TOUR DESCRIPTION

Follow the historic stagecoach line from Flagstaff to Grand Canyon during this 100-mile adventure. Over four days you’ll see terrain as diverse as anywhere in northern Arizona, from the fern and aspen groves of the San Francisco Peaks, to the big sky country across the Babbitt Ranch, and through pinon-juniper forests that lead right up to the South Rim of Grand Canyon. This is a classic mountain biking route that is ideal for upper beginner and intermediate riders.

Arrival day

 

Our meeting point for this trip is Flagstaff, AZ at Flag Bike Revolution. The day before the trip starts you can pick up a cooler (if needed) from us to do your shopping for the week.

 

Day One

 

This AZT Expedition begins on Schultz Creek near Flagstaff, one of the most popular segments of the entire Arizona Trail. The fast, flowing tread takes you through beautiful pine forest where you’re likely to see hikers, trail runners and other mountain bikers…but the farther north you ride the fewer people you’ll see. After twisting and turning for the first six miles you’ll cross Snowbowl Road and enter the “yellow brick road” of trails in northern Arizona. The Arizona Trail winds and bends through lush aspen forests with spectacular views of the San Francisco Peaks. This is among the final pieces of Arizona Trail to be built, and you’ll feel how much effort went into the design and construction of this amazing trail. It climbs gently along the slopes of the San Francisco Peak, just outside the wilderness boundary. Beyond Bismarck Lake the trail descends through a sea of white-bark aspens before arriving at our camp at Kelly Tank. If you’re not giggling hysterically by the time you hop off your bike, you should ride it again. Ride length is 23 miles.

 

Day Two

 

The day begins in ponderosa pine forest and ends in what feels like another world. The first 3 miles are on pleasant singletrack, then you ride along remote doubletrackas you descend toward the CO Bar Ranch, one of the ranches owned by Babbitt Ranches, one of the most respected ranching families in the West that welcomes Arizona Trail users to this remote and beautiful corner of Arizona. You lose 1,500 of elevation within the first 12 miles, then gain back another 500 feet throughout the course of the day. It’s an undulating and mellow ride through an austere and beautiful landscape that looks like you could be in Wyoming. The day finishes at the historic Moqui Station, one of the historic stagecoach stops where visitors would rest their weary bones and probably begin to question if there really was a “grand canyon” out here in the middle of nowhere. Other than an old stone well, there isn’t much left of the station. Ride length is 38 miles.

 

Day Three

 

This ride is a classic northern Arizona Trail mountain biking experience, complete with singletrack and doubletrack, abundant wildlife, awesome views, and some route-finding challenges. But for the most part, it’s easy riding. You’ll gain elevation steadily over the first 17 miles, then descend gradually toward the town of Tusayan. Watch out for low-growing prickly pear cactus as well as some of the steep drainages than can get blown out after summer storms. The chances of seeing and hearing elk along this segment are very good, since their populations are abundant in the Kaibab National Forest. You will get an unforgettable view of the Grand Canyon if you climb the Grandview Lookout Tower (19 miles into the ride). From there, continue pedaling west toward the town of Tusayan. In addition to some fun forest roads you’ll also enjoy some pleasant singletrack. After crossing under Highway 64 you’ll ride through Tusayan – stop and check out the Arizona Trail display inside the IMAX Theater courtyard – then meet us at camp in the forest just south of town. Ice cream, cold beer and other luxuries can be found in Tusayan. Ride length is 35 miles.

 

Day Four

 

What better way to finish a ride on the Arizona Trail than on the edge of one of the seven natural wonders of the world? Pedal a short distance along the Greenway Trail into Grand Canyon National Park, then peer into the depths of the earth from one (or more) of the many scenic vistas found along the South Rim. Today’s ride can be whatever you’d like it to be: ride out to Hermit’s Rest and walk along the Hermit Trail to Dripping Springs; cruise along the Arizona Trail to the South Kaibab Trail and walk down to Ooh Aah Point; or just spend time along the South Rim. There’s a good reason Grand Canyon National Park is the most popular natural attraction in the world. Spend as much time as you’d like here before riding the Greenway Trail back to Tusayan, then we’ll head back to Flagstaff. Ride length is about 10 miles.

What’s Included

 

  • Shuttle Van and driver
  • Luggage, gear and cooler/food relocation
  • Ready Camp kitchen and general gear

 

Not Included

 

  • Alcoholic Beverages – we can haul and keep them cold though!
  • Lodging
  • Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner
  • Weather Control – Mother Nature has a mind of her own

Phoenix International Airport has plenty of flights each day. Flagstaff, AZ also has a small airport.