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Arizona Mountain Biking - Discover Red Rock Country Up Close!
By Rika Susan

Of the many superb Arizona mountain biking areas, Sedona - approximately 80 miles North of Phoenix - is destined to become a major attraction for bikers.

While still relatively undiscovered and uncrowded, it offers spectacular biking trails for novices and experienced riders alike.

Although, at an altitude 4500 feet, Sedona is free of the severe desert heat of southern Arizona, it is wise to do you biking in the early morning. No Arizona mountain biking trail should be attempted without carrying plenty of water. Sedona also escapes the northern mountain snows, making it ideal for mountain biking.

Sedona is located at the mouth of Oak Creek Canyon, and at the center of the legendary Red Rock Country. This unique blend of mountain and desert offers Arizona mountain biking scenery at its best!

There are a number of informative Arizona mountain biking books available to serve as your guide to trails, lodgings, restaurants, and shopping. One of the most popular is 'Experience Sedona'. Finding a detailed map of the area should be at the top of your list when you arrive.

If you are new to the sport, and to Arizona mountain biking in particular, guided tours offer a safe learning experience. Make your reservation, and you will soon be more knowledgeable about the environment, and your biking performance. The main advantage is that you will be able to concentrate on enjoying your ride, knowing that your guide is familiar with the intricacies of the surroundings.

Arizona mountain biking tours are designed around premier trails, with packages including rides from 2 to 6 hours, and a rental bike. A half day tour may take you to Bell Rock Pathway, Cathedral Rock Loop or Schnebley Hill, and Munds Wagon.

If you prefer to discover the secrets of Sedona on your own, you can take a leisurely ride through the Ponderosa Pine forests. If you want more excitement, tackle the steep switchbacks and the slickrock single tracks, all the while enjoying the breath-taking views and incredible scenery of the Red Rock basins. You will discover that a camera is a must on all Arizona mountain biking trails!

A popular trail in this beautiful Arizona mountain biking area is the Bell Rock Pathway. The ride along rolling terrain is excellent for beginners, but also offers more experienced riders the challenge of the many intersections crossing the trail. There is enough technical difficulty to necessitate some walking!

You can also visit the Red Rock State Park, 5 miles west of Sedona, with its diverse wildlife and vegetation that turns a bike ride into something special. This is one the Arizona mountain biking must-see regions.

If you are a fairly experienced mountain biker, you can try the Broken Arrow trail which starts just 1.5 miles from downtown Sedona.

This Arizona mountain biking trail leads into some of the most scenic basins in the area, with views of features such as Submarine Rock, Twine Buttes, and Gibraltar. It links up with the Little Horse trail, and later goes on to the Bell Rock Pathway.

Most of the Broken Arrow trail is hard-packed and fast, with some sandstone sections giving excellent traction. While there isn't much climbing, some of the short, steep sections will remind you that you are on an Arizona mountain biking route!

Good quality rental bikes are available in Sedona, as well as parts, accessories, and clothing. With your rental, you can expect to get a helmet, pump, repair kit, spare tube, choice of pedals, and a personalized fit. Everything is geared to make your Arizona mountain biking experience memorable.

Bike choices include the Specialized Enduro Expert Demo Bike, the Giant Reign Demo Bike, and the Giant Iguana. Rental fees are between $30 and $70 per day, depending on the period of use.

The U.S. Forest Service recommends a number of other trails in the Sedona area, as part of your Arizona mountain biking experience. These include Big Park Loop, Caruth Trail, Red Rock State Park, Girdner Trail, and Baldwin Trail. The trails are all in the easy to moderate range. The Dead Horse State Park Trail offers easy to strenuous riding.

Arizona mountain biking offerings are rich and varied. Whichever trail you choose, you are sure to be returning for more!

For more information visit Best-Mountain-Biking.com

Rika Susan of http://www.Article-Alert.com researches, writes, and publishes full-time on the Web. Copyright of this article: 2006 Rika Susan.

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