Anyone ridden this? There is no way we can make it in a day. We are on tour now--in NM--and working our way west. Looking for options other than the ACA route through Safford, etc. For the 60 rt., what are camping and water options? I understand that the Payson-- Phoenix run is crazy w/traffic. Any help would be great!
I rode that in the other direction (Globe - Show Low) this April. 8700' climbing & 6000' descending - would not call that "mostly downhill".
Are you coming from Silver City? If so - we went thru ALpine/ Eagar/Pinetop (hwy 160) -- and you go right past a ski area and spend a bunch of time at 7-8000' elevation, so watch the weather. We had snow last April there.
If you are super hard core and ready to do huge climbing, the ride between Morenci and Alpine is fantastic, but climbs about 9000' in 90 miles with no services. There *might* be water at one of the *possibly closed* campgrounds or the lodge near Blue Mesa, and there *might* be water at fire station somewhere in the middle. And the road might be closed too, if it snows.
Otherwise, heading north on 180 to Reserve would be a less intense option.
This time of year, I might go the Safford way to stay low if the forecast is iffy, but the other way, while much much harder, is also much nicer. Very limited services, though.