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Explore the pillars of Northern Arizona on two wheels. This road cycling journey-style trip will take you from the incredible red rock formations of Sedona, through the high alpine Coconino National Forest, and eventually conclude at the Grand Canyon South Rim. The experienced guides and expert mechanics provide all the services you need to make this a once-in-a-lifetime ride you can rave to all your cycling friends about. The campground locations offer many of the same amenities of lodge-based trips but allow for a more intimate experience with your surroundings beyond what can be achieved from the saddle alone. Wholesome, guide-prepared meals and professional cycling services make it truly feel like a vacation. The hardest decision you have to make all weekend is how hard you want to push it over the next hill.
You will be accommodated at campsites near Page Springs and Mormon Lake, and campsite at Grand Canyon South Rim. Arizona Outback Adventures provides amenities and equipment in the camps to elevate your comfort level in the backcountry. They carefully selected campground locations as the perfect backdrop for your trip and allow you to combine your love of cycling with an added element of adventure while getting to know other like-minded cyclists. Spacious tents, comfortable sleeping pads, and appropriately rated sleeping bags are available to rent from AOA if needed or preferred. Showers will be available to guests each day.
From the low-lying Sonoran Desert to the high-altitude Ponderosa Pine forests of Northern Arizona, this journey-style road bike tour experiences as much of the region as possible, while still making plenty of time to relax and escape the bustle of everyday life. AOA’s professional ride support staff will be alongside you throughout the tour to ensure your bike is rolling smoothly, your bottles are topped off, and you are fresh and ready for every mile. Much of this trip is spent riding at altitudes of 6,000 feet above sea level or higher. Some individuals may find it more challenging than their norm to cycle at these elevations so strong cardiovascular fitness will help make this adventure enjoyable.
This tour is 100% road riding, moderate, and meant for intermediate road cyclists looking to spend a few hours in the saddle each day. All rides are optional, and most days have options to go longer or shorter. To fully enjoy this trip, AOA recommends building up to riding 30-40 miles each day for four days with moderate elevation change.
At 06:00, you will meet your guides and fellow riders at your host hotel in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. After a quick meet and greet, you will hit the road for red rock country. During the drive to Sedona, the terrain changes as you climb out of the Sonoran Desert and into the chaparral scrub forest of the Verde Valley. Here, you get your first glimpse of Sedona’s famous red sandstone formations. Today’s ride begins in the Village of Oak Creek, just outside the town of Sedona. After getting your bikes ready to roll, you will continue the gradual climb north into Sedona where you will be amazed at the 360-degree views of the red rocks landscape. Soak it all in as you tackle some rolling hills and make your way through Sedona towards Page Springs, your first night’s camp location not far from Oak Creek. After dinner, get a taste of the Arizona wine scene with a tasting at a local cellar.
Wake up to the sound of Oak Creek flowing past your camp as your guides prepare a wholesome breakfast to fuel your trek. This morning you will enjoy the ethereal views of Sedona before transferring to the high alpine forests outside Flagstaff; Arizona’s mountain town. Explore historic downtown before hopping in the saddle. Today, your sights are set on Mormon Lake, a beautiful alpine lake surrounded by marshland and tall pines. The route will bring you along the shore of another larger lake, Lake Mary, with stunning views of the 11 and 12-thousand-foot-tall San Francisco peaks standing sentry over the plateau country, before looping around Mormon Lake to settle in at a nearby campground for the night. Enjoy another quality guide prepared meal around the fire as you recap your day on the bike. Remember to look up - you can often see the Milky Way through the canopy of pines on a clear night!
Your third day of riding continues your journey north towards the ultimate goal of reaching the Grand Canyon. After breakfast, you will transfer by van to Sunset Crater National Monument where you begin your ride. Sunset Crater is an extinct volcano that erupted approximately 1000 years ago, generating lava flows that reached as far as four miles from the volcano and expelling ash for over 800 square miles, significantly impacting native populations in the area. Nearby Wupatki National Monument showcases the ruins of an ancient pueblo dwelling. The multi-story stone buildings were inhabited by over 100 people, many of whom migrated there following the eruption at Sunset Crater. Today’s ride features a net downhill through Sunset Crater Volcano and Wupatki National Monuments and upon entering the Grand Canyon National Park, there is the option to ride along Grand Canyon’s east rim drive and into tonight’s camp. Your last night together at the Grand Canyon provides the perfect ending to a journey filled with hard-earned miles and countless smiles.
Wake up in the cool, crisp air of the Grand Canyon at 7,000 feet above sea level and enjoy the morning views of the vast expanse before you. Today’s ride will be a self-guided excursion with multiple options right from camp. Enjoy an incredibly scenic out and back ride along the South Rim, or opt for a more casual, shorter loop exploring the Grand Canyon’s South Rim Village. Whether you prefer to ride, go for a short hike, or enjoy the downtime and sleep in, AOA will provide a delicious brunch to conclude the morning’s activities as you prepare for your return to Scottsdale.
Note about itinerary changes: AOA do the best to operate each trip as closely as possible to the published itinerary, however there are sometimes forces outside of their control that could require them to make adjustments to the operations of a trip. These include but are not limited to weather, natural disasters, road closures, park closures, campsite availability, emergency guest illness or injury.
Guests will need the ability to ride on well-maintained roads / streets / pathways or on mountain bike trails with moderately challenging obstacles. Elevation change is moderate and noticeable on some climbs and distances could range between 25 and 50 miles per day for the road. Guests are generally traveling at a group pace but have the ability to rest on demand and / or reroute / shorten a route for most of the rides.
Guests will see attractions less visited by the masses with some side trips to more popular areas. They can expect very little waiting time for parking, shuttles, meals, etc. Crowds are moderate and / or are easily avoided if present. Overnight accommodations may be popular but have a feeling of solitude and privacy.
All AOA adventure tours assume the guests are capable and willing to participate in some group tasks such as setting up your own tent, inflating your sleeping pad, carrying a backpack, and retrieving water from a remote source. Guides are on-hand at all times to provide assistance or instruction where needed.
AOA offers rental road bikes in various performance levels. Each road bike rental includes a helmet and flat repair kit and can be set up to your basic fit requirements. You are welcome to bring your own pedals and saddle to use with the rental bikes.
Will has been guiding since 2018 and a bike mechanic since 2016. He has been working at AOA since 2018. His hometown is in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He usually guides multi-day tours. He loves mountain and road bike racing, backcountry skiing, running, backpacking, and hiking.
Alex has been guiding since 2009 and has been with AOA since 2009. His hometown is in Scottsdale, Arizona. He usually guides multi-day tours. His hobbies are trail and road running and playing with his chocolate lab, Thor.
Linda is a tour guide at AOA.
Tyler has been guiding since 2012 and has been with AOA since 2014. He usually guides all multi-day tours, specializing in backpacking and cycling trips. He grew up in New Jersey, so his first language is actually sarcasm. He thinks the best part about guiding is hands down the looks on people’s faces after they’ve conquered something they never thought that they could. Everyone should get out of their comfort zone every now and then, and he loves that he gets to facilitate that every week!
This bike tour will take place in Arizona, USA. It will cover several places including Sedona, Page Springs, Flagstaff, Mormon Lake, Sunset Crater National Monument, and Grand Canyon National Park.
The Arizona Outback Adventures kitchen is fully equipped to allow the guides to prepare healthy, fresh meals. Meals are starting with lunch on day one through lunch Day four.Guests will be provided with all dishware and utensils needed for meals. The meals will consist of all fresh food with courses and more complex additions / spicing, although often will be limited to one entrée. Meals are served by guides and may be plated or served group-style out of serving dishes / platters and eaten with camp utensils while sitting at a covered outdoor table.
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