Fun Times in Flagstaff, AZ: Mt. Elden, Sunset, Schultz Creek Trails

Word on the street is that Flagstaff is a mountain biking mecca of sorts.  Words like “buff”, “pristine”, “tacky” seem to be recurring adjectives in all descriptions I’ve read about the “Flag Singletrack”.  I was passing through on a road trip, and only had time for one quick early morning ride before hitting the highway.

Sunrise over Flagstaff.  View from top of Mt. Elden.

Sunrise over Flagstaff. View from top of Mt. Elden.

After consulting a few peeps and the guide book, I decided to hit a classic loop on Mt. Elden.  It’s pretty easy to access from town.  Follow the signs to Snow Bowl, which is Highway 180. Take Highway 180 (Fort Valley Rd.) north/west past Cedar Ave. on right. Turn right on Schultz Pass Rd. (near mile marker 218.5). At fork stay left and park on the right just past where the road turns to gravel. Parking is in the middle of the “Y” in the road.

Taking a short breather before heading down Sunset Trail

Taking a short breather before heading down Sunset Trail

Once parked, you start the 5.7 mile aerobic ride up Mt. Elden Lookout Rd.  This is a smooth fire road, that gains about 1,750′ during the climb.  Try and settle in and groove up to the top.  Once you reach the top, take a moment to soak in the views, and get your “A” game ready to tackle what lies ahead.  Now that the climb is done, you’ll see a sign directing you to “Sunset Trail” – what a blast!   The first section is aptly called “Organ Donor”.  Fun and techy keeping you on your toes the whole time. You’ll keep warp speeds going as you head through some forest areas and down steep rock gardens.  At approx. 7.5 miles, stay right and follow the trail up.  After you cross the fire service road, you’ll be flying down the “Schultz Creek Trail”.  Super fast, super flowy, super fun!!  Just don’t hit any hikers and keep your wits about you as you!  Before you know it, you’ll be back at your car, looking at your watch… thinking… hmmm… do I have time for another lap?mt_elden_map

After this small taste of what Flagstaff has to offer, I definitely want to come back to spend a few days and slay some more goodness.elden_elevation

This is a great loop if you’re short on time.  If you email me, I’ll gladly send you the GPX file.

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