Need advice...Flagstaff to Phoenix
Hi all...i'm a photographer and i go to all my assignments by bike and rail (see vid link).
Anyway, I have an assignment in Phoenix during the first week of November and I am trying to figure out how to get there.
I will be taking the Amtrak from Los Angeles to Flagstaff, AZ. Any suggestions to get to Phoenix from there?
Has anyone ridden that route? How are the traffic conditions? Hilly?
I live in Flagstaff but have never ridden to Phx. The quickest route, by car anyway, is down Interstate 17 but that wouldn't be too pleasant on a bike. I'd consider heading down Lake Mary Road (Forest Highway 3) from Flagstaff, hang a right onto Highway 87 and follow that all the way into Phx. It is for the most part a two-lane road the entire way without the greatest shoulders. The traffic isn't terribly heavy except on weekends, especially holiday weekends. The route is beautiful but does have it's share of hills but Flagstaff is much higher in elevation than Phx. so you'll generally be going downhill with just some relatively short climbs.
You could also go from Flagstaff to Prescott via Highway 89a and then down toward Phx. through Congress Junction etc. That is another beautiful route.
Adventure Cycling's Grand Canyon Connector route goes pretty close.
I haven't ridden it, jcrouse, does this make any sense at all? Heads west on 40 then south from Ash Fork.
Flagstaff is a lot higher than Phoenix - and colder.
There are ski areas just outside Flagstaff.
November can be cold and snowy.
PS - I love the youtube.
You know Amtrak's Sunset Ltd (3 days per week) serves LA-Maricopa - 20 miles south of Phoenix?
The route jcrouse suggested is the prettiest. It takes you along Mormon Lake and into the ponderosa pine forest all the way down to Payson. Then Payson to Mesa is open desert hills. I don't reccomend doing the Grand Canyon connector route. It's boring desert terrain with full sun exposure the whole way. Winter conditions in Flagstaff are not usually bad the first week of November. Today warmed up to 70 degrees. The Amtrak will drop you off in downtown. It's worth while to check out downtown as it has developed into a cycling friendly city. Since your into photography, I would think that Sedona is also a can't miss. I'm lucky to live here.
j....thanks, I didn't know about the Sunset....I'll look into that!
thanks everyone for all the suggestions...Sedona looks like a great place to check out...
I would go the Payson voyage much better.
I did the Mesa to Flaggstaff. 90 miles PHX to Payson is wide shoulder. How many miles are planning on a day?
I did the Prescott loop from Phoenix.
Last edited by wheel; 10-23-08 at 12:43 AM.
Biking to the Pits
The Amtrak to Maricopa is an option, but beware the timing: the train arrives around midnight.