daily mileage are you used to riding? I am a smell the flowers kind of rider who can handle longish days. Ideally not more than sixty miles on average but recognizing the significant climb will impact distance.
3. What kind of terrain can you handle? I am riding a Surly ECR (29*3). I am not a super technical MTB rider but do prefer to be away from asphalt.
4. How many day's worth of food/water would you have? (I'd guess at least for water you'd want to resupply daily). I will carry supplies for 2-3 while looking for water sources on the way. I have the water table from the AST site.

How about meeting up for lunch either at the front or tail end of the ride.

Cheers and many thanks,

B

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chelseabrian
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Re: AZT - Phoenix to Flagstaff

Post by chelseabrian » Sep 05 2017 4:19 pm

@amy1300

Many thanks Amy,

I registered on the AZTrail site. Great resource.

Cheers,

B

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chelseabrian
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Re: AZT - Phoenix to Flagstaff

Post by chelseabrian » Sep 05 2017 4:22 pm

@Nighthiker

Hi Nighthiker,

Crazy Guy indeed. Great site. I will have a look. Will also pick up the book.

Can I offer to but you coffee/lunch if/when I pass through Payson?

Cheers and thanks,

B

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amy1300
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Re: AZT - Phoenix to Flagstaff

Post by amy1300 » Sep 05 2017 5:47 pm

chelseabrian wrote:@CannondaleKid
Many thanks CannondaleKid.

Great questions all. This link references the route I am thinking of following which seems to mirror your recommendation. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/6572619
B
Since the AZ Trail passes through the Superstition, Four Peaks, and Mazatzal Wilderness areas on the way up to Payson, you'd have to go around those. (No bikes or other "mechanized transport" are permitted in wilderness areas.) The earlier suggestion of State Route 87 would get you around the wilderness problem, BUT the road is a highway on which the cars like to go really fast -- and there are construction delays on it right now, so drivers will be frustrated in those areas. I'd get hold of a Tonto National Forest map, if I were trying to plan a trip like this, and see whether I could work out a route on Forest Roads. (If it's called a forest road, or FR, it's usually dirt or gravel; if it's paved it would usually be called a "forest highway," or FH.) Once you get up to the Payson area you'd be almost in the Coconino National Forest, and there you'd be free to jump on the AZ Trail and would not hit any more wilderness areas between there and Flag.

The national forest maps can be obtained from their website: http://www.nationalforestmapstore.com/p ... /az-19.htm -- this link is for the Tonto forest map, itself. The site also offers a multi-page atlas of the forest.
"Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy . . ." -- John Denver :D

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CannondaleKid
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Re: AZT - Phoenix to Flagstaff

Post by CannondaleKid » Sep 05 2017 7:37 pm

CannondaleKid

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Sredfield
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Re: AZT - Phoenix to Flagstaff

Post by Sredfield » Sep 05 2017 7:43 pm

The Arizona Trail Association data book has a bike alternative for the area in discussion. It is a lot of two track and some highway.
Shawn
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rcorfman
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Re: AZT - Phoenix to Flagstaff

Post by rcorfman » Sep 10 2017 8:37 pm

I think I'd take the Black Canyon National Recreation Trail from Phoenix north. That will get you up past highway 69. Then I'd figure out how to get to Sedona and from there to Flagstaff.
[ gps route ] From that route, I'd adjust the south to end and go north from 51st Ave. Sorry, no help from the north end of the BCT to Sedona, but that should be fairly easy to figure out. Perhaps someone here can offer a good jeep route.
Go find a LonelyCache

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chelseabrian
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Re: AZT - Phoenix to Flagstaff

Post by chelseabrian » Sep 13 2017 3:49 pm

@rcorfman
Thanks very much. I will explore this option.

B

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