Mountain Biking in Phoenix, Arizona


Phoenix Mountain Preserve Trail

Get to 7th Ave and Dunlap. Then go north on 7th Ave past Hatcher, through a residential area (it winds around a little bit). There will be a small park on the right. Park at the park. The trail head is on the north side of the park.

Ross Finlayson adds: This is a very scenic trail, with some nice views of Phoenix. There’s plenty of cactus to look at, but none on the trail itself, so you don’t have to worry much about flats. The trail is rocky, with a few rather tricky technical sections, but not a lot of climbing. The main trail (#100) is 10.7 miles each way. If you don’t want to ride the entire 21.4 miles round trip, you can shorten the trip by joining the trail at any of three intermediate points: 7th St. (not the same as 7th Ave.), Cave Creek Rd., or Northern Ave. (The trail ends at Tatum Blvd.) The most technical parts of the trail are on the section between Cave Creek Rd. and Northern Ave.]

Papago Buttes Park

Get to 64th St and McDowell (64th St is also called Galvin Parkway). Go south on 64th St, the park entrance will be on the left. If you get to Van Buren St, you’ve gone too far.

Alacia Hutto adds: (This park is) good for toodling around. A lot of singletrack and not very technical - I go there after work sometimes to squeeze in a quick lap or two. Lots of trail to choose from and it runs along side the Phoenix Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

South Mountain Park

It’s kind of hard to miss. Just look south. It’s the largest mountain range due south of town. There are several entrances. To get to the overlook, take Central Ave south, and it will take you to the top, where the radio towers are. There is a guard shack at the bottom of the hill, and they should have info on where to go. If not, the eastern end of the park is laced with trails.

Alacia Hutto adds: This is by far my favorite place to ride! There are a lot of trails here and many are quite challenging. Beware of pedestrians!! This place is extremely popular on the weekends!! Helicopter Pad is fast and pretty flat the first part and gets more technical at the end (here it’s real steep - called the Goat trail). My favorite ride is along Mormon/National. These are two different, connecting trails. There is a 1.5 mile gravel access road which brings you to the Mormon/National trailhead. Mormon is technical single track which ascends to a mountain ridge and overlooks the city. It’s a beautiful view! It continues along the ridge and then hooks up to National trail again. You can turn left and go back down National or go to the right and go up National. If you continue up, you will get to the "Waterfall" (dried up of course) and you will carry your bike up. You can then continue for about 3 - 4 more miles to the parking lot and go further after that, but I’ve never gone past that point. Going back down National is quite tooth rattling. Get a mouth guard. :>

White Tanks Regional Park

Take Dunlap (Olive) out west as far as it goes. It’s kind of hard to miss, because Olive just goes directly into the park. There is a 2 buck charge per vehicle, but it is well worth it to keep a park as nice as that one maintained. There are many miles of trails, but most of them are very rugged and not really well suited for biking. There is an area set aside specially for bikes, just take the park road until it ends near Ford Canyon. Maps are available at the ranger station. I strongly suggest putting the green stop leak goop in your tires if you go, because there is a lot of nasty cholla cactus out there.

Estrella Mountain Park

7 mile loop (approx.) starts out on gravel jeep road for about 2 miles (?) and then turns into single track through the desert. Not very hard. It’s quite rocky in the transition from jeep road to single track. The hardest parts are a few quick descents combined with a sharp turn in the middle of a short, steep uphill. This park is further away than the rest - about a 45 minute drive SW of Phoenix - and not really worth it compared to the other places.

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Trail descriptions provided by Doug Allenberg ( and Alacia Hutto (