GREAT ARIZONA MOTORCYCLE RIDES
The Best Roads Are Here
What Are The Best Motorcycle Rides In Arizona?
- AZ-188 to Mesa (131 miles)
- Flagstaff to Wilhoit (108 miles)
- N Bush Hwy to Tortilla Flat (44 miles)
- Oatman Highway (48 miles)
- Springerville to Three Way (130 miles)
- Bartlett Lake (24 miles)
- Mt Lemmon Hwy (26 miles)
- Route 260 to 87 (34 miles)
Below is our in-depth list of the 8 best Arizona motorcycle rides! Arizona is home to some of the most iconic landscapes in America. With miles of open road, endless desert skies and an abundance of natural wonders, there's an abundance of destinations for a great motorcycle trip. These are the best motorcycle routes and roads in Arizona. So saddle up, and start your adventure! Click on the Arizona motorcycle map links for the direct Google Maps route.
Tips for Motorcycle Rides in Arizona
Arizona is a state that has intense sunshine and heat. It's always a good idea to prepare for the climate before your adventure. Ride with hot weather gear like cooling vests and mesh motorcycle jackets and pants. While sweltering temps are common June through September, the winter months and early spring is a great time to motorcycle these Arizona roads.
Is There a Helmet Law in Arizona?
According to Arizona state law, only motorcycle operators and riders under 18 must wear a helmet.
But protective riding gear is always a good idea. Some of these AZ motorcycle rides may have road hazards such as sand, pebbles or potholes. And remember, motorcycle shades aren't just for looking cool - they're a key safety item to protect your eyes from debris and also keeps the sweat and sun out of your eyes.
AZ-188 TO MESA
ROUTES 188, 60
DISTANCE: 131 miles
TIME: 2 hour 22 min
This is one of the best motorcycle roads in Arizona, not far from the Phoenix area. Ride through the densely forested Tonto National Forest, and miles of open vistas. This route offers the variety of vast straightaways, desert terrain, twisties, climbs and descents. There will be great views of Theodore Roosevelt Lake and the surrounding mountains along AZ-188. If you have the time for a longer loop ride, motorcycle the Beeline Hwy (AZ-87) southbound back to the Phoenix/Mesa area.
FLAGSTAFF TO WILHOIT
ROUTES 89A, 89
DISTANCE: 108 miles
TIME: 3 hours
When most hear Arizona, they think of Grand Canyon. But one area that should not be missed, especially by motorcycle, are the roads south of Flagstaff through Sedona. Arizona State Route 89A is an epic AZ motorcycle ride through numerous state parks and forests. Turn after turn there are incredible views of vast mountains and red rock formations. As your ride, you'll have chances to peer over magnificent cliff overlooks that offer great views of the stunningly beautiful canyon. Many riders say the best direction to take in these views is heading south. Start in the lush, rugged forests of Flagstaff, and work your way down to the canyon towards Prescott. Expect traffic in Sedona, but south of Jerome will make up for it with significantly impressive turns and overlooks near Woodchute Mtn.
N BUSH HWY TO TORTILLA FLAT
N BUSH HWY, APACHE TRAIL
DISTANCE: 44 miles
TIME 1 hour 11 mins
One of the best motorcycle rides in Arizona is the “Bee-Line Hwy” RT87. Take Usery Pass Road leading to the famous Arizona 88 also known as Apache Trail which you will take towards the Superstition Mountains. This route covers scenic desert landscapes with mountains and even Canyon Lake scenery. Taking Route 88 will lead you to Tortilla Flat. The road was repaved in recent years, which makes for a huge improvement. While many turn back around at this point, there is actually an 8 mile stretch of beautiful pavement that will offer worthwhile riding. (Click the map link for the exact location of where the pavement ends.) Adventure riders can continue beyond here on the packed gravel section towards Roosevelt for great views of high wall canyons and more beautiful scenic areas of Arizona.
DISTANCE: 48 miles
TIME: 1 hour 15 min
If you're looking for a challenging ride, this is the road for you! Oatman Highway is an incredible AZ motorcycle road, nestled in the Black Mountains of Mohave County, Arizona. It's also a very demanding and remote ride, and puts you directly on the old Route 66. As you approach Sitgreaves Pass rising to an elevation of 3,550 feet, the road becomes narrow and steep with a number of hairpin turns hugging the mountainside, with no shoulders and few guardrails. It's said that vehicles over 40ft should not attempt to travel on this road because of the number of tight turns. (That's when you know it's a great motorcycle road!) As you ride through the Black Mountain region, you'll get some excellent views of these mountains and their rock formations. Ride cautiously and watch out for the donkeys!
SPRINGERVILLE TO THREE WAY
ROUTE 191 (US-191)
DISTANCE: 130 miles
TIME: 3 hour 14 min
This north–south United States highway is an absolutely terrific Arizona motorcycle road, especially in the designated Coronado Trail Scenic Road portion. Known to some as the Devil's Highway (old Arizona 666 Hwy), it is not recommended for beginner riders. Forests, desert, canyons, reservoirs and mountain vistas can all be seen on this route while twisting and curving through the Apache–Sitgreaves National Forests of eastern Arizona. Heading north, the road increases in elevation, and you'll be able to stop to check out the awesome scenic overlooks. In fact, there's an elevation difference of some 5,000ft from start to finish on this route, giving it an incredible diversity of landscapes. Some riders say this is the best motorcycle road in the entire southwest United States!
BARTLETT DAM RD, N CAVE CREEK RD
DITANCE: 24 miles
TIME: 40 mins
Just 30 miles north of Phoenix is a great little road to Bartlett Lake, an artificial reservoir created by the Verde River dam. Start this Phoenix area motorcycle route in Cave Creek, AZ (which is a great little biker town) and head west with spectacular views of the Superstition Mountains as you ride towards the lake. It's a fun ride that will take you as high as 3200ft in elevation, while meandering through the desert twisting turns and rolling hills before dropping you down closer to the lake. The motorcycle ride to Bartlett Lake will provide a memorable blend of natural beauty, western culture and a spectacular aerial perspective of the East Valley.
MT LEMMON HWY
DISTANCE: 26 miles
TIME: 45 mins
For awesome views with a great ride, check out this AZ motorcycle road just 20 miles from Tuscon. Pick up Mt Lemmon Hwy from Tanque Verde and climb in elevation from 2500 to 8000 feet in just a few short, action packed miles. Riding up this change in elevation lets you to take in the change in foliage and temperature. The road pavement quality is generally well maintained with great curves, straightaways, and twisties. You'll ride with amazing views of the valley floor as well as of the breathtaking rock formations. This route can get heavy with traffic on weekends, so it's best to ride this in the earlier hours.
ROUTE 260 TO 87
DISTANCE: 32 miles
TIME: 35 mins
Looking for a cool route for the hot summer months? This AZ motorcycle ride will climb in elevation and offer cooler temps from the summer heat. It's a nice ride through the Ponderosa Pine forest, with some great desertscape scenery. You'll ride along some high speed sweeping turns which allows you to ride at a good clip safely. The road surface is very good as of 2022. Be on alert for elk, especially if riding in the early morning and evening. This Arizona motorcycle ride is close to the above mentioned Sedona ride from Flagstaff, which can make for an excellent motorcycle tour through some of the best areas in the state.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is Arizona a good place to ride a motorcycle?
Yes. Arizona is considered to be one of the most motorcycle-friendly states in America. There is an abundance of sunshine and there are miles of pristine motorcycle roads to explore.
Can you ride a motorcycle year round in Arizona?
Yes. Arizona's weather makes it a fantastic state to ride your motorcycle year-round. Arizona can get light snowfall in the northern part of the state, especially in the Grand Canyon area, so appropriate riding gear would be beneficial in the winter months.
Where can I ride in Phoenix?
Tonto National Forest has some exceptional roads and is just over one hour away from Phoenix. The Tortilla Flat motorcycle ride is also one hour from Phoenix. A very short route (just 6 miles in length) located near downtown Phoenix is South Mountain Summit Road. Ride the summit for great views of the city.
Can motorcycles ride side by side in Arizona?
Arizona motorcycle law allows each motorcycle to use an entire lane or ride side-by-side with another motorcycle. When passing another vehicle, you must properly indicate your lane change and use the second lane to overtake and pass.
How Can I Find The Best Motorcycle Routes Near Me In Arizona?
GreatMotorcycleRoads.com is the best place to find great motorcycle roads and routes near Arizona and the southwest United States. Discover more great motorcycle roads in states surrounding Arizona!
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