April 20, 2019

Arnett Canyon Loop

I've been meaning to head back over to Picketpost to ride the portion of the new Arnett Canyon Trail that Shannon, Beto and I missed on our Superior Adventure. This seemed like a perfect opportunity, since I was headed there anyway to drop off some AZT300 rider gear for their finish. It just so happened the the 300 winner, Huw Oliver, had just wrapped up an incredible rookie run at just over 2 days!! Kurt & Kaitlyn were there to greet him and it was fun catching up before I headed out.
Arnett Canyon trail splits off the AZT barely 0.2 miles south of the trailhead and slaps you in the face with stunning rock formations.

Picketpost Mtn. from a different perspective.

I was surprised to find Arnett Creek still flowing.

Although portions were bone dry above ground.

Desert rivers/creeks are notorious for their disappearing acts.

I love that there is so much shade along the trail.

This fella didn't want to give up his grazing turf.

This is where we ventured off last time, today, I'd veer left.
Riding away from the creek, the size of the cliffs are on full display.

Mining claim.

The trail meanders up a series of bench-cut rock shelves.

Not quite the top, but an impressive overlook.

Picketpost Mtn. taking familiar form.

The trail is routed magnificently through the rock maze.

At the top, take the dirt road down to the left.
I was expecting to see a few more signs directing the way, but nada. I poked around a bit, there's a yellow gate at the top, but an old No Trespassing sign shot to pieces on it. It also appeared there was another trail skirting off to the right. I knew the route needed to head towards the old L.O.S.T. routing, so I opted to head down the dirt road.
Apache Leap stands guard over Superior.

I almost missed this turn, careful with your speed as you near the trees!! Look for a trail cutting back, down under the canopy.

Looking down the connector trail.
I heard some people talking below. I dropped in and found myself practically in their camp. I hopped over the flowing Queen Creek and made my way through the various campsites.
Land of the L.O.S.T.

Great place for a quick getaway.

There were a few large groups setup, but nary a person.

Coming out of the trees, the route follows a series of dirt roads towards town.

The L.O.S.T. is an official AZT connector trail.
Soon enough I was back on singletrack. Well, the remnants of singletrack.
The trail has been taken back by Mother Nature due to lack of use in recent years. The US60 widening project essentially closed the trail a few years ago. Hopefully, with the opening of the Arnett Canyon trail, it'll come back to life. Good thing there are still plenty of carsonite posts guiding the way.

Not much trail to find here. Follow the signs.

The trail eventually ends at the Superior airstrip. I crossed US60 to make a loop back to Picketpost via Silver King Rd./FR8/FR650/AZT.

Nice dirt road cruising.

How quickly Picketpost appears distant.

Hedgehog cactus on full display.

Vintage trail marker signals my entry to the AZT.

I've taken this same shot a few times this spring. Each one dramatically different. The water is shrinking.

Sweet bit of trail leading down to the US60 culvert.

Done. Love these signs along the trail.
This was a really nice, short loop. I imagine it could be done even in warm weather if started early. Superior is beginning to put themselves on the mountain biking radar. There's an entire trail system planned on the east side of Picketpost and Arnett Canyon will link right to it.


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