Best Motorcycle Rides near Phoenix - Part 1

Jan 18, 2024


Yamaha motorcycle near Phoenix, Arizona.

Arizona isn’t just one big desert— instead, it boasts a bevy of hidden gems for everyone— including committed hikers and desert photographers. It’s also a great place to ride a motorcycle, especially during winter and spring. All the rides below are within a few hours from Phoenix and ready to be explored. So, hop on your bike or rent a motorcycle and hit the road!

Wickenburg Road

One-day trip — 65 miles

wickenburg road motorcycle ride - Riders Share

Starting Point: Downtown Phoenix, Arizona

End Point: Wickenburg, Arizona

For a short yet scenic ride, Wickenburg Road is perfect. Just 65 miles from Phoenix, it offers a classic desert experience with stunning landscapes, easily allowing additional day trips. The route begins with low mountains and deserts filled with creosote and acacia. Midway, on Vulture Mine Road, lies an old mining town, open in winter.

The latter half of the journey is the highlight, featuring gullies, low hills, cacti, and curves. Wickenburg Road combines easy desert roads with curves, excellent pavement, and the town of Wickenburg, where you can explore a western museum and find food and gas.

Lake Mary Road from Flagstaff to Payson

One-day trip — 89 miles

lake mary road from flgstaff to Payson motorcycle ride with Riders Share

Starting Point: South of Flagstaff on Lake Mary Road, Arizona

Ending Point: Payson, Arizona

The Lake Mary Road route from Flagstaff to Payson is a must for national park enthusiasts. Starting south of Flagstaff on Lake Mary Road, connect to State Route 87 and head towards Payson, with the option to continue to Phoenix.

This 89-mile journey showcases Lake Mary's views and the Coconino National Forest's tall pines and curves. The descent from the forest includes sharp turns and passes through Pine and Strawberry, charming yet touristy towns.

The road is well-maintained, two-laned, and requires caution for deer and elk. The entire trip is doable in less than a day, but remember, Flagstaff is about a two-hour drive from Phoenix.

Cottonwood Canyon Run

One-day trip — 160 miles

cottonwood canyon run motorcycle ride with Riders Share

Starting Point: Phoenix, Arizona

End Point: Cottonwood Canyon, Arizona

Experience Arizona's red-rock scenery and pine forests on the Cottonwood Canyon Run. Starting from Phoenix, head to Wickenburg via US-60, then take US-93 north, switching to AZ-89 to pass through Congress, Yarnell, and Peeples Valley, reaching Prescott.

From Prescott, take AZ-89A North, navigating switchbacks up Mingus Mountain to Jerome. In Prescott, you might find an arts festival or explore the 10 campgrounds in Prescott National Forest for picnicking, fishing, or hiking.

This 160-mile trip can be completed in a day, offering a full view of Cottonwood Canyon. However, be cautious as the route has steep and twisty sections. Ensure you ride safely and wear proper motorcycle gear.

Phoenix to Show Low

One-day trip — 180 miles

phoenix to show low motorcycle ride with Riders Share

Starting Point: East of Phoenix on Highway 60, Arizona

End Point: Show Low, Arizona

For a high-altitude winter adventure, the Phoenix to Show Low route is ideal. This day trip covers 180 miles, starting east of Phoenix on Highway 60 through Apache Junction and Globe, ending in Show Low.

Highway 60 provides classic freeway riding with springtime hillsides of yellow flowers. Apache Junction features Dos Hermanos, a biker bar. Pause at the Salt River Canyon lookout for Apache Indian jewelry and enjoy snow skiing or a casino in Show Low.

The journey begins on flat terrain but becomes bendy and curvy with a grade-style climb towards Show Low. Fuel up in Globe, as gas stations are scarce on the remaining road.

Mesa, Globe, Punkin Center, and back to Mesa (Loop)

One-day trip — 198 miles

Mesa loop motorcycle ride with Riders Share

Starting Point: Phoenix/Mesa on US-60, Arizona

End Point: Mesa, Arizona

The Mesa, Globe, Punkin Center, and back to Mesa route is perfect for a scenic loop with manageable turns. Starting east from Phoenix/Mesa on US-60, the route passes Gold Canyon, Queen Valley, and Top of the World to Globe. Then, head west on AZ-188, drive past Roosevelt Lake and Tonto Basin to Punkin Center, and return to Mesa via the Beeline Highway (AZ-87).

This 198-mile loop offers breathtaking views, especially of Roosevelt Lake and Tonto Basin. While there's no designated photo stop in this scenic stretch, you can camp by Roosevelt Lake to break the looped ride up a little. Punkin Center hosts a popular biker bar for a satisfying meal.

The route features mountain roads with variable weather, so dress in layers. The loop has light traffic, allowing for a smooth ride. To fully enjoy this journey, consider splitting it into a two-day trip with a night of camping or staying in Punkin Center.

Motorcycle Rentals in Phoenix

The next time you’re in the Grand Canyon State, consider renting a motorcycle in Phoenix and heading out on five unforgettable motorcycle routes that will take you through the deserts and forests of Arizona. Riders Share offers a wide selection of bikes to suit any rider, making it easy to embark on these stunning routes. Book your motorcycle today and start your adventure through Arizona's breathtaking landscapes!

Wrapping Up

As we wrap up this journey through some of the best motorcycle rides near Phoenix, we hope you're inspired to hit the road and explore these incredible routes for yourself. Arizona's diverse landscape offers an array of experiences for every kind of rider. Don't forget, this is just the beginning. For more exhilarating rides and hidden gems, be sure to check out our next blog: Best Motorcycle Rides Near Phoenix - Part 2. Stay tuned for more routes that promise to enhance your riding experience and showcase the beauty of Arizona. Safe travels and happy riding!