Sedona is one of the best places to mountain bike in the Southwest. Not only are the views from the saddle incredible, but the trails are world-class as well. From fast and flowy singletrack to expert-only technical rock gardens, Sedona is a must-visit mountain bike destination for any rider. There are few things to keep in mind when mountain biking in Sedona, though. The following 5 tips will help you stay safe and have an incredible time!
1. Yield to hikers
The trails surrounding Sedona are multi-use so expect to see hikers and joggers sharing the incredible views and red rock paths with you. Mountain bikers are expected to yield to hikers, so keep this in mind when descending a fast trail or coming around a corner. Most of the time hikers will move out of the way when they hear a mountain biker coming, but not always! Keep your speed in check and stay in control.
2. Bring lots of water
Sedona is actually quite high in elevation (4,350ft) and the sun - especially during the summer months - can be extremely hot and powerful. Even if you’re planning on just going out for a short ride, be sure to bring water. A good rule of thumb is one liter of water per person per hour of activity.3. Know your level of skill and fitness
Sedona mountain biking miles are like dog miles. Seven miles back home may be a breeze, but seven miles in Sedona can actually be quite challenging due to the uneven terrain, high elevation, and hot sun. Know your level of skill and fitness and choose trails and loops accordingly. A great intro trail to Sedona mountain biking is Llama. Start at the Courthouse Vista parking area and pedal along Llama trail. Return to the parking area on Bell Rock Path for a six-mile loop.
4. Trail features are made to be rideable
Many of the trails in Sedona - even the mellow ones - have technical sections that may include rock gardens, drops, dry river bed crossings, or other trail features. But that being said, these trail obstacles are maintained by the year-round trail crew and everything is made to be rideable. You can ride rock gardens and trail features with confidence knowing that there’s an accessible line. Some mountain bikers call this ‘dumbing down the trail’ but personally I think it’s a great way to allow all levels of riders to enjoy the trails. 5. Use the Trail Forks app to help you navigate Sedona mountain bike trails
The Trail Forks app is indispensable for mountain bikers. Download it to your smartphone and have easy access to all the trails in Sedona. You can even use it offline in case you don’t have cell service. The green trails are beginner trails, the blue are intermediate, and the black and red are expert only.
Whether you’re an advanced mountain biker interested in hitting the hardest trails or you’re just starting out, Sedona is a must-visit mountain bike destination. Go to VisitSedona.com for Sedona biking partners and fix-it station information. Follow the tips above, take the Sedona Cares Pledge and you’ll have an incredible time!
Becky is a Vermont transplant living in the Eastern Sierra of California. In a different life, she worked as a massage therapist aboard a fleet of National Geographic cruise ships, but now she writes the bike adventure blog Two Wheeled Wanderer. While Becky can usually be found on her mountain bike, she will never say no to a two-wheeled adventure. Sedona is one of her favorite places to ride.