Riding in Florence
By Mike Hoppe
A few years ago I picked up a 4x4 Trails book of Arizona as I was looking for GS roads to explore. Having done a lot of Mountain biking in Chiva falls, I used that as my reference/gauge for their degree of difficulty rating systemůa lot of the stuff up by Florence was rated extreme and more difficult than Chiva. At that point my adventures were limited to GS type stuff, both by equipment and skill. Last year I started riding Chiva on my dirt bike (XR650R) pretty regularly and getting more comfortable with more difficult terrain and the Florence trails have been back on the radar ever since. Finally got up there last Friday to start exploring...
Without a doubt some of the most scenic riding in Southern AZ. The rock formations and canyons north of the Gila River that we would see just north of us riding the Cochran Rd/Coke Ovens area are even more spectacular when you are in them. For those of you who have done the Manson Cabin trail in Death Valley, the riding is amazingly similarůmiles of VERY narrow canyon riding, coarse gravel (minimal sand), radical elevation changes, and lots of exposed rock surfaces make for technically challenging trails thru great scenery.
There will be multiple excursions planned over the next couple months to get back up and do more of this! I rode about 50 miles of what appears to be at least 250 miles of options.!