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How's the winter weather for Arizona?

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How's the winter weather for Arizona?

Old 12-12-06, 08:37 PM
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mac
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How's the winter weather for Arizona?

I was toying with the idea of riding LA to Phoenix over Christmas break. How's the winter weather? I was thinking of ridingon the I-10 E out of LA and then picking up leg 1 of Adventure Cycling's Southern Tier. Is there a better way out of LA w/o taking the interstate?
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Old 12-13-06, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mac
I was toying with the idea of riding LA to Phoenix over Christmas break. How's the winter weather? I was thinking of ridingon the I-10 E out of LA and then picking up leg 1 of Adventure Cycling's Southern Tier. Is there a better way out of LA w/o taking the interstate?

I lived in Bisbee, which is about as far south as you can get. Elevation is everything: in the mountains there will be snow, on the flats there will be warm sunny days and very crisp, cool or cold nights. Avoid Tucson and Phoenix at all costs: they are case studies in urban blandness.

Best to check the state website for detailed climate information for the route you plan to take; but i thought i'd tell ya a bit about where I lived.

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Old 12-13-06, 02:52 PM
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Generally everything around 3500 feet and below will be rideable most of the winter, everything 4500 feet and below will be accessible some of the time, and I would be cautious about stuff 4500 up. Flagstaff has snow much of the winter and I have been riding in Southern Arizona when snow watches were issued for the evening down on the Mexican border. It all depends on the week really. January, February and March tend to be the wettest.
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Old 12-13-06, 04:00 PM
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Following the interstate is probably the fastest and easiest, but...

If you have the time, IMHO, you would be better off riding down the coast to San Diego (which you are familiar with already), then hooking up with the Southern Tier to Phoenix. The only sketchy area weatherwise will be the mountains the first/second day out of SD. Max elevation around 4000', so it should be okay as long as you have proper equipment and time it during good weather (like Paul said). The rest of the trip is through desert, which should have great weather, albeit chilly at night.

Arizona Climate Averages:

https://www.wrcc.dri.edu/summary/climsmaz.html

Another option...Instead of going all the way to SD, you could cut inland from Oceanside and continue east though Anza Borrego Desert, then skirt the south side of Salton Sea meeting up with the Southern Tier. This route takes you through some spectacular scenery, but you pay your dues getting there--busy, shoulderless 2 lane highway and a killer climb.
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