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Level: Advanced
Length: 10 mi (16.1 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Lariat
Elevation: +378/ -371 ft
Total: 20 riders

Mountain Biking K-trail & Vortex

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#96 of 404 mountain bike trails in Arizona
#2,977 in the world

This is definitely a challenging way to ride both the entire K and Vortex trails. They are best ridden from the North to the South but to do this you need to get to the North end of the K Trail. Starting from the parking lot head up the main trail and take the right fork instead of riding up the difficult hill trail. After about .65 miles turn North onto the Cougar trail and follow it for about a mile and a half to the Lost Goldmine trail. Turn right and go about another mile East to the sign marking the Northern start of the K Trail. This trail is definitely an intermediate trail with several technical features. One of these is called Micro Moab and is very well named. There are several drops into washes and a few are very big. It may seem like you are on the wrong trail at times because the trail winds back to the North several times. Eventually it will come out at the Old Horse Trail. Cross this double track and keep following K trail West as it crosses many other double tracks. At the sign announcing the Vortex Trail take a right and climb up to the Rocky Dome. After this climb the trail goes across the saddle and up the hill to the South. There is a sign marking the junction for the Gila monster Trail right before you reach the nice rest stop on top of this hill. A fast descent will take you to the junction with the Old Horse Trail. Turn right there and keep riding downhill towards the West. You can either take a shortcut to the right marked by a sign pointing towards "Parking" or continue to the next sign cluster and follow the sign directing you back to the Cougar Trail to complete the loop. Go straight ahead North at the Cougar Trail junction to ride the "stick of the lollipop" back to the parking lot and complete the 10 mile ride.

First added by arizonaglider on Mar 27, 2012. Last updated Apr 28, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From the Phoenix area take Highway 60 East. Pass through Apache Junction and continue East to Gold Canyon. Turn North on Kings Ranch Road and follow it for about three miles to Baseline. Turn Right and simply follow the various signs directing you to the hiking trail parking lot at the end of Cloudview Drive.
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K-trail & Vortex Trail map

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Local Info

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Trail checkins

Travis Bray (on Sep 7, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Good (on May 27, 2019)
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Rider questions

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  • dhurdle

    K Trail is one of the best in the state. And of course that's saying something. Don't tell too many folks about this trail network hidden gem! Enjoy

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  • Michael Dunworth

    Last time I was out there the trails were ridable, but now its very loose with large rocks that will knock you off your line, cactus this time a year (spring) are everywhere and its super hard not too get one in your tire, as I rode today march 4th 2017 the trail markers are no where too be found unless you go in the way back where you find your self on another trail I started out on cloudview because it was easy, then I found my self on k trail then gila and when I went far south I was on diamondback ...
    Wish there was more markers because you can find yourself lost quickly as there is no phone service out there. It was enjoyable however you plan on going out there please bring twice as much water as you think because when you think your heading back it takes you for a loop and your heading further into the desert

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    • abegold

      Maps are available on line, print one.

  • solepod

    Fun connecting trails that link with other gold canyon area trails. Lots of Cactus and thorns so make sure you have extra tubes. Beautiful setting and perfect place for a morning ride. Not too crowded.

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  • John Fisch

    Huge fun! Some of the arroyo exits are steep and a few have obstacles thrown in for good measure. Think Kessel Run on steroids.

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  • abegold

    This trail may be the most fun trail in the state. It crosses arroyos 90 degrees from the slope often making for a swoopy ride. Many drops and whoops. Beautiful desert scene with the Superstitions just feet away to the north. Best ridden in winter or early spring when it blooms. This trail is in a Saguaro cactus forest. Other plants include mesquite trees, palo verde, acacia, tasty wolfberries, cholla, prickly pear cactus, creosote, hackberries and most numerous salt bush.
    Many trails, something for everyone.
    Most trails are MTB trails. Quartz Ridge and Lost Gold Mine are multi use. K-Trail and Cougar and more fun than multi use Cloudview. Can bloom very well in early spring as rain is enhanced by the mountains.

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