Exploring Arizona by Bike: Unveiling the Southwest’s Majestic Beauty

cycling exploring the outdoors

Arizona welcomed over 46 million domestic overnight visitors in 2019 and it’s a state that many people travel thousands of miles to explore. The vast and diverse landscapes of Arizona make it a captivating destination for road cycling enthusiasts. With its breathtaking canyons, mesmerizing deserts, and picturesque mountains, the Grand Canyon State offers a unique and thrilling experience for riders of all skill levels.

Here we’ll explore three of the most captivating areas for cyclists to explore in Arizona. While the traditional road trip may be by car, there’s a lot to be said for saddling up and enjoying the open road, by bike.

Sedona: A Cycling Paradise Amidst the Red Rocks

Nestled in the iconic red rocks of Sedona, road cyclists are in for a treat. The stunning scenery and challenging terrain make it an ideal destination for riders seeking both natural beauty and thrilling rides. The Red Rock Scenic Byway offers a scenic route with breathtaking views of Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock. For a more challenging experience, the Sedona-Oak Creek Canyon Loop provides a mix of steep climbs and exhilarating descents.

To stay safe while exploring Sedona, it is essential to bring plenty of water and sun protection due to the region’s arid climate. Always wear a helmet and ensure your bike is in safe condition before embarking on your adventure. Experienced Arizona bike accident lawyers highlight the importance of planning your route and being mindful of other road users, including larger vehicles. However, they also need to be aware of your presence and you should feel safe when riding around the state.   

Tucson: Explore the Sonoran Desert Splendor

Tucson, known for its warm climate and stunning desert landscapes, is a haven for cyclists. With over 700 miles of dedicated bike paths and routes, including the famous Loop, cyclists can immerse themselves in the region’s natural beauty while enjoying a challenging ride. The Santa Catalina Mountains offer a thrilling ascent up the Mount Lemmon Scenic Byway, providing breathtaking views of the city and surrounding desert.

When cycling in Tucson, it is crucial to stay hydrated and carry sufficient nutrition, as the desert heat can be unforgiving. Stay visible by wearing bright clothing, especially during the early morning or late evening rides. Plan your route in advance, inform someone about your itinerary, and carry a cell phone for emergencies. Additionally, respect the local wildlife and avoid disturbing their habitats. You may be lucky enough to spot indigenous birds and wildlife as you ride, but make sure you go no further than observing them.

Flagstaff: Pedal amongst Ponderosa Pines 

Flagstaff, a charming mountain town situated at an elevation of 7,000 feet, offers a refreshing escape from Arizona’s desert landscapes. Surrounded by ponderosa pine forests and the stunning San Francisco Peaks, it is a cyclist’s paradise. The Flagstaff Urban Trails System provides over 50 miles of interconnected paths, perfect for leisurely rides and exploration. For a more challenging adventure, cyclists can tackle the ascent to Snowbowl, which rewards riders with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

When exploring Flagstaff there is the potential for rapidly changing weather conditions. The area often experiences heavy rain and can be unpredictable in the winter months (as frequent skiers will know). Carry appropriate clothing layers and be prepared for sudden temperature drops. Respect the local community and follow traffic rules when cycling on the streets. Remember to also be cautious of wildlife, such as elk or deer if you spot them and always maintain a safe distance.

Plan your Arizonan Bike Adventure Today

These are just a few examples of Arizona’s most popular and enjoyable cycling locations but if you’re planning a long visit, you can explore even further. Experienced and enthusiastic cyclists are spoilt for choice with their options around the state. As you explore, you will also find plenty more exciting things to do with busy city centers, amazing food and plenty of activities to discover across Arizona. 

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