Posts Tagged "single track scottsdale"

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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