Last Updated on: 14th April 2023, 03:37 pm
Planning the ultimate motorcycle trip to the Grand Canyon State? Whether you’re attending one of the big Arizona motorcycle rallies or ready to cross one of the state’s scenic routes off your bucket list, you’ll fall in love with the awe-inspiring scenery and dramatic landscapes.
Here are some of the top Arizona motorcycle rides that should be on your list that take you through gorgeous state parks, rock formations and even mountain canyons and dense pine forests!
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Table of Contents
Phoenix to Show Low on Highway 60 – One of the Best Arizona Winter Motorcycle Rides
This 140-mile ride is one of the most well-known motorcycle rides in Arizona near Phoenix. It’s also one of the top winter motorcycle rides as the summer heat can be too intense along the long, open stretches of highway.
The route itself is simple: take Highway 60 from Phoenix to Apache Junction then stay on the route to Globe and finally Show Low. Enjoy a classic motorcycle ride on open highway with plenty of places to stop and explore. While the road is flat at first, you’ll hit some steep climbs and bends as you approach Show Low.
Route 66 – Scenic & Iconic Arizona Ride
Few motorcycle rides in AZ can compare to Route 66, an iconic route that allows you to hit some of Arizona’s most famous destinations.
One of the most fun Arizona motorcycle rides on Route 66 takes you from Lupton to Flagstaff. The ride starts in Lupton in eastern Arizona. Make sure you take the detour to ride through the Petrified Forest National Park, one of the most beautiful vistas in the state.
As you make the ride from Holbrook to Winslow, you’ll want to stop at the Standin’ on the Corner Park for its iconic views. From Winslow, you’ll pass the Meteor Crater Natural Landmark in Winslow, the world’s best-preserved meteorite impact site. From Flagstaff, you can head to the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument.
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Cottonwood Canyon Run – Great Scenic Motorcycle Ride in Arizona Through Pine Country and Red Rock Canyons
One of the most popular motorcycle rides in Phoenix, the Cottonwood Canyon Run is a scenic drive that takes you through many landscapes and even includes a steep, twisty section for a challenge.
The Cottonwood Canyon Run motorcycle route has you leaving Phoenix on US-60 to Wickenburg along a twisty 54-mile stretch. This is where the Cottonwood Canyon Run starts. You’ll explore 120 miles of pristine scenery and one of the best Southwest rides past red rock formations and Prescott National Forest. Be ready for the twists and steep terrain past Jerome which can be challenging for beginners.
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South Mountain Route – One of the Top Phoenix Motorcycle Rides
Did you know you don’t even need to leave the Phoenix city limits for one of the top Arizona motorcycle tours with scenic views? One of the easiest Arizona rides stays in downtown Phoenix and covers just 2.4 miles round trip with an impressive 1,423-foot gain in elevation!
You’ll start at Central Avenue & Baseline Road and head into South Mountain Park. Keep following the road through the park until you reach the South Mountain summit and then the Buena Vista lookout.
This ride may be short, but it delivers the most scenic landscape in the city. If you want to extend your ride, the South Mountain Park/Preserve covers over 16,000 acres. It’s one of the country’s largest municipal parks with plenty to explore!
State Route 89A – One of the Best Motorcycle Roads in Arizona Out of Flagstaff
Visiting the state for the ultimate ride? One of the top Arizona motorcycle routes you should not miss is State Route 89A. This 83-mile highway stretches from Prescott to Flagstaff, but the downhill ride from Flagstaff to Sedona is where you should focus. It’s not just one of the best motorcycle roads in Arizona, it’s frequently ranked as one of the most beautiful stretches of highway in the country.
This ride takes you through pine forests, sunny desert basins, and gorgeous red rock formations. Once you leave Prescott, the highway carves through the dense forests of the Black Hills mountain range. You’ll enjoy sprawling views along with hairpin turns. The highlight of the ride is the climb through Oak Creek Canyon past sandstone formations and Southwest woodlands.
The ride is only 29 miles but give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and explore. You can access several state parks and museums from SR 89A. Highlights include:
- Red Rock State Park with a creek winding through meadows with wildlife sightings
- Dead Horse State Park
- Slide Rock with the iconic slide for summer thrills
Grand Canyon South Rim – Grand Canyon Motorcycle Ride You Don’t Want to Miss
No list of the best motorcycle rides in Arizona is complete without the classic Grand Canyon motorcycle tour. This awe-inspiring ride is probably on your bucket list, but there’s no need to put it off!
The best area to visit is the South Rim on the Arizona side. This is the most crowded area of the Grand Canyon National Park, especially from spring through fall, but it’s also one of the top winter motorcycle rides in Arizona if you want to beat the crowds. From December through February, you can even hit the Hermit Road, normally only accessible to shuttle buses.
There are several ways to access the Grand Canyon on a bike. One option is starting in Williams, AZ and taking SR 64 north for 60 miles right into Grand Canyon Village. You’ll have to pass through a large desert landscape until you reach the canyon. Up for a longer ride? The scenic route from Phoenix to Grand Canyon National Park is about 230 miles passing through desert landscapes with cacti, gorgeous ponderosa pine forests, then the high desert with Pinyon pines close to the rim. You can take I-17 to Flagstaff then on to I-40 or Highway 180 and Highway 64. An alternate option is riding to Flagstaff through Sedona where you can hit Highway 89A, one of the most scenic byways in the region.
The North Rim can be accessed from the Utah side. It’s less crowded and far more remote, especially if you make the ride in the winter. It’s a better ride, but less scenic.
This grand motorcycle route deserves a few days and accommodations often fill up, especially during peak tourist season. Make sure you plan ahead! You can check our ultimate guide to planning a motorcycle trip for useful advice and a checklist!
Mt. Lemmon Highway – One of the Shortest Scenic Tucson Motorcycle Rides
Looking for a shorter ride in the Tucson area? Known for its desert landscape, Tucson has more to offer than rides in the Sonoran Desert! One of the most exciting motorcycle rides in Tucson takes you up Mt. Lemmon via the Mt. Lemmon Highway.
Mt. Lemmon is a sky island, or an isolated mountain range in the Arizona/northern Mexico area rising 6,000+ feet over the surrounding desert. This gives it a drastically different climate. In fact, you’ll feel like you’re in the Alps with skiing on the mountaintop!
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The ride takes about four hours roundtrip. You can reach Mt. Lemmon from the eastern edge of Tucson about 30 miles from the desert to the mountaintop. You’ll enjoy sweeping, scenic views as you navigate large curves, climbing from Tucson’s 2,400-foot elevation to more than 8,000 feet at the summit. The easiest way to plan your route is to set your GPS to Summerhaven, a small mountain town near the peak.
Chomping at the bit to hit the open road and experience the best motorcycle rides in Arizona for yourself? If you’re planning a trip to Arizona from out-of-state, Federal Motorcycle Transport can help you enjoy the ultimate ride without the stress.
Our Arizona motorcycle shipping is a perfect solution to avoid the physical exhaustion and mileage on your bike from a cross-country ride. Motorcycle transport is also ideal for enjoying the best Arizona winter motorcycle rides if you’re coming from an area with snow and ice. Ship your bike to our Phoenix warehouse and pick up your ride when you’re ready to hit the road.
Give us a call or click here for a free quote for shipping a motorcycle to Arizona.