By John Kuells
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You’ve been warned. Dirt biking in Arizona is highly addictive. Experts and rookies alike can enjoy Arizona’s vast terrain and diverse trails. The top trails feature everything from steep mountain runs to low-level sand dunes. Next time you gear up, check out one of these five awesome local trails.
Alto Pit is a huge playground for dirt bike enthusiasts. This recreation area features over 400 acres and 20 miles of motorized trails. It’s located west of Prescott in the ponderosa pine forest. The set trails feature sharp turns, tree filled runs, and rock and granite surfaces. This area is ideal for a full-day ride where you can take advantage of the forest’s many hidden runs. Less experienced riders can still get in on the fun. Alto Pit has a beginner and children’s area perfect for novice riders. It’s also known for having picture perfect views of Northern Arizona. The trails start at an elevation of over 6,000 feet near the base of Granite Mountain. A day at Alto Pit is sure to bring good views, adventurous runs, and a wide-range of difficulty.
You don’t have to travel far from the city to enjoy the great outdoors. Case in point—Bulldog Canyon. Bulldog Canyon is located in the Tonto National Forest near Mesa. It’s part of the “Great Western Trail” and offers scenic views of the Superstition and Goldfield Mountains. Once there, you’ll have steep climbs on rocky terrain. Trails pass through dirt, washes, and gorgeous desert scenery. The trail offers a relatively easy, smooth ride around one of Arizona’s most renowned mountain ranges. The trail does require a free permit, which can be obtained easily online.
Arizona is full of vast desert land just begging to be explored. Nowhere is this more apparent than at the Arizona Strip. The Arizona Strip is actually a series of trails in Northeastern Arizona, near the border of Utah. The large, untouched swaths of land are a treasure trove of remote trails. The area includes around 5,000 miles of dirt trails through Arizona’s backcountry. It also showcases Arizona’s diverse landscape. The dirt terrain can turn into a forest trail at a moment’s notice. The Arizona Strip is easily accessible near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Bikers are encouraged to take special preparation before embarking on a trip here. The area is service free so be sure to bring plenty of fuel and fluids.
The Boulders OHV Area is one of the more popular areas for dirt bikers near Phoenix. That’s because of its impressive size and pristine dirt trails. Boulders is located north east of Phoenix near Lake Pleasant. The area includes roughly 200 miles of trails for beginners, intermediate, and advanced riders. The trails include scenic views of the Hieroglyphics Mountain Range. Beginners can enjoy the four-mile loop near the south side, while experts will want to venture off to the north half’s 13-mile loop. Both areas include rolling hills. However, the north side has more steep climbs and narrow turns. It also includes a challenging wash for thrill-seekers.
You don’t have to go to California to enjoy a day at the beach. Instead, head to Hot Well Dunes in Safford. This 2,000-acre area includes sand dunes and natural hot springs. Its name derives from an artesian well that produces hundreds of gallons of hot water per minute. Many bikers like to enjoy a post-ride dip in the refreshing hot springs. Hot Well Dunes includes five miles of trails comprised of sandy washes and small dirt dunes. The highlight of this trail is one large sand dune where riders can get some serious air. This is a popular spot in a remote area of Southeastern Arizona.
*Note: Age restrictions, special licenses, and other requirements for off highway vehicles vary from state to state. Before heading out on your OHV, please consult your local regulations.