Great Motorcycle Rides in Arizona

Written by on October 29, 2015 in AZ Outdoor Adventures - Comments Off on Great Motorcycle Rides in Arizona

For many, the best way to see Arizona is to cruise through it on a motorcycle … it’s pure freedom. Happily, Arizona cooperates with fantastic weather. When it’s hot in the deserts the mountains are a cool getaway, and when the snow flies in the heights, the warm winter temperatures in the desert lure riders into vast vistas. There are literally dozens of great roads to ride, but we’ve picked out a few of the best to share with you and we’ve even asked a couple of riders what their favorite roads are.

David Shano, owner of Precision Billet in Phoenix, says, “I think the ride up through Scottsdale to the Hideaway Bar is probably one of the most popular destinations for riders here in the Valley of the Sun. The Hideaway is great place on the weekends to see some of the finest rides in Arizona, and during the Fall it’s like a custom bike show there every weekend.

“Another great ride east of the Valley is AZ88 to Tortilla Flats. Tortilla Flats is a great weekend destination for the biker to grab some food and hang with friends on a scenic road,” David adds.

Another short trip from Phoenix includes the ride from Lake Pleasant to Castle Hot Springs. Nearly traffic free, the road travels through some of the most beautiful, rural Arizona landscapes and ascends into the Vulture Mountains. The Vulture Mine Ghost Town is along the way and well worth a stop to explore the early history of Arizona.

Owner Buddy Stubbs Harley Davidson has several favorite routes including around the Tombstone and Bisbee area. “Take the back roads through beautiful open desert scenery and stop in Tombstone and Bisbee to visit the historic buildings, the OK Corral, the museums, great shopping, amazing restaurants and really fun historic mine tours,” says Buddy.

Another of his favorite rides a quick cruise to Bartlett Lake, located just north of Scottsdale, Arizona. “This is a quick 50 mile ride through the Tonto National Forest to one of Arizona’s most beautiful lakes,” says Buddy. There are plenty of areas to picnic and camp around Bartlett Lake and even rent a boat for the day from the Marina. The nearby town of Cave Creek offers plenty of great shopping and dining.

For those who don’t know, “If you don’t own a motorcycle you can rent one for the weekend and enjoy the bike without all the worry of owning one,” Buddy adds.

Here are a couple of SeeTheSouthwest’s suggestions on great rides in Arizona:

Old Arizona Highway 80 starting in Gila Bend doesn’t look like much at first, but after a while you end up at Gillespie Dam and touring the marshlands filled with soaring tamarisk trees and old lava flows. The road is fairly straight and the traffic is negligible.

For a truly stunning ride, take Oak Creek Canyon from Sedona to Flagstaff. The road requires some concentration as the switchbacks are steep, but the view is second only to the Grand Canyon with soaring red rock walls and rich riparian areas surrounding Oak Creek. Best of all, there are plenty of places to pull off the road and dangle your toes in the creek, site-see or have a picnic.

How about a ride up into the sky islands? Try the Mount Lemmon Highway from Tucson to the top of Mount Lemmon. The view from the top is never-ending and stunning. There are great turnouts and hiking trails all the way up to the top if you want to stop and stretch your legs.

Last but not least, a ride from the Cameron Trading Post into Tusayan, along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is the highlight of any road trip in Arizona. There are literally dozens of places to stop and overlook the Colorado River as it carves deeper and deeper into the Kaibab Plateau. You’ll eventually end up in Grand Canyon National Park where the absolute best views are to be had. There are also plenty of place to eat and fuel up in the Park or in the town of Tusayan, just south of the rim.

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