City Escapes:  Chandler,  Arizona

Text: Tim Kessel • Photography: Tim Kessel

Massive stands of saguaro cacti and panoramic vistas highlight this southern Arizona escape from the bustle of the ever-growing Chandler-Mesa metro area. The ride includes a stopover in a remote desert town that is undergoing a creative rejuvenation and a ride through a magnificent national monument. Because of the extreme summer heat in southern Arizona, this is a three-season ride from fall through spring. Views that extend for miles are the rule on this route. However, it’s not just about desert and the stately cacti. There are significant mountain ranges flanking most of the miles.

There is some heavy traffic in the Chandler metro area. Once free of the urban sprawl, the traffic becomes exceptionally light. Be prepared for sweeping corner sections and long straights on this ride. There are no technical corners. The pavement is smooth and well maintained. However, you may encounter debris in the washes, and sand encroachment especially on road shoulders. RR

Lunch Stop

Agave Grille is a great stop for a wrap, sandwich, or burger. I recommend the Power Outage Burger, which is a spicy treat. Find it at 1051 Solana Ave, Ajo, AZ.