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Level: Beginner
Length: 20 mi (32.2 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Figure 8
Elevation: +481/ -470 ft
Total: 102 riders

Mountain Biking Sonoran Preserve North

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#18 of 404 mountain bike trails in Arizona
#462 in the world

Nice rolling single track with many steep sustained climbs and fun flawy downhills. No technical features but good fitness is needed. If you do all the climbs and loops can get in over 20 miles and almost 4000 ft of climbing. The trail is very pump able and best on a hard tail

First added by nedmario on Feb 21, 2014. Last updated Feb 11, 2021. → 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: no
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Apache Wash Trailhead, 1600 E. Sonoran Desert Dr. From Phoenix take I 17 north to Dove Valley road go east about 5 miles and turn left on Sonoran desert dr to trailhead with water and bathrooms
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Sonoran Preserve North Trail map

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jashay77 (on May 27, 2020)
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Trail conditions

Dusty (on Sep 14, 2020)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Phoenix, Arizona

Beginner | 10 mi
Advanced | 5 mi

Rider questions

Q: clockwise or counter clockwise?

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  • stolireef

    Over the past few days, I did the Apache Wash trail and about 4 miles of the Octillo trail. I'm a complete newbie.

    So, first the Apache Wash. This is really two different trails. Riding counterclockwise, the first three miles is 'technical' for a newbie. I was able to handle most of it but not with any grace or skill. The second three miles is mostly packed dirt. There are some climbs and some downhills but this was my favorite part of the trail.

    Octillo is a different animal. For a newbie, I could handle anything on the trail but for the long climbs. Guess I'm a bit of a wimp but I had a hard time with a few of them. Either is good for a beginner.

    My recommendation is that you do the Apache Wash clockwise to start.

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  • botchok

    It was a good trail.7 miles uphill but was fun. Recommend this trail..enjoy and be safe..

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  • Andy Wing

    Probably the best trails to start mountain biking on. It has trail levels from beginner to intermediate. Apache wash is a great 7 mile trail to start on. Not much incline. It is really busy with bikes and hikers.

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  • wpanicAZmtb

    Fun set of singletrack trails. Ocotillo is fun and flowy. Ridgeback is a steep climb with several switchbacks. Sidewinder has some longer climbs and downhills that are fun. BB, CW and AW trails are mostly flat with some washes. Weekends can get quite a few hikers. The Apache Wash trailhead is the best place to start. Be aware the trailhead does have pit toilets, but does NOT have potable water.

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  • dschmitz8565

    Awesome set of trails. Weekend traffic can get heavy but there are enough trails to still get out there and pound. Love the ability to link up to the south preserve via an old dirt road just sound and west of the Apache wash trail head entrance off dove valley road.

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  • peter_schaer

    This is an amazing trail with great views. You'll get to know your bike on climbs and descents. The trail is not as technical or rocky as Trail 100, but the climbs are steep and require skill to navigate.

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  • peacemaker1

    I started at the trailhead on Carefree highway and took the Ocotillo trail heading west. It was nice and easy all the way to the Apache trailhead which is about 6.5 miles from where I started. The trail connected with Sidewinder, which ended up being a long steep lung-busting climb. I would certainly rate Sidewinder as an intermediate trail due to the steepness for no other reason. The trail was hard packed with very few areas of loose rocks. If you are looking for just a good workout then this is a good place to ride.

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  • Rock Concepts

    Really good down hill with challanging rocky climbs

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  • AaronT

    Ocotillo trail is fast in sections, mostly flowy brown ribbon but lots of dipsy do/switch backs & good uphill. Red rock looks almost like Sedona. Sonoran trail is the lung buster. Best attempted Counter clockwise from the trail head. Lots of awesome side mountain downhills. Reminded me of Fruita, CO. Loop all the way down O trail to S & around back to O. This isn't a beginner trail. A beginner will get better and lots of intermediate sections getting up S from the West side (Central Ave. entrance) and some on ridge trails to the top. All in all a great set of trails for the area.

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  • nedmario

    fun flowy pump able trail. Great climbs and a good workout not technical and great for all levels

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