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Level: Advanced
Length: 14 mi (22.5 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +1,131/ -1,145 ft
Total: 224 riders

Mountain Biking South Mountain Park / National Trail

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#9 of 407 mountain bike trails in Arizona
#148 in the world

National trail can be acended or decended. Both require expert skills and fitness. You cannot and will not find a climb this technical, challenging and fun in AZ. It will kick your ass and youll love every turn of the peddle. You can ride this trail 365 but, beware of mid afternoon temps in the summer, "theres birds that will pick your bones clean."

First added by tbolton007 on Feb 24, 2004. Last updated May 1, 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
1-10 to Baseline Road go right (west) to 48th street. Take 48th street 1/4 mile past Euclid and turn right (sign indicating park entrance). Go 400 feet and turn left head to parking lot/ trail head.
System trails (1)
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South Mountain Park / National Trail Trail map

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Trail conditions

Good (on Mar 21, 2023)
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South Mountain Park / National Trail videos

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South Mountain XC Mountain Biking
Tree Top Flyer
South Mountain Arizona - National Trail
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Phoenix, Arizona

Beginner | 10 mi
Intermediate | 7 mi
Beginner | 14 mi
Beginner | 20 mi

Rider questions

Q: Ok, kinda of more a generalized question, can you ride E-bikes in most of these trails or are they National forests?

Q: What is the best mtb for this type of trail?

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  • Deal finder

    There are many technical paths but have great scenes. There is one 5 ft drop off a rock if you dare to do so, but there is a path next to the jump.

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  • bnordo

    This is a very scenic trail and too difficult for me to have a lot of fun. I walked much of it. This is not a negative review it is just a little over my skill level. Great trail for more advanced riders.

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  • Jeff Goldberg

    There are parts that are really fun, but the technical sections will challenge your skills. Not for the faint of heart!

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  • RCakman

    National Trail is a very challenging ride with an abundance of obstacles and very narrow sections to snake through. The descent will most definitely test your riding skills and upper body strength but it will also leave you grinning for days and wanting for more. It was more fun than riding in Sedona. Add this one to your bucket list for sure.

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  • the_salaminzer

    Lots of gnar! Get's busy with hikers though.

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  • [email protected]

    Difficult trail but fun. Make sure you bring plenty of water my friend and I ran out of water with 6 miles to go.

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  • Balztj

    Spent the summer learning to mountain bike here. Very unforgiving but I learned quickly. I really hope to get back out here now that I know what I'm doing. This is still the best place I have ridden now that I have hit a dozen or so other trails.

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  • Randall Swanson

    Very difficult riding in areas. I made it through 6 miles of riding and was glad I had to be somewhere. This trail will challenge most riders heart rate, climbing skills and technical skills. i am so glad that I was on 3" tires for this challenging terrain. Loved it though!

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  • E

    I loved this trail, if you like rock gardens you will too, very techy in some areas, up and down, it had some short but difficult climbs due to rocks and it got my heart rate up, but after completing the entire trail I still had some energy in reserve.

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  • RyanFPrice

    This trail will test your ability to carry speed over uneven terrain. There are a lot of line options whether climbing or descending. The climbs are short and punchy but not sustained. With enough skill everything here is ride-able, but unforgiving. Wear Pads and if your going to fall, don't aim for anything green. This trail is a favorite of mine, but dont expect to nail it on your first run. This trail is amazing...ly unforgiving.

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  • Brian K. Holder

    Very fun, very technical, very rocky. As for riding it 365... it is frequently in the hundred-and-teens in the Summer. I suppose there may be one or two who would night ride with headlamps when it cools down to the mid 90s.

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  • aaen

    This trail is a blast. Descended from the Lookout BVP (think that is what it was called). I'm really missing my dropper post though, few points on the trail where I wasn't far enough back on the bike and the front wheel stalled out, which lead to some oh shit moments. Just need to readjust back to no dropper post:( and skill instead of using equipment.

    Overall the trail is very rideable for someone with intermediate to advance skills, there are a few spots on the trail that will test even the best riders (waterfall area) and one or two others that if you don't follow the correct line you will go ass over tea kettle. Highly suggest if you have never ridden the area to walk to more technical and rock garden areas to determine the best line.

    I'll be riding this again before I leave the PHX area and start my commute back to the great white north.

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  • Trevor Warne

    Fun trail with lots of technical rock moves (up down). Make sure you have very burly tires and spare everything. Lots of drops onto big sharp rocks. Much quieter West of the BV lookout (big plus to not to have to stop for hikers the whole time). Even on a weekday the section East of BV lookout was busy (hence only 4/5). First timer tip: Allow time to session some of the trickier sections (eg Waterfall), once you have the line dialled (and a hiker free space) give it a final rip!

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  • stumpyfsr   ✓ supporter

    The gnarliest and most fun trail I ever rode. This is definitely full suspension territory. Riding it in July with 114F is next to suicidal thing.
    You need to ride it more then once to get a full taste and learn route's obstacles. The best way to use shuttle or ride Classic Trail up and then go down on National. On the way down better not going to Mormon - you'll skip the best part of National.
    I found that 5L of water isn't enough if you climb up by yourself. Be prepared for flats and stay hydrated.

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  • John Fisch

    South Mountain hosts one of the meanest, nastiest, most painful, and most awesome, fun trail networks anywhere. Even the easy routes up the mountain are hard. Any of the descents, from National, to Mormon, to Geronimo, will promote use of body armor and full face helmets. It'll kick your rear -- and you'll like it! What a fantastic urban resource!

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  • freerider47

    One of the most fun and technical trails i've ridden. Would recommend full suspension and use gnar gnar tours to shuttle you to the top.

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  • abegold

    Rocky trail thru a hot dry piece of desert. What few plants there are, only the brittlebush is soft. Just about everything else has points. Chuckwalla lizards are common here, 2nd largest lizard in AZ. If you like tech you'll love it, but much more in winter than summer. Do you have the nerve to ride the waterfall?
    6"+ bikes are the norm, bring pads. Easier routes around most features.

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  • kpmeder

    Great local trails in South Mountain Park. Should explore when in Phoenix area.
    Sonoran desert trail with year round access. Beware of off trail cholla cactus, get your flat protection.

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  • mtbracr1

    If you find yourself in the Phoenix are, you need to ride at least the Mormon/National loop at South Mountain. I've ridden and raced in 49 states and nearly every country that hosts major mtb competitions and few trails are as enjoyable as this one. Don't listen to all the talk about it being too rocky... it's a desert! Do yourself a favor and ride this trail. FYI... in the winter you will be sharing this trail.

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  • Mountainmonkey

    pretty crazy drops and stuff, the most hardcore trail in phoenix.

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