If you’re a roadie and you live in a cold-weather state, you’re probably ready to be done with the hibernation period or riding at home on your trainer. We’ve listed a few of our favorite spring and winter road biking trip destinations below to remind you that while you’re hibernating, you could be cycling in Death Valley National Park, Southern Arizona’s Saguaro National Park, or through Scottsdale, Arizona’s central Sonoran Desert. All of these places have one thing in common: sunshine! It’s easy to plan a winter or spring road biking trip to one of these warm weather destinations, check out a few more reasons why!
Strange landscapes, unique sights, accommodations with character
It’s no wonder that cycling Death Valley in the winter is so popular- there’s so much to see and do, all while getting challenging rides in.
You will find yourself feeling like you’re exploring another planet as you pedal through the strange landscape of salt flats, sand dunes and colorful rugged canyons on a winter cycling trip to Death Valley. Death Valley has more than 785 miles of roads with some 300 miles suitable for road biking. In only 15 miles, you can ride your bike from Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level, to the park’s highest point, Telescope Peak, at 11,049 feet!
Visitors are pleasantly surprised when they find out there is beauty to be found in this unusual, unfamiliar place. At sunrise or sunset, you can head to Zabriskie Point, the park’s most famous viewpoint, to take in a pink and purple sky, the colorful hills and ravines of incredible badlands. After the sun sets, stay a little longer to enjoy the starscape. The International Dark Sky Association (darksky.org/) has recognized Death Valley as the largest International Dark Sky Park in the United States, meaning this night sky is one you can’t miss. Many equate Death Valley with another planet, as 91 percent of the park’s 3.1 million acres are designated as wilderness. Fun fact: countless TV shows and movies, including scenes from Star Wars, have been filmed here!
The historic lodging and warm hospitality at accommodations like ranch-style Furnace Creek Inn, cozy Panamint Springs Resort, and old west-style Stovepipe Wells Hotel will only add to your winter cycling experience in this exotic desert wonderland.
Rich biodiversity and long, scenic road bike rides await you this winter in Southern Arizona.
Tucson is internationally recognized as a hotspot for winter road biking. Why? There is no limit to the miles of cycling routes that wind around the city and through the surrounding regions of Southern Arizona. With its open roads, remarkable winter weather (daytime temperatures typically in the 60s and 70s), and rolling hills covered in wildflowers, there’s no place a road cyclist would rather be when it’s too cold to ride at home.
Southern Arizona also claims some of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in North America and road biking in Southern Arizona in the winter is a perfect way to see them all. In about 100 miles of riding, you can pedal through forests of saguaro cacti to pine trees to grapevines. Once you see how beautiful this destination is, and how many incredible bike routes there are, you might want to ride shorter distances over more days so you can be sure to enjoy each region.
The diversity of terrain provides options for both intermediate and advanced riders; while the attractions of wine country, jagged mountain ranges, and rich history found in old western towns like Tombstone, AZ make a cycling journey down in Southern Arizona both challenging and exciting. This is the perfect winter cycling vacation when you’re looking for warmth.
Enjoy the winter sunshine as you road bike through Scottsdale, Arizona’s Sonoran Desert.
If you’re looking for a cycling trip where you can enjoy food, shopping, friendly towns, resort amenities and outdoor activities as much as road biking during the day, then Scottsdale should be next on your list of winter cycling trip destinations. Scottsdale is located in central Arizona in the Sonoran Desert. This area receives more rainfall than any other desert, making it rich in flora and fauna and a tranquil setting for Scottsdale’s renowned resorts. These unique factors make Scottsdale a special place to visit during the winter and spring when the region is bursting with colorful flowers.
The smooth sun-warmed roads make for enjoyable long scenic rides past towering saguaro cactus punctuated by challenging climbs. The diversity of route options makes this area great for the casual rider, the visiting triathlete, or the avid cyclist. After a trip here you might just be convinced to turn this winter cycling vacation into your permanent second home so you can return every year for winter road bike training.
If you’re ready to escape the cold and ride in the desert sunshine, you can read up more about Death Valley National Park, Southern Arizona and Scottsdale to help you decide which is the perfect winter cycling destination for you. Or, if you’re less interested in research and more interested in the ride, we can help you plan a self-guided or guided winter road bike trip to take away the stress of coordinating and planning all the details.