Arizona motorcycle trips can be an exciting journey to see new sights as well as revisit some favorite destinations. Whether you are new to experiencing motorcycle trips in Arizona, or you’re an established rider looking for some new routes to explore, consider this list of some of the best motorcycle rides in Arizona.

1. Coronado Trail Scenic Road

Distance: 118 miles
Time to Ride: Half Day

If exploration of diverse landscapes, from forests and mountains to canyons and desert terrain is what you want to experience, the Coronado Trail has all that and more. Paralleling the New Mexico border, the route promises plenty of twists, turns, elevations, multiple hairpin turns, and bike-hugging cliffs that will keep you focused on the road ahead. The towns of Clifton and Edgar are generally the start and end points and are connected by Route 191. The route is full of scenic vistas, such as Escudilla Mountain, the White Mountains, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, and an open-pit copper mine. You’ll pass through canyons, pine and aspen forests, and meadows, so be aware of local wildlife. Bring your camera as there are many lookout points with breathtaking views along the way. Be prepared for a challenging ride and stay focused as this ride, while beautiful, can be dangerous.

2. AZ-188 to Mesa

Distance: 188 miles
Time To Ride: Half Day

If miles of straightaway enhanced by open vistas spark your interest, AZ-188 offers one of the best motorcycle trips Arizona has to offer. Near Phoenix, take on the challenge of route 188 and route 60. Ride with ease through the towering forest of Tonto National Forest, enjoy views of the sparkling waters of Theodore Roosevelt Lake, and take in the mountain views. Along the way, the roads keep you interested with plenty of climbs, descents, twists, curves, and flat-out straightaways for cruising. Extend the ride, and access AZ-87, aka the Beeline Highway, to get you back to the Mesa and Phoenix area.

3. Cottonwood Canyon Run

Distance: 120 miles
Time To Ride: Half Day

Go from a desert landscape to pine forests when traversing the Cottonwood Canyon Run. Two popular starting points are Wickenburg and Prescott, with the route ending in Cottonwood. The scenic ride has plenty of twists and steep climbs along smooth surfaces. The route winds its way through the 1.25 million-acre Prescott National Forest, featuring 100,000 acres of wilderness. The forest offers a nice break to take a hike along 950 miles of trail, rock climb, go birdwatching, observe wildlife, and just enjoy nature. Bring your camping gear and plan an overnight stay at the campground, or stop in one of the towns along the way and pick up some food and beverages for a picnic in the forest.

4. Catalina Highway (Sky Island)

Distance: 29 miles (each way)
Time To Ride: 1-2 hours

While this ride may be a relatively short excursion, be prepared for extreme elevations as you make your way into the Santa Catalina Mountain Range and then continue on to the top of Mt. Lemmon. Changes in elevation go from 2800-feet to nearly 10,000-feet and are well worth it. The highway is considered one of the best for pure scenic beauty as it provides an ongoing palette of colorful scenery that includes forests, valleys, rocky outcrops, and canyons along a well-maintained paved road with a nice variety of curves. Near the top of Mt. Lemmon, at an elevation of 8,200-feet, you’ll have access to several small restaurants.

5. Lake Mary Rd from Flagstaff to Payson

Distance: 85 miles
Time To Ride: 2-3 hours

Sit back and enjoy a cruise alongside Lake Mary through tall pine canopies and a smooth two-lane highway surface with gently sweeping curves. Relaxing is a good way to describe the route as you head to Coconino National Forest. As the highway heads out of the forest, expect sharp curves as you head down the mountain. Towns you will encounter along the route include Pine, Strawberry, and Payson for food, fuel, and beverages. Once you reach Payson, you can continue your journey to new destinations as you head toward Phoenix. If you travel the route at night, be aware of local wildlife that frequently crosses the road.

6. Old Route 66 South of Kingman

Distance: 85 miles
Time To Ride: 1-2 hours

Route 66 is a historic highway that runs from coast to coast from Santa Monica, California to Chicago, Illinois. A portion of the original makes its way through Arizona. This part of old Route 66 takes bikers on a ride through the past with lots of tight turns and twists through the Black Mountains. Scenic views, interesting rock formations, and views of three states – Arizona, Nevada, and California – will keep you visually engaged. Route 66 is interesting, entertaining, and educational, as you’ll have access to a ghost town, a vintage gas station, and access to Oatman, which has the former Oatman Hotel where actor Clark Gable spent his honeymoon. The hotel has been converted into a museum. Near Oatman is the Fort Mojave Reservation, and about an hour away, continue your exploration with a visit to Lake Havasu City, where you will see the original London Bridge built in the 1830s. The bridge was purchased in 1968 by Robert P. McCulloch from the City of London, transported to Lake Havasu City, and reconstructed.

7. Bagdad to Prescott

Distance: 66 miles
Time To Ride: 1-2 hours

Begin your travel adventure in Bagdad and end it in Prescott. In between the two towns, the road is in good condition, allowing motorcyclists to take their time to look at old volcanic and granite rock formations set amid the hilly terrain. The route also allows motorcyclists to experience a diverse landscape featuring shallow canyons, sharp drop-offs, gradual inclines, canyon walls, desert terrain, and forested areas. You can fuel yourself and your bike in Bagdad before heading out to Kirkland and Skull valley before reaching the final destination of Prescott.

8. Bartlett Lake

Distance: 24 miles
Time To Ride: 1 hour

Short but sweet, the ride on the well-maintained roadways of Bartlett Dam Road and North Cave Creek Road is a treasure trove of fun and relaxation. About 30 miles from Phoenix, riders may choose to begin in Cave Creek, where they can grab some food or snacks before heading out of town toward Bartlett Lake with the imposing Superstition Mountains providing impressive views in the background. You’ll navigate the desert-type terrain that provides rolling hills, twisty turns, and climbing high to an elevation of 3,200-feet. The ride may take less than an hour, but also provides a memorable experience taking in the natural beauty and culture of Arizona’s East Valley region.

For motorcycle trips Arizona style, riders can expect miles of colorful landscape, twisty highways, gentle curves, and challenging terrain. All these factors combined mean each trip will be one to remember.