I have heard Jay talking about the gnarly trail in Sedona for years. I imagine Sedona as a minefield of massive rock ledges, baby head rocks, and breath taking exposure. For a long time I’ve had no interest in mountain biking there, I’ll stick to my hiking boots and leave the biking to the experts. Well, not anymore. Having ridden my mountain bike in 9 states and 2 Canadian provinces, I’m used to trying new trail systems and hopefully finding something in my ability level or just beyond. In settling down, we are determined to keep seeing and experiencing new things and pushing our comfort zone. So yesterday, we headed down to Sedona.
Jay knows the manager at the new Over the Edge Bike Shop in Sedona, so we stopped there first. I was so glad we did. They had a great, locally made map that we bought and the guy in the shop was able to recommend a seven mile loop that is a favorite of beginner riders. Great shop, we’ll definitely be back.
The trail started on Long Canyon, but since Long Canyon shortly ends in Wilderness, you have to turn left and continue on Dead Man’s Pass trail.
In fact you basically keep turning left to avoid Wilderness along the route. That’s one of the aggravating things for bicyclists in Sedona is that there is a ton of federally designated Wilderness (which does not allow for bikes but does allow for horses) and not all of it makes sense. They basically set aside all of the higher up areas for Wilderness.
This trail loop was awesome for its variety. It started with buffed (if a bit sandy) singletrack that slowly climbed. Next, there was a series of relatively short and relatively steep descents. After that you encounter a twisty flowy section that is reminiscent of a pump track. Finally, you turn on Cockscomb to head back and get a nice flowing descent until the last bit where you have to go up again. There’s a little section of road that finishes out the loop.
What I realized about Sedona is that it is a lot like Moab. Yes, Moab is where expert riders go to push their skills to the limits and break their bikes. But Moab is also interested in reaching out to all levels of bikers and they are creating more and more beginner and intermediate trail. The trail I rode in Sedona at Dead Horse State Park was very similar to this trail in Sedona, but with some added sections of slick rock. I’m looking forward to riding here again.