Biking From Arizona through New Mexico to Texas
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Nov 23, 2012 11:49 PM Last Post By: arizona
Nov 16, 2012 8:59 PM
Nov 16, 2012 10:29 PM
Nov 17, 2012 8:16 AM
2Whenever i get to flagstaff, i'm biking around Utah right now
Nov 17, 2012 10:06 PM
3From Flagstaff you can catch Lake Mary Road to Clint's Well/happy Jack. The road has a good shoulder with a doable amount of climbing and is very scenic. The distance is about 60 miles. Lots of free dispersed camping along the way too. There are no services between Flagstaff and Clint's Well. There is a ranger station about halfway where you can get water. Clint's Well has a diner and a gas station that's well stocked.
From Clint's Well I've riden the 87 into Strawberry. Nice road with a shoulder that comes and goes. There is LOTS of climbing as you cross over the Mogollan Rim.
We chose to go to Payson. The road from Strawberry to Payson is a death trap. According to the newspaper and the DOT officer, there are several accidents along this stretch. No shoulder, windy, hilly road. If you do this route go during the weekdays when there is less traffic. An alternative would be to pickup the AZ Trail if your bike can handle dirt. From what I've heard the AZ Trail in this section is pretty tough.
From Payson, you can continue to Phoenix on the 87. Good shoulder the whole way but a bit heavily trafficked. You can head straight into Northeasst Phoenix on the 87 or detour to Roosevelt Lake on 188, head into Globe and take the 77 to Tucson. Or if your bike can handle an offroad route you can take the Apache Trail (AZ-88). This is a rough 22 mile road but very scenic as you pass the lakes. It's not likely to have many cars either. If you take this route you pop out into Apache Junction in far east Phoenix. From AJ, you can head into Phoenix or go south toward Tucson. Stay off US-60. Lots of WalMart semis and no shoulder. It's very unsafe.
Once you are south of Phoenix any road other than the I-10 is good as far a safety is concerned. The I-10 does have a frontage road that keeps you off the highway until about 5 miles north of Tucson. The 79 might kill you of boredom, but even with no shoulder, it's generally a safe route.
In Tucson you can pick up bike maps anywhere and find a bike routes through town and towards Benson where Kartchner Caverns is. You might want to check out Colossal Caverns near Vail. Much cheaper and smaller than Kartchner and they have camping for $5. You have to take the 1-10 from Vail (south of Tucson) to Benson. You will be on the freeway but there is a wide shoulder. It's uphill too.
Nov 17, 2012 10:10 PM
4OTOH - if you have a mountain bike or skills, you can take the AZ Trail from the Grand Canyon to the Mexico border
Nov 19, 2012 11:29 AM
5Another option for the Flagstaff - Strawberry leg is taking the 'gorgeous' Oak Creek Canyon (89A) through Sedona to Camp Verde.
From there it's a long, not very steep climb to Strawberry, no facilities underway!
As #3, Payson, Lake Roosevelt, Globe, Tucson.
Try to incorporate the nice town of Bisbee and the 'hidden' Chiricahua NM, avoiding the I10 you are sentenced to a detour.
If choosing for Bisbee I should skip (also a detour) Silver City. Though Lordsburg, Silver City, Caballo is a fantastic ride.
In NM White Sands Nat. Mon. is de facto a must.
Don't know the situation east of Alamogordo/Las Cruces.
All in one gorgeous trip.
BTW Freeways better to avoid despite good shoulders. Rubbish (tyres with those sneaky iron in it), so flatties.
Nov 20, 2012 10:48 AM
Nov 23, 2012 8:42 PM
7In that region...the Interstate is the way most people travel...but bikes are not allowed... Sooner or later a State Trooper will cruise by... and may or may not stop you if you're biking on the Interstate...
The secondary roads are almost deserted sometimes not in good condition...but they should be bike friendly...
But this is a very remote and desolate region...nearly desert conditions...
Lots of Native American culture in the Flagstaff/Gallop area...mostly Navajo and Hopi... Small Towns are long way apart... and there are areas where there are hardly any trees....
The trip from Flagstaff to Sedona on the 89A route...would be worthwhile...but its up and down hill...but mostly steeply down hill...because you are decending fast from Flagstaff...literally going from cool mountains to hot desert...rather very curvy road...so caution is advised...two lane blacktop...very scenic...and Sedona is worth staying and exploring for at least a few days...
White Sands is a very surreal experience...a real desert landscape and everything is white...during high winds...the ultimate "white out" is possible...
Nov 23, 2012 11:49 PM
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