At less than 1.5 hours from my house, the Gila River and AZ Trail is the go-to place for a quick weekend of bikepacking.
We camped out Friday night and begin to ride early that morning.
We headed down Cochrane Road, toward the Gila River, soaking in the view of the Gila Canyon and other notable sections of this incredible mountain range.
The Gila River at the lowest I have seen it.
With no major rush, we did in out-in-back on the Arizona Trail, Gila Canyon segment. This is quite possibly the greatest piece of singletrack in the state. If you add in some Ripsey and Boulders segment, you are in for a 100-mile odyssey of singletrack that should be on everyone's bucket list.
We biked to the second high point, ate lunch and turned around for the descent.
It's hard to imagine how this place never became wilderness, it is so incredible.
Max and Aaron on the Arizona Trail
I might have overstepped my previous "no rush" comment. At the least, the pace began to pick up as the day went on. With Max and Aaron on the front, it is hard not to imagine that "no rush" quickly became "quick spin."
With the first day completed, we set our eyes on Ripsey and Area 52 for Day 2. That night, it was easy to dream about the Gila 100 that will be added to the AES schedule for 2013. Brutal, yet incredibly scenic singletrack for a little less than 100 miles, one-way.
More on Day 2 on next post....