Road cycling tour in the Sonoran Desert near Scottsdale Arizona
Road cycling tour in the Sonoran Desert near Scottsdale Arizona
Scottsdale Arizona Self Guided Road Cycling Tour
Scottsdale Arizona Self Guided Road Cycling Tour
Scottsdale Arizona Self Guided Road Cycling Tour

Scottsdale Arizona Desert Cycling Tour

from on demand

The Arizona deserts are a mecca for cyclists in the winter season! The weather makes it perfect for riding throughout the daylight hours and pro athletes, from tri-athletes to professional cycling teams come to the dessert to train. So, train like a pro, or at least get out of your ... Read More

  • Reviews
  • Difficulty
    Fit: 3/5
  • Tour Type
    road cycling (Level 4)
  • Availability
    November - April
  • Duration
    5 Days/ 4 Nights
  • Distance
    48 Miles/Day

Day 1: Bicycle Tour Orientation and Bike Fitting (28 miles, +1600ft elevation gain)

Upon arrival at the Pure Adventures/AOA rental in North Scottsdale one of our experts will review in detail your Route Book and reservations. After getting to know you, they may suggest some customized rides or activities to enhance your week. Next, we will provide a brief bike setup and collect your luggage (change room available) before you set off on a classic local’s ride to the charming town of Carefree, AZ. When you arrive at your resort you will find you luggage waiting for you at the bell stand. We recommend arriving at our offices before 12:30 pm after you had lunch. Winter sunset hours are from 5pm. Standard Route: Distance: 28 miles, +1600ft elevation gain. Dinner on your own.

Lodging options include: Carefree Resort, local B&B of charm perfect for couples, or other hotels. Space is subject to availability and your tour price will depend on lodging selection.

Carefree Resort


Carefree AZ

Carefree Resort

Just North of Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona lies a desert gem, the Carefree Resort & Conference Center. Here you can embrace the Southwestern lifestyle in total relaxation. It’s a place of soothing and simple spaces with uncluttered panoramic views of the Continental Mountains. Play tennis, enjoy the Spa, or simply relax at the pool with a margarita. For couples, families or groups, Carefree Resort & Conference Center is a year-round destination that truly lives up to its name.

Swimming Pool '; Air Conditioning '; Open Parking '; Non-Smoking Rooms '; Handicap Accessible '; Seminar Room '; Horseback Riding '; Tennis '; Internet Access '; Cable TV '; Hair Dryer '; Mini-Bar '; Hotel Lounge/Bar '; Safe in Room '; Room Service '; Restaurant ';
Road cycling tour in the Sonoran Desert near Scottsdale Arizona

Road cycling tour in the Sonoran Desert near Scottsdale Arizona

Overview Map

Day 2: Desert Discovery & Lake Route (42 mil. Elev: +4200ft)  

Today’s ride takes you north east into the wild Sonoran Desert to a surprise you may not expect: a lake! In a few brief pedal strokes, you will find yourself away from the sounds of civilization, ascending over a cactus-laden hill into a wide ravine shadowed by towering giant saguaros. Watch out for the Whiptailed Lizards as they scamper off the roadside as you negotiate the high speed descents and what goes down, must…..go up; a lot! Get ready to tackle a few climbs today. Once you arrive at the lake, head to Rattlesnake Cove for a refreshing swim or simply refuel at the Marina shop. If you still crave burning thighs and breaths that come in gasps, not problem! Today is a great day to extend your ride and we know all of the nearby extended route options. Save some energy though, because tonight is a good one to let loose with the cowboys in nearby Cave Creek post ride. This is the most beautiful and most challenging ride of the program!

Standard Route: Distance: 42 mil. Elevation: +4200ft. Breakfast included. Lunch and dinner on your own. Lodging same as previous night.

Carefree Resort


Carefree AZ

Carefree Resort

Just North of Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona lies a desert gem, the Carefree Resort & Conference Center. Here you can embrace the Southwestern lifestyle in total relaxation. It’s a place of soothing and simple spaces with uncluttered panoramic views of the Continental Mountains. Play tennis, enjoy the Spa, or simply relax at the pool with a margarita. For couples, families or groups, Carefree Resort & Conference Center is a year-round destination that truly lives up to its name.

Swimming Pool '; Air Conditioning '; Open Parking '; Non-Smoking Rooms '; Handicap Accessible '; Seminar Room '; Horseback Riding '; Tennis '; Internet Access '; Cable TV '; Hair Dryer '; Mini-Bar '; Hotel Lounge/Bar '; Safe in Room '; Room Service '; Restaurant ';

Profile

Road cycling tour in the Sonoran Desert near Scottsdale Arizona

Road cycling tour in the Sonoran Desert near Scottsdale Arizona

Overview Map

Day 3: Over the McDowells to Lower Salt River (48 miles +2240ft)

It is time for a change of scenery, so leave your luggage at the bell stand and get ready for a great 1-way ride that is a net loss of over 1000 feet in elevation! Once you crest the pass on Dynamite and start your 9-mile hill descent you will be gazing over 70-miles across the desert, the Verde River Valley, and Tonto National Forest. Enjoy an extended ride and even a picnic break in McDowell Mountain Park or simply continue on to the Fort McDowell Yavapai Indian Reservation, the choice is yours. After a short wind swept grind on the Beeline (a road used for the Ironman Arizona Course) a big smile will come over your face as you descend to the Salt River at the base of the 1000-ft Bulldog Cliffs.

Lodging: our choice is a guest ranch below Steward Mountain Dam at Saguaro Lake; but space is hard to have without advance booking. Nearby Mesa will offer basic back up choices. The itinerary will be customized in function of lodging.

Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch


Mesa AZ

Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch

Escape to "Easy Living" at Saguaro Lake Ranch Resort, where sun-filled days, peaceful nights, good friends, and carefree relaxation mean a memorable time for everyone. Set in one of Arizona's most magnificent scenic areas, this unique ranch accommodates guests in comfortable and rustic ranchettes. With a panoramic view that encompasses the Bulldog and Superstition Mountains and the wilderness made famous by the writings of Zane Grey, the Ranch is literally and figuratively a vacation oasis on the banks of the Salt River.

Air Conditioning '; Open Parking '; Non-Smoking Rooms '; Handicap Accessible '; Seminar Room '; Internet Access '; Cable TV '; Hotel Lounge/Bar '; Restaurant ';
Scottsdale Arizona Self Guided Road Cycling Tour

Scottsdale Arizona Self Guided Road Cycling Tour

Overview Map

Day 4: Loop Ride to Usery Park & Mesa (35 miles +2641ft)

Today, ride along the Salt River beneath towering rhyolite cliffs and past cactus studded canyons. The Salt River flows from its headwaters in the White Mountains of Eastern Arizona and rushes along through the high elevations until it winds its way to the lower arid desert. Keep your eye out for the wild horses that still roam this range and steel your legs for the short, but punchy climbs. Extend your ride for a swim in the river or hit the beach at the nearby lake. If you need some time off the bike, have a seat on a kayak or one of the ranch’s horses.

Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch


Mesa AZ

Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch

Escape to "Easy Living" at Saguaro Lake Ranch Resort, where sun-filled days, peaceful nights, good friends, and carefree relaxation mean a memorable time for everyone. Set in one of Arizona's most magnificent scenic areas, this unique ranch accommodates guests in comfortable and rustic ranchettes. With a panoramic view that encompasses the Bulldog and Superstition Mountains and the wilderness made famous by the writings of Zane Grey, the Ranch is literally and figuratively a vacation oasis on the banks of the Salt River.

Air Conditioning '; Open Parking '; Non-Smoking Rooms '; Handicap Accessible '; Seminar Room '; Internet Access '; Cable TV '; Hotel Lounge/Bar '; Restaurant ';
Scottsdale Arizona Self Guided Road Cycling Tour

Scottsdale Arizona Self Guided Road Cycling Tour

Overview Map

Day 5: Return & Depart

Departure Day today! An optional ride is available today back to our offices but included is a morning transfer and bike pickup. You can have a leisure morning, breakfast, and then plan your departure. Should you choose to ride back, we can offer a changing room, no shower, back at the rental shop. Luggage can be transferred to the shop for you.  

Scottsdale Arizona Self Guided Road Cycling Tour

Scottsdale Arizona Self Guided Road Cycling Tour

Overview Map
The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance.

- Luggage transfers day 1 and 5
- Orientation on Day 1 to cover GPS, Route Book with expert staff
- nights lodging at Carefree Resort (double occupancy)
- Breakfast daily (2-5)
- Gloves, helmet and specific pedals when requested with bike rental below
-Detailed Route book with maps, cue sheets, suggestions for stops, water, visits, restaurants, more
- GPS Garmin Touring (1 for 2 persons)
- Telephone support

Lodging

Prices
Scottsdale Desert Road Cycling prices
Price Per person based on double occupancy:
US$1195/person*
Single tent occupancy supplement:
see tent rental rate below - can be for solo or shared use
Tent Rental:
US$55/tent - 4 person tent
Sleeping bag and pad rental:
US$35 each item separately.
*Save $50 when booking online - use the code Nifty50 ; Private groups of 4 or more possible - contact us to set aside your dates or customize. Trips operate on fixed dates with as few as 2 persons.


Road bikes are available for rent separately; see the Bike & Gear tab for details and rates for the different models available.



The Pure Adventures Difference
Pure Adventures is a premier, boutique biking and hiking tour operator that offers private, custom, independent and guided travel in Europe, Asia, South and North America. We specialize in hand crafted travel for couples, families and groups who want active, immersive and meaningful experiences with their family and friends. Our travel experiences are customized around outdoor activities including: cycling, hiking, water sports, trail running, mountain biking and more.

How do our tours compare to similar trips? You Get More! Because our passion is taking care of and empowering people, our team has gone to great lengths to build and create exceptional biking and hiking experiences, all over the world, for you. From the accommodations, to the bikes, to the routes themselves, we hold each component of our tours to a very high standard, ensuring that your tour will create amazing memories to last a lifetime. If you compare price, we are much less than high quality guided trips with similar experiences and you obviously get much more in our private, self guided, independent format than most traditional self guided trips. See our why: Why Pure Adventures is Better. Our well traveled, knowledgeable and dedicated team is standing by and eager to make your travel dreams come true.Call now at 800-960-2221 (USA/Canada 8am-5pm MST) +1.480.905.1235; or eMail Us.

Tour Details

Tour Highlights:
- Guided Winter Cycling in Warm Desert Climate
- Amazing camping experience with hot showers, deluxe food options, comfy outdoor sites
- Spring Desert Flower Bloom - amazing display of color and rare plants
- See wild desert creatures in their natural habitat

Need to Know:
- nights are cool to cold in winter and daytimes warm up considerably; From April 1 daytime highs are upper 80s to 90's
- sharing the road with cars; all routes use bike lanes, but vehicle traffic should be expected on the common cycling routes

Dates: January: 4-7, *11-14 , *25-28. February: 1-4, *15-18, *22-25. March: 1-4, *8-11, *15-18, 22-25, *29-1. April: *5-8, *12-15, 19-22. October: 18-21, *25-28. November: 1-4, 8-11, 15-18, *29-2, December: *6-9, 13-16, 27-30.
This is a Guided tour which operates with as few as 2 persons but can go up to larger groups of 12. Please contact us with questions about a private or custom group or departure date: Our Contact.

Level 3+ - The road cycling in this area is hilly at times with some short and steep hills and some long descents. Distances are moderate to lightly challenging and additional miles are easy to add. This is best as a road bike tour, hybrids possible but not recommended. Camp ambiance encourages guests to be involved in set up and food prep; but not required. The comfort level is quite high for a camp based trip and the experience feels very remote even if somewhat close to the Phoenix metro area. Desert wildlife is abundant, visible, and audible; especially at night all creating an experience you will not soon forget!

Options

Ride options - longer/shorter on some days
Gear rentals: tents, sleeping bags, pads, bikes
Custom tours for groups, including training camps, Hotel lodging, more

Other Tour Details: About the meals provided: from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on Day 4.

ADD ONS: This trip can also be extended or added on to a Sedona, Scottsdale, and well known Arizona destinations. We can design a variety of adventure add-ons.

START: Meet your guide at the Holiday Inn Express in Old Town Scottsdale on Day 1 at 8:00am

END: Drop-off at the Holiday Inn Express in Old Town Scottsdale on Day 4 between 4:00-6:00pm.

We can arrange extra nights at this property or others nearby.
Best Time To Go: April - May, September - October.

Average temperatures:
January: 66 °F (19 °C) 39 °F (4 °C)
February: 70 °F (21 °C) 43 °F (6 °C)
March: 75 °F (24 °C) 46 °F (8 °C)
April: 84 °F (29 °C) 52 °F (11 °C)
May: 93 °F (34 °C) 61 °F (16 °C)
June: 102 °F (39 °C) 68 °F (20 °C)
July: 106 °F (41 °C) 77 °F (25 °C)
August: 104 °F (40 °C) 75 °F (24 °C)
Sept: 99 °F (37 °C) 70 °F (21 °C)
October: 88 °F (31 °C) 57 °F (14 °C)
November: 75 °F (24 °C) 46 °F (8 °C)
December: 66 °F (19 °C) 39 °F (4 °C)

 

Local Coordinator

This revised itinerary for 2018 is now only available on a guided basis. Pure Adventures and AOA Adventures have integrated to build the best cycling tours in the western USA. Our team forms the most experienced and knowledgeable cycling tour outfitter in the southwestern USA. Our rental fleet is the largest and highest quality and all of our guides are experienced WFR certified. We have 4+ mechanics on staff and carry the most respected brands. Come experience the southwest with the local experts!  

Bike rental options for this tour:
2016 Specialized Rouabix SL4 Sport - $225US plus tax for the duration of the tour.

Other road bike options:
Specialized Allez Elite - $160US plus tax for the duration of the tour.

Trek Emonda SL6 - $315US plus tax for the duration of the tour.


When you rent: Upon meeting your guide at the start of the trip your bike will be ready to ride including a spare tube, CO2 cartridge, CO2 inflator, tire lever, and multi-tool. You will only be responsible for bringing your pedals, shoes, and any other personal cycling equipment (GPS computer, saddle, etc.). Helmets are required on our trips, and you are welcome to bring your own, however, we can provide one for you upon request if needed.
You may also send us your stack and reach measurements for the bike to be set up by our professional mechanics. Stack and reach? Huh? No need to worry! If you do not know your measurements we’ll spend some time before our first ride getting your bike dialed in to ensure it’s comfortable and properly fitted to you.
Would you like to bring your own bike? You are welcome to do so; and if you wanted to ship it ahead of time or need help building up your bike, we do offer a service to assist you with you own bike and we do have some policies around what we can accommodate. For example, we do not permit tandem bicycles, recumbents, aero bars, TT/triathlon bikes, or unicycles on our trips. To see our complete policy and shipping/travel tips
Guide to Bringing your Own bike
or you can also Contact us by email.

Navigation: Throughout your cycling trip there may be periods of time where you or a small group will be short distances from other guests or guides. To ensure you follow the correct route, we will provide a mobile app that can be downloaded onto your smartphone with the routes pre-loaded for you to follow. Your guide will also have hard copies of maps and cue sheets to pass out if needed. We do not provide any GPS devices or mounting hardware. If you would like to mount your phone to your bike we recommend checking out the Quad Lock mounting system, or you can keep it in your jersey pocket.  

Request Additional Information

Request your Tour Summary for this tour and also get the free Destination Guide by email.

The Tour Summary is a PDF document you can share with your friends and puts all the key info shown in different tabs here into 1 short compiled document. Our Destination guide will give you general travel info about this country; best time to travel, interesting sites, airports, weather, and more.