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Level: Beginner
Length: 10 mi (16.1 km)
Surface: Doubletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +586/ -562 ft
Total: 110 riders

Mountain Biking San Tan

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#24 of 408 mountain bike trails in Arizona
#644 in the world

Tke the Goldmine trail (approximately 1.1 miles uphill on wide trail) Take left onto SanTan for approximately 1.5 miles. At this point you will reach a T. Go to right for the San Tan trail and approximately 4 miles of singletrack or hang a left to shorten the ride on Moonlight. San Tan takes you back into the park to some nice scenery. There are some sandy parts in the beginning due to the recent monsoons. Trails are fairly well marked.

First added by Feltrider on Sep 14, 2008. Last updated May 2, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: yes
  • 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
Get on Hunt Hghway and go a couple of miles east of Ellsworth. Take a right at Thompson road and follow for a couple more miles. At first stop sign take a right onto Phillips road. This leads you right into the San Tan Mountain Regional Park. You can park inside the gates for $6 or on Phillips for free and ride in ($1 entrance fee).
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Fair (2 days ago)
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  • lahrk

    San Tan is mostly a beginner trail with some intermediate sections, but can add other connecting trails for an intermediate ride. Malpais is washy, so be prepared to pedal it, but after a good rain it firms up nicely.

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  • Christopher M

    Parking at the Goldmine Trailhead I followed the trail out to the first fork taking me to the Dynamite trail, which I believe to be the best part of this trail system. After I explored parts of San Tan and Hedgehog before winding back toward Goldmine Trailhead. I made the mistake of taking Goldmine back which has a significant hike-a-bike (at least it was for me). If I were to ride again I would avoid that section and take Dynamite back. The trail is wide but does have some challenges. There are 2 main trailheads, the other being San Tan, which has a pay station with an attendant. Goldmine is on the honor system with an envelope and pay station. $7 per vehicle or $2 if you're riding in. My only complaint is that I wish that the major intersections had the small map to orient yourself like some had or that they had maps at the trailhead. There was one on a bulletin board that I tried to take a picture of but didn't come out well. Probably would have been more enjoyable with more planning but I was at an event in Chandler in the morning and wanted to get out somewhere different. If you're in the area I would definitely check this trail system out.

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  • Jeff Goldberg

    Pretty good beginner trail. There is alot of sandy sections in the start. But proves to be more challenging once you get on the back side of the mountain where it meets up with the Dynamite section. Good flow for the last mile or so.

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  • Worman86

    I ride San Tan about every other week and love the mixture of terrain and amount of trails available. You can ride different trails to add more mileage and still loop up with The San Tan trail many different ways. Trails are maintained very well and marked great too.

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  • [email protected]

    This is a good trail to start on as this is the trail o started on, however it also still fun and challenging for me as an advanced rider,. Highly recommend making a trip down to San Tan sometime

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  • Boelig

    Great fast Single track trail for the daily rider. Incorporates a variety of technical skills: Soft sand, rock drops, some quick steep inclines, and early morning wildlife (snakes, coyotes, and more) that like to hang out in the trails.

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  • teambrun1988

    great trail for all levels of riding.

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  • Jim Hartman

    I live nearby this park, and I'm there at least once a week. Good trails to work up a sweat, and practice technique. Really cut my teeth on this trail when I started mountain biking, as it has enough switch backs and rocky trails, as well as some nice up-and-downs to challenge beginner to intermediate level riders.

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  • eb2ndhalflive

    I made a loop clockwise in the San Tan Regional Park today on my 26x4.5 inch Fyxation Fat Bike. I started on The San Tan trail, to Malpais, to San Tan to Dynamite down to the parking lot, back to San Tan, to Gold Mine, and then back to the parking lot. 16.3 miles and right at 1500 ft of elevation. Malpais is only rideable with at least a 4 inch tire. I tried with my 29x3 inch and the sand is too soft and deep. Malpais is about like riding in snow with a 26x4.5 inch tire at 9 psi. There are some beautiful views and nice climbs halfway through the 4 mile loop. I'm from Central IL and down for the month of January. I really enjoy riding in the desert. And the San Tan park is a great work out. I used MapMy Ride and my GPS to map the loop. It took about 2.5 hours.

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  • Mad Reptilian

    I consider this my "home" trail since I live nearby. In my opinion, this is beyond a beginner trail, approaching intermediate. There is nice variation in the terrain, with fairly balanced uphill & downhill riding. None of the trails are very long, but they all have some fun riding aspects. It is a good place to practice your techniques. For a more challenging ride, park at Wagon Wheel road and ride up Dynamite trail, it will connect to the San Tan trail. From there, you can add as much riding as you want.

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  • outtatime

    If you are in great shape & don't mind a slow, rocky, somewhat technical climb..... Goldmine trailhead, past the sandy wash is what you seek.. Holy *%# ... For a guy who is out of shape (like me), looking to re-establish a baseline MTB fitness and skill level - Don't try it expecting a nice, calm, light workout ! Can't wait to be able to ride this with both feet on the pedals from start to finish ....

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  • ****

    Worth a ride all doubletrack but well conceived, very pretty valley. Goldmine is all rideable but better climbed from south and descended north. Horses and hikers but plenty of room for all. Recommend singlespeed hardtail except for Goldmine. SanTan Flats just down road for post ride beers and entertainment.

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  • Tom Geml

    Very challenging trail for me, I'm used to less steep single track and road riding. The first 1.5 miles is a steep winding rocky climb from goldmine trailhead. When you've reached "the bench" you've essentially finished the hard part of the climb from goldmine.

    The climb is worth the reward, forward from the bench is some nice downhill and moderate climbs, this trail is a MUST VISIT if you live near it!

    Make sure to give the hikers and horse riders warning, I tend to slow down and make my presence known so i don't roll through them and 20mph coming down hill.

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  • bowhunterwalker

    The description doesn't do the track justice. Best to park at the end of Wagon Wheel Road off Empire. There is only one entry from there. A couple hundred yards up the start is a turnoff to the right, Dynamite Trail, or straight onto Goldmine. Goldmine sucks for MTB. Very very steep and rocky. Dynamite is a pretty cool trail climb to the summit. If you want to keep it short, turn back at the summit for some pretty fun and flowing DH. 3 mile round trip in all. For longer, drop off the summit and. Follow the trails signs. In all, there is roughly 20 miles of trail. Watch for hikers! They pay no attention at all!

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  • ChristoStad

    Nice ride. Some sandy spots in washes. Plenty of riding even if you avoid the sand. Some rocky climbs, etc. nothing too challenging, but a good workout, pretty scenery and fun trails. Lots of horses ... not sure why some riders have a problem with them ... all the horsey people I have net are really nice. All in all, a very nice ride.

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  • kirkastroth

    Had a great time following the Dynamite Trail up and over the pass and down into the main trail area near the eastern trailhead. Very doable but stay off the steep main trail.

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  • moncor

    I was riding San Tan park the 4th of dec 2010 for the first time and what a deception it was. Tracks are not too bad until I tried PM (malpais) trail and the south east part of SA (San Tan) trail. It is a farce, ending pushing my bike more than 1 hour in deep sand following arroyos (dry river bed) more than 2k. I returned to TH. at Phillips road pass dark, not a good experience for a new trail. I guess the designer of this trail hates mountain bikers and hikers too, we never ask the horses sharing the trail if they like walking in deep sand for so long. It is just too bad they did not bypass these sand traps because the rest of the trails are not too bad, rolling desert, sandy but managable. With all the excellent trails around Phoenix you can forget San Tan park.* Review edited 12/4/2010

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  • Feltrider

    Yes, Hedgehog has been widened to a double track width but switchbacks have been added and I have to say with the rain over the last several weeks the trails have compacted quite a bit and it has returned to a fun trail. Not too difficult but fun. I ride SanTan to Hedghog back to SanTan and down Goldmine which adds up to roughly 5.5 miles each time around. I agree though that Moonlight is fun too. Make sure to keep an eye out for horses. I have not had a ride there in a while where I have not come across a few.

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  • dgswiss

    I was there last a year ago. I loved the loop Santan to Hedgehog, continue onto Santan and return on Moonlight. It's only 4.2 miles but it's so much fun, I could ride that loop all day. Has that route been affected by the "trail improvement"?

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  • Feltrider

    The park management has apparently decided that taking buldozers onto the trails and widening the singletrack into doubletrack and making it 6 inches of loose sand and dirt is a good idea. This trail is loose and a struggle to ride especially the back portion of San Tan trail. Goldmine and moonlight are still mostly untouched. Unfortunately I think the horseriders have pushed this concept and convinced the right person that ruining the trails in the name of an animal is a good idea. I am very disappointed at direction they have taken and unfortunately I have to say that I would not recommend driving all the way to Queen Creek to check it out anymore. I would spend my time going elsewhere. I hope over time this changes.* Review edited 11/23/2008

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