Posts Tagged "pemberton mcdowell mountain"

Mountain Bike Trails – Fountain Hills – Pemberton Competitive Tracks

Posted by on Apr 16, 2012 in Arizona (Phoenix Area), Pemberton | 0 comments

Mountain Bike Trails – Fountain Hills – Pemberton Competitive Tracks

Difficulty:  Easy to Technical (great for all skills)

Distance:  Three Loops (Sport Loop – 3 miles, Technical Loop – 4 miles, and Long Loop – 8 miles) 

Every time I go out to Fountain Hills to do some mountain biking on Pemberton Trail, I discover new variations and trails.  I have always heard how good the competitive loop trails are out at Pemberton, but how can I try something new, when the trails I have come to know and love are so great!  Well, due to time constraints today, I was forced to go for a shorter trail, so it seemed the perfect day to try these out.  Oh, have I been missing out!  These trails are fantastic and I can see why so many people rave about them!  I started out on the sport loop, after the park ranger told me that this is absolutely the best trail out at Pemberton.  I now can’t say I disagree.  It is not too challenging, and it is short (only 3 miles), but I don’t know that I can disagree with him, and this could very well be the best three miles of trail in the park!

After checking out the sport loop, we headed over to the long loop (8 miles).  This is another fantastic trail with a good mix of fast single track, beautiful scenery of the Mcdowell Mountains, and a few good climbs and drops (nothing too technical).   There are a couple spots that can scare off a newbie, and one of the riders while on the trail proceeded to tell us that he was airlifted off of the trail last year after hitting some soft soil on a descent.  Don’t let it scare you, as you will be disappointed after riding this trail that you did not do it sooner (that’s how I felt anyway).  He went on to say after this that he lives in Fountain Hills and as soon as his collar bone healed, this was the first place he brought the bike back out to.  I can see why people love living in Fountain Hills.  The houses and real estate is beautiful with awesome scenic views.

I can now officially say that my new favorite trails in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Fountain Hills are the competitive tracks.  The best area in the state for mountain biking just got better, but tons of other riders already know this.

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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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Pemberton – Coach Whip – Bluff – Dixie Mine Trail at McDowell Mountain

Posted by on Dec 30, 2011 in Pemberton | 3 comments

Pemberton – Coach Whip – Bluff – Dixie Mine Trail at McDowell Mountain

Difficulty:   EASY

Distance:  18.5 Miles

City:  Scottsdale

Here is a great variation on one of the best single tracks in AZ.  Pemberton trail is 15.3 miles, but by taking Granite Trail over to Bluff, then head North to Pemberton and then head Left at the Pemberton intersection over to Coach Whip and follow to Dixie Mine, connect back to Pemberton head left and connect back over to Bluff for the fast single track back to the parking lot.  We ran into a guy on the trail (about 60 years old) that referred to Bluff Trail back to the parking lot as “HOT FUDGE SUNDAE”.  This is fast, easy and great fun.  Clip in and enjoy the single-track back in.

 

 

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