Fat Tonto

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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, single women and single malt. Currently in Carbondale, CO Follow on Instagram @dirty_biker

10 Replies to “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!