Winter Mountain Biking: Where to Go in Cold Weather

Where to Mountain Bike in the Winter: Sedona, AZ

If you’re looking for an outdoor escape in the winter to hit the trails and take a break from the snow, Sedona is the perfect location for winter mountain biking in the off-season months. When the rest of the country’s trails are covered in snow, Sedona extensive trail system can still offer a variety of trail options for all levels of riders. Planning a Sedona winter trip is a must do for all biking enthusiasts considering that Sedona trails are frequently ranked at the top of the list both nationally and globally.  The great news is that you can experience these top trails in the winter when they are less busy than the high season months.

Leave your car behind this winter and explore the beautiful Sedona red rocks from your bike. Sedona sits between the Colorado Plateau and Upper Sonoran Desert; offering amazing views in all directions. From the top trails, great views, spiritual vortexes, and budget friendly camping options – Sedona is the place to go this winter.

Sedona Weather in Winter

From December to February each year Sedona’s weather is usually around a high of 65 degrees F and a low of 34 degrees F in the night – perfect biking weather! On average, it rains just 3 days a month in the winter. Even in the winter months, there is a 75% chance of having sunny weather.

Top Sedona Bike Trails

We have done the research for you for what trails to explore this winter no matter what level of biker you are:

Beginner: Aerie Loop

For beginners or riders looking for a quick singletrack loop around Doe Mountain with outstanding views of the Sedona red rock and desert, this 5.4-mile loop is a great Sedona pick. It features a few of the trails in the Dry Creek area with nice flow, slickrock riding, and a few technical sections. 

Beginner / Intermediate: Chuckwagon – Mescal – Long Canyon

If you’re on your first trip to Sedona or looking for a trail with little elevation or climbing, the Chuckwagon -Mescal – Long Canyon is a great place to start. The 9.1 mile single-track loop is smooth, moderately challenging, and is surrounded by that classic Sedona red rock scenery.

Intermediate: West Sedona Tour

The West Sedona trail gives you the option to link together 8 classic trails or add onto other trails like the Chuckwagon-Mescal-Long Canyon loop if you’re looking to turn this 13.1-mile trail into a longer ride. With lots of climbs and some descends / climbs, this rail highlights the best of the red rock terrain that Sedona is famous for.

Intermediate/Advanced: Cathedral Big Rock Loop

This 12.4-mile out and back ride has a few technical rock sections, some climbs, and descents. Intermediate / advanced rides will love the incredible scenery and flow of this trail.

Need to Rent Bikes?

You can compare rental prices easily and rent mountain bikes online for your next Sedona trip.  Review all of the local bike shops, locations and brands and select your bike rental online quickly and easily.  Your bike will be waiting for you at the shop when you arrive!

Best Camping

Watch hot air balloons float across the red rock landscape as you wake up each morning at your campsite on Loy Butte Road in the Coconino National Forest outside of Sedona.  Loy Butte Road offers dispersed camping for RVs or tents along most of its length, just 15 minutes outside of Sedona. Loy Butte Road allows a maximum stay of 14 days, but has no amenities -so plan accordingly!  All campers must follow leave no trace principles. 

The road is in good condition and can be accessed easily by most vehicles.  Just a short distance from the camp spots, there are great trailheads for mountain biking, hiking, and visiting Indian ruins.  The spots can get busy on weekends and holidays, but usually there are plenty to choose from.  

What are you waiting for? Sedona is calling you to hit the trails this winter.

Guest Post from Julie Singh,