Mountain Biking The Arizona Trail

The Arizona National Scenic Trail is one of the only National Scenic Trails in the country that encourages mountain bikers to enjoy the adventurous route spanning from border to border. Much of the trail design was accomplished with consultation from mountain bikers; the trail was built to International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) specifications; and many of the volunteers who helped build the trail were members of the mountain biking community.

While mountain bikers are encouraged to explore and enjoy the Arizona Trail, there are a number of segments that are off limits due to wilderness restrictions. In order to accommodate the needs of the mountain bike community, we have developed preferred routes around wilderness areas to retain a trail experience that is consistent with National Scenic Trail values. We invite your feedback on these routes, and if you have preferred “bike arounds” then please let us know by emailing us at .

Resources

Mountain Bike Data Book

The ATA has a special version of the databook that contains mountain bike specific information. It can be downloaded here.

Mountain Bike Maps

The ATA has created a special set of maps and GPS data files for mountain bikers. They can be found on this page.

Mountain Bike Review Forum

The Mountain Bike Review website has a large amount of information on biking on the Arizona Trail. You can check it out at this link.

Mountain Biking the Arizona Trail Blog

A picture-heavy guide put together by John Schilling for all the bikeable parts of the Arizona Trail can be found here.

Goals

One of the goals of the Arizona Trail Association is to develop a cross-state route for mountain bikers that:
  • Is consistent with National Scenic Trail values
  • Limits interaction with motorized users
  • Maximizes the trail experience and the remote nature of the Arizona Trail
  • Includes more singletrack
These goals can only be accomplished with support from the mountain bike community. Please respect our land management partners by not biking through wilderness areas or National Parks that restrict bicycle use off paved roads. By working together, we will soon have an Arizona Trail that satisfies the needs of all trail users.

And if you want to see more singletrack for mountain bikers integrated into the Arizona Trail, please join the ATA. Every dollar you give goes into the development and protection of the trail we all love. Ride on.

Bikepacking Triple Crown

The Bikepacking Triple Crown informally refers to completing all three of the classic dirt bikepacking routes. These are:
Arizona Trail – ~750 miles
Great Divide Mountain Bike Route – ~2800 miles
Colorado Trail – ~500 miles

All three routes have free and loosely organized events held annually, but completing the Triple Crown is not contingent on participating in any of them. This is a touring/completion feat similar to the Triple Crown of Hiking.

The only standards, for the purposes of bikepacking.net’s completion page, are the following:

  • Cover at least 90% of the generally accepted bike routes for each
  • Complete the routes under your own power, riding a continuous line
  • No time limit
  • Support is fine, but bikepackers are generally self-supported

For more information, visit the Bikepacking Triple Crown website. And check out the list of those who have already accomplished this amazing endeavor!

Journals

In 2014 Eszter Horanyi and Scott Morris did a bikepacking tour on the Arizona Trail. You can read about their trip on her journal here.