Quick Guide to Trails in the Falls Creek Area in Durango, Colorado

We’ve outlined some of our favorite hiking trails in the Falls Creek area to make it easier for you to pick a trail that’s right for you!

Hiking In Sedona: What You Should Know

To get you prepped for your hike in Sedona, we’ve compiled advice into a detailed guide on what to expect when going for a hike in Sedona.

Snowshoeing in Durango: Our 7 Favorite Trails

Snowshoeing in Durango, Colorado this season? Here’s a few of our favorite snowshoeing trails for your next Microadventure in Durango!

Our 10 Favorite Places to Hike in Tucson, AZ

As you’re planning you Tucson, Arizona trip, here are our 10 favorite places to hike with trails around Tucson.

Snowshoeing in Boulder: Our 7 Favorite Trails

Snowshoeing in Boulder, CO this Winter? We’ve compiled a list of our favorite snowshoeing trails to explore in and around the Boulder area.

5 Best Portable Induction Cookers For RVs and Vans

To aid you in your next Microdventure, we have compiled a list of the 5 best portable Induction Cookers for your RV or van.

Our 10 Favorite Family-Friendly Hikes in the Grand Canyon

If you’re considering hiking with your family in the Grand Canyon, here are our 10 favorite family-friendly hiking trails.

What is Car Camping?

Trying to figure out what car camping is and why so many people are doing it? Here we define car camping for you in a simple way.

Car Camping Packing List for Your Microadventure

To aid in getting you set for your next car camping trip, here’s a list of essential and luxury things to pack.

Payson, AZ Free Dispersed Camping Areas

In order to help you narrow down where to camp, here’s a list of our favorite free, dispersed camping spots and areas around Payson, Arizona.

Flagstaff Free Dispersed Camping Map

To help make a decision on where to camp around Flagstaff, AZ, here’s a map of our favorite free, dispersed camping areas and spots.

Our 10 Favorite Hiking Trails in Flagstaff

Looking to go hiking in Flagstaff? Here’s a brief list of our favorite hikes and hiking trails in Flagstaff, Arizona.

A Guide to Camping in Sedona

The famous Red Rock Country city that is Sedona, Arizona. For those who haven’t visited, Sedona is a mecca for Microadventures. With miles of hiking and biking trails, climbing, and towering red sandstone views, you could spend a lifetime exploring Sedona and not see...

Sedona Free Dispersed Camping and Campgrounds Map

Trying to figure out where to camp around Sedona, AZ? We built a map of our favorite established campgrounds and dispersed camping areas.

Our 10 Favorite Hiking Trails in Sedona

With over 200 miles of trails, there’s a lot to choose from in Sedona, Arizona! Here’s a brief list of our favorite hikes in Sedona.

McDowell Mountain Regional Park: A Personal Story

Thunderstorms, Snakes, Tarantulas, and Mountain Biking

Dodging another Arizona monsoon, rattlesnakes, and tarantulas while mountain biking in McDowell Mountain Regional Park outside of Phoenix, Arizona. After a few weekends of dodging a bear, snakes, and lightning storms, I figured I’d head to Phoenix for a nice weekend of mountain biking…and the storms decided to follow me there!

Arriving at the campsite in McDowell Mountain Regional Park on Friday, I spent most of the afternoon casually biking around some of the easier trails and relaxing by camp. As far as I could tell, I was the only person in the park. Later in the evening while sitting around camp, I realized that I had plenty of light from the moon and the two headlamps I had on my bike. I finished up dinner and prepared for my night ride. As I started pumping up the tires, a summer monsoon started rolling in a few miles to the north. The storm was clearly moving away from camp and away from the area that I had picked to do my night ride – or at least I thought. Before long I was out on the trail.

I knew from the minute I hopped on the single-track trail that I would experience some nocturnal desert life, but I had no idea I would see that much on the trail. Every 100 feet or so would be a tarantula the size of my fist, a rattlesnake, or a desert mouse, or all three. I had one bike light focused straight ahead, acting as a pseudo “high beam” while the other was pointed down at the distance immediately in front of the tire. The “high beam” was pointing too far away to me to make out any desert critters, while the “low beam” light only let me see the critters that were within a few feet of my front tire. As a result, I could not see the critters until moments from hitting them and I shrieked every time my “low beam” light landed on something scurrying away from the bike in the night air.

During the ride, I was keeping an eye on the storm to the north which seemed to be moving away from the area I was riding. When I arrived at the spot that I was supposed to turn around and head back to camp, I looked back at the storm and noticed that it had shifted course and was heading straight at me. With over three miles back to camp with a monsoon thunderstorm in my way, things were looking grim.

With no shelter and my metal mountain bike serving as the perfect lightning rod, I had no choice but to power through the storm and ride back as fast as possible. I’ve never ridden faster in my entire life. The critters that had been on the trail previously had vanished- leaving me an open trail to carve. Lightning was striking all around me- it was a miracle I wasn’t struck multiple times. To add insult to injury, on a very sharp curve, a six-foot rattlesnake was crossing the entire trail. To avoid running it over, I did a skidding stop and lost control of the bike, tumbling over. When I recollected myself, the snake had curled up ready to strike just a few feet away from my head. Think of the scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark for reference. Making matters worse, my feet were locked in my clipped petals. Finally freeing myself from my petals, I slowly backed away from the snake and continued on my journey, without having to think about where the closest hospital was to me to treat a snake bite.

After a few miles and praying to the lightning gods to spare my life, I made it back to camp. My tent set-up was clearly not going to survive the night with more monsoons on the radar. I packed up the site and left for the covered camp host’s spot that would provide me enough shelter for the rest of the night.

The rest of the weekend was fairly uneventful. I made a promise to myself to avoid all further thunderstorms for the rest of my career in Microadventures. And so far, I’ve kept to that promise!

Nick The Rambling Man

Nick The Rambling Man

Nick is the owner and regular content writer for Southwest Microadventures. When he’s not writing, you can find him rock climbing, peak bagging, mountain biking, backpacking, or drinking strong coffee.




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