From a dual sport rider’s point of view, this 130 mile loop has it all - historic highways, singletrack, cinders, water crossings, rocks, ruts, trees, and a great place to eat lunch! The ride departs Flagstaff on Route 66 and circumnavigates the city along a trail network that cuts across the San Francisco Peaks, then turns to asphalt and winds through lava flows within the boundaries of Sunset Crater National Monument. There’s no way around the entrance station, so you can pay the daily fee or show them a National Park Pass (highly recommended for this tour) in order to enjoy a fun blast through the cinders on the other side of the park. A short drive through the reservation leads to I-40, just a stone’s throw from the Sinaguan ruins at Walnut Canyon which is an optional excursion worth taking. After a short blast on I-40 to Winona, the scenery changes dramatically from barren ranch lands to forested highlands. Primitive two-track will escort you most of the way to Mormon Lake where a hearty lunch and 87 octane awaits - just in time to fuel an afternoon full of increasingly-challenging jeep roads back to the outskirts of Flagstaff.
To get the most out of Day 3, check out these online resources before you go: