Enjoy one of the very best bikepacking routes in the world by thru-riding the Arizona Trail.
"The Arizona National Scenic Trail is a complete non-motorized path, stretching 800 diverse miles across Arizona from Mexico to Utah. It links deserts, mountains, canyons, forests, communities and people,” reads the description on the official AZTrail.org website.
For mountain bikers, the Arizona Trail (AZT) forms one third of the triple crown of bikepacking, along with the Colorado Trail and the Tour Divide. Like most long distance trails, the bike-specific version of the AZT varies from the hiking version due to wilderness re-routes. The full-length bikepacking route measures about 750 miles from end-to-end.
The segments included in this guidebook run from south to north, more or less following the Arizona Trail Race route. Some of the exact routes shown here include detours to campgrounds, but by linking together these individual segments, the path north is quite clear.
Included in these segments are the South Kaibab and North Kaibab trails through Grand Canyon National Park. No wheels are allowed to touch the ground in the canyon, so thru-bikers generally take the wheels off their bike, and lash their bike frame and wheels to a backpack. Hiking down into the canyon and back up with not only all your gear on your back, but your entire bike as well, is a brutal effort undertaking. Unfortunately, there’s no way around it if you truly want to complete the Arizona Trail.
Those who persevere and thru-ride/hike the entire trail will have completed one of the most difficult challenges in mountain biking today!