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Old 04-16-08, 09:32 PM   #1
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Bike riding in Flagstaff, AZ?

My wife is looking at a job in Flagstaff, AZ. Anyone have some insight of the road riding around there? Even some mountain biking trails would be nice to know about. How are the winters there? I'm originally from Montana and would love to continue through life without seeing another snow flake. I'm thinking that might be impossible to do in Flagstaff, but I guess I could always buy a trainer for the off season. Anything you might find helpful to me is appreciated.
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Old 04-17-08, 09:16 PM   #2
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That good, huh?
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Old 04-17-08, 11:05 PM   #3
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I live near Sedona, about an hour south of Flag. Winters in Flag can be mild, like last year with very little snow, or like this year (and '06) with quite a bit of snow. The ski resort opened early and stayed open into April which is a long season for them. There is a lot of mtb riding in and around Flag. And if you combine it with Sedona, it will keep you busy for awhile. As for the road riding, I can say the Ride from Clints Well to Lake Mary is nice and I've heard that Hwy 180 between Flag and the Grand Canyon is too. There is also a loop around the meteor crater that they use for the yearly century (in July I think) that's nice.

The biggest change from the bay area will be the super DRY weather and the altitude. Flag is a small college town. It has one mall, a WalMart(not a super), Kmart, Kohl's etc. but it's pretty much a small town. Hope that helps.
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Old 04-18-08, 08:34 AM   #4
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I would love to be in your shoe. IMHO Flagstaff is great.

Here is a link to the rides listed on

For mountain biking, check out Comsic Ray's book

Hope that helps,

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Old 04-18-08, 03:44 PM   #5
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Can't avoid snow in Flagstaff, but does not have 100+ degree temps in summer either!
Great road riding. You'll be around the 7,000' elevation level and some serious/long hillwork if you are interested.
Downtown can get a little busy, but it's a typical college scene town with 4 seasons. Some good bike shops.
Yes, have ridden Flag to the south rim of Grand Canyon several times. Some nice highway riding and also many scenic/historical/Indian places.
It'll be a huge change from SoCal . . . for the better!
Pedal on TWOgether!
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Old 04-18-08, 11:10 PM   #6
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I live in Flagstaff and get out on my road bike every day the weather allows. Late spring, summer, and fall are incredible times to ride here. It is often nice enough in December to ride. Even during the winter months there will be surprisingly warm days when riding is possible but ice on the roads tends to be a problem on some of the popular routes. Early spring tends to be quite breezy. I've lived in N. Az most of my life, my wife and two of our kids were born here, and we love it.
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Old 04-30-08, 03:36 PM   #7
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I live in Flag. In my opinion the riding out here is great. I think the community is more MTB oriented, but then that might just be my biased perspective (I also own a road bike, mostly for commuting). I'm originally from the Chicago area, and I'd say that on average the winters are similar. It's pretty variable though, some winters we get almost no snow, others (like this past one) are long, snowy, and cold. Still probably nowhere near what you saw in Montana though. Unlike Chicago though, one of the nicest bits about Flagstaff is that in the middle of winter you can always drive down (30mins) to Sedona and warm up a good 10-20 degrees F.

Couldn't tell you much about the road riding out here (still getting into it myself), though I expect it's pretty good. Bike commuting is really good. Lots of bike lanes, urban trail system, multi-use pathway along 66 into downtown. Buses have bike racks, etc... MTB riding out here is about the best I've ever had anywhere. Almost endless XC ranging from roller-coaster type single and double track, to long and steep climbs / descents. Moab is about 8hrs away by car, though I prefer Sedona for that type of riding. Most of Colorado is a day or less away.

Some local area links you might be interested in:
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Old 03-23-09, 03:48 PM   #8
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biking in flagstaff

Flag is a fantastic town for biking. Some of the best mountain biking trails anywhere, and close to town. Neither the winters, nor the mountains even come close to where I lived in Colorado for three years, but there are mountains, and there is winter.

Road riding in good conditions (if you don't mind the occaisional cool [sub 30 deg] morning) from about mid april to the end of november. April and May can be very windy, but usually in the afternoon, and almost always from the SW; so if you plan it right, you can ride far and be blown right back into town. The ride from Flag to Mormon Lake and back is an A+. Smooth pavement, about 70 mi if you go around the lake, and very pretty (for arizona). Out hwy 180, then take a right and ride along 64 which parallels the Grand Canyon, and back on hwy 89 is a killer loop (just shy of a 200 mi), and do take the opportunity to camp out at the canyon before the ride back.

As for winter, I ride year round... but only commuting in the winter. There haven't been conditions I thought were truly unrideable here except for once in three years. Usually max snow accumulation of 10-24 inches at a time, which happens 3-5 times per year. Roads are well plowed and ridable in all but the heaviest snows. Little snows are pretty common. Wind out of the SW everyday it seems, except during monsoon in summer when it shifts to the SE and there are fairly impressive afternoon t-storms regularly.

All in all, I've done my best riding between 7am and noon most anytime of the year, trail or road. Can't beat the mountains in the cool, quiet air of morning. FWIW, I cannot recommend the trail riding in this area highly enough. I've been here three years and still have new trails to explore.
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Old 04-29-09, 05:38 PM   #9
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I'm semi-retiring to Flagstaff out of the Seattle area in 2 years (sister and brother in law already live there) and it can't come fast enough. I can get anywhere in town by bike in 30 minutes or less, and I'm not a fast rider. There is a good system of local trails (Flagstaff Urban Trail System) and more trail segments are being added to it almost every year. I love the fact I can ride out our back door and into the Walnut Canyon trail system within a few blocks.

As the previous posters said, winters are variable and spring and fall can be windy, but you can generally ride year round. The shoulders tend to collect a lot of sand and cinders but that's true of anywhere that gets snow in the winter. I figure the windy periods will be great times to drop into the canyons for sheltered riding.
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Old 05-06-09, 06:05 PM   #10
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I'm in Prescott, about an hour 1/2 south of Flag. The Mountainbike trails in Flag/Sedona/Prescott are awesome.

The good part about living in this part of AZ is you don't get the heat that Pheonix gets. In the winter you have snow up here but if you want to go riding, its just a couple of hours south to 60-70 degree weather
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Old 05-19-09, 11:53 PM   #11
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Flagstaff, Prescott, and Sedona are totally awesome right now! It's starting to get warm, but the heat is totally bearable. I'm sure Flagstaff is still cooler.
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Old 02-12-13, 10:48 PM   #12
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Any change in the last 5 years. I'm in the same position as original poster. Did she get a Job?
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