AZ Strip bike exploration (Sunshine Trail/Hurricane Wash Loop)


Jan 11, 2018
Most of my off-road travels on the AZ Strip have been as a pass-through to get to other destinations, like Kanab Creek Wilderness and the N Rim of the Grand Canyon. A friend and I have a bikepacking trip planned this spring, so I figured I should transition my hiking only training regimen to include pedaling time. The AZ Strip has a spider web network of dirt roads, which are perfect for longer dirt rides (depending on conditions).

Last weekend I tried a route I found on a gravel ride site, but I wasn't excited about the busy and dusty washboard section closer to the highway/city. This time I decided to start in a more remote location and include a choose your own adventure section. I was pleasantly surprised by the interesting mix of topology and old ranch relics. Granted it was a weekday, but I only ran into one other person, a guy on a gravel bike on a section of the aforementioned published route. Winter riding conditions are ideal, mostly hardpack and gravel with very minimal sand/silt. I am looking forward to further 2-wheeled exploration on the Strip, with or without a motor.

Route Details
Mileage: ~24
Elevation Gain: ~2.3K feet
Water availability: Not guaranteed and limited to cattle troughs

Communications: Spotty cell reception, recommend carrying a backup map and a satellite emergency communication device
Road conditions: Muddy after major precipitation; likely sand slogging during warmer months

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Empty water tank near the Hurricane Wash turnoff

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Temple Trail diversion (rocky and absent in spots)
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Back on the main road
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Nice ride! I'm going bonkers here waiting for properly rideable conditions.
Nice ride! I'm going bonkers here waiting for properly rideable conditions.
Thanks and I hear you. It took a lot of will power to not drive to southern AZ this winter. The 50s feel like t-shirt weather right now.
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