Fat Tonto

A while back, I was hanging on the patio of my neighborhood bar with a bunch of buddies sharing stories of recent adventures. You know, some good old fashioned beer drinking and bullshitting. A few of the guys are kayakers and were telling me about some of their latest runs in places I have never been. Awesome tales of wild horses, interesting rock formations, river otters, and a bunch of other stuff I wouldn’t mind seeing for myself. The only problem is, I don’t do white water. Screw that.

It might have been the whiskey, but I had an idea! Maybe these kayak nut-jobs knew of some cool canyons with sandy bottoms where I could ride my fatbike. Since most creeks in the area can only be run after a hard rain (flood) they are usually pretty dry most of the year. It had been a couple months since the last rain, and everyone at the table started listing off places faster than I could write them on my bar napkin. My buddy Jeff recommended that I go to Tonto Creek first. He hopped on his phone to check the flow rate and said there was little to no water at the gauge. So I went.

About 45 minutes out of town, I turned on to a dirt road and found a place to stash my truck. Jeff’s directions were simple:

Ride up the dirt road until you see a bridge. Hop the fence and ride down stream until you hit civilization.

Easy enough, and that’s exactly what I did. The first few miles were sandy and dry river bottom. There was some boulder hopping, then some cliff shimmying, all capped off with a little cold water swimming. I also learned that my fatbike can be used as a floatation device. It was a long day and ended up being a bit of a death march. But I got to see some places I normally wouldn’t otherwise.

I had a GoPro on most of the day and I made a little video of the misadventure. I am not a fan of all helmet cam videos so I kept it under 2 minutes for you. It’s just a little taste of what the scenery was like.




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About dirty biker

I am a fan of singletrack, singlespeeds and single malt. Currently in Asheville, NC

10 thoughts on “Fat Tonto

  1. Nice. Now you got me yearnin’ for the San Rafael Swell come May.

    But first I gotta pop over to Lookout Pass, Jackson Hole and Sun Valley. Winter’s so short!!

  2. I’m gonna be in Prescott for about 3 months for work starting around the beginning of April. Not sure if I will be able to but going to try to drive my car out so I can bring road, cycolocross, mountain bike, and camping gear. Would like some local information about sweet trails and must do’s while I’m there, and also would love to ride/drink with you guys. I’ve been repping the DC kit at some races in TX. Hopefully we can kick it.

  3. @Dirty Mike – you are in for a treat! April is when the Whiskey Offroad happens in Prescott. Hit us up on the facebook page when you get to town…

  4. Yea I know, I’m gonna try and reg for SS when I get the 100% that I will be out there during that time. Looking forward to getting the fuck out of Canada into the SW!

  5. As I am drinking a shorts brewery sample 12 and reading this report, I am glad to see that Michigan is representing out west still. That 616 is a really nice looking ride, and it looks like it WILL do anything. Thanks for sharing the ride!