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  1. #1
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    Brown's Ranch Trailhead Grand Opening - Sat. Oct. 19th - Scottsdale

    The official grand opening of Scottsdale’s Brown's Ranch trailhead is next Saturday, October 19th starting at 8:00 am with the Mayor speaking at 9:00 am. There will be an organized mountain bike ride and hike at approximately 10:00 am.

    This new section of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve immediately adds 60 miles of non-motorized, multi-use trails to Scottsdale (hike, bike, equestrian). Approximately 100 miles of additional trails are planned for the northern section of the Preserve within the next few years. Eventually trails south of Dynamite, from Tom’s Thumb trailhead will link the northern Preserve with the southern section and McDowell Mt. Park.

    The new trails are beginner to intermediate. Most are rolling hills on crushed granite with a few extended climbs and minor rocks on the trails. There are a few sandy wash crossings.

    The scenery is FANTASTIC - a true Sonoran Desert experience with huge Saguaro cactus and fantastic rock formations. The trails loop Granite Mtn, Cholla Mtn, Brown's Mtn, Cone Mtn and Balanced Rock. If you like Pemberton, you will love this place!

    There will be no onsite parking Saturday (any other day there is plenty of free parking). Parking will be available at the Pinnacle Peak Patio restaurant, 10426 E. Jomax Rd. Shuttles to the trailhead will be provided for walkers/hikers, or it is a 2 mile ride north on Alma School to the trailhead.

    Basic directions - from Pima Rd go east on Dynamite to Alma School. The trailhead is north (left) on Alma School. BUT, the parking Saturday is south (right) on Alma School to Jomax (right).

    Hope to see you all out there!

    Mark

    Brown's Ranch Trailhead Grand Opening - Sat. Oct. 19th - Scottsdale-brownsranch.jpg
    Last edited by MarkP; 10-13-2013 at 05:03 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Good deal, always liked that area.

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    I have ridden sections of this trail a few times now, and I thought it was one of the nicer trails I have found. A little something for everybody it seemed to me. And they are right, the scenery is second to none. Saw a tarantula AND a gila monster on the same ride.
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  4. #4
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    So I went riding there few weeks ago and kind of enjoyed the Cone Mtn Trail loop, the climb up the Brown's is mandatory to add any sort of ascent cred, hated the cholla mtn loop - it was designed to smash MTB face on cactus. Granite MTB loop was my favorite. I had to return on 136th express and Powerline - which suuuuuuuuuuuuuck, no fun just pure grindfest.

    ... at one point during the ride I got lost. I think I ended up on an OLD trail 14 or 18 going west.... AND IT WAS IT ****ING AWESOME... it was old moto trail with rolls and berms and it was best ****ing five minutes of the whole entire ride.

    and now this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Approximately 100 miles of additional trails are planned for the northern section of the Preserve within the next few years.



    WHY Scottsdale, leave the those ****ing trails alone !

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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    ... at one point during the ride I got lost. I think I ended up on an OLD trail 14 or 18 going west.... AND IT WAS IT ****ING AWESOME... it was old moto trail with rolls and berms and it was best ****ing five minutes of the whole entire ride.

    and now this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!




    WHY Scottsdale, leave the those ****ing trails alone !
    As much as everyone wants to look at the old trails through their rose-colored glasses....a lot of the old trails also sucked. Most likely because everyone could just make any ole trails they wanted...the Arizona State Trust was just an absentee owner.

    I like the new trails so far. Maybe I just never knew of the awesome secret MTB trails that were at P&D before the new trails were cut. If memory serves, I just remember a lot of sand, sand, rutted out moto trails....with sand. After a few visits, I felt P&D wasn't really worth visiting....and maybe that's the way the "locals" wanted it.

    I for one welcome our new trail-building overlords!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhxChem View Post
    As much as everyone wants to look at the old trails through their rose-colored glasses....a lot of the old trails also sucked. Most likely because everyone could just make any ole trails they wanted...the Arizona State Trust was just an absentee owner.

    I like the new trails so far. Maybe I just never knew of the awesome secret MTB trails that were at P&D before the new trails were cut. If memory serves, I just remember a lot of sand, sand, rutted out moto trails....with sand. After a few visits, I felt P&D wasn't really worth visiting....and maybe that's the way the "locals" wanted it.

    I for one welcome our new trail-building overlords!
    das iz what I am sayin... the sheep got their kitty littered disney routes
    leave the rest alone, save money, preserve the historic moto trails

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhxChem View Post
    As much as everyone wants to look at the old trails through their rose-colored glasses....a lot of the old trails also sucked.
    Very true. The old trails were a combination of suck and awesome. The new trails are just uniformly 'nice'.

    For the demographic they are going after, the new trails are perfect. And no more getting lost since every intersection is signed. I'll also give them credit for routing the trails through some of the most scenic areas - really nice. This is an excellent system for beginners and hikers.

    However, I'm one of the folks who miss the whoops and the berms and the super fun sections that are gone - even though you had to slog through sand or walk up a rutted hill to get to them. To me, the crap was worth wading through to get to the gold.

    But that is the past. I expect this place to be VERY popular once word gets out. Fortunately AZ has many, many other options for those who like their riding a little more on the wild side.

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    anything is better than the spaghetti with kitty litter sauce that was once Pima and Dynamite... I might actually go out there now and ride...
    Below Par on the Gnar

  9. #9
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    Brown's Ranch Trailhead Grand Opening - Sat. Oct. 19th - Scottsdale

    Quote Originally Posted by MtbAZ44 View Post
    anything is better than the spaghetti with kitty litter sauce that was once Pima and Dynamite... I might actually go out there now and ride...
    Agreed. The moto whoop-dee-doos were sucksville the whole way.
    Please donate to IMBA or your local chapter. It's trail karma.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtownmtb View Post

    For the demographic they are going after, the new trails are perfect.
    its a good complement to the harder stuff in the McDs. Need to get out there again, add some b-lines in the boulders.

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    I enjoyed it. Did the out lying loop clockwise to bootlegger then back to Vaquero to the trailhead. Its a fun fast ride.

  12. #12
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    Cholla,

    There are a few b-lines that they left alone, which is a fun surprise. They also left two trails 'as they were' and just slapped new signs on them. I've said this before, they put in too many trails in this first phase. Most of the trails south of the power line and east of 118th st, flat out suck. The exception might be, and I have not ridden it yet, is Whiskey Bottle from Dixileta Trail toward Fasefield Mtn trail head. The others, IMO will eventually get over grown from lack of traffic, these are just too far for hikers from Browns Ranch, and I just don't see the Fasefield Mtn trail head being that heavily used.

    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball View Post
    its a good complement to the harder stuff in the McDs. Need to get out there again, add some b-lines in the boulders.

  13. #13
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    Equestrian usage from the horse properties east of 136th.

    Quote Originally Posted by tjkm View Post
    The others, IMO will eventually get over grown from lack of traffic, these are just too far for hikers from Browns Ranch, and I just don't see the Fasefield Mtn trail head being that heavily used.
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    i rode it tonight... these trails are definitely an outstanding novice ride .... and a good relaxing ride for the experienced... they did a great job in my opinion... it may not have the cardio climbs I want... but, for those wanting to get in shape or just starting out, its a great area...
    Below Par on the Gnar

  15. #15
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    Did you have a chance to climb Brown's Mountain? I like coming up the back side from the west. Some HAB for me over the top!

    Quote Originally Posted by MtbAZ44 View Post
    i rode it tonight... these trails are definitely an outstanding novice ride .... and a good relaxing ride for the experienced... they did a great job in my opinion... it may not have the cardio climbs I want... but, for those wanting to get in shape or just starting out, its a great area...
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkP View Post
    Did you have a chance to climb Brown's Mountain? I like coming up the back side from the west. Some HAB for me over the top!
    of course I tried it if you know me, I love to climb or at least try to climb... the steepness and length of the climb was not an issue... it was the tight switchbacks that made me have to stop... but I was able to get back on the bike quickly and continue climbing...

    Another thing I noticed near Browns Mtn was there must be a family of skunks living around there... man the smell was strong last night...
    Below Par on the Gnar

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    I went up and rode it a couple times this week and logged about 30 miles in all. The only other time I had ridden in that area was the McDowell Sonoran Challenge 18 months ago -- suffice it to say I never bothered to go back. I like it better now, though -- they did a nice job with the place.

    I agree with pretty much everything that's said above. It's a very mellow riding area, which could be super-fast except that most of the corners are off-camber and full of slippery kitty litter. With cholla at the apex and outside of every turn (or so it seemed whenever I started to lose the front), and the typical wash-switchbacks tend to interrupt the flow a lot. But it's a nice antidote to the super-rocky choss more typical around here, so I might go back again when I get sick of knocking my teeth out.

    -If, as discussed above, you wanna experience some of the whoops and berms of the old motox trails, Maverick - my fave little stretch
    -Don't bother with Brown's unless you like to climb; the descent isn't worth it
    -Avoid the power line road at all costs; it sucks. And it won't save you any time.
    -Do yourself a favor and have some tread on your tires. My rear was knackered, which made things "exciting" at times.

    A good tour might go something like this:
    -Ranch trail to Cone Mtn Trail around the west side of Cone mountain
    -Go North on Uppper Ranch and hang a right on Brown Mtn Trail, go up and over Brown's Mtn (W to E)
    -Cut over to Maverick
    -Up Cholla, East down Branding Iron and Granite Mtn Loop
    -West on Balanced Rock and then choose you poison back to the trailhead (avoiding Powerline Rd)
    -The views are gorgeous, so screw Strava and stop to take a pic or two

    I didn't make it West of Granite Mtn loop of south of Powerline Rd, though. Dark chased me out both times.

  18. #18
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    Excellent review!

    One alternate - from the parking lot head south on the pavement, then right (west) on Hackamore Trail, take that around to connect to Cone Mt. It's an excellent warm up trail with great views.

    West side of Granite Mt Loop is fun from north to south.
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  19. #19
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    The Brown's Ranch Trailhead will close at 1:00pm today to set up for the grand opening tomorrow.

    The Granite Mt trailhead is open. From Dynamite take 136th St north 2 miles, the parking lot and trailhead are directly under the big power lines. There is no water or facilities at this trailhead.
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    I will be up there tomorrow at the grand opening with my employer, the SFD, from 8-noon I believe

  21. #21
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    I have yet to encounter horses out there. Just evidence that they were there.........

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    Indeed. I am not too proud to say I have learned that horse apples provide better traction than decomposed granite....

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    Ya know, I've ridden Brown's Ranch before it was a preserve in the early nineties on both my dirt bike and mountain bike.

    I continued to ride there on my dirt bike until the rest of P&D was closed off to motorized use.

    I rode out there again on my mountain bike in June, shortly after they opened the "new" trail head.

    It was upsetting to me to see what they've done to that area. No, let me be more specific ... it made me want to throw up!

    Creating this "plastic" desert experience for people who's time is best spent at the mall? Really?

    From the landscaped trail sides with drip irrigation, to the signs about scorpions to keep the idiots scared and on the trail, I think it's disgusting.

    You can tell exactly when you leave their manicured little area because the trails get fun again. Yes, with whoops and berms that were made by dirt bike tires.

    To think that they're going to run their trail flattening machine through the rest of riding history out there is just criminal as far as I'm concerned.
    Last edited by TurtleGerl; 10-24-2013 at 08:54 PM.

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    TurtleGel - The trail building starts again in November with another 50 miles going in. I HOPE they do a better job, as *most* of the new stuff has no flow, and makes about 50 turns in a half mile. I do like riding Cholla Mtn ---Branding Iron---Grantie mtn east to west ( I might have my mtns mixed up). I also like Maverick, Vaquero, Wrangler, Rustler and part of Cone Mtn. There are some new trails that are just awful, and should be allowed to grow over and go back to a natural state.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tjkm View Post
    TurtleGel - The trail building starts again in November with another 50 miles going in. I HOPE they do a better job, as *most* of the new stuff has no flow, and makes about 50 turns in a half mile. I do like riding Cholla Mtn ---Branding Iron---Grantie mtn east to west ( I might have my mtns mixed up). I also like Maverick, Vaquero, Wrangler, Rustler and part of Cone Mtn. There are some new trails that are just awful, and should be allowed to grow over and go back to a natural state.
    They should just give what's already there some loving with some reroutes for the super sandy areas and close off some of the spaghetti.

    None of that area is super techy to begin with. Why dumb it down?

    Those trails already have names. Keep some history.

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