The Arizona National Scenic Trail is one of the only National Scenic Trails in the country that encourages mountain bikers to enjoy the adventurous route spanning from border to border. Much of the trail design was accomplished with consultation from mountain bikers; recently constructed segments of trail have been built to International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) specifications; and many of the volunteers who helped build the trail were members of the mountain biking community.
While mountain bikers are encouraged to explore and enjoy the Arizona Trail, there are a number of segments that are off limits due to wilderness restrictions. In order to accommodate the needs of the mountain bike community, we have developed preferred routes around wilderness areas to retain a trail experience that is consistent with National Scenic Trail values. We invite your feedback on these routes, and if you have preferred “bike arounds” then please let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
E-Bikes are not allowed on the Arizona Trail. Since federal agencies have defined e-bikes (including pedal-assist models) as motorized, and the Arizona National Scenic Trail was designated by Congress as a non-motorized trail, administered by the US Forest Service, e-bikes are illegal. The only exception is on dirt roads where motorized use is currently allowed.
AZT Mobile App from Guthook
Quite possibly the most comprehensive navigational resource when you’re on the trail, the Guthook AZT App works without cell phone connectivity and provides up-to-date information on water sources, gateway community amenities, closures and detours, comments from recent trail users…and shows you right where you are on the map at all times. Download it for $10 in your App Store and hit the trail! View the AZ Trail App.
Mountain Bike Data Book
The ATA has a special version of the databook that contains mountain bike specific information. It can be downloaded on the Mountain Bike Databook page.
Mountain Bike Maps
The ATA has created a special set of maps and GPS data files for mountain bikers. They can be found the Mountain Bike Map Information page.
Mountain Bike Review Forum
The Mountain Bike Review website has a large amount of information on biking on the Arizona Trail.
Mountain Biking the Arizona Trail Blog
A picture-heavy guide put together by John Schilling for all the bikeable parts of the Arizona Trail.
Bikepacking the AZT Online Guide
Craig Fowler has hiked the Triple Crown (Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail and Continental Divide Trail) and mountain biked the Triple Crown (Arizona Trail, Great Divide and Colorado Trail), logging more than 11,000 miles on epic routes. He has assembled resources within a comprehensive website to help you plan your AZT bikepacking adventure.
One of the goals of the Arizona Trail Association is to develop a cross-state route for mountain bikers that:
- Is consistent with National Scenic Trail values
- Limits interaction with motorized users
- Maximizes the trail experience and the remote nature of the Arizona Trail
- Includes more singletrack
These goals can only be accomplished with support from the mountain bike community. Please respect our land management partners by not biking through wilderness areas or National Parks that restrict bicycle use off paved roads. By working together, we will soon have an Arizona Trail that satisfies the needs of all trail users.
And if you want to see more singletrack for mountain bikers integrated into the Arizona Trail, please join the ATA. Every dollar you give goes into the development and protection of the trail we all love. Ride on.
Bikepacking Triple Crown
The Bikepacking Triple Crown informally refers to completing all three of the classic dirt bikepacking routes. These are:
- Arizona Trail – ~750 miles
- Great Divide Mountain Bike Route – ~2800 miles
- Colorado Trail – ~500 miles
All three routes have free and loosely organized events held annually, but completing the Triple Crown is not contingent on participating in any of them. This is a feat similar to the Triple Crown of Hiking.
The only standards, for the purposes of bikepacking.net’s completion page, are the following:
- Cover at least 90% of the generally accepted bike routes for each
- Complete the routes under your own power, riding a continuous line
- No time limit
- Support is fine, but bikepackers are generally self-supported
For more information, visit the Bikepacking Triple Crown website. And check out the list of those who have already accomplished this amazing endeavor!
In 2014 Eszter Horanyi and Scott Morris did a bikepacking tour on the Arizona Trail. You can read about their trip on the Arizona Trail Leisure Tour article.