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Chapel Rocks Loop Professional Review and Guide
"3.5 miles south of Sedona. Spectacular loop ride around one of Sedona's famous rock formations, featuring smooth, fast singletrack and some slickrock play areas."
--Bruce Grubbs, Mountain Biking Flagstaff and Sedona (Falcon Guides).
I rode this ride on a sunny December day about noon. The guide describes the ride as easy and when I saw that it coursed through two different neighborhoods, I thought certainly it would not be too technically taxing. I was wrong! There were plenty of fun, little, short technical steps and drops to play on. I've ridden in Moab for years and there was enough slick rock to keep things exciting. The Mystic trail was not challenging, but the Broken arrow and Chicken trail were extremely fun. Instead of riding a loop do an out and back on the Mystic trial and Chicken. That way you can avoid the neighborhoods and the novices on the North Bellrock path. Sedona was beautiful and if you don't mind potential 40 degree weather, a great place to winter ride. If your not in peak shape the 6-8 miles you can achieve on this ride might be perfect.
Did this trail two days in a row, and had done it the previous Thanksgiving. It has variety of terrain, beautiful views, and is doable in most places for my wife and me (mid 50's). It is a workout, if you are not a biker or in decent shape. We rented bikes from Absolute Bikes, went the Bell Rock Loop as a warmup, then zipped over to Chapel Rock until we got to the switchbacks.
We could see the switchbacks going down nearly to the base of Chapel Rock, and knew we would never ride back up. If you do not get back up, you have to take a highway for over 2 miles back home, which makes it a "loop".
This trip took us less than 3 hours, including a couple of easy side trips. It is about 13 miles to the swithbacks and back. Obviously, some of it is pretty fast riding.
Greast trail and a good workout. Take it easy if you come from low elevations like I do (sea level) it takes a little while to get used to the elevation and the dryness. Beautiful views, nice runs just an overall great adventure any time of year.
I expected more of the trail, however it was a cool ride.
I'm glad I did it, and the views are spactacular.
Careful, it does get hot in the summer months.
I'll come back to Sedona to explore more of the many trails in the area. The locals are exceptionally nice
Something for everyone, but beginners beware. There are some technical sections which include height exposure, especially the switchbacks after Buddha Beach. Get Cosmic Ray's book; it details this ride (and all the other Sedona trails) extremely well.
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