Self-Guided Scottsdale Road Biking

Cycle through Scottsdale and the Sonoran Desert

TripAdvisor Certificate of ExcellenceWith over 300 days of sunshine and incredible scenery, Scottsdale is perfect for exhilarating road cycling, including long scenic rides and challenging climbs to beautiful desert views. This cycling trip through the Sonoran Desert around Scottsdale and Cave Creek, Arizona, is tailored to each traveler and incorporates the best cycling routes in the area, offering daily lengths from 28-68+ miles.

Available November 1 – April 15.

Why travel with AOA?: Find out more

Price: from $749 pp

Activity: Road Biking

5 days, 4 nights

Difficulty: Moderate to Advanced

book now!


Self-Guided Scottsdale Road Biking

Trip Details


$819 pp with 2 participants

$799 pp with 4 participants

$749 pp with 6 or more participants

  • We cannot accommodate solo travelers on self-guided trips.
  • Price is per person, shared occupancy in all accommodations.*
  • Prices are based on your trip starting on Sunday. Possible increased costs for trips that start on other days of the week.

*Find out more about solo accommodations under the “Upgrades & Additions” tab below.



Choose a road bike from our top-notch rental fleet, let us know your pedal requirements and the type of rides you are looking for and we will help tailor the trip to you. This self-guided road bike trip is perfect for the casual road biker, the visiting triathlete looking for winter miles, or the avid cyclist. Available November 1 – April 15.


Trip Rating (1 – 5)

Fitness – 3.5

Comfort – 4.5

Solitude – 3

Click here for an explanation of AOA’s trip ratings.


Where to Meet

START: Day 1 Meet at AOA office at 12:00pm for orientation.

END: Day 5, Afternoon – finish back at AOA office.

GUESTS: 2 min (no single travelers)



  • Luggage transfers Day 1 and 5
  • Personal orientation on Day 1 with expert staff to go over your route book, bike set up and cover the days ahead
  • 4 nights lodging at CIVANA Carefree – double occupancy, breakfast daily (lunch and dinner on own)
  • Gloves, helmet, clipless pedals upon request, available with bike rental
  • Detailed route book with maps, cue sheets, suggestions for stops, water, restaurants and more
  • Garmin Touring GPS
  • Telephone support throughout the trip.

Not Included

  • Bike and helmet (available to rent from AOA)
  • Bike shipping/building/packing/tuning*
  • Personal insurance and expenses
  • Air transportation to and from Phoenix/Scottsdale
  • Airport or hotel transfers to AOA
  • Optional gratuities to AOA staff.

*Please see the “Upgrades & Additions” tab below for a list of available gear rentals and purchase options.*


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When’s the best time to go on this trip?

A: This trip is available from November 1- April 15. The best time is in March for spring flowers and longer days, and the most difficult period is during the holidays due to limited lodging space, shorter days and colder weather.

Q: What is self-guided? Why should I plan my self-guided cycling trip with AOA?

A: Self guided travel is a growing trend due to the flexibility to start and the extraordinary price. It offers support and independence, and customers don’t have to do any work to put it together!

  • You travel on the dates that work best for you and your group
  • You travel with your own small group
  • Your route is meticulously planned by our experienced staff
  • All your lodging is taken care of, and you have a choice of hotel options to fit your budget
  • All your luggage transfers are included
  • You have access to local support and emergency services twenty four hours a day

Q: What are the rides like and how do I train for the trip?

A: This tour is 100% road riding, challenging and meant for stronger road cyclists looking to have long days in the saddle to maintain fitness and beautiful Arizona winter and spring weather. This is not a touristic trip visit with cultural sites along the rides. The trip is rated level 4 out of 5-‘challenging’ but not extreme. Options for shorter and longer rides are available to accommodate the cyclist.

Q: What sort of accommodations are included on this trip?

A: This is a resort-based trip with accommodations included at CIVANA Carefree. Upgrades to Boulders Resort & Spa are available (see the “Upgrades & Additions” tab below).

Upgrades  & Additions

Solo Accommodations Upgrade

$359 pp 

No solo travelers, this option is for a single room while traveling with your group.


Accommodations Upgrade to the Boulders Resort

PRICE – $1699 pp with 2 participants

PRICE – $1599 ppwith 4 participants

PRICE – $1579 pp with 6 participants

Solo Accommodations Upgrade (Boulders): $1085

No solo travelers, this option is for a single room while traveling with your group.


Gear Rental

  • Bike rental is available through AOA. See the Bike Rentals tab below.


Optional Additions 

  • Bike building/packing/tuning ($125) when you ship to AOA – Find out more


Optional upgrades, additions, and rentals subject to tax (7.95%).

Trip Dates


2017 Trips

Available November 1 – April 15.

How to reserve your self-guided trip:

One of the benefits of going self-guided is that your travel dates are dependent only on you. We are able to offer this trip at your convenience during the specified season. Please discuss your preferred travel dates with our staff upon inquiry.

To see all of AOA’s multi-day trips, visit our Adventure Tour Calendar.

Bike Rental

Bike Rental Options

This trip does not include a rental bike. AOA offers rental road bikes in various performance levels. Each road bike rental includes a helmet and flat repair kit, and can be set up to your basic fit requirements. You are welcome to bring your own pedals and saddle to use with our rental bikes.

Optional upgrades, additions, and rentals subject to tax (7.95%).

Reservation & Cancellation Policy

Reservations, Payments and Cancellation

AOA’s cycling trips are very popular and advanced planning is often necessary. We recommend making your reservations at least 3 to 5 months in advance. We can accommodate last-minute bookings provided space is available, so please call our office to check.

We strongly recommend that you purchase “travel insurance.” This is a valuable tool that will protect your trip investment.

For more details please see our comprehensive Trip Policies and Payments page.


Trip Itinerary


12:00pm, Upon arrival at the AOA/Pure Adventures rental and tour center in Scottsdale, one of our experts will review your Route Book and resort reservations in detail. After getting to know you and the cycling tour you are looking for, they may suggest customized rides or activities to enhance your week. AOA will then provide a brief bike setup and collect your luggage (changing room available) before you set off on a classic local’s ride to the charming town of Carefree, AZ. When you arrive at your resort you will find your luggage waiting for you at the bell stand. Enjoy your first night relaxing, watching a phenomenal Arizona sunset over dinner on the hotel’s patio or at one of AOA’s restaurant recommendations.

  • Cycling: 28 miles (Standard Route Distance), 1,600+ ft elevation gain
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner on your own
  • Lodging: CIVANA Carefree


Get ready for one of the most beautiful and most challenging rides of the program. This ride takes you northeast into the wild Sonoran Desert to destination you may not expect: a lake! In a few brief pedal strokes, you will find yourself away from the sounds of civilization, ascending over a cactus-laden hill into a wide ravine shadowed by towering giant saguaros. Watch out for Whiptail Lizards scampering off the roadside as you negotiate the high speed descents. What goes down, must come… ready to tackle a few climbs. Once you arrive at Bartlett Lake, head to Rattlesnake Cove for a refreshing swim or simply refuel at the Marina shop. If you are still craving a challenge, not a problem! Today is a great day to extend your ride and AOA knows all of the nearby extended route options. Don’t burn all of your energy though, because tonight is a great opportunity to let loose with the cowboys in nearby Cave Creek.

  • Cycling: 42 miles (Standard Route Distance); 4,200+ ft elevation gain
  • Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own
  • Lodging: CIVANA Carefree


There are two options available for today.

Option 1: For those seeking a longer, more challenging day, head out “around the mountain” on a 67-mile route with 3,300 feet of elevation gain. This route will go around the McDowell Mountains through Fountain Hills offering an amazing view over Four Peaks Wilderness area, the Verde River Valley, including a nice 9 mile downhill section to give you a break.

Option 2: For those seeking something short and sweet, we recommend riding to the Toms Thumb Trailhead and back to your resort. Closer to 30 miles round trip, this option allows for a section of hiking, too, if you want to bring along hiking shoes in a backpack. The Toms Thumb trail is a spectacular hike high above the Phoenix metro area which offers views in all directions for many miles.

For the afternoon, save time for spa services or soaking in the pools back at the resort!

  • Cycling: 30-67 miles; 1,600+ ft elevation gain
  • Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own
  • Lodging: CIVANA Carefree


Today you will head westward to ride some sections that are popular with the local roadies along with older, classic routes. Today is all about the miles. During the ride you will see some of the suburban and rural coming together as the city encroaches on the rural ranches and former homesteads of this wild west region. Nearby Cave Creek is a combination of town and country, biker and cowboy and many artists- the ambiance eclectic and unique. We can add or subtract miles to today’s ride, according to your goals.

  • Cycling: 58 miles (Standard Route Distance); 2,000+ ft elevation gain
  • Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own
  • Lodging: CIVANA Carefree


Today is departure day! We include a luggage transfer back to our offices so you can get one last ride in before departing. The ride is mostly downhill into Scottsdale, but we mix in a few climbs and opportunities to enjoy the Sonoran Desert scenery along the way. Upon arrival back at the AOA/Pure Adventures rental and tour center you may change clothes and gather your things for departure.

  • Cycling: 37 miles (Standard Route Distance); 1500+ ft elevation gain
  • Meals: Breakfast included, lunch and dinner on your own
  • Lodging: On your own


Tips for Planning A Road Biking Trip

If you’ve never experienced road biking in Phoenix, you’re missing out! Here are four reasons you should plan a road bike trip to Phoenix.

Before you rent or ride a bike, you might want to know what size you are. Here’s a blog on finding out your best bike fit.

Any plans for a road biking trip this spring? We have advice for where (and why) you should go and how to plan your spring road biking trip.