Best MTB trails near Phoenix, Arizona

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    • #86781

      We are going to Phoenix in a few days on business, but we’re bringing out bikes. I am a beginner and my boyfriend is advanced. We’ve been asked to lead a mountain bike ride on Sunday. The other riders (coworkers and boss) would be beginners I’m assuming. We’ll be renting bikes locally for them and have van for transporting bikes. We don’t mind driving up to 2 hours outside of Phoenix.

      Any suggestions on best trails for a beginner (but adventurous) group?


    • #86782

      Hope my response is not too late. It’s been very rainy lately, so I would stay away from Sedona or any location north of Phoenix. The city has many options for a nice ride. South part of town has South Mountain preserve (largest city park in the U.S.) and numerous trails varying from easy to insane. The North part of town has North Mountain Preserve. This park has many areas for access, the most popular being Dreamy Draw (located off highway 51). It has a nice paved path for the casual riders and many trails and loops to offer fun for many levels. I will say that there will always be some climbing involved with any level of trail in this town, but consider it more like a roller coaster ride with a payout just around every corner. 😃 You can find out more about trails at these parks on this webiste. There are other areas to visit as well, I would visit a LBS or pick up Cosmic Ray’s Arizona MTB Guide. It rocks!

    • #86783

      Ill second picking up Cosmic Ray’s MTB Guide, great guide and pretty hilarious reading!

      The Black Canyon trail has been on my hit list for a while now- it got 9 inches of rain in 36 hours last week! – I think Ill wait a few more days 😃

    • #86784

      Here’s a link to trails w/in 25 miles of Phoenix. Just realized we don’t have difficulty ratings on this page… Will fix that soon! … &radius=25

      Also, here’s an overview map of Phoenix trails we created a while back:



      And here’s a link to the PDF for printing:

    • #86785

      Thanks for the advice. The responses were a little bit late … we just got back from the trip. But it’s amazing that I was able to find most of the best trails. I did 5 out of the top 6 on the list. We did visit McDowell but we were rushed and didn’t get the best trail. It was still nice. Trail #100 was the first trail we visited and it was a tad rocky for me (beginner). I think the trail may have been damaged a little from the rains … and honestly I improved so much over the 4 days I was riding that Trail #100 probably would look different to me if I visited it today.

      Our favorite trail was Hawes. I had to walk some of the technical sections but other than that it was great.

      Thanks for the input. Arizona is a great place to ride in January.

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