The last day in mountain bike paradise has finally come to an end—with nothing other than a full-blown epic adventure through the red rock canyons of Sedona, of course!
After becoming extremely frustrated with getting flat tires yesterday from all the goatheads on the trail, I installed 29’er slime tubes in my Fischer big-wheeled hardtail. Lots o’ slime did the trick—there were ZERO flat tires today. Whoo-hoo!
The weather was the worst yet so far this week—68 degrees and partly cloudy. Boo-hoo. Not 75 degrees and sunny. Ideal conditions for mountain biking if you ask me.
The plan—ride all of the trails in the southern part of the Sedona red rock canyon. Estimated time to completion—4 hours of riding. The trai sequence—Bell Rock trail, to Chicken Point, to Broken Arrow, to Mystique, to Templeton, to Castle Rock, and back on Bell Rock trail to the hotel. All red slickrock singletrack. Booya!
The ride—amazing (of course). The trail to Chicken Point was scattered with rock step-up ledges during long, sustained climbs combined with short, swithcback downhills. Needless to say, this trail rocked. Although there is some super technical terrain throughout the ride, there is almost always a way around the big drops, making the trail very fun and rideable.
Quite the view was to be found at the top of Chicken Point. More endless red rock canyon walls, extending as far as the eye can see. Above us, on the plateou above Oak Creek Canyon, we could see the distant peaks of Mt. Humphery in Flagstaff (our destination later this evening).
Broken Arrow trail snakes it’s way down back to the canyon floot via super rocky, technical, hard to follow sections of singletrack. Fun, but we walked quite a bit.
At the bottom, we rode some steep jeep trails for a bit before loosing the trail. We looked for probably 20 minutes before a fellow mountain biker kindly told us the way to the Mystique trailhead. So many riders in Sedona, what a deal…
Mystique was a mellow climbing trail, with not too many stand out features. It connected us with some more road downhills, finally leading us onto Templeton trail. Although we rode this yesterday, it was soooo sweet we had to give it one more go. The Templeton trail snakes it’s way along the edge of the canyon on almost exclusively slickrock singletrack trail, with extended sections of very rideable switchback downhills. Time to bomb away!
After stopping for a PB & J lunch snack along the now slow-flowing Oak Creek (there has not been rain here for over 3 months), it was time to head back to the hotel. One last stint through Templeton and Castle Rock sealed the deal on the best week on mountain biking I’ve ever experienced.
Tonight, we drive up to the top of the canyon to Flagstaff for high-altitude sightseeing and dinner. After this week of riding, it’s time for some rewarding food!
Tommorow I go back to chilly old Green Bay….and I’m not looking forward to it. It’s going to take a long time to fully understand the awesomeness of this trip. It will be refrenced as the standard in vacation fun for years to come, that’s for sure!