And so it begins…
- You’ve been dreaming about the adventure of a lifetime
- Had your personal consultation call
- Your custom Arizona motorcycle expedition has been carefully designed to meet your requirements
- All planning and preparation has been expertly taken care of for you
- You arrive at the airport eager to embark on the adventure of a lifetime
It’s time to find out where the dirt road really goes…
After weeks of detailed planning, preparation and coordination by our expert team, the time has arrived to embark on a week of off-road motorcycle adventure through the best backcountry that Arizona has to offer.
Nothing beats the feeling of getting ready to set off your Arizona BDR motorcycle expedition the moment the sun rises in Tombstone, AZ and make a short trip south to the official start of the AZBDR.
THE BEGINNING OF YOUR ARIZONA ADVENTURE MOTORCYCLE EXPEDITION
The AZBDR officially begins near the Mexico border at the Coronado National Memorial. There’s a lot to be said about this area, both geographically and historically. It’s truly an incredible place to begin that motorcycle adventure of a lifetime.
Your journey 1,200km journey through Arizona will start with a short run along the Mexico border fence on a wide dirt road.
No matter how many times you ride the AZBDR, the Mexican border fence always makes for an unmissable photo opportunity.
Be vigilant around blind corners as this area of the Arizona motorcycle route is heavily patrolled.
The Mexico-United States border is the most frequently crossed border in the world and traverses a wide variety of terrains. From built-up urban areas to barren desert landscapes, adventure riding along the Mexican border would be an unforgettable expedition in itself.
The Coronado National Memorial where the Arizona BDR begins commemorates the first organized expedition into the Southwest by conquistador Francisco Vásquez de Coronado.
Montezuma Pass is open all year round but sometimes closes temporarily due to adverse weather conditions. The scenic overlook at Montezuma Pass stands at an elevation of 6,575 ft and is only accessible by unpaved, winding mountain roads.
ARIZONA ADVENTURE MOTORCYCLE EXPEDITION
The next section of the Arizona BDR takes you onward through the small cities of Sonoita and Benson. Be sure to fuel up in Sonoita before you continue on your backcountry motorcycle expedition.
The open road north of Benton on the way to Mammoth is an enjoyable section of this Arizona motorcycle expedition. You’ll find yourself riding through beautiful fertile farmland beside the San Pedro River.
Being on hard-packed wide roads with minimal obstacles, this section is perfect for a relaxed ride and soaking up views of Arizona’s stunning backcountry.
Once you reach Mammoth, the track narrows as you head towards Winkelman. Along this part of the route, you will encounter a few sections of loose gravel which add another element of adventure motorcycle fun to the Arizona BDR.
Like a lot of towns in Arizona, Mammoth is an old mining town that once had gold ore deposits in mammoth proportions.
There’s absolutely no shortage of stunning views to take in as you travel through Southern Arizona along the Arizona BDR. If you’re looking to experience fun adventure motorcycle riding, you’ll find plenty of that on the AZBDR.
ARIZONA BACKCOUNTRY MOTORCYCLE ADVENTURE
From Mammoth, you’ll travel parallel to the highway along a narrow railroad service road until you get to Winkelman.
As you begin to climb out of southern Arizona’s desert landscape, you’ll gain elevation and head into pine forests and traverse stunning ridges on your way to Pioneer Pass.
You’ll only find views like this on the road less traveled.
You can be sure of even more enjoyable adventure motorcycle riding to be had on the way to Globe from Winkleman.
Globe was founded in 1875 as a mining camp. Today, mining and tourism along with government and retirees are an integral part of Globe’s economy.
Just north of Globe we once set camp on the NF203 (Cherry Creek Rd) where you’ll be sure to find many great campsite options.
MOTORCYCLE ADVENTURES IN ARIZONA
After recharging with a good night’s rest and a delicious breakfast cooked over the campfire as the sunrises, it’ll be time to pack up and get back in the saddle to start the journey north to Young.
This is the most difficult section to ride along the AZBDR as it’s an unforgiving rocky two track. For those will less adventure riding experience, highway 288 is an easier alternative made up of dirt and paved roads. This will take you to Young all the same, but you’ll miss out on the breathtaking views of Tonto National Forest.
Once you arrive, riding through Young is like stepping back in time to a place where cattle drives go through the town and electricity has only been around for a handful of decades.
Northeast of Payson, the views atop the Mogollon Rim are spectacular. From this elevation, you’re able to look south and marvel over the route that’s been covered so far.
Mogollon Rim is a breathtaking geological feature that cuts across the state of Arizona. Although you only get to see a small section on the Arizona BDR, it extends approximately 200 miles from northern Yavapai County and ending near the border with New Mexico.
The best place to camp along the Arizona BDR has to be Long Lake which you’ll find just north of Blue Ridge.
ARIZONA ADVENTURE MOTORCYCLE TOURS
Long Lake is located in the Mogollon Rim area of the state of Arizona just 75 miles southeast of Flagstaff.
Alternatively, Lake Kinnikinick also makes for a great place to camp along the Arizona BDR.
Kinnikinick Lake is located 38 miles south of Flagstaff within the Coconino National Forest. Prairies of juniper surround the lake and you can even spot bald eagles during the fall and winter months.
From Young, you’ll find yourself riding towards the city of Flagstaff.
Flagstaff is surrounded by mountains, deserts, and ponderosa pine forests. It acts as a gateway to the San Francisco Peaks which is home to Humphreys Peak, Arizona’s tallest mountain.
EPIC ARIZONA BACKCOUNTRY ADVENTURE
The next section of the AZBDR will take you from Flagstaff to Cameron. Before you make it to Cameron, you’ll encounter one of the most breathtaking parts this adventure motorcycle route has to offer. A vast field of craters.
The terrain here is completely different from anything you have ever seen before. It’s like a lunar panorama. Volcanic cones are strewn across the landscape, the most breathtaking of which has to be Sunset Crater. This is not a photo opportunity to be missed.
If you’re looking for a unique experience that only an adventure motorcycle expedition can offer, riding the black ash that surrounds Sunset Crater Volcano on the AZBDR is as unique as it gets.
The cinder cone volcano’s rim is the dusky red of sunset, but the crater is only part of the story. Around 1085 the ground began to shake, and lava spewed high into the air. When the eruption finished, it had changed both the landscape and the people who lived here. Today, it’s a stark reminder of how nature and humankind affect each other.
No Arizona motorcycle expedition would feel complete without taking a detour to the Grand Canyon Grand Viewpoint on our way to Cameron.
Another unforgettable experience along the AZBDR is motorcycle camping on the rim of the Grand Canyon. Arizona’s epic landscape continues to impress time and time again.
Nothing beats saying, “Good morning” from the rim of the Grand Canyon!
ARIZONA BDR MOTORCYCLE EXPEDITION
While visiting is permitted in Navajo Nation, it’s imperative that you respect the land and its people. Yet another epic camping spot along the AZBDR is at Little Colorado Overlook in this wild and untouched part of Arizona.
If you’re looking to soak in breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon, Little Colorado Overlook in Navajo Nation along the Arizona BDR offers a less busy perspective of the Grand Canyon than the usual tourist spots!
Nothing is quite as exhilarating as standing on a ledge overlooking the Little Colorado River!
In order to travel this area, you’ll need to purchase a $12 permit from the Navajo Parks & Recreation office back in Cameron and it’s most definitely worth it!
Nothing is as epic as riding through Navajo Nation along the Arizona BDR and coming across a herd of wild mustangs!
Navajo Nation, which encompasses parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, has a wealth of historical and natural significances that will ignite your curiosity as you ride through this section of the AZBDR.
There’s plenty to see, do, and learn from on the Arizona side of the Navajo reservation.
Continuing your motorcycle expedition along the Arizona BDR, you’ll find yourself taking in the beauty of the Vermillion Cliffs & Marble Canyon.
If you want to get up close and personal with the marbles of Marble Canyon in Northern Arizona, take a short detour along the Lees Ferry road off 89A highway.
Known for its colorful swirls of slickrock, the Vermilion Cliffs National are a colorful dream-like landscape filled with marvelous rock formations like The Wave, White Pockets, and Buckskin Gulch. This 280,000-acre monument bumps up against the Utah/Arizona border.
You’ll know you’ve nearly completed the Arizona BDR adventure motorcycle expedition when you reach the Vermillion Cliffs & Marble Canyon on the Arizona BDR.
CONCLUDING THE ARIZONA MOTORCYCLE EXPEDITION
The final short leg of this epic backcountry motorcycle expedition is along 13 miles of paved road through the best of Arizona’s landscape. There’s no better way to end the experience of a lifetime.
You’ll finally complete this incredible motorcycle adventure on the Utah state-line after 850 miles and 6 days through Arizona’s fantastic Backcountry wildernesses.
Thanks to Ride BDR for organizing this epic route!