Race - Sep 21, 2019
This mountain bike event begins a few miles north of Flagstaff, Arizona, near the intersection of Snowbowl Road and Route 180, and finishes in Tusayan, Arizona, the entrance of Grand Canyon National Park. A majority of the Stagecoach course follows the Arizona Trail and the historic Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Stagecoach Line route used by adventure-seeking tourists between 1897 and 1901. Many of today's race-day aid stations are located at the original stage line rest stops and watering holes.
Course terrain varies between singletrack, two-track, and maintained forest dirt roads. Bikers pass from heavily vegetated ponderosa pine and alpine aspen forests to sparsely vegetated pinion-juniper grasslands and back again. The 100-mile course starts near 7,300', reaches a maximum elevation of 8,800' (at Aspen Corner, mile 6), finishes at 6,600' (Tusayan), and has approximately 7,000' of climbing.
Bikers traverse over a shoulder of Arizona's highest mountain, Humphrey's Peak, through the high alpine meadows, across 422-square mile Babbitt Ranches, and along the Coconino Rim where views of the Grand Canyon, Painted Desert and Navajo Mountain await.
Flagstaff is situated along the western flank of the largest contiguous ponderosa pine forest in the continental United States. The geologic centerpiece of Flagstaff is the San Francisco Peaks, home to Humphreys Peak (12,633 feet), the highest point in Arizona. The Peaks have religious significance to several Native American tribes. In particular, the Peaks form the Diné (Navajo) sacred mountain of the west, called Dook'o'oosłííd, which means "the summit that never melts". The Hopi name for the Peaks is Nuva'tukya'ovi, which translates to "place-of-snow-on-the-very-top". Flagstaff's climate and terrain coupled with easy access to vast networks of trails, make it one of the best mountain biking towns in the country.
Entry fee covers 3 aid stations, copper buckle for finishers, event t-shirt, shuttle back to Flagstaff
Miles 0-20 - Hotshots to Kelly Tank: The course starts at the intersection of 180 and Snowbowl Road. Bikers will travel up Snowbowl Road for 1.5 miles and then turn left (north) in the Arizona Trail. Head north and uphill towards Mount Humphrey's. This is the longest climb of the race. In 4 miles you'll gain ~1,300'. Once at Aspen Corner, the race course turns left and heads downhill past Alfa Fia Tank, through a few fences (close all gates) to Forest Road (FR) 151. Once at the well-used and maintained FR151, turn right and north. Take FR151 to FR627 to Bismark Lake. Turn right on FR627. The road ends at a parking area, continue straight on the trail to Bismark Lake and the AZT. Turn left (north) on the AZT. Cross FR418 and continue downhill to Kelly Tank aid station. Note: If not riding the official race course, you can continue on the AZT at Aspen Corner.
Miles 21-60 - Kelly Tank to Moqui Stage Station: Leave Kelly Tank, cross FR514 and follow the AZT north. The trail will parallel FR514 until it swings more northerly, crosses 523 and joins FR416. Follow FR416 north and leave the large ponderosa trees behind you as you enter pinion and juniper forests. FR416 will descend to Babbitt Ranch. Once on the flat grasslands below turn left on FR417 and follow the rough two-track road to the Cedar Ranch aid station.
Head north from Cedar Ranch on well maintained FR9008A. Enter Babbitt Ranch and follow the road, course markings and AZT markers. Pass Tub Ranch on the well- maintained road, climb a small hill, pass Rabbit Tank on your left, and follow the well-maintained dirt road for almost 6 miles. Just before crossing under some tall power lines, veer right (follow AZT signs and course markings) onto a two-track road.
Continue north on the AZT on two-track road. Pass around Upper Lockwood Tank (gate) and Lockwood Tank (gate) on the AZT. Follow the two-track road and AZT to Boundary Aid Station.
Leave Boundary heading north on the AZT. The trail immediately leaves the road and returns to singletrack. Cross over FR301 and continue north, passing the turn to Moqui Stage Station.
Miles 60-80 – Moqui Stage Station to Hull Cabin: Continue north on the AZT. Cross FR313, continue north on smooth two-track, cross FR320. Close all gates. Continue north on the AZT. The two-track becomes singletrack; the pinion-juniper gives way to large ponderosa trees and leads to the Russell Tank.
Leave Russell Tank and continue north on the AZT. Cross FR310 (Coconino Rim Road). The AZT now traverses across the top rim of the Coconino Rim. Do not use the "bike detour route." Stay on the AZT proper into the small canyon. Arrive at FR307. Turn right on FR307, bike downhill, pass Hull Tank on the left, and then turn left to the Hull Cabin aid station.
Miles 80-100 - Hull Cabin to Tusayan IMAX: Leave Hull Cabin and return to the AZT the way you came, uphill on FR307. Turn right (north) on the AZT, pass along a small interpretive trail and under the Grand View Fire Tower. Pass through a small parking lot and across FR310 to the singletrack AZT on the other side. Follow the AZT to signed Watson Tank, join a dirt road and follow the AZT signs and course markings. Follow the AZT, veer right off of FR303 on the marked AZT (keep your eyes peeled, this is a tough turn to see).
This next section of course follows the AZT entirely. Eventually the AZT will join the Tusayan Bike Trails. Be sure to follow the AZT trail signs and arrows and course marking. Follow the AZT through limestone lined Coconino Wash to Reed Tank.
Leave the aid station and begin the final and short climb of the race. Follow the AZT and pass through the tunnel under Highway 64. Once through the tunnel take an immediate left on the paved bike path. Follow the paved path south across a dirt road, through a paved parking lot, and on to the finish at the Tusayan Grand Canyon IMAX.
History & Background
A majority of the Stagecoach course follows the Arizona Trail and the historic Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Stagecoach Line route used by adventure seeking tourists between 1897 and 1901. Many of today's race-day aid stations are located at the original stage line rest stops and watering holes.
Shared By: Dana Ernst