Author Topic: Southern Tier variant  (Read 3530 times)

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Offline grencove

Southern Tier variant
« on: November 17, 2015, 07:58:05 pm »
We are planning to take ACA Southern Tier route early March 2016. In Arizona and New Mexico, though, we want to ride through Tucson - Benson - Tombstone - Pearce - Chiricahua National Monument - Portal - Lordsburg - Deming. I see that cyclists taking this way usually go Tombstone - Bisbee - Douglas - Rodeo - Lordsburg. Nobody seems to cycle through Chiricahua National Monument, does anybody know why? Is it to visit Bisbee and Geronimo Surrender Monument or because there are some issues with riding in Chiricahua National Monument?

Offline aggie

Re: Southern Tier variant
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2015, 10:29:03 pm »
You can cycle in Chiricahua.  I was with a group that cycled it several years ago.  We stayed in Wilcox and then rode out to the park.  It may be missed just because it is a little out of the way.  It's a nice place.  Unfortunately I wasn't able to ride the park during that tour since I broke my collarbone riding down Mt. Graham the day before we were to ride to the park.    This is a great area to ride in the spring/fall.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Southern Tier variant
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2015, 10:57:21 pm »
A few years ago, I rode from Nogales - Tombstone - Sunizona - CNM - Portal - Animas - Lordsburg.  The reason most do not do this route (other than don't want to go "off route") is the the road between CNM & Portal is a very hilly gravel road.  It was a very tough day that day.

Unless you are riding a bike with at least 40mm tires and can climb 12 miles of up to 12% grades (average is about guessing 5%) followed by a 12 mile twisty steep/fast down hill, I would not recommend it.  It took us most of the day to get from CNM to Portal.  However, we had started the tour only a few days before in Tucson so I was not in the best of shape yet.  That said, if you are strong enough to ride it and have the appropriate tires, I would highly recommend it.  NOTE:  I rode it before the wildfires swept through so do not know how the scenery is now.

It is a beautiful ride but not for the typical sub-40mm tired touring bike unless you are hardy souls.  If you do it, consider riding between Sierra Vista and Patagonia via Canelo, Canelo Pass, and Henshaw Roads.  We camped on Canelo Pass road overlooking a vast plains and it was one of my top 5 campsites ever in 35 years.


Offline grencove

Re: Southern Tier variant
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2015, 11:48:06 am »
Thank you very much for your quick replies John and Aggie. We are planning to ride road bikes, so this route is not for us then. We'd have to go via Bisbee/Douglas, after all. Your detailed explanations, John, help us a lot! Sorry you broke your collarbone  Aggie - hope it did not have any residual affect on you.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2015, 11:59:56 am by grencove »

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Southern Tier variant
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2015, 12:46:55 pm »
I-10 north of San Antonio most of the way to Casa Grande, AZ. I-8 most of the way to Yuma, AZ. Road from hell in Winterhaven to Ogilby to 78 to various roads to Ocotillo, CA. I-8 to hysterical hwy. 80. Road maps into San Diego.

Offline roadrunner

Re: Southern Tier variant
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2015, 12:58:49 pm »
Hi Grencove - US Bicycle Route 90 which was recently designated in Arizona follows the route you plan to travel.  This news release describes the route, which follows the Southern Tier from California to Phoenix, then goes south through Tucson, Sonoita, Tombstone, Bisbee, and Douglas to Rodeo,

I live in Sierra Vista, 17 miles from Tombstone, and would be glad to answer any specific questions you may have about the route from Tucson to Rodeo.  You can contact me at