This is an excellent Ride with a great variety of terrain, one I would ride every time I return to Flagstaff. With all of its twists and turns, this ride will give you the feeling of being lost - in fact we helped a lost equestrian find her way back to the stables.
This ride involves a bunch of climbing, but you know...what goes up must come down! And down you'll go with a smile from ear to ear. Most climbing is easy to moderate with a couple short difficult sections, but the descents are a thrill.
There are quite a few opportunities to get off-route with this ride so check your GPS frequently after intersections.
This ride uses portions of the Arizona Trail (AZT) and seven different local trails - Schultz Creek Trail
, Little Gnarly
, Lower & Upper Brookbank
, Little Bear
& Little Elden.
From the parking area, the trail starts down the embankment directly across the road and heads up Schultz Creek Trail
. Schultz is a moderate steady climb, smooth singletrack with smooth rock & root obstacles. The top of this trail is defined by an open area with several trail options. A great place for a break, take in some water and calories.
From here go right up Little Gnarly
, then gradually descend to a meadow, while passing a lake (pond where I come from) on your left. Steer around the left side of the pond over a small log obstacle. This is Lower Brookbank
and from here the terrain gets more difficult (=fun). Soon you'll encounter a quite steep, very rocky descent. If you travel down this advanced trail you missed the sharp left up Upper Brookbank
starts out nice but becomes steep and loose for a short bit - excellent Hike-A-Bike terrain. Ride this trail up and down, over and around for about 1.2 miles to the Sunset
junction, and then go right for another .3 miles to Little Bear
Make the 90 degree turn onto Little Bear
- a mild climb with fun switchback descents. Little Bear
is about 3.5 miles of kinda rocky, shaded, woodsy terrain that takes you into a large burn zone. Along this burn area are fantastic views of the valley below. At one point where the view seems best there is a spot with a viewpoint bench (hidden - gotta look for it), see pic. This is a very good spot if you brought your picnic basket. This trail ends in a T with the (AZT) Little Elden Trail. Go left.
Little Elden brings you back to the smoother trails you rode earlier. Your bike will roll around on a slight incline through the pines heading back towards Shultz Tank to an intersection that connects back to the Sunset
Trail. At the Sunset
Trail peddle right a short distance to the top of the Schultz Creek Trail
Weee Hooo! You made it! From here it's all downhill goodness, so just sail down Schultz Creek, zipping over the smooth rocks and between the crisp pines back to your motor vehicle.
The preferred action at this point is to crack open an ice cold PBR or Rolling Rock (except for the driver... of course)
The east side of this ride travels through a burn from 2010 called the Shultz Fire... started by an abandoned campfire.