FATMAP difficulty grade
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. 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 4 Riders will want to wake early and get a move on for their final day.
Day 4 is truly a “queen’s stage” that starts with a very sizeable climb up through the Gila Canyons.
The route today will leave an imprint of desert beauty and diversity on riders as they head home and for weeks afterward.
Simply put this final day is one of the best days of singletrack riding you’ll get anywhere, anytime.
It’s challenging, beautiful and rugged and is the perfect finale to a great trip.
You’ll pull away from camp and rejoin the singletrack AZT very quickly.
The climb is very reasonable in most spots, but is mixed with some grinder sections as well.
The desert spires and Saguaro forest will keep your mind off the effort as you slowly creep up the canyon.
The trail is very kind in spots giving riders a breather before pointing back up canyon.
The final part of the climb is surreal as the trail clings to 50 and 60-degree slopes and cuts through solid rock.
As riders crest the brunt of the climb they are then deposited into a traverse that contours just below a flowing ridgeline.
Below you is a remote canyon that rivals sections of the Grand Canyon and other deep-cut desert chasms.
The steep canyon gives way to an open bowl of a valley at the head of the final “Picket Post” section of the trail.
This final section rolls up and down for a bit with no significant efforts before an almost all downhill ride to exit trailhead just west of Superior, AZ where the van will be waiting! Ride length is about 25 miles. For more information or to book a tour, visit: http://aztexpeditions.com/Arizona-Trail-1