The Official Beer of Boise Trails

Trip Report: Sedona Mountain Bike Festival

Moab, Utah has long been the mecca for mountain bikers looking for gnarly riding on otherworldly rock formations.

Sedona, Arizona is giving Moab a run for its money.

Sedona is a magical, beautiful, amazing place. It’s got a killer trail network that’s expanding every year. Its average winter temperatures (highs of 61 degrees in February and 65 degrees in March) compare favorably to Moab (51 and 63, respectively). And you can catch a quick direct 6 a.m. flight from Boise to Phoenix and be riding in Sedona by noon.

Here at Boise Trails, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to get out of the Boise winter and down to Arizona for some world-class riding and sunshine. To top it off, the Sedona Mountain Bike Festival provides access to demo bikes, continuous shuttles, food, fun and good vibes, all for less than $100. Yes, please.

Sedona’s trails are amazing. They’re also super technical, which is a huge contrast from Boise. A black diamond trail in Boise is a blue/green trail in “Shredona”. After just a few minutes, though, you get into your groove and find yourself unphased by a continuous stream of rock features that would be serious enough to merit their own names in Boise–Bob’s rock, Hulls rock, etc.–they’re all just normal trail surface in Sedona. Riding in Sedona for even a couple of days will dramatically increase your skills.

Obviously, we recommend that you go check out Sedona next winter. But would we recommend the MTB festival, given the extra crowds and expense? We would, for a couple of reasons:

  1. On such unforgiving trails, it’s nice to be on a demo bike. Unlike bones, bikes don’t heal themselves. On a demo bike you can smash rocks and huck-to-flat your little heart out. We each got to ride 5 different high end bikes. It’s fun to compare and contrast them back-to-back.
  2. These trails beat you up, so your body gets too sore to just ride and ride all day. The festival gives you something fun to do with your downtime.
  3. You meet cool people. Lots of pros and “Instagram famous” folks who are incredible riders. Why wouldn’t you want to be surrounded by tons of happy bike lovers?

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