Phoenix: Best Local Rides

We couldn’t think of a better way to learn about the best rides in the Phoenix area than to ask the manager of one of the top motorcycle rental departments in the country (who just happens to be located in sunny Scottsdale, right outside Phoenix proper). So we talked with Dan Dvorak at Harley-Davidson of Scottsdale, along with the dealership’s HOG chapter liaison, Glenn Dusz, to get their expert opinions on these six local rides you shouldn’t miss.

Bartlett Lake via Cave Creek Road and Bartlett Dam Road

Bartlett Lake
Bartlett Lake

This is a great ride, with nice elevation chances, some twisties, and (most of the time) not a lot of traffic. Enjoy the changing scenery which is particularly beautiful in the spring when wildflowers are abundant. This ride will look completely different on the trip back and provides for lots of photo opportunities.

Tortilla Flat via Saguaro Lake, Usery Pass Road and Apache Trail

Canyon Lake
Canyon Lake

This route is a must for western history buffs, though the road is in need of repair beyond Apache Junction.

Stop by the Saguaro Lake Marina for a great breakfast with an amazing lake view from the patio and then head to Canyon Lake for a cool dip in the water. Keep the camera handy as you may spot some wild horses.

Dynamite Road to Rio Verde and Fountain Hills

Fountain Hills
Fountain Hills

This is a nice easy ride on which you’ll encounter numerous horse ranches. Be sure to take Saguaro Boulevard to the famous fountain. And keep an eye out for Harris’s Hawks along this route; they hunt in groups of three.

Buckeye to Wickenburg via Vulture Mine Road, I-10, Hassayampa Road, Indian School Road

Vulture Mountains
Vulture Mountains

A relaxing ride with desert views that will take you right next to the Vulture Mine south of Wickenburg before heading through the Vulture Mountains.

Lake Pleasant

Lake Pleasant
Lake Pleasant

This is a nice mid-day ride, as you can grab lunch at the floating restaurant at the marina, which also features boat and jet ski rentals and paddle boarding. You can even take a lake cruise, if you’re so inclined. Note that there will be a fee to enter the park.

New River Road from Carefree Highway through New River to 7th Street and Carefree Highway

Carefree Highway
Carefree Highway

This is a leisurely way to get to New River if you want to avoid I-17. You can stop at Wild Horse West for a burger before heading north on New River Road through New River and the equine area in north Phoenix. You’ll end up at 7th Street and the Carefree Highway; just hang a left if you want to head to historic Cave Creek. Bonus tip: The Roadrunner Bar and Grill in New River is very biker friendly.

Be sure to tell us about your favorite local Phoenix ride in the “Leave a Reply” box below.

Contributors: Dan Dvorak and Glenn Dusz

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