The Arizona Trail is nearly complete. It's a multi day epic trail that runs north-south from Arizona's Utah border, to it's border with Mexico. It will be over 800 miles long when it is done! Here is an overview map of the trail and a breakdown of the trail into 43 sections and information on the north trailhead of the AZ trail.
Check out a list of trails on Arizona BLM land, and a state trails locator map. (Note: These lists are hiker-centric, so make sure mountain bikes are allowed on a trail before you head out!)
State wide information: non-location specific
Mount Elden Just North of Flagstaff you can't miss it. "Makes Durango look like L.A. It has the best trail system in the Southwest." Said Mountain Bike in its August 1996 issue page 48. I can not stress how great the trails are on Mount Elden... you will just have to go and see for yourself what I am talking about.
Verde Hot Springs
This is a very hard but short trail. You started by decending into a Valley for 5 miles were there is a hot spring. Don't bring your swiming trunks because this spring is famous for is nude bathing. After that you climb out of the Valley for 6 miles to end up on the other side of the Valley. It is a turn and burn trail.
How To Get there: From Phoenix travel north to Camp Verde. Get on the 260 heading east towards Payson. Go to forest road 708. Drive to forest road 502 turn right towards Childs.
Brookbank Trail This trail is in the foothills north of downtown Flagstaff can be a lung buster. It gains nearly 2,000 feet in elevation in the Coconino National Forest. Though not terribly technical, it is aerobically demanding. The trail is an 11-mile loop that goes along the Mount Elden Lookout Road. Part of the ride includes winding your way up this road, where you will eventually read the Mount Elden Lookout Tower. At this point, you can see Sunset and Strawberry craters to the east. This trail can have heavy traffic by various types of users. But the good thing is that you can easily connect it with other less-used trails, such as the Rocky Ridge Trail or Oldham Trail.
The Highline National Recreation Trail (central AZ)
260 Loop Take 260 east out of Payson for 27 miles and on the left there will be a parking lot. This trail has a lot of up and down. It start below the Mogollon rim and it goes up it then back down below and finishes in the same spot you started.
Mogollon, Rim. Just North East of Pine. There is a whole network of Trails.
gpstrailmaps.com free GPX format maps: Phoenix, Arizona (Rocks and Cacti)
South Mountain Holds many trails ranging from Intermediate to Hard. Trails inclued: The Desert Classic, Mormon, National, Ridgeline, and Javelina are among the most popular. The Desert Classic is a very easy trail with sort steep climps and fast rollers. Mormon is for the experienced rider. It has steep long climbs with rocky downhills. National is for very experienced riders only. It has larg drop offs with a ledge on the side. I highly recomend going up Mormon and down national it is a blast!! Ridgeline is fairly hard with steep rocky uphills and steep rocky downhills (not much fun.) Javelina is a fairly easy trail going down but coming up it is very hard.
Phoenix Mnts. Preserve This is a small park with only one trail, trail 100. It is a easy trail with some hard climbs. Good place to ride if you live in downtown Phoenix or North Phoenix.
Cave Creek Just west of Cave Creek take carefree highway to 32nd street and go north tell the end of 32nd street. Same area that the Cannondale race is held at. Fast and fun.
White Tanks Mountains West of Phoenix take I-10 to exit 124 go north 8 miles till you hit Dunlap-Olive and then take a right. Fast and fun trails. One of the Cannondale Cup Series races is help up there. Easy trail with a few steep and rockey climbs.
Estrella Mts. Take I-10 to Litchfield road head south on Lithchfield till you hit Hwy 85 take that West to Bullard Rd. go south to Vinyard then go West thats all! Not many trails and I don't think it is much fun.
Official South Mountain Trails page
TRW / HAAS Mountain
- Location: Mesa, AZ
- Trail Name: TRW / HAAS Mountain
- Park Name: Red Mountain Ranch Area
Description: Its a pretty short loop. You can either make it a turnaroud loop (6 miles) or you can connect to the next trail head about 1/4 mile away (Haas Mountain) which makes it a 10 mile loop. Its kind of rocky, with a really fun fire road descent leading to some moderate switchbacks. The trail is mostly single track but does go into double track at points.
Major Highlight(s): Good for that quick training ride, you can make it as hard or as easy as you please. It's a great place to meet other people who ride, and doesn't take long (25 minutes if you really pedal) It's a great beginer to sport level ride.
How To Get there: Head east on McDowell road till you get to Recker Rd. Follow Recker till you get to Red Mountain Ranch. The park is on your left. Park at the trailhead located on Recker Rd.
- Location: Scottsdale, AZ
- Trail Name: Murphy's Trails
Description: 100 miles of singletrack are advertised. Mostly rolling, smooth, fast 1-track with quick, technical grunts. Difficulty is in the moderate range with beginner fire roads as well. One of the best loops is to head up the left hand power line road at the NE corner of the intersection. Take West Express up to Flower Garden, across Brown's Road, down Roller Coaster and Coaster and then head down either Dara a Sarah or Bail out. FUN! A map is necessary and available at surrounding bike shops!!!
Major Highlight(s): This trail is very unique to the area. It is right across from the doomed Pinnacle Peak Cactus Cup course and is the same terrain. This ride is smooth and fast, whereas most rides in the Phoenix area are bumpy and slower. These trails remind me more of New Mexico riding than Arizona. You can ride from one hour to eight hours and never hit the same trail twice!
How To Get there: The trailhead is at the intersection of Pima Road and Dynamite Road in North Scottsdale.
Spruce Mtn This mountain has one main trail, it starts at trailhead #307. The loop is 9 miles long and is sorta tough. It takes about 2 hours to complete and it is all single track, horse trail. Watch out!!!! There are lots and lots of horses on this trail so control your speed!!!
Carr Canyon to Miller Canyon
- Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
- Trail Name: Carr Canyon to Miller Canyon
Steep two mile climb and then single track on the side of the mountain with an extremely beautiful view. Very technical, rocky and fast but everything is cleanable (if you aren't scared). The entire loop is about 9 miles.
This is the most gnarly technical, rocky single track in town with a fantastic view of the city.
How To Get there:
Head south on Hwy 92 till you reach the Mesquite Tree restaurant, then head up Carr Canyon till you reach the first switchback and take the trail that heads off from there. Follow it till you reach Miller Canyon, then head down the road. Follow the road till you are back to the restaurant. If directions are hard to follow go to the bike shop in town and ask someone there for a trail map from the local bike club.
Tucson Mnts. This is quick easy desert single track. It has many Saguaro forest, with great views, and lots of wildlife. It has many rides such as the starr (I spelled it right, trust me.) pass Loop, and Chiva Falls. Starr Pass Loop is a moderate single track that is 7.7 miles long. Chiva Falls is a hard ride that lasts 8.4 miles.
Peppersauce Loop This is a tough long trail. It is 11 miles long and it takes about 2-3 hours to complete. It is located West of Tucson, by the small town of Oracle, it is mostly double track.
Elephant Head This Mountain has a whole seires of old jeep trails. It is just South of Tuscon.
Mount Lemmon There are a lot of trail here, but i have never found a good one.
White Mountains (far-eastern AZ)
Rides in the White Mountains: by René Hokans
Mountain Biking in Arizona's White Mountains
Somewhere, in some book, years ago, i read that i should do the Sunshine Loop Trail in AZ, 15 miles SE of St. George, UT. On the border: 8.5 mile loop, BLM map available. Anybody know anything about it?
Alasdair Arthur's MTB tour near the North Rim
Kaibab National Forest
- Location: Grand Canyon, AZ
- Trail Name: Kaibab National Forest
Fire road and singletrack in a pine forest high enough to avoid summer heat.
As close as you can get to the Grand canyon on a mountain bike! Some dirt roads lead to overlooks into the Canyon.
How To Get there:
From Flagstaff, head north on Highway 89. Take Alternate Route 89 west to Jacab Lake and head south on Highway 67. There's a campground at Jacob Lake which makes a nice base camp.
Lake Powell Rocks
- Location: Page, AZ
- Trail Name: Lake Powell Rocks
- Park Name: Lake Powell - Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Description: Easy to technical depending on the route. The loop is 10 miles long, with a three mile side trip on the the slickrock to Lake Powell.
Major Highlight(s): It's a great training ride. The singletrack has been described as a giant BMX course on the edge of a cliff with killer views. The slickrock is more difficult than Moab in places, but mostly very fun and rideable by intermediates. This loop is the course of the Red Rock Rumble MTB Stage Race cross country.
How To Get there: From Flagstaff, go North on Hwy 89 to Page. In Page, visit Red Rock Cyclery for free map and directions to this and many other rides. Great slickrock, singletrack, views of Lake Powell and the Grand Canyon, plus a nice swim to finish your ride...
Monument Valley Just over the Utah border in Arizona, this landscape of red rock, sage-covered sands and massive sandstone is a gem in the desert. The park gained fame over the years as a backdrop for a slew of artists - from filmmakers to photographer to painters. Hit this place on the right summer day and the contrast between the red rocks and azure sky makes for an indelible Arizona moment. The 17-mile loop around Monument Valley is just dirt road - nothing technical. Its riding level is easy to moderate. The only challenges here are the cars and the washboard roads.
Mingus Mtn. Downhill This trail is all jeep trail but has some of the fastest downhill in the state. You start in the small town of Jerome and climb for 900 feet the you make a left and go down hill to loose 2600 feet in about 6 miles to end up in the town of Cottonwood. Don't kill your self here!!!