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Old 10-21-08, 09:58 AM   #1
xcapekey
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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).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-82-iF7Lds

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?

Thanks
Russ
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Old 10-21-08, 01:14 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 10-21-08, 02:14 PM   #3
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Adventure Cycling's Grand Canyon Connector route goes pretty close.
http://www.adventurecycling.org/rout...?pg=detail&s=1

I haven't ridden it, jcrouse, does this make any sense at all? Heads west on 40 then south from Ash Fork.
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Old 10-21-08, 03:38 PM   #4
jamawani 
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Ummm -

Flagstaff is a lot higher than Phoenix - and colder.
There are ski areas just outside Flagstaff.
November can be cold and snowy.

Climate info:
http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/cgi-bin/cliMAIN.pl?az3010

PS - I love the youtube.
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Old 10-21-08, 03:48 PM   #5
jamawani 
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PPS -

You know Amtrak's Sunset Ltd (3 days per week) serves LA-Maricopa - 20 miles south of Phoenix?
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Old 10-21-08, 06:58 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 10-22-08, 06:27 PM   #7
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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...
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Old 10-22-08, 08:01 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 10-24-08, 05:54 PM   #9
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The Amtrak to Maricopa is an option, but beware the timing: the train arrives around midnight.
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