Motorcycle Rides Near Me in Arizona

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Have you ever asked the question:  Where are the best motorcycle rides near me in Arizona (AZ)? 

Whether you are simply looking for new motorcycle rides & roads in Arizona to try or if you are specifically trying to find the very best motorcycle rides in Arizona, learning of all your motorcycle ride options may be more difficult than you realize.  Even motorcycle riders with years of experience riding in the Grand Canyon State can stumble on to a great motorcycle ride that they had driven past a thousand times.  Or, these riders happen to talk to another motorcycle rider and find out about a local/great motorcycle road in an area that they’ve never thought to try.  So, MotorcycleRoads.com (McR) has put together this quick guide to help you definitively answer the question - “What are my best options for Motorcycle Rides Near Me in Arizona?”  

*Rankings for Arizona motorcycle rides were accurate at the time this guide was published/updated in Feb of 2020 (for more information, see Note 1 at the bottom of this article).  Additionally, McR uses a proprietary algorithm to calculate motorcycle ride popularity (for more information, see see Note 2 also at at the bottom of this article). 
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Closest US Motorcycle Riding Hotspot to Arizona

First, if you are an Arizona motorcycle rider that is willing to travel a bit to wherever the best motorcycle rides are, then I need to tell you about some motorcycle riding HOTSPOTS across the United States.  After 20+ years of collecting data on 1,000s of great US motorcycle roads & rides, motorcycle rider reviews and ratings of those motorcycle roads, along with thousands of photos and videos, it has become clear that some regions of the USA are simply motorcycle riding Hotspots.  And, the particular motorcycle riding hotspot that is the nearest to the state of Arizona is located to not too far away in the Colorado Rocky mountains.  I'll provide you some specific information about that hotspot below but you need to realize that there are other hotspots located in different regions of the US that you may want to consider traveling to at some point in your "motorcycle riding lifetime."  Each of these hotspots act like “magnets for motorcycling” and are depicted in the map image below.

US motorcycle riding hotspots

Below I'll go over the closest motorcycle riding hotspot to Arizona but if you wish to learn about any of the other hotspots, check out our motorcycle roads near me (USA version). 

 

Showcase: The Colorado Rockies Motorcycle Riding Hotspot

mc riding hotspot near utah - colorado rocky mountains

The nearest motorcycle riding hotspot to Arizona is the hotspot that is probably the least surprising of the list - The Colorado Rockies.  Arizona and the Colorado Rockies are not too far of a distance apart and but naturally making a trip to this motorcycle mecca of sorts will involve proper planning and a bit of a ride/drive.  For your reference, Durango is a moderately sized Colorado town on its southwestern boarder, closest to Arizona.  To get to that town from say Phoenix, AZ would involve about 7-hours of driving.  From Tuscon, AZ to Durango, CO would involve about 8.5-hours of driving and to get from Flagstaff, AZ to Durango, CO takes about 5-hours of drive time.  So you will have to put on some miles just to get there but if you are an Arizona motorcycle rider looking for a "target rich environment of great motorcycle rides" then the Colorado Rockies is going to be one of your best possible choices!  Once in Colorado, you would want to focus on the particular regions of the Colorado Rockies that stand out for motorcycle rides.  Those areas that truly shine are the Southwest corner (the Durango, CO area) and the North-central region (just west of Fort Collins, CO).  A few of the particular motorcycle rides you want to focus on while in this area are suggested below:

Again, since the remaining three motorcycle riding hotspots are significantly further away than the Colorado Rocky Mountain hotspot, rather than provide you with a lengthy description of those other hotspots, instead I'll just provide you with a link to the Motorcycle Rides Near Me in the USA guide where, if you are interested in planning an epic motorcycle trip, you can find the full report on those great US hotspots of motorcycle riding.
 

 

Iconic US Motorcycle Rides

Now if you are interested in not just hotspots but the USA's hottest individual motorcycle rides that are generally considered to be the very best motorcycle roads in the entire USA, then I need to tell you about the motorcycle rides that have reached iconic status. And, fortunately for you, one of these iconic motorcycle rides is located in your state of Arizona!  Overall, these are rides that all die hard motorcycling riding enthusiasts should add to his/her motorcycle riding bucket list.  The short list of these legendary motorcycle rides in the USA are as follows:

 

 
  tail of the dragon photo

The Dragon – This is a route that starts at the North Carolina and Tennessee border and goes north from there for 11-miles into Tennessee.  This motorcycle ride goes by many names such as The Dragon, the Tail of the Dragon, Deal’s Gap, and/or the Dragon’s Tail.  Call it what you want, but this is most likely the most famous motorcycle road in the entire world … yes, world.  It is known for its collection of incredible curves compressed into a short stretch of 11-miles ... 318 curves in those mere 11-miles.   

 

 
  blue ridge parkway photo

The Blue Ridge Parkway – like The Tail of the Dragon discussed above, the next iconic motorcycle ride is also world famous yet this is anything but a short ride as it covers a whopping 469-miles!  This route is covers large portions of both Virginia and North Carolina and has been enchanting both motorcycle riders and car drivers for decades.

 

 
  three sisters motorcycle ride texas

Three Sisters – the next iconic motorcycle ride takes us down way down south & “deep in the heart of Texas” with a motorcycle ride that also goes by a few different names (Ranch Roads 335, 336,337a, or “The Twisted Sisters,” or simply “The Three Sisters”) and is positioned in an area known as Texas Hill country just northwest of San Antonio, Texas.  The ride has a cult following of riders and like the other iconic rides, draws motorcycle riders in from not just the USA but all parts of the world. 

 

 
  pch motorcycle ride

Hwy 1 - Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) – Beyond a doubt, the most iconic motorcycle ride in the west is the Pacific Coast Highway and is also one of the most famous scenic drive in all of the world.  This quintessential road trip up (or down) the Arizona coast became popular when it was glamorized by a variety of movies and TV shows and has only grown in popularity over time.  It offers gentle curves and breathtaking scenery as well as world class amenities along the coast and in the cities/towns that grace its path.  

 

 
  tunnel of trees motorcycle ride michigan

If you’re looking for a iconic motorcycle ride in the Midwest, The Tunnel of Trees Road is like the PCH of the Midwest and like PCH (described above), this route is also a “shore hugger.”  It offers riders great lake shore scenery off to the west with a canopy of green foliage from above.  The ride is a favorite among Midwestern motorcycle riders and is particularly captivating in the fall when the autumn colors mesmerize riders as the ride beneath a canopy of golds, oranges, and scarlet reds.  

 

 
  beartooth motorcycle ride montana wyoming

The last iconic American motorcycle ride on our list is the most extreme in many aspects as it is located in a sparsely populated area in northern Wyoming and crossing over into an equally sparsely populated area of Southern Montana and is referred to as Beartooth Pass .  The route is extreme for the fact that for the sheer mountain cliffs and switchbacks as well as the fact that it can throw snow & ice into the mix as late as July.  It not only offers riders unrivaled mountain scenery but also has the added bonus of putting riders within a short drive to the quintessential US National Park - Yellowstone.   

 

 
     

 

 

So far I have told you about Arizona's nearest motorcycle riding hotspot as well as some iconic US motorcycle roads that are spread out around the USA. Yet if you are not up for that level of long-distance travel and simply want to find the answer to the question - "Where are motorcycle rides near me in Arizona?", then read on as I describe 5 of the very best motorcycle rides in Arizona below.  Each of these rides has been a top ranked motorcycle ride in Arizona for years as our McR ranking algorithm (see note 2 below) doesn't let a newly added ride simply jet right up to the top of the list of motorcycle roads but instead factors in the route's popularity over time by looking at many different factors that indicate a motorcycle road's popularity (e.g., page views for that motorcycle road, the number of motorcycle riders following that route, the number of times that route has been saved to riders' To Ride list, the number of times that motorcycle ride has been saved to a riders' Rode It list, the number of motorcycle ride photos or videos that have been uploaded to that page, etc, etc.).  Keep in mind however, that even though we use a somewhat complex rating algorithm to keep 'undeserving routes' from erratically rising to the top, certainly the ratings can & do change over time and so the list you see below of the best motorcycle rides in Arizona was current at the time of the publication of this guide to the best motorcycle rides near me - Arizona (date of last update is found at the top of this guide in the "note" section). Currently there are 42 Arizona motorcycle roads registered on McR which puts Arizona slightly above average for the number of registered motorcycle roads per state (for your reference, the average US state has about 35 registered motorcycle roads).  But Arizona is definitely above average when we stop focusing on quantity and start looking at quality as many Arizona motorcycle rides are ranked in the Top 100 Motorcycle Rides in the USA but also, Arizona's Coronado Trail motorcycle ride is ranked very highly among the best motorcycle rides in the West

 

The Top-5 Best Motorcycle Rides in Arizona: 

 

 

coronado trail az motorcycle ride

  1. Coronado Trail

The top ranked Arizona motorcycle route stretches between Clifton and Eagar in the state. Paralleling the New Mexico border, it runs in central eastern Arizona. Eagar is home to the largest stand of pine trees in the country. The desert roads eventually lead to Alpine paradise, with several twisties in remote Arizona. There is a scenic overlook to the world’s largest open-pit copper mines. Canyons, cliffs, dramatic elevation changes up to 5,000 feet, passing by Escudilla Mountain(10,800 ft), pine forests, tranquil meadows, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest – it’s in all an unparalleled experience!

 

flagstaff to sedona arizona motorcycle ride

  1. Flagstaff To Sedona On The Incredible 89A

Take the 89A south from Flagstaff towards Sedona for one of the best rides not just in Arizona, but western US itself! The scenery is unbelievably superb with rugged forests, a change in altitude (down), canyons, rock formations, a variety of trees (in their full glory in October), cliff overlooks and much more contributing the breathtaking landscape. It’s filled with unbelievable colors throughout, with rock walls, plants, pines, shrubs, cactus and more – all in just 30 miles! The road has some sudden elevation changes. The route offers a perfect balance of nature and city with scope for fishing, swimming, hiking, camping and picnicking.

 

tortilla flat arizona motorcycle ride

  1. Tortilla Flat

The Old West Highway in Apache Junction takes you up to the dirt roads at Tortilla Flat. From here, you can go on to Roosevelt Lake or turn around for some lunch a Tortilla Flat. Scenic desert landscape elements like mountains and canyons are plenty. The curvy road has some switchbacks and a lane bridge. Overall, the roads are great, but the riders wouldn’t risk taking any street bikes on to the dirt roads, although this leads to high wall canyons and a lot more that words fail to describe.

 

el capitan pass arizona motorcycle rides near me

  1. Superior, Winkleman, Globe Triangle

This Arizona motorcycle ride changes elevation from 2,500 to 5,000 feet. Flora and geology change with it. Stop at the Marias in Winkleman for some tacos with rice and beans if you are into Mexican food, says the author. You could eat at Las Hermanos at Superior or make your choice between hamburgers and hot dogs at Globe. Don’t miss the ride through downtown Globe to see some incredible old mines. Stop for views at the El Capitan Pass (shown in the above photo) between Winkleman and Globe.

 

near globe - arizona motorcycle ride

  1. Mesa, Globe, Punkin Center, And Back To Mesa

Beginning at Phoenix on US 60, this motorcycle ride runs you past Gold Canyon, Queen Valley and Top of the World to Globe to then lead past Roosevelt Lake and Tonto Basin to Punkin Center. You could visit the popular bike bar there and then go on to Beeline Highway to get to Mesa. It is a mountain terrain mostly with open roads and less traffic. It’s purely for riding enjoyment. You could also camp at Roosevelt Lake area.

 

 

 

Interested in more motorcycle ride articles like this?

       
  Midwest's Best Motorcycle Rides

 

The Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in the Midwest  
  northeast-motorcycle-ride

 

The Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in the Northeast  
  South's Best Motorcycle Rides

 

The Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in the South  
  West's Best Motorcycle Rides

 

The Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in the West  

 


Note 1:  All facts and figures below were gathered during early Jan 2019 and will change over time as new motorcycle roads are added to the collection. 
Note 2:  How were these popularity ratings calculated? 
A motorcycle road’s popularity can be based on a wide variety of factors.  Our analysis considered some obvious indicators of motorcycle road popularity such each roads’ “Rider Rating” scores (star ratings) and which motorcycle road description pages were visited the most.  But, the analysis dug deeper and looked at some less obvious yet valuable indicators of a motorcycle road’s popularity such as how often a given motorcycle road was added to riders’ “To Ride” lists, how often a given motorcycle road was added to riders’ “Rode it” lists and enthusiasm indicators such how often photos and/or videos were uploaded for a given road and which roads are attracting the most buzz among motorcycle roads indicated by those roads that are receiving the most number of new/recent comments.  For the sake of being consistent and as objective as possible we use a popularity algorithm that “crunches those number” and allows us to develop a ranking of the popularity of each of the motorcycle roads used as a basis for this guide.

 


Conclusion

As always, I hope to provide you with insightful & valuable motorcycle riding community information to help you get the most out of all of your motorcycling experiences.

I'm always looking for ways to make MotorcycleRoads.com better and more helpful so if you have any suggestions to improve the website, just contact me through the Feedback button you'll find near the top of every page.  And as always, if you have a favorite motorcycle road of yours that is not yet registered on MotorcycleRoads.com, please get that favorite of yours "on the map" by registering it at MotorcycleRoads.com.  Registering a motorcycle road (or event, or club, or place) is quick and easy and you'll be helping out our motorcycle riding community!!! 

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