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Flagstaff Az. DH oriented trails / Shuttle trails??

Discussion in 'Downhill & Freeride' started by mykel, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. mykel

    mykel Turbo Monkey

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    A buddy is heading down to Flagstaff in a couple of weeks.
    He was wondering if he should bring one of his bikes.
    I said, I would post something asking about appropriate trails.

    He would probably bring his '17 Slash Crabon being more versatile than a full on DH bike.

    So Monkey's - what do I tell him?
     

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  2. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    You realize it's winter, right?
     
  3. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    Pictures of Flagstaff:

    GEDC0208s.jpg GEDC0207s.jpg GEDC0204s.jpg GEDC0188s.jpg
     
  4. 'size

    'size Turbo Monkey

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    mt elden. great pedal and shuttle trails. but it's cold right now. however there is no snow below 11k ft or so and mt elden rd is open so he should be fine all over the mountain. but it's cold.

    I think trailforks has some decent intel on the most well known trails.
     
  5. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    It's russian roulette this time of the year then. Storm could hit at any time. Luckily, Sedona is not far and has good riding (all the more reason for what I say below):

    Not that many shuttle trails though, some good ones no doubt, but you are better off on less than a DH bike so you can ride and drop into some of the other cool stuff. While you can drop down Organ Donor to Sunset, there is a lot of climbing (for any DH bike) to get down that way. I was much happier there with a bike like my old RFX, vs. when I rode a DH bike there. For Private Reserve and some of it's now-long-gone off-shoots, it was nice to have a full DH rig, but not needed and limits you from having fun on a lot of the other quality stuff. Mainly, there are some good freeride/DH type trails you have to pedal to no matter how you do it. It takes a local or some good trail-scouting to find some of them, but they are there and they are quality. Some are on the trail apps.
     
  6. 'size

    'size Turbo Monkey

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    absolutely. always check forest service info before committing to riding in flag this time of year.
     
  7. mykel

    mykel Turbo Monkey

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    Yup, know it's winter.
    But it also a F* of a lot warmer than where we are.
    Looking at a high today of -13 C.
    We just had a warm snap with rain so a lot of the snow melted before the temps went back into the cellar.
    He was out riding a 20+ km loop yesterday evening at -15 C.

    If the trails are passable, I think he will be ok.
     
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  8. rideit

    rideit Bob the Builder

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    Does anyone know if Wasabi and Ginger were ever made into system trails?
    They were a ton of fun!
     
  9. mykel

    mykel Turbo Monkey

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    Suggestions of anything you may know of within 2-3 hours of Flagstaff, John would also welcome.

    Thanks again guys - You too Jayem :D
     
  10. johnbryanpeters

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    Prescott has miles and miles of goodness, about 1:40, 95 miles...
     
  11. 'size

    'size Turbo Monkey

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    Sedona 30-40 min south, Phoenix 2-2.5 hours south depending on your destination. south mountain would be the default Phoenix recommendation for a day trip this time of year.

    I'm not super familiar with the prescott trails but what I have ridden was cool. I think jayem used to live there though...
     
  12. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    For epic descents/gnar?

    Not too much of that in Prescott, although you can ride many many miles with lots of vertical in Prescott. It may be significantly warmer, and it's only about 1.5 hours from Flag. Don't get me wrong, hundreds of miles of trails are available and if you need a big all-day "epic", the ~65 mile "circle trail" route should definitely not be missed.

    Bill Williams Mtn is near Flagstaff and has two gems-of-a-trail, Benham Trail and Bill Williams trail. The deal is to park at the end of BW Trail at the forest service, ride on a connector trail to the city, ride around to Benham trail, ride up that to make a loop. The Benham trail is steep, but except for the last 200 yards or so, all rideable, although most riders can not clean all the switchbacks. It's a constant test during the climb to clean then, but it goes through amazing firs and aspens up higher and is just beautiful and then BW Trail starts off steep and ends up chunky, tons of fun and a few natural features to utilize. Be wary of speed, but it's usually a lot less crowded than Flagstaff and sometimes you won't see another person. Not a lot of miles, but a ~2500' descent and you'll still spend at least a few hours doing this, 3-4 most likely, depending on climbing fitness and bike. Wouldn't recommend more than 6" of travel, the switchbacks would be murder with more, although I seem to recall doing it on a Hiline a couple times.

    There are some good chunky DH routes off of Mingus Mountain, these require some local knowledge most likely to show you where they come out, where to stage vehicles, etc. Not a whole lot of routes and I'd only ride these back in the day when the weather wasn't too hot and some other friends (usually from Phoenix) were interested. This was literally in my backyard, but not high quality enough for me to ride all the time, although it is chunky (28 and North Mingus) and 533 is kind of a fun swoopy one.

    Then there's Sedona, where you absolutely don't want a DH bike, because there are no real shuttle runs and just a few rides that involve sustained descent, due to the wilderness area. Lots of good chunky rides though.

    Mostly, Flagstaff kicks ass. You have more tame trails closer to the city and the surrounding area, the AZT trail taking off to the North, some good chunky options, some legit DH options, and so on, all in a nice cool pine, fir and aspen forest. In the summer time, this is the place to ride in NAZ. It's kind of like being in Colorado to a large extent. It was my favorite place to ride most of the time in AZ.
     
  13. johnbryanpeters

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    We got good and lost on the Arizona trail north last May...
     
  14. KenW449

    KenW449 something stupid

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    IDK, I dont have a GPS
    Phoenix is alot warmer than Flagstaff. The AZT would be good.
     
  15. Jm_

    Jm_ Turbo Monkey

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    Even in the winter it could be too warm for me, like 80s and above. But after a rain SoMo can be a blast. There's some good chunk to choose from down there, pretty much as chunky and tech as anywhere else you'll find, in many cases you won't find any equal. Every once and a while when I did a lot of shuttles on SoMo with the shortbus crew someone would show up that was visiting the state from CO or the East Coast or something and we'd try to warn them, they'd assure us they were ready and used to "chunky", and they'd bail on the first run. There's some good stuff. Lots of fun DH foolery down there. And when you think the gnar on SoMo is chunky, then you go ride Goat Camp, to take it up a level.

    Then there are the Pinals near Globe, with the 4500' descent down a variety of trails. It doesn't get as much trail work and attention as it needs, but when the conditions are right it's a good place to camp out and get some runs in with a crew, usually after going up and doing some cutting and clearing a week or two before.

    There's the AZT and Black Canyon trail if you are looking for something a little less gnar. The BC isn't necessarily smooth, some of it is pretty darn rough, but it's XC rough, not DH gnar rough, can be a good shuttle, but not in the vertical-way, it's simply so long it's better to shuttle than out-n-back if possible. AZT in the higher elevation is more my style, just due to the cooler temps, but that applies mostly during summer.

    You just have to make sure you aren't looking too mexican in Phoenix, so you don't get pulled over.
     
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