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Flagstaff Where to ride?

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White Salmon...
posts: 7
Flagstaff Where to ride?

On May 2nd I am leaving Washington State and headed to pick up my son at NAU! I am allowing an extra 5 days to have fun and explore the area. I am bringing my Mt bike and my streel legal XR650 dualsport motorcycle. I have the lodging, food, and mt bike trails figured out from dropping off my son last fall and a weekend visit. I would like some help on where to ride the XR. I plan to explore the forest service roads around Flagstaff but don't know where to ride especially around Sedona and other nearby areas. I don't plan to ride hard but love scenic dirt rides! So if you have a favorite jeep, 4X4 or non extreme ATV / dirt bike ride in the area please share. I don't mind some highway riding to get to and from the rides. I am figuring temps around Flag will be high 60 ish low freezing ish. Hopefully lots of sun! Thanks!

BTW during the drop off visit I explored the Wupati and another nearby ruin. I plan to visit the Riordan Museum this trip. Can't wait to hit the road!

14 replies to this topic
Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
posts: 37,812
reviews: 119
1. Re: Flagstaff Where to ride?

Ride down 89A into Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona. At Sedona take Schnebley Hill Road.

Encinitas...
Destination Expert
for Zion National Park, Joshua Tree National Park
posts: 12,271
reviews: 7
2. Re: Flagstaff Where to ride?

What will be your route back to Washington? I also have a plated XR650, and have ridden some fun places in UT. Since you are plated you could also access Toroweap at Grand Canyon if you are heading home that way.That is a pretty popular dual sport ride.

For Flagstaff, look on dual sport websites.There are plenty of recommendations, many include maps.

White Salmon...
posts: 7
3. Re: Flagstaff Where to ride?

Thanks RedRox and Dez! Red I will definately check out Schnebley Hill Road! I am definately going to Sedona while I am in the Flagstaff area! Dez I am coming down I-15 and cutting over to 89. Yes I will be brushing by some great Utah riding. I want to get to Flag quickly and pump my son up for finals week. But I will def check out Toroweap. I thought about checking out Thumpertalk but in my neck of the woods they always seem to focus on the hardcore moto trails. Maybe adventure rider.

I have enjoyed looking through the Flag Tripadvisor forums getting ideas for other stuff as well so I thought I would ask here. All good ideas are very welcome and thanks for your posts!

Scottsdale, Arizona
posts: 4,572
4. Re: Flagstaff Where to ride?

You could always do some of Route 66

Boston...
posts: 853
reviews: 15
5. Re: Flagstaff Where to ride?

I'm not a biker, but if you want beautiful dirt roads with tons of scenery I would think there's no better place than the Navajo Nation. It sure is fun to drive them! (most of the time).

Maybe do a Google search for "motorcycle roads Navajo Nation"?

White Salmon...
posts: 7
6. Re: Flagstaff Where to ride?

Thanks Ugy and Maj. Route 66 is a classic isn't it?! I haven't even consedered riding in the Navajo Nation. Wasn't sure about native rights and public access but I will check it out. Yes I am talking about the same roads one would drive a 4X4 or AWD SUV on. Wow there really are a lot of riding options close to Flagstaff!

Boston...
posts: 853
reviews: 15
7. Re: Flagstaff Where to ride?

I've driven 4X4 plenty around the Navajo Nation. Hmm...where to begin is the question!

One option would be to take the Leupp Road out of Flagstaff. You follow it through the Navajo Rez up to Route 2 which takes you to Second Mesa, which is Hopi territory. All paved up to here. There are some things to see around there, including the Hopi Cultural Center, if you have any interest. From there you can take Indian Route 43 (unpaved) to Route 4 West, if you want to see Canyon de Chelly (and there are some good, scenic unpaved roads around there) OR, if you want to stay unpaved, take 43 to Pinon then get on 41, also known as the "Peabody Coal access road." This winds around Black Mesa and affords some incredible views from on top of the mesa. Route 41 takes you back to State Hwy 160.

From here, you could either go up to Monument Valley, which is breathtaking, straight across the highway to Navajo National Monument or you could do the crazy drive I did recently, around White Mesa.

At the junction of Route 41 and Hwy 160 there's the Black Mesa Shopping Center, in case you need to gas up or get something to eat (the store has microwavable burritos and Hot Pockets and the like). From here, you could go south of Hwy 160 until you reach the Elephant Feet, a geologic feature that resemble...big feet on the right side of the road. The first dirt track you can take after EF is Indian Route 21, which is another 4W4 that is a lot of fun to drive. You'll see White Mesa in front of you. The time I took it, we ended up descending down a very hairy road into a canyon--which was just spectacular. Around Kaibito, this road joins up with Route 98 (paved), which you can take all the way to Page, where there's plenty to see--Antelope Canyon, etc.

Just some thoughts. There's so much here, and it's all fun to drive and spectacular.

Boston...
posts: 853
reviews: 15
8. Re: Flagstaff Where to ride?

I found some links that show you the general area of that second 4W4 drive I mentioned above (starting at Elephant Feet and heading towards White Mesa / Kaibito):

http://travelingluck.com/North+America/United+States/Arizona/_5320645_White+Mesa+Arch.html

http://travelingluck.com/North+America/United+States/Arizona/_5306161_Narrow+Wash.html

As you can see, it's just as beautiful as anything you'd see in a Utah national park, and the "painted desert" is all around you.

We might have driven down into a wash not a canyon...even the Navajo friend I was with, who grew up nearby in Red Lake, didn't know what it was called; we just stumbled on it. What made that drive fun was the twisting, up-and-down roads. Hair-raising but fun!

White Salmon...
posts: 7
9. Re: Flagstaff Where to ride?

Wow! Lots for me to check out! Thanks for the info and the links Majnuni! I am getting quite a list of places to ride! I had the starter go out on my rig today so I have been busy replacing it and getting the bikes ready for the trip. I have to check out the links and google map some of this stuff out! Thanks again!

Boston...
posts: 853
reviews: 15
10. Re: Flagstaff Where to ride?

Well, you're in for a great ride, Let'sRoll.

One thing I should say: the Navajo territory is remote and there's often not a good cell signal. So make sure you're prepared with equipment to fix a problem, emergency supplies, water, etc. Having said that, I've had all kinds of problems there--from blown tires to getting stick in the mud to nearly driving off a cliff at night once to getting lost--and people have always been helpful getting me back on the road.

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