McDowell Mountain Park

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13
miles

Intermediate

Singletrack
↑ 9,100 ft
↓ 8,700 ft
1,869
elevation (ft)
8.1
avg mph
149
ridden
59
wishlist
2:08
avg time

Loop
AVERAGE RATING
4.30 out of 5
About This Trail
added by petersbike Gramcounter on December 14, 2004
actions now above photo
 
This trail is great. It is not as rocky as other Phoenix area trails( ie: Trail 100, National, Estrella Mtn Park). Twisty singletrack on rolling contour. The surface consists of small pebbles which make a nice ripping sound as you careen through the turns. These are one way loops, there are three total. The sport, technical, and long loop. Distances are ~ 3 , 3 , 6.5. Enjoy.
Rider Questions
 
System Trails (5)
Pemberton Loop
Coachwhip Trail Loop
Phoenix Mcdowell / Wingate Pass / Bell Pass
Tonto Pass
Desert Park
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Trail Activity
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Recent Trail Check-ins
39 check-ins
 
1 day ago
  tomb60
1 week ago
  tomb60
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago
on Nov 23, 2014
 
Gilbert Fallon on July 5, 2014
0 out of 0 readers found this useful
 
Review: Great trail system just a short drive from the heart of Phoenix. Connect the loops for a fun 30 mile ride at Pemberton or challenge your skills on the competitive loops. This trail has something for everyone.

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monkeyfist on May 24, 2014
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Review: Rode Pemberton counter clockwise, I am an almost intermediate rider, and it was really good, longish uphill for the first half then fun downhill the second.

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peacemaker1 on May 15, 2014
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Review: 60 plus miles of trails for all skill levels. What's not to like? I am an intermediate skilled rider who is completely challenged by the long loop at the competitive track. The tech loop is too hard. The rest of the trails at the park are in my wheel house. This place is almost exclusively for mtn bikers. What a blast!

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Tjdphoto on April 16, 2014
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Review: I love going to these trails out here. I have ridden many of them multiple times. There are a lot of options and the ability to string together lots of miles. There are varying degrees of difficulty, nothing too hard though. With the competitive track nearby you can definitely mix it up and have a lot of fun.

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rattler on March 6, 2014
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Review: In Phoenix for work, temperature was 78-82, sun was shining and Pittsburgh was still below freezing. I rented a Trek Superfly 9 FS from Arizona Outback Adventures and these loops hit the spot for me at 10am on a Saturday morning.

There weren't too many riders, and I could quickly knock the rust of my skills riding the easier loop, then the advanced loop and finally the longer loop. These all went from one to another without stopping and this overall trail was fantastic. When I'm back in Phoenix, I am likely to check out some other areas, but knowing that I can just crank the pedals faster and faster may make me want to just hit this spot again.

Not a lot of climbing, not that technical...if you want both just come to Pittsburgh. After riding multiple laps, I would have stayed there all day if not for my legs turning to jello!

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John Fisch on March 26, 2013
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Review: We hit this trail because it was convenient to the higway we took on our way into Phoenix--and I'm glad we did. While unspectacular, it was a lot of fun, had nice flow more often than not, and also had fantastic views of the surrounding mountains. Hitting it in March also meant we were treated to a tremendous variety of wildflowers. It's not a destination trail of its own accord, but it's worth hitting if you're in the area or have ridden the more famous trails in the area.

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B-Rax on December 26, 2012
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Review: First trail in Arizona I have ridden and I must say that I am impressed and I am hoping that all the rest have flow like this one. The fast sections make the little climbs well worth it.

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kirkastroth on December 24, 2012
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Review: Would agree this is a great area to ride and all 3 loops are superb. Good terrain, changes it up, and not a load of people. Parking lot is huge! Love the competitive loops.

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cklinerun on August 20, 2012
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Review: A lot of fun. Great for bikers of all experiences. The gravel makes the riding a bit more exciting.

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mtbdennis on January 17, 2012
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Review: Rode the loops for the first time this weekend. I enjoyed the one way, fast trails. Definitely did not miss the hikers or horses. Great for all skill levels.

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tiger32101 on March 24, 2011
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Review: The competitive loops are the best trails around. I ride the sport loop until out half way it Y's and I go to the technical loop(to the right). This my favorite route around. There is a huge drop in the beginning and a huge drop near the end if you take this route. I highly recommended McDowell Mountain.

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norski on February 22, 2011
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Review: This trail is most commonly known as the McDowell Competitive Track" because a lot of mountain bike races are held there. McDowell Mountain Regional Park has quite a few other singletrack trails -- including Pemberton Trail, and the Coachwhip Loop.

* Review edited 2/22/2011

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pernicious on December 16, 2010
0 out of 1 readers found this useful
 
Review: Did this ride last spring. There is nothing better than a MTB only area. Though not super technical or with any climbing it was truly a blast. NO moron's with dogs and a 20' leash, or ton's of horsecrap on it. I'd give it a 3.5. Did I mention MTB only trail.

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cklinerun on October 5, 2010
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Review: Great easy trail with some nice drops for excitement. Did this trail in my spring break 2010 and found it easier than the rockier ones done in previous times. Again, a great trail and park. Willing to do it again.

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rjwayne on February 8, 2010
1 out of 1 readers found this useful
 
Review: Beautiful area with 4 peaks and the Supersitions in view. Awesome single tracks that aren't near as rocky as other trails in Phoenix. Many additional trails besides the 3 competitive ones. Now $6 to get in. They do have a welcome center, bathrooms, showers. Wish this place was in my backyard. (Review hurdaddy's review for better directions - we got lost our 1st time out)

* Review edited 2/8/2010

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AK_Dan on January 8, 2010
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Review: After camping out here at the McDowell Mt Regional Park for several days I want to add here that in addition to the three Bike-specific loops described above (which are a lot of fun!). The park also has 50+ miles of other trails that are also open to MTB. Most of these are what I call ‘Big Ring’ riding, meaning they are generally not that technical and are fairly fast. Most would be great for novices or a more leisurely, social type ride, although I see a lot of advanced riders using them for the long aerobic workout. I know a lot of people visit this area especially in the winter, if your new to the Sonoran type desert and curious about it at all drive to the end of the road and ride the 3 mile North Loop tr. This is one of them self guided tour things. By stopping and reading the signs along the way, 3 miles and 30 minutes later you will know more about the desert than most people ever will.

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TMWJR777 on November 15, 2009
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Review: Fun singletrack loops in the desert. Nothing too tough, but there are occasional drops and jumps to keep it interesting.

* Review edited 2/24/2012

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GiantRiderX4 on October 7, 2009
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Review: Three loops to choose from, do all for good mix of riding. Clean tracks, Tons of fun

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TMWJR777 on April 8, 2009
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Review:

* Review edited 11/15/2009

Similar Trail: Hawes

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GSXRScott on December 1, 2008
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Review: Fantastic ride. Costs a dollar to ride but it's more than worth it. Lots of big air opportunities. Cambered turns. Flowing single track that winds its way through washes and cacti. Dont let the howling of the Coyotes scare you. They wont bother you if you dont bother them.

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Feltrider on October 12, 2008
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Review: My understanding is there are 4 main trails (technical loop, sport loop, long loop and Pemberton). According to the Park employee, Pemberton is a pretty easy ~15 miles around the park with little elevation change. I rode the sport to technical to long loop for approximately 10 to 11 miles then did the entire technical loop (~3 miles). I thought the trails had good variety with uphill climbs and fun descents along with flat washes. I liked the well marked trails and signs alerting of good size descents. Can get pretty rocky on a few parts of the long loop and the uphill at the beginning of the technical loop, but all in all trails are pretty smooth. I also like the loops so you can mix it up for varieties sake and also based on how much time you have for a ride. At the end of the day I feel like a got a pretty good work out and had fun at the same time! FYI...this is also known as the Cactus Cup course. There are reviews under this name as well.

* Review edited 10/12/2008

Similar Trail: Hawes is probably a little more technical, but they had the same feel to me.

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Emer50 on October 3, 2008
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Review: Now that it is getting cooler this trail is prime for riding. Watch the first drop (dry river bed tends to throw you over the handle bars). The entire ride is good climb followed by great singletrack, followed by uphill climb. Repeat this sequence about 5-7 more times.

Similar Trail: Trail 100

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muppetfreak on September 23, 2008
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Review: Three loops in the park. The 8.2 mile long loop. The 3 mile sport loop. The 2.9 mile technical loop.

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Rob_Scott on October 28, 2007
1 out of 9 readers found this useful
 
Review: If this is the best Phoenix has to offer then Phoenix riding sucks. Don't get me wrong it isn't a bad place to go riding but coming from Santa Cruz CA makes these trails and the views a little on the weak side. I suggest not going on weekends as having to pay $6 to ride is just plain wrong. Now if there were lifts or tractors to take you to the top of a tall mountain then that would be different. I guess I was just a little bit spoiled getting to see the ocean from the trails and having as many as 17 different named trails to choose from at one park. Getting dropped off at the top and ride down approx 20-30 miles of awesome single track ending at the beach is the sh*t and getting to do that for free is even better. Next to try out South Mountain and hope for some better riding.

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Guest on November 24, 2014
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Review: This is for people who actually like to RIDE a bike though. Sorry, no lifts here softie.
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Greg Heil on February 4, 2014
1 out of 1 readers found this useful
 
Review: While it sounds like you didn't like the trail as much as your home trails, and that's fine, is it really deserving of just one star?
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Russp17 on June 29, 2007
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Review: Sweet ride, fast and can really push the pace. Not too tech or rock, just good fast single track. Best ride in the Phoenix area.

Similar Trail: East loop and west loop at south mountain

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trailblaze1 on August 1, 2006
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Review: McDowell Competitive Track is the official name and the trails located in the main park entrance area are for bikers only. These trails are excellent fast tracks that have short burst climbs requiring minimal technical challenge, however, the trails further down the road require more water and dedication but I will say that the Pemberton Wash Trail has some beautiful desert scenery and once you pass the Granite Tank then the payoff begins. The next 5 miles consist of catching downhill speeds of 17-23mph with the last two springing into a series of quick curves and dips that simulate the sensation of being on a mini roller coaster and is definitely worth the grind requirement for the first half of the trail.

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hurdaddy on November 27, 2005
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Review: Awesome singletrack!! The Sport Loop is real fun and fast! A quick note for the directions; when driving on Shea Blvd you'll actually turn left onto "Fountain Hills Road" and follow for aprx. 8 miles before turning onto McDowell Mtn. Park Drive.

Similar Trail: Fantasy Island, Tucson Arizona

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McDowell Mountain Park MTB Trail 4.30 out of 5 based on 27 ratings. 27 user reviews.
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Trail Features
 
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Trail Conditions
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