Posts Tagged "mountain bike scottsdale"

Top Mountain Bike Trail in Fountain Hills

Posted by on Mar 25, 2012 in Pemberton | 0 comments

Top Mountain Bike Trail in Fountain Hills

MILES:  13

DIFFICULTY:  Easy with a few tricky spots

Just when I thought mountain biking in Scottsdale and Fountain Hills could not get any better, we discovered this great trail head that connects to Pemberton Bike trail system.  From Scottsdale, take Shea out to Fountain Hills and then head north on Palisades Road for about four or five miles until you see the signs for the Sonoran Trail Head.  Follow the road from the parking lot through the guard gate and pass a few incredible homes and LUXURY FOUNTAIN HILLS REAL ESTATE.

This trail head is a hidden gem for mountain bikers.  The facilities are probably the nicest of any trail head I have ever been to, and hardly anyone knows about it.  The parking lot is usually half empty.  From the trail head, just follow the signs for about a half mile to the entrance to Mcdowell Mountain Regional Park system.  Pay your $2 to help keep the trails open to all and maintain them and then head back into the trail and connect to Dixie Mine.  This trail is less traveled than the other main trails in the Pemberton Park, and you can connect to the rest of Pemberton with some killer views and a few great climbs and descents.  Follow Dixie Mine for a couple miles and then you will see the actual Dixie Mine.  Pretty cool little detour if time permits, but then connect back from Dixie Mine to Pemberton.  Today we took Pemberton West back into Coach Whip and then Coach Whip back to Dixie Mine.  Take a right at the Pemberton junction to add anywhere from another 8 to 12 miles of awesome fast single track.

From up at the top of Coach Whip you can take several detours up and over the Windgate Pass, or just connect to make it a great little loop back to Dixie Mine.  These are the best trails in the state and the best part about it (other than the fast single track or incredible views) is that you can take so many variations of this trail that you basically can ride it 20 times without taking the same path twice.


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Scottsdale Sonoran Preserve Desert Park and Windgate Trail

Posted by on Feb 5, 2012 in Windgate Trail Center | 1 comment

Scottsdale Sonoran Preserve Desert Park and Windgate Trail

Miles:  12

Difficulty:  Easy to Moderate

Looking for an amazing trail out on the mountain bike?  Start here!  Begin the trail at the Mcdowell Mountain Sonoran Preserve Windgate Trail center and from here take your choice on getting up the hill.  I started along Desert Park Trail in the video below and rode out through DC Ranch and Silverleaf to see some of the priciest real estate for sale in North Scottsdale.  Follow Desert Park through some flat and scenic trails (million dollar views and houses surround you) and you will go under the road and end up at the park with a nice lake if you want to take a quick  pit stop.  Continue up Desert Park Trail (under the next bridge) and the start heading up the Mcdowell Mountains.  You will stay on this gradual climb for about 3.5 more miles until you eventually get to the connection to Windgate Trail.  From here, check out some awesome views of North Scottsdale.  Continue up the trail to Inspiration Point or up to Windgate Pass to get up and over the mountain and connect over to Pemberton mountain bike trail in Fountain Hills if you are feeling adventurous and full of energy (you will need it to get back over the mountain remember).  Beware – do this on a weekend and you are playing “Frogger” the entire way back down to the Windgate Trail Head.

From Windgate Pass saddle to Inspiration point it starts getting rocky and steep so get your granny gear ready.  If you don’t feel like making the rock climb, keep going on Windgate Trail and connect back over to the trail center and for some extra distance, keep going around Windgage trail for about 2 miles or so and you will eventually see a sign that will connect over to Paradise Trail.  You can take Paradise Trail over to Taliesen and Lost Dog if you are looking for extra mileage and can’t get your fix for rock climbing.

 

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Mountain Biking in Fountain Hills with some awesome scenery

Posted by on Jan 31, 2012 in Pemberton | 1 comment

Mountain Biking in Fountain Hills with some awesome scenery

MILES:  15

Difficulty:  Easy to Medium

Here is a great trail in the beautiful city of Fountain Hills, Arizona.  If you haven’t taken the mountain bike out to Pemberton (home to many races throughout the year such as the dawn to dusk), you are missing out.  This is one of the best trails you will every find, with different technical skills across all levels of ability.

The Pemberton trail is 15.2 miles from start to finish but the variation in the map below is my favorite way to ride it with some sweet single track sections.  Start out on Pemberton trail in the normal direction (south) and then head West on Granite Trail, until you hit Bluff Trail, then take Bluff Trail and join Pemberton after about four miles.  This is smooth and fast with some gradual easy climbing.  Once you hit Pemberton head left (South) and connect to Coach Whip.  This is a great trail that will take you all the way over to Windmill and Windgate Pass if you are feeling daring, and up to the saddle with a sweet view of the entire city.  In the trail below, I took Coach Whip over to Dixie Mine and then connected back to Pemberton.  Coach Whip and Dixie Mine give you some great climbs with some fast and rocky down hill sections.  The rocks can be a bit much for some, but trust me….it’s worth it.

This trail will take you back down to Pemberton Trail, and then back down to where it all started.  Taking the trail this time of year (January-March) will give you some of the best scenery anywhere down here in Phoenix, Scottsdale or Fountain Hills, with great views of boulders, saguaro’s, wild flowers and fast single track.

If you finish Pemberton and feel like adding on some distance, try to get over to the competitive tracks at the entrance to the park.  There are several different trails at the competitive loops with “Easy”, “Mid-Level” or “Difficult”  levels of technical skills required.

 

 

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The Best Mountain Bike Trail in Phoenix – Pemberton, Coach Whip, Bluff & Dixie Mine

Posted by on Jan 9, 2012 in Pemberton | 2 comments

The Best Mountain Bike Trail in Phoenix – Pemberton, Coach Whip, Bluff & Dixie Mine

Level of Difficulty:  Easy – with a few moderate climbs

Miles –  18.5

This could very well be the best mountain bike trail in the entire Phoenix area.  Drive out through Fountain Hills and head North on Mcdowell Mountain Road until you see the McDowell Mountain Preserve.  Pay your $6 at the gate (yes, it is worth it) and head back to the trail head parking, which is about 3 0r 4 miles past the gate.  Once you park head South on the the Pemberton trail until you run into Granite Trail, then head North on Granite Trail for about 10 minutes until you run into the intersection for Bluff Trail.  Turn onto Bluff Trail, then continue to to head North for a total of about 4 miles from the parking lot and there connect with Pemberton Trail again, and head Left (South).  The views are spectacular out here with large Saguaro Cacti (which FYI can only be seen in the Sonoran Desert) and large boulder rock gardens.  After heading left on Pemberton (which is south), you will stay on this past Knob Rock all the way to Coach Whip.  FYI – Knob Rock is a great little detour off of the Pemberton trail back into the boulder looking mountain that you can see just off the trail.  You can stay on Knob Rock for a short while and actually connect to the Tom’s Thumb Parking lot after going through a horse gate connecting the McDowell Mountain County preserve.

So, now take a right on Coach Whip and get ready for some gradual climbing (at least for a while before it gets pretty steep back there).  Stay on Coach Whip and get some of the best views anywhere in the Phoenix area and head on up to the lookout (where Coach Whip connects with Windmill before heading up to Windgate Pass and up and over the mountain over to the Windgate City Preserve.  Make sure you are ready for some serious climbing if you are going to attempt this (which is the easiest of the overpasses) or Bell or Sunrise for some steeper climbs up to the saddle.

Coach Whip continues for about another mile through prickly pear cactus and connects over with Dixie Mine.  Take a right and head back down to Pemberton (fast and rocky – but fun!) and when connecting to Pemberton, take a left and head back to the Bluff trail for some extremely fast and furious single track back down to the parking lot.  You won’t regret it!

 

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