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Old 12-07-2012, 10:12 PM   #1
CordR OP
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Random Phoenix Area Day Trips for a Canadian

Hi there,

If you're in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, you may have heard of/seen an influx of fellow Canadians purchasing homes for their getaways.

I'm in Vancouver, BC. It rains about 9 months of the year. And it's cold. Beautiful, but cold.....well, not compared to the rest of the country, but compared to AZ.

And while I'm not necessarily one of those Cdn's that can afford a second home, some of my friends/colleagues/clients can.

Last year, I didn't get to pull the trigger on keeping my bike down there for the winter/spring but I thought it would have been a good idea. This year, yet another person I know just bought a house, so I have the ability to store my bike in someone's garage. I figure that making a weekend trip every 4-6 weeks would give me far more enjoyable dualsport riding than keeping my bike here and hoping for an ideal day.

I have a KTM 690 that I would store there (keeping the FJR at home which I am ok with riding in the rain).

So....my lengthy preamble is all to ask about recommendations for novice-to-intermediate dualsport day rides that would start/end from the Phoenix area. I'd even consider doing overnighters, whether camping or hoteling.

I don't have a ton of desert experience, but am looking to get more dirt time on my bike.

If I can get my bike shipped down there, I'm looking to take some cheap flights from Bellingham, WA (about 70 minutes from my place in Vancouver) on a Friday and return on Sunday, sometimes a Monday.

If I get the chance to hook up with others, that's great, but I can go solo as well.

Any recommendations for routes or must-do's is appreciated.


Thanks and hope to see you on the trails sometime in early 2013.

Cord
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:09 AM   #2
Pantah
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Hi Canuck - I keep a Yam WR250R in Cave Creek, which is north of Scottsdale. I'll give you three day trips to get your feet wet:

1. Bloody Basin Loop - Ride north on Scottsdale road to its end at Cave Creek Road. Turn Right onto Cave Creek Road. Follow it east and north. It will quickly turn to dirt once climbing out of the valley. It changes name to Seven Springs Rd. Follow to its end at a T intersection with Bloody Basin Rd. Turn right to go to Sheeps Head Bridge (or something like that). It ends on the Verde River. Turn around and ride west on Bloody Basin Rd. West of the Seven Springs intersection it climbs out of the Bloody Basin to a plateau called Agua Fria National Monument. You end up on I-17 for the ride south back to Phoenix...or ride back the way you came.

2. Crown King - You can get to Crown King either by continuing under the I-17 above (by following Crown King Rd) or from Black Canyon City further south off of the I-17. Find Black Canyon City on I 17 and look for Maggie Mine Rd. on your right. Take Maggie Mine north to intersect with Crown King Rd. Continue north on Crown King Rd past Bumble Bee to Cleator. Note the Blue Bell Mine Rd on the right at Cleator. You'll want to ride that later. It goes to Mayer. Slightly more technical.

Anyway, continue climbing up the Crown King Rd to Crown King and have lunch. Eventually you'll want to find the Senator Highway in Crown King and take it to Prescott. Maybe save that for another trip. I have not done that yet. Let me add that all through this area is some great dual sport riding, but it can get very tough quickly so you should be with experienced friends if you want to explore the off shoot paths off the Crown King Rd. Also, there is a back way to Crown King from Lake Pleasant too. I'm going to try that this winter, but I need tracks I think, if I do it solo.

3. Four Peaks Rd/A Cross Rd Loop - Take the Bee Line Highway north (87) from Fountain Hills. Keep a sharp eye out for Four Peaks Rd, which will be on your right. You'll see the Four Peaks on the skyline as you approach it. Four Peaks Rd will take you over those mountains at the north shoulder of the northernmost peak. It will take you down the other side and deposit you at the north end of Roosevelt Lake on Hwy 188. Turn right onto 188 for a few yards and turn left onto A Cross Rd.

You'll come upon a large water crossing, but it is shallow and cars use it all the time. A Cross will take you around the north shore of the lake and deposit you on Hwy 288. 288 is dirt north up the Mogollon Rim; or paved south toward Globe. You pick you route back from there.

These are easy dirt roads for a bike like yours, but they are slow and full of babyheads and such. Very scenic! Even remote in sections. Mud can make sections impassable too. You'll know pretty quickly because it is that slime stuff that makes it hard to even walk in.

My suggestion is to get a DeLorme Atlas and Gazetter map book for Arizona. It has good detail for the many dirt road opportunities throughout Arizona. Also, get a GPS that will take tracks. I have Garmin 60Csx, but there are newer ones like the Montana that are much better. You really want tracks because people share track files for their dual sport rides. Routing isn't very useful for much of the remote stuff. Anyway, tracks allow you to plug and play trips that others have already ridden.

Bloody Basin Loop:





Four Peaks - A Cross:










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Old 12-08-2012, 12:20 PM   #3
CordR OP
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Thanks for the detailed response, Pantah. This is stoking the fires nicely.

I get the feeling there are unlimited options in that area. Exactly what I was looking for.


re: GPS - I've got a Delorme PN60 that I bought for a trip last year that didn't happen. I have not hooked it up yet as I've been considering the Montana instead. Either way, I'll make sure I have something.

Thanks again.

C
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:32 PM   #4
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Yes unlimited options and for all skill levels. Very active dual sport community down there. I fly in from Boston and do a couple weeks at a time. I like winter, but also Sep/Oct when I can get up into southern Utah and ride the red rock trails.

Plenty of people from this site have invited me to tag along and I have. I just have to make sure they know I am not a hardcore single track rider. Still, they drug me down something called Turkey Creek. 9 water crossings with rock gardens going in and climbing out! I didn't realize a motorcycle could roll that stuff!

I wasn't happy at the time, but I made it without too much drama so it feels good now.

You'll love it down there. I rode my 250 on the CDR and then left it at a friends house in Phoenix area. I may buy a condo down there eventually. I just have to make sure I'd use it. This past spring I replaced my KTM 950 with a spanking new 690R. I'll keep that as my main ride at home. LOVE that bike!

Have fun and post some RR's in the Day Trippin' section.
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Pantah screwed with this post 12-08-2012 at 02:39 PM
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantah View Post
Plenty of people from this site have invited me to tag along and I have. I just have to make sure they know I am not a hardcore single track rider. Still, they drug me down something called Turkey Creek. 9 water crossings with rock gardens going in and climbing out! I didn't realize a motorcycle could roll that stuff!

I wasn't happy at the time, but I made it without too much drama so it feels good now.
Now who would have done something like that to you? You let me know and I'll make sure to have a word with him.
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Old 12-09-2012, 12:47 AM   #6
CordR OP
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Hmmmm.....so if I'm reading between the lines correctly, don't accept an invitation from DurtKlod?

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Old 12-09-2012, 02:57 AM   #7
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:57 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by CordR View Post
Hmmmm.....so if I'm reading between the lines correctly, don't accept an invitation from DurtKlod?

He rides a klr. How hard can it be?
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:46 PM   #9
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Reccomend Agua Caliente Rd out of Arlington, to Painted Rocks. South west of Phoenix.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantah View Post
Hi Canuck - I keep a Yam WR250R in Cave Creek, which is north of Scottsdale. I'll give you three day trips to get your feet wet:

1. Bloody Basin Loop - Ride north on Scottsdale road to its end at Cave Creek Road. Turn Right onto Cave Creek Road. Follow it east and north. It will quickly turn to dirt once climbing out of the valley. It changes name to Seven Springs Rd. Follow to its end at a T intersection with Bloody Basin Rd. Turn right to go to Sheeps Head Bridge (or something like that). It ends on the Verde River. Turn around and ride west on Bloody Basin Rd. West of the Seven Springs intersection it climbs out of the Bloody Basin to a plateau called Agua Fria National Monument. You end up on I-17 for the ride south back to Phoenix...or ride back the way you came.

2. Crown King - You can get to Crown King either by continuing under the I-17 above (by following Crown King Rd) or from Black Canyon City further south off of the I-17. Find Black Canyon City on I 17 and look for Maggie Mine Rd. on your right. Take Maggie Mine north to intersect with Crown King Rd. Continue north on Crown King Rd past Bumble Bee to Cleator. Note the Blue Bell Mine Rd on the right at Cleator. You'll want to ride that later. It goes to Mayer. Slightly more technical.

Anyway, continue climbing up the Crown King Rd to Crown King and have lunch. Eventually you'll want to find the Senator Highway in Crown King and take it to Prescott. Maybe save that for another trip. I have not done that yet. Let me add that all through this area is some great dual sport riding, but it can get very tough quickly so you should be with experienced friends if you want to explore the off shoot paths off the Crown King Rd. Also, there is a back way to Crown King from Lake Pleasant too. I'm going to try that this winter, but I need tracks I think, if I do it solo.

3. Four Peaks Rd/A Cross Rd Loop - Take the Bee Line Highway north (87) from Fountain Hills. Keep a sharp eye out for Four Peaks Rd, which will be on your right. You'll see the Four Peaks on the skyline as you approach it. Four Peaks Rd will take you over those mountains at the north shoulder of the northernmost peak. It will take you down the other side and deposit you at the north end of Roosevelt Lake on Hwy 188. Turn right onto 188 for a few yards and turn left onto A Cross Rd.

You'll come upon a large water crossing, but it is shallow and cars use it all the time. A Cross will take you around the north shore of the lake and deposit you on Hwy 288. 288 is dirt north up the Mogollon Rim; or paved south toward Globe. You pick you route back from there.

These are easy dirt roads for a bike like yours, but they are slow and full of babyheads and such. Very scenic! Even remote in sections. Mud can make sections impassable too. You'll know pretty quickly because it is that slime stuff that makes it hard to even walk in.

My suggestion is to get a DeLorme Atlas and Gazetter map book for Arizona. It has good detail for the many dirt road opportunities throughout Arizona. Also, get a GPS that will take tracks. I have Garmin 60Csx, but there are newer ones like the Montana that are much better. You really want tracks because people share track files for their dual sport rides. Routing isn't very useful for much of the remote stuff. Anyway, tracks allow you to plug and play trips that others have already ridden.


My favorite part of the world...
Hey
Thanks for this. My brother lives right down the road in Scottsdale and I'm riding down there in April from Portland. I am so hitting this cave creek rd. To bad he rides a Harley, he'll just have to keep up as best he can!
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:19 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by DurtKlod View Post
Now who would have done something like that to you? You let me know and I'll make sure to have a word with him.
Sounds like Turkey Creek is a place to check out. Fun times...
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:20 AM   #12
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Sounds like Turkey Creek is a place to check out. Fun times...
Actually, all the rides Pantah put up are excellent.
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