Arcosanti to Cleator Arizona Gravel Loop

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Location:
Arcosanti, Arizona
Date Published:
June 2, 2021
Distance:
36.32
mi
Elevation:
3235
ft
Gravel Ratio:
80% G / 20% P
Difficulty Rating:
⛰⛰⛰
Enjoyability Rating:
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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This route is brought to you by Kasia MichalikShe was born in Poland, has lived in Chicago, then moved to Arizona where she lives now.

Highs:

This route has great elevation and a good amount of mileage on mostly gravel roads.

The whole route is low traffic with exception of the last 5 miles where you are on Highway 69.

With breathtaking views of the Valletta Canyon to the south, spectacular sunsets to the west, and distinctive architecture, Arcosanti is a unique, artsy place to explore, have a meal or stay the night.

Cleater is a "near ghost town" and small community in Yavapai County which has an awesome and quirky bar/general store called the The Cleator Yacht Club. It has a Gilligan's Island feel and is a perfect place to restock supplies or have a mid-ride beer and meet interesting people.

Lows:

The first and last miles from Arcosanti onto the paved road was extremely difficult due to the washboard effect.

There is a rough 2.5 mile extended climb (at about mile 23) with grades up to 10%.

Do this ride if you want to explore Arcosanti, have a beer at the Cleator Yacht Club, experience small Arizona mining communities and push your limits with some great elevation gain.

Other Notes:

You can park at Arcosanti and start the ride from there.

In 1970, The Cosanti Foundation began building The Arcosanti Project, an experimental town in the high desert of Arizona, 70 miles north of metropolitan Phoenix. An ambitious project envisioned as an experiment in living frugally and with a limited environmental footprint, Arcosanti is an attempt at a prototype arcology, integrating the design of architecture with respect to ecology. The Cosanti Foundation operates Arcosanti as a counterpoint to mass consumerism, urban sprawl, unchecked consumption of natural resources, and social isolation.

Arcosanti has rooms available for rent and it is a really cool place to explore. They have an amazing vegan burrito and coffee that I recommend at their cafe. (Most ingredients come from Stern Produce, sourcing locally from farmers growing within a 250-mile radius of AZ with a commitment toward local, organic, sustainable agriculture. Coffee is provided by local independently-owned Firecreek Coffee Co based in Flagstaff, AZ.)

You can refill water at the Yacht Club bar once you reach it, so plan to bring about 3 bottles of water to get you to the half-way point.

There is also a gas station once you are out of the gravel section (around mile 30 near Spring Valley) that you can have a tasty popsicle and refill waters again.

Driving Directions

Route Contributor

Guest: Kasia Michalik

Karisa was born in Poland, moved to Chicago, then  came to hot hot Arizona to study journalism. She has two kids who take up much of her time, but she likes to spend her free time outdoors with friends and family, biking and planning their next  adventures. "I look forward to sharing these adventures with you and I hope you love them and share them too!"

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