Casner Mountain trail. Clarkdale to Williams, Az
Tom, Kim & i met in Clarkdale at 9am. We followed the verde river for a while, then took sycamore pass up to the powerline road at the base of Casner mountain. The powerline road is Casner Mtn trail. It goes between 2 wilderness areas. It is open to hikers, bicycles, horses & motorcycles! No 4x4 jeeps, etc.
The riders.. Scotty, Kim, Tom.
If you watch the video clips, you might as well mute the sound. All you'll get is motor & wind noise.. a few words might get through every now & then, but on this ride, they should probably be muted too! I tried to see if i could get some audio to come through in some slower, quieter parts, but it didn't do very well.. there is a mod i can do on my helmet cam to bring a tiny microphone to the inside of my helmet.. but then i'd be yakking all the time & miss a turn or go over a cliff.. probably better to just have the video. A helmet cam is worse than a cell phone..
Also, if you have a fast connection, you can click on the 'HD' button at the bottom of the video. You'll get to see it in full hd resolution! I try to keep them around 2 minutes, but a couple are longer. The stills are still the best!
The road up sycamore pass.
This is open range.. we found the local hangout for the natives. Some of them were pretty well armed.. don't mess with them! I rode through very slowly.
The Mountain.. Casner mountain. Our climb for the day. We'll start at about 3k ft, & go up to about 8k.
If you look closely, you can see the swath cut up the mountain for the powerlines, & the switchbacks.
Heading toward the trail.. we come to the gate which keeps 4 wheeled vehicles out, but allows our dainty little motorcycles!
Beginning the climb..
Part way up.. this is a steep hill.. where i am now is where the switchbacks start. Look how far we've climbed already!
The climb was pretty long.. i broke the video up so it wouldn't be so boring, & so anyone can just watch part if they want. This is part 2 of the climb.
Stopping at another switchback for a photo opp. The turns were pretty gnarly.. you had to slow a lot coming into the turns, & the surface was pretty loose, but it was still very steep. I think had i been on my drz i would have dumped it a couple of times on this hill.
Sedona red rocks in the distance.. The forest service was doing a prescribed burn & there was a lot of distant haze.. later we would get right into the smoke.
..and of course, part 3. The last section had the toughest parts.. the steps were bigger, the rocks were looser, & the turns tighter.. it might have been steeper, too.
Up on the first mesa. We thought we'd reach the top & it would be mostly level.. but the road went up & down.. steep both ways. We were still between the wilderness areas & not on a real road.
Up & down on Casner mt. Ridge roads, steep drops. I've put this & a couple of other in HD.. i think you can change it to standard def so it loads faster. I'm still figuring out how these embedded videos play.
On the ups & downs, we went along a ridge that fell off both sides..
This side was to the west & sycamore canyon.
Here's Tom flying by with a view to the east side of the ridge.
More along the Casner ridges..
Too bad the smoke made the more distant shots hazy.. you could have seen all the way to bell rock in sedona.
Once we got past the ridge, we started another steep, rocky climb. We thought it couldn't get worse than the first part we went up, but we were wrong! The boulders were bigger, the steps were higher, & the loose rock was deeper. But once we got on top, we were rewarded with some fantastic views.. this was the view of sycamore canyon to the southwest.
Kim gets tired of me always taking pictures, so he wrestled my camera away & took one with me in it.. You could bring your own camera, Kim..
Climbs & rocks.. & through the north gate. We also start getting into a lot more pines in this section.
We went up & down a few more times, but the terrain got easier. Then we got into some burned sections.. we were planning on going up here earlier this summer, but the fire made us change to another ride. It was pretty burned up.. lots of fallen trees, & cleared sections to protect the powerlines.
Into the pines..
Remnants from the fire last summer..
Now we got out of the pines, the fire, the powerlines, & into the open meadow of Garland Prairie. We were able to open it up on this graded gravel road.. don't look at my speedo..
Finally we made it to our primary destination.. Lunch!! The is the old 'Route 66 cafe'. It's ok.. kinda pricey.. but the food was fine. Here you can also see all our trusty steeds lined up: Tom & I on wr250r/x, Kim on klx250. We've all changed recently from a bigger bore bike, & don't see any reason to go back. The 250's took all we could throw at them, & on this ride, we gave them a workout!
On the road back.. old perkinsville road.
This road connects to perkinsville road.. it gets pretty gnarly..
The old perkinsville road has some pretty rough sections in it. It was all downhill, but some of the steps were pretty high, & there were still a lot of rocks. We didn't really get a break from what we had in the morning.
Vids on the rocks..
But we finally cleared all the downhill rocky stuff, & were in chaparral.. lots of junipers, pinons, & high desert flora. This is near the bridge over sycamore creek. The cottonwood trees along the river are changing colors.
The road to jerome..
Crossing the bridge.. the road is graded from here on..
Tom ran into some road construction between jerome & prescott, so he wanted to take another route back home. Kim & i were heading toward sedona, so wouldn't have to deal with the stoppage. I will let him describe in gruesome detail all he encountered on the trail.
One last shot looking back from where we'd come..
I had over 170miles on my gps when we got back. Kim said this was the roughest ride he'd been on since Martin Canyon, which was a lot shorter, just bigger boulders. The sun was pretty much gone when we got back to Sedona.. it would be past dark by the time Tom got home..
I'll definitely want to do this one every year.. maybe incorporate it into the grand canyon ride in early summer.
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