What happened, they closed trails?

What Happened?

We are saddened to report that the Red Rock Ranger District has closed many trails to Mountain Biking today.  No need to re-post their announcement.  For those that live here and ride daily and for those that visit this amazing place, this may be the worst day in the history of the developing story of mountain biking in Sedona.  For more that 2 decades the town and the community has enjoyed the expanding possibilities of riding the red rocks.  This closure represents a targeted move to curb that growth and opportunity.  It has economic and community effects that were not researched and are yet to be determined.  The SMBC offers sympathy to those who have a life investment in the mountain biking in this area. Business owners and many others who will directly feel this change.  It seems a shame that in a day where we have our country at it’s most unhealthy state, that our public servants would remove yet another way for people to seek out adventure in the analogue world.  More rules and more reductions in the freedom to enjoy your county’s lands are the result.

What do we do?

Members of SMBC are working now by the FOIA to get any studies that were done and all the possible data that the decision was based on.   Members are also working on the actual metrics of the closure ie.  “what was lost to us.”  We will continue to fight for equal treatment as a viable trail user group.  We will continue to show that we make a positive contribution to the community, the trails and to a healthy lifestyle.  We will continue to seek the truth and expose discrimination, false assumptions, and decisions based on correlation not causation.  We will continue to advocate for equal and fair access to the public lands trail system.  It is time to remember the other great fights against discrimination this country has seen, and to be inspired by that passion and belief in what is right.  Join the club and IMBA and pitch in.  Participate in a way that works for you.  Whatever your expertise is, it may be of great use.

What You Should Know:

Details of the closure are posted on their site.  Despite efforts of our club, the biking community,IMBA and the VVCC, the forest service has taken action.  After a call to the visitor’s center today to do some checking.  We thought it important to let you all know that the fine is up to $300.00 and that they will take your wheels on the trail and leave you to carry your frame out.  You will only get your wheels back when your case is settled or the fines are paid.   You must have a map to understand the specific trails that are closed since those may not be signed in any way making it clear that you could be ticketed.  The links below may help with that.  So take caution and call the ranger if you have questions about where you are and where you can ride your bike.   We will continue to add to this as more information is gathered.


The Sedona Mountain Bike Club has been fighting this closure and feels it discriminates against mountain bikers.  Remember, these trails are still open to other users who will erode and cause ongoing damage to the areas in question.  If you feel this singling out is wrong sign the petition.

Please make comments on this post.  We would love to hear your thoughts?

And of course your should read these:

Areas of Concern Appendix A – Map – Mar 20 2013

Appendix A – Summary – Areas of Resource Concern – Red Rock Trails Assessment – 20 March 2013


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8 Responses to What happened, they closed trails?

  1. JMB says:

    This is what confused us..

    .”What Happened? We are saddened to report that the Red Rock Ranger District has closed many trails to Mountain Biking today.”

    which is from the SMBC post.

  2. don says:

    JMB – There are no less than 4 links to information put out by the Forest Service in this post. The post does not say that all trails in any area are closed. In fact it says that “you must have a map to understand the specific trails that are closed since those may not be signed”, and “call the ranger if you have questions about where you are and where you can ride your bike”. So did you find the post confusing or were the links to the publications that the Forest Service put out confusing? If you could clarify which, and if confused by the actual post, site the portion that let you to believe all the trails in the three areas were closed. Thanks for checking in, and thanks for any clarification you can provide.

  3. JMB says:

    We just spend 4 days riding in Sedona. The night we arrived we googled some trails to ride and came across this website. We read it to mean that all trails in the 3 areas marked on the maps were closed. Later are confusion was cleared up after visiting a local bike shop. This post reads that all trails in the restricted are are closed. It seems to us that the forest service wants to see sustainable trails and it gets out of control when folks start creating their own trails. It was very easy to find the legal trails, but we were also surprised by the number of trails off the main system that were cut. We read the recent article in the paper that clears up the confusion. We hope you all can figure out how to work together, it’s tough fighting for trails when the mtb community is divided.

  4. Guy says:

    Matt – what makes you think we are being uncooperative or irrational? The trails were legal to ride and now they are not. We simply disagree with the decision and would like to see it overturned. That doesn’t make us uncooperative or irrational.

    No one said the entire trail system was closed though it is easy to see how that mistaken impression might come about. If people think the entire system has been closed we need to clear up that misconception.

  5. Matt says:

    You guys are completely blowing this forest order out of proportion. Sedona has one of the finest and largest trail systems anywhere with more coming online into the system. There are people calling the bike shops right now canceling their trips to Sedona because they think the whole system is closed.

    As an IMBA Chapter you guys have a responsibility to cooperate with the land managers and conduct yourselves rationally. This is not it.

  6. KWL says:

    I came down from Canada in February for a week of riding and absolutely loved it in Sedona. I must say that this is disappointing news to hear. One of the things North Vancouver, and other places in BC, has going for it is a mayor on board with mountain biking. I noticed that Rob Adams, on the city website, mentions mountain biking as an activity to partake in in Sedona.

    Maybe if the city of sedona starts feeling downward tourism trends from the mountain bike community that travels to Sedona they will start advocating. Or maybe they already have?

  7. Guy says:

    Wow, I don’t even know where to begin so I’ll start by thanking the author of this post for the considered response.

    I think it is very telling that this announcement comes on the heals of a meeting where the Forest Service had to know what they were about to do the very next day but failed to inform the attendees that the axe was about to fall. How can you deal in good faith with people like that?

    And how is this even enforceable if the restricted trails are not marked? Wouldn’t you think that would be a prerequisite to making an announcement like this?

    Oh, and I guess I should mention that only mountain biking is prohibited which, by inference, would seem to indicate that only mountain biking is responsible for the justifications used by the forest service for the closures — erosion, falcon aeries, archaeological sites, tribal concerns etc. Equestrians and hikers are of no concern in this regard. Just mountain bikers…right.

  8. Gary says:

    This after the planning meeting last night where we were invited to identify where we needed trails and why and the atmosphere was jovial and a sense of relief. Mislead!
    I not posting before closing subjecting any/all to fines that many people would not be aware of. I have felt for a long time that bureaucrats don’t do a decent job of doing things so the actual effected persons have fair notice.

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