Arizona Trail: Oracle to Picketpost, Day 3

The trail in this section is stunning – excellent contouring grades through thick Saguaro forests with the Gila River gently flowing beneath us to our left for the entire day.

Mountain Biking Severe

Distance
28 km
Ascent
618 m
Descent
670 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
509 m
High Point
658 m
Gradient
Arizona Trail: Oracle to Picketpost, Day 3 Map

This Arizona Trail mountain bike tour is truly a hidden gem. Deep in the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona lies one of the finest stretches of singletrack anywhere – The Arizona Trail between Oracle, AZ and Superior, AZ. We often use the word “remote”, but this section of trail may take the cake. It’s OUT there. Despite being one of the hottest deserts in North America the Sonoran Desert is teaming with life. Gila monsters, desert tortoise, javelinas, rattlesnakes and countless types of cactus permeate the landscape. Rugged and unforgiving as it is beautiful – it is magical world many of us do not get to experience often.

Description

This is a self-guided tour, but not like our others. We mandate the following: GPS with the AZ Trail track from Topofusion.com loaded, latex or Slime tubes (and plenty of them), 100oz hydration bladder and at least one water bottle mounted on the bike, and beefy tires. A little preparation goes a long way on this trip. Our goal is not to scare you, but simply be prepared for a great time mountain biking the Arizona Trail. This is a difficult, advanced level trip for experienced mountain bikers.

We created this trip for those who don’t want a guide, don’t want to be supported during the week and generally just want their own self-serve adventure with a bit of logistical assistance. Each day we relocate a very deluxe camp setup (provided by Ready Camp) of (2) 10×10 canopies, full kitchen, dry firewood, camp chairs, fresh water, coolers of food and beverages (you purchase prior to trip) and all your personal gear like tents, bags and clothing. You can go as cheap or deluxe as you want on food, beverages and amenities!!

Day 3

After yesterday’s rollicking descent off the Prickly Nipple it’s hard to believe the trail is going to only get better. Riding away from camp on even more great bench cut singletrack you’ll wrap around a ridge and slowly merge into the Gila River corridor. The trail in this section is stunning – excellent contouring grades through thick Saguaro forests with the Gila River gently flowing beneath us to our left for the entire day. Today can easily be categorized as a recovery day as the climbing is reasonable and the mileage is a bit shorter. In designing this trip we went back and forth over how to configure these last 2 days, but we settled on recovered, rested riders versus forcing an overly long day and a short day 4. So the theme today is go easy and enjoy the day and prepare for the final, “queen’s stage” on day 4. Ride length is 19 miles.

For more information or to book a tour, visit: http://aztexpeditions.com/Arizona-Trail-1

Difficulty

Severe

Widely variable, narrow trail tread with steeper grades and unavoidable obstacles of 15in/38cm tall or less. Obstacles may include unavoidable bridges 24in/61cm wide or less, large rocks, gravel, difficult root sections, and more. Ideal for advanced-level riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Guidebooks in this area