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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 28/29 WIT's Avatar
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    May 2011

    Easiest way over the McDowells

    Looking to ride over from the west side into MRP. I would like to start with the easy one and work my way to the hardest. I know this has been discussed before but trying to search from my phone is lame and to be honest I am lazy. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Reputation: Phillbo's Avatar
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    Apr 2004

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 28/29 WIT's Avatar
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    May 2011
    McDowell Regional Park. The east side over in fountain hills.

  4. #4
    Break it, Fix it, Ride it
    Reputation: Dag Nabbit's Avatar
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    May 2009
    Sunrise-Windgate-Bell Pass-Tom's Thumb, hard to harder. Sunrise is probably out since you'll be dumped at the south end of the park. Windgate sucks part of the way, but isn't too bad as long as you're not pathologically adverse to HAB. Never been up Bell W-E, but It seems like it would suck more than Windgate. TT is just a big hill, and the drop down East End would provide some pucker at the top. Start with Windgate, but none are too easy.
    Today's the day I eat bikes.

  5. #5
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    McD Big Loop 33x19.gpx
    This file shows a big loop around the McD's....the northern route is probably the easiest way to get from the West to the East side albeit longer than the direct route over Windgate. Warning though...there is a little sandy wash stuff you have to ride and a small scramble HAB out of that wash up to a road that t's into Happy Valley. You basically head north from there through the Tom's Thumb Trailhead, Rock Knob, etc...

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: metalaficionado's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
    Where are you trying to get to? Pemberton via Dixie or Coachwhip?

    There are basically two ways from east to west:

    insanely hard:
    1. Tom's thumb to Rock Knob to Pembo
    2. Bell Pass to Prospector or Windmill

    or just very hard
    1. Sunrise - that's too long and complicated, and the climb is still pretty crazy
    2.Gateway to Windgate to Windmill - most direct and my preferred route to MMP from Scottsdale

    There is no easy way.

  7. #7
    Reputation: azdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Bell Pass west to east is hard but its also quick plus a nice long dh to Pemberton.
    Bender to AZDog: I'm not the best person to give advice on not riding!

  8. #8
    Click Click Click
    Reputation: dirtbyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    How about put your bike in a hot air balloon and fly over? That would be the "easiest" way I can think of. Sorry, it is Friday and I felt like being a smart arse!

    But seriously have you looked at that mountain range? Nothing 'easy' about going up and over it, no matter how you look at it. But when you do it, it sure feels good.

  9. #9
    Go go gadget bike!
    Reputation: timothyclaus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    I'm riding over them tomorrow if you want to share punishment with somebody... I'm going to take the McDowell 60 course and then meet some people for a ride to Greasewood Flatts for dinner. You're welcome to join!

  10. #10
    Give it a crank
    Reputation: Mtn-Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    For the easy route, start at the north Tom's Thumb trailhead and take Rock Knob or Marcus Landslide to Pemberton. It's fun, scenic, and easy, with an easy return.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 28/29 WIT's Avatar
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    May 2011
    Thanks for all the info guys I appreciate it! I have a route all figured out. I will ride from the house and enter Tallesin from the Westworld trail take Quartz for that 100 yards or so before I get on Lost Dog then take Old Jeep Trail to Sunrise puke then try to finish the climb to the top of Sunrise. The Old Jeep trail and Sunrise will be new to me. This should be in the neighborhood of 25-30 miles so no need to go into the east side and ride those trails yet. I do like the hot air balloon idea mtbdennis but that is cheating. Hopefully I will post up tomorrow how it went.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 28/29 WIT's Avatar
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    May 2011
    Well I had a late start and had to be home for a soccer game so I did most of this but was advised to not take Old Jeep Trail since it is nasty so I just took Lost Dog to Sunrise and made it up some of the way before I had to turn around to make it home. Not sure how much different Sunrise gets the further you get but I did notice lots of loose rocks. One of these days I will make it to the top.

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