Where do I start, the Arizona Trail is amazing. The Arizona Trail actually goes from Mexico to Utah but we just rode the northern part. We started around 7,000’ in Flagstaff, Arizona. We did the Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon ride in 2 days. Day one, from Flagstaff to Moqui Station and Day 2 from Mogi to the Grand Canyon, Grand view lookout, and then over to the south rim area. A total of 80 miles. The first 50 miles is mostly fire road and the last 20miles is amazing twisty up and down single track through pine trees.Day one, 50.5 miles, we started on Heart Prairie road just west of the San Francisco Peaks. Nice pine trees and good road uphill for about 3 miles. At about 10 miles you start dropping out of the pine trees and pass through a burn area. Looks like another planet. As you come out of the ponderosa pine you hit the VERY bumpy fire road. Suspension would be nice for this part, I was on a rigid single speed and it hurt. You are pretty much downhill for about 20 more miles. Watch your map or GPS carefully as there are lots of roads. The ride is relatively flat the next 20 miles to Moqui station, a few small ups and downs. It is kind of uneventful, just fire road with some beautiful views of the San Francisco Peaks, and huge prairies. You kind of feel like a cowboy without a horse. We camped at Moqui station. I have done the ride the opposite way, from the Grand Canyon to Flagstaff, in one day and I would have much rather split it up. Much more fun and relaxing.Day two, 30 miles, this is where you start the good single track. Very fun, small untraveled trail. It is just amazing up and down twisty single track through the pine trees. I absolutely love this part of the ride. It is a gradual climb up but I hardly realized I was having so much fun. I don’t know what mile but you hit Russell Tank a great spot for a rest. At 20 miles you hit the Grand view lookout, a tall fire lookout station. A few more miles and you arrive at the Grand View lookout for the Canyon, amazing. That’s a big hole. We continued another 10 miles west of pavement to the south rim area.Bring lots of water, stash some prior to the ride by car if you can. It can get hot out there, especially out on those prairies without a tree in site. Bring spare parts. Flats can be very common with all the cacti, we all rode with slime.
I can’t provide detailed directions at this time. To get to Heart Prairie road take 180 north out of Flagstaff about 10 miles. You then head north :). Be sure to check Cosmic Rays book for better directions.
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07/31/2008Flagstaff to Grand Canyon
07/31/2008Up Heart Prairie Road
07/31/2008First Arizona Tail Sign
07/31/2008Coming out of the pines
07/31/2008Don't forget to look back
07/31/2008Coming down to Cedar Ranch
07/31/2008Arizona Trail Sign at Cedar Ranch
07/31/2008The good stuff
07/31/2008More good stuff
07/31/2008Lunch stop Russell Tank
07/31/2008Grand View fFire Tower
07/31/2008The north end
07/31/2008Great views along trail
07/31/2008We Made It
07/31/2008Google EarthPrint Trail Map (.pdf)
07/31/2008Elevation ProfilePrint Trail Map (.pdf)
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