Need tips for Southern AZ

Discussion in 'Regional Forums' started by AdventurePoser, Nov 10, 2002.

  1. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

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    Hi guys,

    JP and I are planning a post Christmas ride as we do every year. In the past we've usually gone up the coast. This year we'd like to visit southern Arizona. You know, Tombstone, the Mexican border areas, or anywhere else that might be feasible on a 5 day ride from the LA area...

    How about it AZ riders? Where to go? Things to see? Great roads? Nice scenery? Nice places to stay? Great restaurants?

    Let me know, and TIA!

    Steve in So Cal
    #1
  2. Bill the Duck

    Bill the Duck Unwitting Accomplice Supporter

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    Did the family vacation thing in and around Tucson summer before last.

    We liked Kartchner Caverns (http://www.kartchnercaverns.com). This is a recent find (last 5 yrs?). Short tour but great cave "decorations" and interesting cave ecology preservation story.

    We also had really bad luck luck finding a good restaurant in Tombstone. All three restaurants we tried served bad food slowly.:puke1

    Can't ride peralta canyon anymore, closed to everything but pedestrians and the tour tram.

    The road up Mt. Lemon is nice and twisty, but it gains altitude fast. There's a ski area at the top, so while it was nice in summer, plan for a cold ride in winter. There's a fire road down the back side which isn't difficult, but it is quite rocky. (Cost me a $200 tire on my cage.:mad: ) "Slow down" she said. "It's made for this!" say I.
    #2
  3. Myles Whitfield

    Myles Whitfield Studly Moderator

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    The Mt. Lemmon Control Road (the dirt on the backside) is currently closed.

    Route 191, formerly Rt. 666 "the Devils Highway" is sorta like the Blue Ridge Parkway, but meaner, greener, and more challenging....Winter time could be snowy...

    Lots of great restaurants in Tucson- I recommend El Charro for Carne Seca, and of course Tequila....

    Biosphere II north of town in Oracle is a fun walk through.

    Ping me when you get closer to town and we'll try and rendezvous.....
    #3
  4. Stephen

    Stephen Long timer Supporter

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    Chiricahua Nat'l Monument. Cool. An unpaved road crosses the mountains just south of there, too. Nice. Exits the mtns at Cave Creek, where Geronimo camped. Portal is tiny, had good enchiladas about twenty years ago. Or maybe it was Paradise. The Animas Valley to the east is the setting for Cormac McCarthy's "The Crossing" which you should read if you haven't yet, second of his border trilogy.

    I have not been to Cochise Stronghold, but a well-traveled park ranger friend of mine rates it very high on his list of cool places. It's down there somewhere between T-stone and NM.
    #4
  5. JetBoy

    JetBoy Been here awhile

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    Post Christmas Mt Lemmon and the upper part of Mt Graham may be closed. Take AZ366 out of Safford to do Mt Graham. Kitt Peak Observatory west of Tucson an AZ 86 is a nice ride and interesting destination. Further wwest of there AZ 86 is pretty frisky all the way to Why. Indian Road 34 north of AZ86 is fun. Off of I-19 south of Green Valley catch the road at Arivaca Junction and take it to Arivaca and then south to Nogales. You will love this road. There is a good restaurant at the Exit for Arivaca Jct., Cow Palace or Cattlemens that is good for breakfast lunch and dinner. Madera Canyon out of Green Valley is a short but nice ride. The road from Arivaca to AZ286 is nice as well. AZ 82 from Nogales to Sonoita is a nice ride. If you can hit Chiricahua National Monument right after a rain you are in for a treat. Not a good time of year to do 191 between Morenci and Alpine, save that for late spring or summer.

    Trail Riders Inn in Tombstone is biker freindly and walking distance to the bars. Clean and inexpensive. A little Foo Foo but the wife should enjoy it.
    #5
  6. JetBoy

    JetBoy Been here awhile

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    One more a bit further north, AZ 77 from Oracle to Globe then west on US 60 to AZ 177 in Superior and back down to AZ 77 is a sweet loop.
    #6
  7. SwampNut

    SwampNut Adventurer

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    Those are some good suggestions. My bike is street-only (I borrow a GS from a gracious friend occasionally), so I don't have a lot of knowledge of the off-road routes down here. Some good roads though are Arivaca, and Kitt Peak. Kitt Peak is a good ride and an interesting destination as it has the largest array of telescopes in the world as I understand it. Peak is at 7k+ so it can be a little chilly, but shouldn't have snow yet.

    Bisbee is a cool little town and if you stay down there stay at the Copper Queen. Great brewery just around the corner and the locals are...interesting...

    Need a place to stay in Tucson?
    #7
  8. scubashot

    scubashot Adventurer

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    I have always found Tombstone too touristy.

    Keep heading down the road to Bisbee and see what happens when an old mining town collides with a bunch of hippies.

    Check out the Copper Queen Hotel for a great meal, take the mine tour, and hike around the hills a bit. Great fun, and within a stones throw of some neat border roads. :1drink
    #8
  9. Myles Whitfield

    Myles Whitfield Studly Moderator

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    Almost forgot....

    Local BMW Riders do an annual ride to Windy Point (about halfway up Mt. Lemmon) on January 1...

    Generally we just stand around and bullshit for a half hour or so, take a picture or twenty, and then start drifting back down the hill...Good hangover therapy.
    #9