Bicycle Travel > Connecting ACA Routes

Claypool Tunnel, Old US 60

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TCS:
Hey, juuuuust wondering:  Adventure Cycling Southern Tier, Section 2, US 60 between Superior and Globe - is Old US 60 and the Claypool Tunnel still bikehike-able?

This section of US 60 and the Claypool Tunnel were replaced by the Arizona Highway Department with the Queen Creek Tunnel in 1952 and the whole shebang was routed around by Adventure Cycling with a long detour through Jake's Corner and Punkin Center to, I was told, keep from riding through the Queen Creek Tunnel (which seems like a worthy goal).

Information on the 'net dating from 2015 indicates the Claypool Tunnel route was bikehike-able.

John Nettles:
I don't know but I have wondered the same thing.

canalligators:
I just took a look on Google Maps.  Too bad about the dangerous tunnel, the scenery on US 60 is stunning.

staehpj1:

--- Quote from: canalligators on December 15, 2021, 07:04:39 pm ---I just took a look on Google Maps.  Too bad about the dangerous tunnel, the scenery on US 60 is stunning.

--- End quote ---
I assume that would be the tunnel I encountered on the day I rode from Superior to the Apache Gold Casino.  That was 2012 when I was there.  I remember the approach and tunnel as being kind of intimidating with no shoulder and close fast traffic buzzing by.  I don't think it would be as bad on an E-W ST but W-E it was a steep uphill so you couldn't even go fast to try to keep the speed difference with traffic down.  We just gritted our teeh and rode the section, but it was one of if not the most intimidating of the entire ST.  Much worse that others that folks complained more about IMO.  When did the ACA route away from it?

There is more recent stuff online about folks hiking the old route and to the old tunnel.  I bet you could find a lot more info on hiking sites.  It may not be touring specific, but you could most likely find people who hiked it who would be able to advise.  It may be a bit of effort, but if you are in to abandoned tunnels and roads (I kind of am) that might be a bit of a bonus and be considered a worthy side trip rather than just a detour.

John Nettles:

--- Quote from: staehpj1 on December 16, 2021, 07:42:59 am ---
--- Quote from: canalligators on December 15, 2021, 07:04:39 pm ---I just took a look on Google Maps.  Too bad about the dangerous tunnel, the scenery on US 60 is stunning.

--- End quote ---
When did the ACA route away from it?
--- End quote ---
Not positive but I think it was about three years ago.  The pandemic has really thrown off my "in the past calendar" since we basically missed 1+ years.

This journal over on CrazyGuy https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?page_id=183184#:~:text=Claypool%20Tunnel%20-%20The%20Claypool%20Tunnel%20%28named%20for,replaced%20by%20the%20Queen%20Creek%20Tunnel%20in%201952 shows how you can take the bypass.  The article states you can not access the bypass/old road from the west end of the tunnel but looking at satellite photos, I would think you could at the entrance to the runaway ramp which is about 1/4 mile to the west of the west tunnel entrance.

I wished the state would have just put up one of those "Bikes in Tunnel" flashing signs like they have in Oregon.  Now it is a much longer "detour".
 

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