This section begins in the seaside city of Santa Monica, starting from the pier, to Flagstaff the end of this amazing section. Highlights: Pacific Coast, Joshua Tree National Park, Sedona amd Coconino National Forest.
This section begins in the seaside city of Santa Monica, starting from the pier that marks the end of another great American Road Trip, Route 66. The route heads inland, passing through the upscale Beverly Hills neighbourhood, before leaving the city behind. The cyclists then begin the challenging climb up though the scenic Angeles National Forest before venturing out into the arid Mojave Desert, the driest in North America. The riders will pedal south past stands of Cholla cacti and its nasty barbed spines before pulling into the city of Twentynine Palms for a rest day. Here they can explore the nearby Joshua Tree National Park, known for its namesake twisted trees, stunning rock formations and challenging hiking trails.
The cyclists now head east through the Sheephole Valley Wilderness, keeping an eye out for rattlesnakes and roadrunners (and maybe Wiley Coyote), before crossing the legendary Colorado River into Arizona. The route continues over the Cactus Plain to Salome, nestled between the Harcuvar and Harquahala Mountains, before climbing some 3,000 m up through forests of ponderosa pines to the historic town of Prescott where the riders can reward themselves with a cold beverage in one of its famous saloons. Cyclists now spin downhill, past boutique vineyards and on into Sedona and its unforgettable buttes and mesas, a mesmerizing mixture of reds, oranges and browns. Finally they pedal through the Coconino National Forest to Flagstaff and the end of this amazing section.