Western Arizona in February 2019

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by AdventureDude, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. AdventureDude

    AdventureDude Explore More

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    A couple of us are planning to get out of the wet and gloom of the PNW for a big bike ride in Arizona February of 2019. We rode the national enduros in Coalinga and Wickenburg many years ago during February and enjoyed the desert. We are older now (over 60) and ride adventure bikes (R1200GS and Africa Twin), but love to ride gravel and dirt roads. We want to explore Arizona and figure the weather should be OK as long as we say out of the mountains to the east. After a bit of research, I found the RMMC ride called Hooked On Phoenix, which looked interesting. Due to winter conditions in the mountains, we plan to haul the bikes down to Mesquite, NV, and ride the route from there and back, modifying it as we see fit. We plan on staying in hotels along the way, and we will make Wickenburg our turn around spot, because the original track led to the Phoenix supercross which is earlier this year. We have a friend who winters in the Lake Havasu area, so we might stop by there as well.

    I have the Benchmark Atlas as well as the Butler G1 map of Arizona and found additional routes that look interesting beyond the HOP route. Some of the gnarlier HOP tracks look to be a bit much for a big bike, so we are flexible and don't want to work too hard (been there, done that!)

    Question #1: From Yucca, the HOP track follows Alamo Crossing Rd. southeast, then skirts the north end of Alamo Lake through a wash according to their video, and the wash looks like it could be tricky on a big bike depending on conditions. I found a video of a rider doing Brown's Crossing which didn't look too bad. Should we plan on an alternate route to get to Alamo Rd to the east of the lake on our way to Wickenburg?

    Question #2: it appears that Castle Hot Springs Rd. west of Lake Pleasant northwest of Phoenix makes a nice loop up to Wickenburg and appears big bike friendly. Is that so? I found one video that made it look pretty easy, so thought I'd throw it out to the local experts.
    Lake Pleasant.jpg

    Question #3: I was down in St. George this fall and planned on doing the Toroweap Overlook loop, but it was just too damn hot. Would it be doable in February due to elevation? I'm thinking snow would block parts of the road, but I'd like to know what the experts think based on your experience.

    Thanks for any info you all can provide!
    #1
  2. Bigbugberg

    Bigbugberg De oppresso liber Supporter

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    Castle Hot Springs Road is big bike friendly.
    When your date gets closer PM me. I know that area real well, LOTS of cool stuff out of wickenburg.
    #2
  3. AdventureDude

    AdventureDude Explore More

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    Thanks for the info!
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  4. Dan Man

    Dan Man ex-adventurer

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    I think can count of there being too much snow heading to Toroweap. North rim gets a lot of snow.
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  5. dave6253

    dave6253 GCBAR Explorer

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    Toroweap is lower than the Kaibab Plateau/North Rim. If you go in and out from Fredonia, you should avoid snow, depending on current conditions, of course. Avoid Toroweap if mud is possible.
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  6. AdventureDude

    AdventureDude Explore More

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    I thought as much but was hoping....Thanks for solid intel. We'll have to schedule that one for another trip.
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  7. AdventureDude

    AdventureDude Explore More

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    According to the Benchmark Atlas, the road you're taking about is Antelope Valley Rd. correct? It joins 5 down to Toroweap. We'll check on road conditions locally if we decide to try this one. It's not a real priority for this trip, but since I missed it on my way through in September, it's still on my to do list. Thanks for the info!
    #7
  8. Kyron

    Kyron Oncler Inds

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    1# ... getting across Alamo lake can be tricky .... your better off going through Signal to get to 93, ...... go to Baghdad, take Camp Wood rd , get to Prescott ..... Senator Hwy to Crown King .... take Wagner rd (fr362) back to hwy 89 (big bike friendlier and better tour)

    There can be snow in Prescott but you will know before

    Yeah, there's a lot of options
    #8
  9. AdventureDude

    AdventureDude Explore More

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    Wow, that looks like a wonderful route! We'll keep an eye on conditions as we travel. Thanks so much!
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  10. ROAD DAMAGE

    ROAD DAMAGE Long timer Supporter

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    Tuweep Campground and Toroweep Overlook are certainly worth all the effort to get there.

    For the latest information on road conditions, call The North Kaibab Ranger District office in Fredonia, AZ @ 928-643-7395.

    I've been there several times over the years and it never disappoints.

    RD
    #10
  11. AdventureDude

    AdventureDude Explore More

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    Thanks for the contact info Road Damage! Yes, I'm hoping we will be able to get there in February, but weather/road conditions will make our decision for us.
    #11
  12. jtwest

    jtwest Redneck Adventererer

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    Thanks. I think im pretty cool too.
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  13. jtwest

    jtwest Redneck Adventererer

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    lots of sand west of Wickenburg. If you are comfortable with sand, its easy stuff. If not, it would be gruesome. Other than that what these guys said is accurate. Castle HS road is super easy.
    #13
  14. AdventureDude

    AdventureDude Explore More

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    Good to know. Thanks for the confirmation on Castle HS Rd. Looks like it will be on our itinerary.
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  15. jtwest

    jtwest Redneck Adventererer

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    let me know if you need anything. Tools, pitstop.. I am right in between the church and the school in Wickenburg
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  16. mkitchen

    mkitchen Been here awhile

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    Some additional suggestions.
    1. From Mesquite NV, you can go south to Kelly point instead of Torroweep. Kelly pt is a bit lower elevatation than Tuweep and may be a bit dryer and warmer. What was your planned route from there south.
    2. A good ride while in Arizona would be the Peace Trail ( arizonapeacetrail.org ) on the west side of the state. It's a 650 mile loop in the area that you are looking at. Even if you do not choose to ride the loop, you can do parts of it that are in the specific area that you have mentioned. Such as riding Granite peak trail rather than all the way down Alamo rd. I am glad to assist with more trail suggestions as needed. Let me know when you get closer.
    Mikey
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  17. mntdawg

    mntdawg NOT FRAGILE OR GREEN

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    Kelly requires a little work, sure you are not thinking of Twin?.
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  18. AdventureDude

    AdventureDude Explore More

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    Thanks!
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  19. AdventureDude

    AdventureDude Explore More

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    Thanks for the suggestions! the Peace Trail looks like a bit more than we want to tackle this trip, but I think we'll ride parts of it.
    #19
  20. mkitchen

    mkitchen Been here awhile

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    That was kind of what I was thinking. I also didn't notice that you are going to be on some pretty big bikes and the trail over granite pass might be a hand full. there are some causual stretches though. Also, we are on the tent site list and have put up a few travellers and have a pretty well stocked garage.
    Mikey
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