Arizona Backcountry Discovery Route®

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6 Days (8 days total)
Dates: May 3 - 8, 2021
Coronado National Monument, AZ
Arizona / Utah Border
Max People : 6

We’ll take one day to ride from Tempe to Miracle Valley, Arizona. We’ll then begin the Arizona BDR® the following day ending six days later at the Utah border. The final day will be spent returning to Tempe.

This tour will traverse a total of 750 miles from the US/Mexico border to the northern Arizona border with Utah. While Arizona is mostly known for it’s deserts, this route covers more green and mountainous areas than most riders imagine. Highlights include the Coronado Monument, Sierra Ancha Cliff Dwellings, Mogollon Rim, Saguaro Cactus Forests, Navajo Nation, Vermillion Cliffs, and more. You’ll have the option of seeing the Grand Canyon in ways most people never see.

Riders can bring their own motorcycles or rent from Emmaus or Arizona Motorcycle Adventures. Shipping of your motorcycle, or an Emmaus Rental, can be arranged by us. 

For more information on the Arizona BDR®, click here


A portion of your ride fee will be donated to two very worthwhile charities. The first charity is Motorcycle Relief Project. MRP takes military veterans with PTSD on Adventure rides giving veterans the opportunity to ride and share stories together. The second charity is the BDR® community itself. Donations to BDR® allows the continuation of route development and promotion.

Itinerary Overview

Riders will meet in Tempe and leave the next day for the start of the BDR® near the Mexican border and overnight at Sierra Vista. We begin the AZBDR® the following day and end at the Utah border. We will return to Tempe the next day riding through Sedona, Jerome and south along historic Route 89A.

Tour Options

Option 1: 

Double Occupancy: $2400

Option 2: 

Single Occupancy: $2950

Option 3:

Camping: $1260

Optional Additions:


Tour Overview

Departure Location

Coronado Monument (Google Map)

End Location

Arizona / Utah border (Google Map)

Departure Date & Time

May 3rd, 2021

kickstands up at 8 AM

End Date & Time

May 8th, 2021

5 PM

Price Includes

  • $100 donation to Motorcycle Relief Project
  • $100 donation to Backcountry Discovery Route®
  • Tour guides
  • Lodging (9 nights)
  • Food (Dinner on the first night)
  • Guides carrying Spot Messenger and Satellite Phone
  • Photo Album

Price Excludes

  • Fuel
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Permits and Entrance Fees

Don't Forget To Bring:

  • Riding Gear
  • Rain Gear
  • Camera
  • Bluetooth Communication (Optional)


Day 1

Meet in Tempe, AZ. Overnight here.

Day 2

Ride to the near start of BDR® Tempe to Sierra Vista (200 Miles)

Day 3 – Section 1

Border to Benson, AZ (114 miles)

The official start of the AZBDR® begins at the Coronado Monument and follows an easy ride along the Mexican border along wide graded dirt roads and then heads north into Coronado National Forest and into Sonoita. We will get fuel, head through Empire Ranch before finishing the section in Benson. There is an easy go around here if you want to avoid the sand section.

Day 4 – Section 2

Benson to Globe, AZ (134 miles)

Starts on smooth easy gravel roads along the San Pedro River and up into Mammoth for fuel and tortillas. Back to dirt as the road travels along the San Pedro River. Head for the town of Winkelman then to Globe riding from dessert up to pine forests along ridges heading towards Pioneer Pass (6,100 feet).

Day 5 – Section 3

Globe to Young, AZ (106 miles)

There is no fuel after leaving Globe until you get to Young. This is one of the longer and more remote sections of the BDR® with limited areas to bailout. The section from Globe to Coon Creek is wide gravel and some pavement. From Coon Creek to Young is one of the more difficult sections of the BDR® long rocky two track. There is an easy alternate track along Highway 288.

Day 6 – Section 4

Young to Winona, AZ (111 miles)

This section begins in dry dessert but ascends into ponderosa pine within the Coconino National Forest. As we climb up the Mogollon Rim we will begin dramatic vistas as we pass over sandstone cliffs and look out over breathtaking canyons. Expect to see wildlife and beautiful lake views with the section ending in Winona.

Day 7 – Section 5

Winona to Cameron, AZ – (125 miles)

We begin the section by riding past the Sunset Crater on hard packed volcanic sand. There is an alternate route which extends out to the rim of the Grand Canyon. The route then doubles back to rejoin the main trail (or continue on Rt 64) into Cameron.

Day 8 – Section 6

Cameron to the Utah Border (153 miles)

The section features riding through Navajo Nation and will require a stop to obtain a pass through the reservation. The section is relatively easy as we ride among the native peoples and their homes. We finish the AZBDR® on a short section of pavement and then graded dirt roads through Vermillion Cliffs National Monument and the Utah Border.

Day 9 – Return to Tempe







What Bike Should I Ride:

Any bike can manage the AZBDR. Smaller dual sport bikes will handle the off road sections best but will be limited during highway miles and the ability to carry gear. Larger Adventure Type motorcycles are well suited for BDRs.

What Type of Tires Should I Use:

At least 50:50 type tires such as Heidenau K60 Scouts or MotoZ Tractionator GPS. But more aggressive tires would be better such as Continental TKC 80s, MotoZ Tractionator Adventure or MotoZ Tractionator Rallz.

How About Gas:

Ideally you should get at least 125 mile range with the longest interval being 139 miles. This should be fine for most ADV bikes but smaller bikes may consider carrying extra fuel such as in a Rotopax. 

How Difficult is the Terrain:

It can vary with the weather as recent rains can drastically increase the difficulty. Snows are usually not a problem from May through October but can be an issue later in the season and early spring. The high heat levels in the southern part of the route make doing the AZBDR in July through August very difficult. 

What About Carrying Luggage:

The options are using hard panniers or soft bags. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Hard cases offer security and protection of valuable equipment such as cameras. But a fall risks getting a leg trapped under a case and a hard impact can be transferred to the sub frame and damage it. Soft bags are not as secure but have a reduced risk of injury or damage to the bike. Personally, I have tried both and use soft luggage (Mosko Moto 35L Expedition bags) now. 

Is Camping an Option:

It is. There are places to camp on the route but for the tour we will be staying at hotels along the way. 

Terms and Conditions


Submitting a registration form does not confirm availability nor participation on a tour
Emmaus MotoTours requires a 30% USD non-refundable deposit at time of booking.

Motorcycle rental within a guided motorcycle tour

Rider is also subject to the the terms and conditions of any motorcycle rental company when purchasing a tour that includes motorcycle rental.

Cancellation Policy

If a tour is canceled by Emmaus MotoTours ahead of departure because of lack of participation all deposits and balance payments are 100% transferable and refundable.

Cancellations initiated by the participant received in writing to [email protected] with more than 30 days notice before tour start date will receive their 30% USD deposit in full.

Cancellations initiated by the participant received in writing to [email protected] with 30 or less days notice before the tour start date will forfeit their deposit and any balance payments as a cancellation fee.

Emmaus MotoTours reserves the right to cancel a participants tour during the tour if the participant is disruptive or putting themselves or others in harms way. No refund or credit will be issued.

Liability Release Form

To download our liability release form, click here.