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Level: Beginner
Length: 14 mi (22.5 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +437/ -430 ft
Total: 147 riders

Mountain Biking Brown's Ranch to Granite Mountain

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#36 of 408 mountain bike trails in Arizona
#931 in the world

Starts off at a trailhead onto a two track that can be taken to a variety of trails

First added by monkeyfist on May 25, 2014. Last updated Feb 11, 2021. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: yes
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: no
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Take Pima North off the 101 then go east on Dynamite then North to Browns Ranch Trailhead
System trails (2)
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Brown's Ranch to Granite Mountain Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail checkins

chuckpelley (on Nov 14, 2022)
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Trail conditions

Good (on May 5, 2021)
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Brown's Ranch to Granite Mountain videos

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Mountain Bike Trails Near Scottsdale, Arizona

Advanced | 4 mi
Intermediate | 7 mi
Advanced | 9 mi
Intermediate | 13 mi

Rider questions

Q: You can take a number of different routes to the actual Granite Mountain loop.

Q: Which trail do you take to get from the Browns ranch trailhead to granite mountain?
A: The easiest path is Browns Ranch Road to Powerline 2, then to Granite Mountain which will take you up to the loop. There are many paths though. There are maps available at the trailhead so you can plan your ride

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  • chuckpelley

    A favorite loop of mine was Browns towards Whiskey Bottle then 136 Street Express to Cow... and then Granite loop to Balance rock and up Chuckwagon

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  • Dan Booth

    Visitor center at trailhead has a volunteer to help you with selecting the best loops. Fantastic. Absolute best signage I've ever seen. Great scene, easy riding. Full of cacti, if you're still running tubes in the desert of Arizona, I pity you. I was hoping for a tad more technical, but a smooth ride can sometimes be a good thing.

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  • TK34

    I did a loop on the MTB Project app called Perimeter Loop of about 18 miles, and I really liked it. The trails near the trailhead are fairly benign and uninteresting - the good stuff is when you get around the back to High Desert, Renegade, Coyote, Granite Mountain. Not much tech and the climbs are minimal, but the flowy trails have a real nice rhythm. Good vistas too. I liked this loop better than Pemberton over at McDowell Park.

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  • Gila Monster

    Best to shred from west to east. (Toward Fraesfield Trailhead- currently closed during construction at the Dynamite entrance, starting October 2018)

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  • [email protected]

    Well maintained, lots of rollers and sharp turns and berms, fun at first then the sandy corners get boring after awhile

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  • [email protected]

    Fast and flows.. great trail system to ride for hours

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  • jashay77   ✓ supporter

    Good beginners loop with a variety of desert scenery. If you are starting from the Alma Street Trailhead I would suggest avoiding the Powerline Road in favor of the following loop: Latigo Trail, Turpentine Trail, Bootlegger Trail, Granite Mountain Trail counterclockwise, Balanced Rock Trail, Cholla Mountain Trail, Maverick Trail--(through connector), and Brown's Ranch Road back to the Alma Street Trailhead. This loop avoids the sandy and rutty Powerline #2 Road completely. For a shorter loop that includes Granite Mountain, start at the Granite Mountain Trailhead on 136th Street and make it up as you go!

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  • Bert Jones

    As a person so new to the MTB scene I wont presume to get too technical with this review in terms of what makes a trail "good or bad" because who am I to say? Instead I want to target more people who are true beginners like me who might want to know if this trail is really for them. It's hard to know where to start as a beginner because Mountain Bikers are typically in pretty good shape, so their "beginner" level and ours dont always exist in the same reality. :)

    I just started mountain biking. I'm a big guy at 280lbs but I have been riding my road bike about 40-50 miles a week for a couple of months now. So my legs are pretty strong and used to pedaling, but I have never mountain biked before this year.

    So from other reviews and the description here, this trail seemed like a great place for a beginner to go. I was not disappointed at all with what I found. It's a perfect trail for beginners because there are so many options. If you get on a trail that is too tough just turn around and take the fork the other way.

    First of all the Brown Ranch trail head is the nicest trailhead I've ever seen. There are bathrooms and a visitors center, maps... It's all very clean, dare I say fancy. The trails are super clearly marked and very well maintained. I have zero complaints about the conditions of the trails they were totally awesome.

    The trail I started with was Brown Ranch road (which begins at the trailhead) to Maverick Trail. This is a great way to start your trek in this park. It's a wide road that is smooth. A couple of small hills to warm you up and get the blood flowing.

    Maverick trail was actually quite a challenge for me. I decided to take it for that very reason, the trail marker indicated that it was a narrow trail with some climbs and I wanted to do that while I was fresh. Man, so much fun. If you are like me and are not in great shape, just be prepared to stop a few times. It's an undulating trail with a ton of short climbs and descents. Some of the downhills have some little bunny hop jumps on them which was a blast, I actually got what was probably 1 inch of air, lol, but I still felt super cool.

    All in all it was a tough trail for me, but there was nothing I wasn't able to do, it was just hard.

    By the time Maverick trail met Watershed trail I was pretty gassed, so I took the short cut down to the powerline road and took that to Balanced rock trail. My aim was to get to Granite mountain and do the loop.

    I felt kindof bad at first for taking the powerline trail, but I got over it quickly because while it's wide and pretty easy, there are still some ups and downs that get the blood flowing. Still I was able to ride it all the way to Balanced Rock trail without stopping.

    Balanced rock trail was a ton of fun. It's filled with burms and twists and turns. It's a pretty steady climb all the way to Granite mountain loop but nothing too crazy.

    Granite mountain loop was a lot of fun, more of the same ups and downs. There were a couple of fairly steep hills, but again, I was able to pedal up them all, though I would stop at the top to catch my breath after most of them. You aren't gaining a ton of elevation on any of these trails, but you are constantly climbing and descending and it's definitely taxing.

    From there I took the powerline trail back as far to Whiskey bottle trail and took that to Latigo trail which took me back to the trailhead.

    Latigo, lets talk about Latigo trail. Everything was fine until right at the end, I mean you are literally at the Trailhead and you can see your car when this trail goes from relatively easy to the hardest thing I had done all day. There are these steep descents with pretty big rocks all over and you're kindof cutting between big rocks. I dont even know if it was super hard, it was just pretty intimidating and combine that with the fact that I was super tired by this point, I didn't even attempt those sections, I just got off and walked the bike through them. Still I call it a victory that this was the only point where I had to get off the bike, but next time out here I will definitely avoid Latigo until I'm stronger (and lighter :) )

    All in all Strava had me at riding 10 miles total and it took me just under 2 hours.

    I would say this is a great trail for beginners. dont be too intimidated. The really good thing about this place is if you find any trail too difficult you can move on to a different one, and if all else fails you can just ride Brown Ranch road and the powerline road, still get a workout and you're still biking offroad, which is fun in itself.

    The trail is not without perils, there are a couple sections that are a little sketchy with sand or tight turns in descents. I played it safe on all my descents and rode my brakes, probably more than I needed to but I didn't want to crash.

    I hope this review is helpful to other beginners who might be considering a trip out here. I loved this place and will definitely be back.

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  • Lmsuss

    So I just started riding again after 10 years. Browns Ranch has multiple trails all single track. Some smaller hills that as a beginner had to stop and rest but I am fairly out of shape. Great for a beginner and more fun as I get used to the ride.

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  • celticceith

    As I was in town on business and have never had the opportunity to ride in the Desert, I was keen to get out. After renting a Trek Super Fly Hard tail from Arizona Outdoor Adventures, I was also told to give this trail a try. As others have mentioned, there seems to be a little bit of everything on these collection of trails. As a bigger rider, the ups and downs and twists and turns of the Cholla Mtn Loop Trail certainly got the blood pumping and the lungs burning. In contrast, the Hawknest Trail (in the Northwest corner) was a fast flowy trail with lots of opportunity to gather speed and catch some air.

    For those (like myself) who've never rode a desert trail, the loose gravel / sand in almost every corner can be a little nerve wracking ... especially when there is a big ole Cactus waiting halfway through a turn.

    All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my ride and give a tip of the hat to Courtney at AOA for suggesting the trail. Am from the Great Lakes area, and this was completely different from what I am used to. GPS wasn't working properly, however I think we rode 22 - 25 km of trail.

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  • Ted Malone

    This is an extensive trail system that is made up of several different trail types ranging from beginner to intermediate. Each trail has well-defined markers and a full map can be found on the City of Scottsdale website (http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/preserve/maps - choose the North Area Map) Overall the trails are very nicely maintained, with diverse desert vegetation (watch out for the Cholla that are very close to the edges around many corners) with some nice climb/descent areas.

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  • Lakeemma

    Sonora Desert in full bloom, beautiful, especially between and north side of Cholla and Granite Mountains. I posted a trail map photo that a local ways kind enough to give me. Difficulty varied from easy to intermediate, fun!

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  • Rob Ames   ✓ supporter

    Great trail system well marked with some great scenery! Met up with some locals and bombed away with them while I was in town

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  • Desi Hollingsworth

    This is an awesome area. I did the Browns ranch road to the coral to dry gulch and the cholla loop and back. I'm not an expert rider and the switch backs are great to practice getting better at turns.

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  • BWWise

    Crushed granite single track with a lot of turns and switch backs. Some great ups and down with a little climbing in between. Cacti is very close to the single track, so make sure you have tire sealant happening. Great scenery, great ride all together.

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  • pollydude

    Bill and I rode this going almost 9 miles, and had a blast. Great Views, scenery, up and down, small roller coaster type, and not many rocks, and not sure how to rate since it is the first one. Maybe fairly easy, BUT we will soon go on another one rated Intermediate, and see how it compairs. Looking for similar, closer to Mesa, rides!

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  • ccanerday

    Easily the best trail near N Scottsdale. No rocks. Easy/gradual uphill, awesome downhill. One of the prettiest desert landscapes you'll see on an Az dirt bike ride.

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