“A long-distance ride through the Woodchute Wilderness, from Chino Valley to Jerome.
— MTB Project Staff
Park in the dirt lot next to the baseball diamonds on the corner of Perkinsville Rd., and Old Home Manor Dr. You might elect to have someone drop you off here, then meet you in Jerome approx. 2.5 hours later.
Head east on Perkinsville Rd. for 4.3 miles, then turn right onto Forest Rd. 318. From here, you have another 7 miles of long, un-interesting country dirt road. You'll slowly start gaining elevation as you make your way closer to the mountains. On your right you'll see a very unassuming electrical station. Keep left onto the twisty mountain road, still traveling on FR318.
Next, you'll encounter a very bumpy, rough climb as you snake around the mountain. This will soon give way to a very flat and smooth dirt road that continues to climb and climb. You'll have plenty of chances to peer left and admire the huge valley below, with the red rocks of Sedona off to the distant north. There are several forks-in-the-road, so keep right (east) once in the mountains.
This ride has nothing technical or terribly exciting, but makes for a fantastic endurance ride with stunning views to the north. There's tons of long, mellow climbing with a super fast finish into Jerome. As you rejoin the pavement, there's a large parking lot facing the quarry on your right which would be an easily identifiable rally point. You could, of course, continue into Jerome, and stop at either the Mile High Cafe or Haunted Hamburger for great local food.
Note: There is very little (if any) traffic, which means you'll be on your own. Make sure to inform others of your route! It's recommended that one pack several quarts of water, tubes/patch kit, cell phone, as well as a basic survival kit as you'll be literally in the middle of nowhere.