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Level: Beginner
Length: 5 mi (8 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +95/ -53 ft
Total: 191 riders

Mountain Biking Papago Park Area

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#45 of 408 mountain bike trails in Arizona
#1,299 in the world

This is an easy network and immpossible to get completely lost. A few of the stretches you can take at high speeds, but the semi-large chunky rocks will slow you down. This is a ride I do in the middle of summer, mid day. It usually isn't too bad, unless it's really humid, which is rare. Even then we rode for over an hour. It's not for the beginners because of some of the climb, and it gets you winded if you're going fast enough.

First added by alvin.santoy on Jan 1, 2003. Last updated May 10, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: yes
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: yes
  • Fat bike grooming: yes
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
To get to the trail head starting from Mill Ave & University:Take Mill North, over the lake. Keep on it until Priest Drive/Galvin Parkway. Take a right. Go on Galvin until McDowell. Take a right. Go until the corner of a Jaguar/Porche dealer and take it right onto College. (Dealership on right). Take that just over a mile. You'll see a stone sign for Canal Park. Take that. It's called Marigold. Park in the lot. Ride in the direction you were driving until you see trails on left. You could also go to the right and head for the big slick looking rocks. Those trails are much more tame, but still fun.
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Papago Park Area Trail map

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chuckpelley (on Dec 29, 2019)
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Trail conditions

Good (on Dec 29, 2019)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Tempe, Arizona

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Rider questions

Q: where is the best place to start this trail?
A: Q: The best place to start in my opinion is the parking lot off of galvin, however you can park down by marquee theater near the lake and the trails over next to the 202 are pretty fun

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  • bnordo

    Good trail for a weeknight ride after work. Also a good beginner trail to get people introduced to mountain biking. Hole in the rock is a great opportunity for some uniquely Arizona photos.

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  • Jenny Corso

    Really dry and dusty right now.

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  • sam2121

    I usually take the double butte loop which goes around the whole trail system. It starts with a smooth climb and then the second half is mostly down hill. The main trail is double track with Singletracks branching out every where. I recommend taking double track on the decent because it is fast, smooth, and has some jumps. Highly recommend this trail for all experience levels

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  • Jeff Goldberg

    Papago is good because it is close to downtown and makes for a quick ride after work. There are tons of trails here. Most of them are fairly loose over hard pack and you can washout easily if running too high of pressure in your tires. The hole in the rock and tomb make for great photo ops.

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  • Travis Goth

    I'd give this Trail a higher rating, but I'm pissed off that I got an $87.00 parking ticket for my car being in the lot after dusk. Total crock of shit. Go somewhere else.

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  • BlueRu

    The Papago Trail area is a great area for the beginner and intermediate rider. There are a variety of trails that range from flat, sandy turns to loose climbs and quick descents. There are a few jumps that have ride-arounds.

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  • [email protected]

    Super fun may be beginner but there are still a lot of fun parts and people are always building new trails

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  • Ncurtisi13

    Good trails. Most are pretty easy, but you can leave some of the more well-groomed trails and find some tougher stuff. It's usually the place I bring beginners to let them find their sea legs. It's also a really convenient location, and there's usually plenty of parking.

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  • Colaphish

    Great views of the park. Easy trail with my little girl/10 year old

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  • teambrun1988

    Love the dirt jumps in the back

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  • jmwhicke

    Good quality trail. Has a little taste of all different types of rides however it's short. I ran the outer loop 2.5 times. Excellent area and scenery.

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  • robertwboland

    There are a number of ways to ride at Papago. West of the zoo you'll find a couple of loops starting at the park right off of Galvin. I have always felt very comfortable bringing first timers here. There is a fun 3 mile loop and a 5 mile loop if you go around the golf course.
    East of the Phoenix Zoo, there is a trailhead for a number of trails off of Curry and Lakeview. The trails here are much more entertaining and the hills are taller. At the northern end of the 3-4 mile loop you will find a really well-built park of jumps and drops. Be careful, but go big!
    This trail is definitely best during Fall, Winter, Spring, but i have also enjoyed it as an early morning ride in the Summer.

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  • Feltrider

    Overall the trail is pretty basic however great location for a quick ride before/after work for those in the tempe/downtown phoenix area. Great views and trail allows you to be fairly aggressive without worrying about getting into too much trouble.

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  • metamorphic1

    Fun training ride. For the most part pretty easy, but there are a couple technical areas that make for great practice. Add to this the convenience of being right in the middle of the city and this is a great ride.

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  • hurdaddy

    This trail is only a 2 minute ride away for me so I love it!! It is one of my favorite "backyard" rides and the scenery is great! You can overlook the zoo and get a great view of the valley from the white pyramid.

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  • desertdog

    This trail is OK for beginners and it's in the middle of town and close to the airport. It is far from a 10 when you consider other trails a short drive away.

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