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  1. #1
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    One Day in Phoenix to shred... But where???

    This question is for the locals... I will be in Phoenix for the first time and wanted to get some trail recs from the folks most familiar with the area. I've heard really good things about the city per mtbers! Since I'm in town for work, I only have Sunday to ride so prefer just one trail destination.

    I am renting a 29er full squish from Trailhead Bike Cafe near Hwy 51 and Glendale Avenue. My plan was just to ride out straight from the shop and explore the closest mountains I spotted using Google Maps.... It looks like Piestewa Peak Park, Phoenix Mountains Preserve, and North Mountain Park would all be on the agenda for the day. My concern is there wouldn't be enough trails there to fill the day, but that's pretty difficult to gauge by just looking at the map.

    I realize it's 110 degrees everyday but coming from Austin am prepared to deal with the heat (and reduced humidity!). As we've just wrapped up our spring XC series, I'm feeling fairly fit and would love to get in at least 30 to 40 miles, and hopefully more depending on how fast the terrain is (would not be opposed to an all day epic if there are enough water refill stations).

    I'd prefer mostly singletrack and don't at all mind rocks / ledges etc. Also, since I'm from Austin I rarely get to do any big climbs so would like to see some of your finest / nastiest / tallest ascents.

    My question then becomes... Do I drive further out to a a different trail network, or are the trails just outside the bike shop more than enough to keep me occupied for the day? I was told there are water refills at the park station, so that's a huge plus as I'd prefer not to tote a huge camelback around with me all day. The terrain and scenery are all new to me, so I'm pretty excited!

    Thanks in advance for your feedback.

  2. #2
    Vitamin Bike Added
    Reputation: MTBCanuck's Avatar
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    Most of us will be recommended either Phoenix Mountain Preserve off the 51 at Dreamy Draw or South Mountain. Both locations have an exquisit selection of heavy all mountain or flowy XC. A common favorite and my personal favorite is National Trail at South mountain and if you want a challenging 3ish hour loop (for intermediate riders like myself) try parking at the 48th street parking lot, climb mormon and descent 24th street (marked as mormon down the west side of the mountain at the intersection at the top, take south mountain road to the boy scouts camp, climb up geronimo (some HAB) to buena vista, then take national all the way down to the bottom for some flowy XC/light AM downhill. You'll love it!
    Keep the rubber side down

  3. #3
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    I would ride PMP (Phx Mtn Preserve) right from the 51 and Northern. You can ride there all day if you can handle the heat and have the endurance. Lots of techy climbs and descents. You will still want to tote a good supply of water since you can do 30 miles of trails and not circle back to if you choose. Or will do 3 miles and circle back. Lots of places to explore and get turned around, but you will never be very far away from something. Although it will seem like it.

    Now as for the heat and temps. Best time to ride is early morning from about 5am to noon. After that it gets death hot and there is no shade to speak of. I have ridden both SoMo and PMP. The terrain is different, but still fun. Trails in PMP tend to be shorter, but filled with sharper and looser rock. However since you are pretty much right at at PMP I would not bother going to South Mtn. Not that SoMo is bad, but why go there when you at the door step to PMP.

    If you take trail 100 from the 51 fwy west it makes for nice techy XC ride about 8 miles each way. If you head from this lot back east you want to stay off 100 as there better trails around it. These loop around and cover all kinds of different places are a maze of probably 40 mile of trails with some nice short steep climbs. Trails like 1a, 302, VOAZ, Irregular,220 are all good rides. You can always just take a trail and just follow it and let yourself "get lost" and eventually you will come to some place to get your bearings again.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  4. #4
    SamuraiBunnyGuy
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    death hot,,, sounds like a gwar song

  5. #5
    Give it a crank
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    I you want to try local trails like the locals do this time of year, head up to Prescott for the day or even just half of Sunday. It's only an hour drive, less heat, more trees, lakes, more fun overall.

  6. #6
    Kathleen in AZ
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    You need to hook up with freeskier46! He loves those long endurance rides and doesn't mind going all day in heat of summer. I do suggest lugging around your camelback with a full 100 oz, and fill it up when you get a chance if you're out for an all-day epic. Our heat is easy to underestimate.

  7. #7
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    Wow, just looking at the Prescott weather, that seems A LOT nicer. I'm not sure how you make that drive in only an hour though - Google maps says closer to 2 hours. If it's really only one hour that would probably be worth the drive, but otherwise may just have to suffer in the heat.

    Also would be game if anyone wants to join me as a guide would be sweet, just don't really plan on puttin' around too much given I've got only one day. 7:15am rollout from Trailhead Bike Cafe. Sounds like there are plenty of nearby trails to keep me occupied for the day.

  8. #8
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    From the 51 and Glendale figure 2 hrs to Prescott at the trailhead. I live in anthem it took me 1:15 from downtown to my house in Anthem. However I am a solid 30 min from 51 and Glendale. Now the earlier you can go out the better. If you can roll at 5:15 am you will have much nicer weather. Sun is up and it is in the 70's at that time.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  9. #9
    DFL>DNF>DNS
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    Quote Originally Posted by DurtGurl View Post
    You need to hook up with freeskier46! He loves those long endurance rides and doesn't mind going all day in heat of summer. I do suggest lugging around your camelback with a full 100 oz, and fill it up when you get a chance if you're out for an all-day epic. Our heat is easy to underestimate.
    Haha!! Trust me, those 3pm starts are out of necessity, I'd much rather ride early or @night!! But now that I'm fairly acclimated to the 'anvil of the sun' it's not that bad. Sun sleeves are your friend. As others have mentioned, don't be fooled by how much water you think you'll need...take MORE!! Both PMP & SoMo have the goods, you won't be disappointed.
    Ski. Ride. Hike. Be.
    My Two Schillingsworth

  10. #10
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    Thanks all! Would roll out earlier if I could, but the bike shop doesn't open until 7am. Sounds like best bet is to just ride out straight from the shop. I'll bring the 100oz-er per your recs (even though I HATE wearing camelbacks).

  11. #11
    I love bike!
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    You'll "hate" getting air evac'd out due to heat stroke even more. Trust us locals...take as much fluid as you can manage. I'm sure Austin gets hot too but I seriously doubt it compares so be prepared. Every weekend there is a news story where an out-of-towner, or even a local, who is rescued or dies because they didn't come prepared. With that said...PMP will have all the riding you're looking for...have fun
    Quote Originally Posted by jd1072 View Post
    Thanks all! Would roll out earlier if I could, but the bike shop doesn't open until 7am. Sounds like best bet is to just ride out straight from the shop. I'll bring the 100oz-er per your recs (even though I HATE wearing camelbacks).

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