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  1. #1
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    Sonoran Trail System in North Phoenix

    The Sonoran trail still has some areas that are under construction. We went "exploring" yesterday to check out what is completed so far. The area on the west side of this garmin map is what I'm referring to....we rode in from the "cave buttes dam" area, so I'm not sure where the trailhead is to access these tails.

    Similar to the deem hills trails on the other side of I-17.

    Garmin Map












  2. #2
    Just another half mile...
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    Looks like you found the new trail in the Sonoran Preserve. The City of Phoenix has a map of what is open HERE. The trail is accessed off of North Valley Parkway. More inforamtion on the new Sonaran Preserve can be found HERE. More trails will be built as the park expands!

    Quote Originally Posted by WhiskersOfDeath
    The Sonoran trail still has some areas that are under construction. We went "exploring" yesterday to check out what is completed so far. The area on the west side of this garmin map is what I'm referring to....we rode in from the "cave buttes dam" area, so I'm not sure where the trailhead is to access these tails.

  3. #3
    Shaman
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    Cool, I will have to check the trails out on the way back from Sedona tomorrow.
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  4. #4
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    Heard a little about the area from a Ranger and I've been meaning to check this out since I can get hours riding it with my Steward shirt on... I'm sure they'd appreciate the reports since it's a new area.

  5. #5
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    I ride this section of trail a couple of times a week. Love it. They did a great job.

  6. #6
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    The Trailhead is at the end of W. Desert Vista Trail...


    33.74181,-112.099804

  7. #7
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    So how was the ride? From the photos, it looks like quite a bit of climbing, but no real chunk.
    Any fun? I'll probably go ride it sometime this week or weekend.

  8. #8
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    I try to ride this a few times a week, it has its fun spots, nothing like the larger mtns, but it will do the trick if you do a few laps.

  9. #9
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    I used to ride in this area frequently, accessing from 16th St and Carefree Hwy. About a year ago, it was mostly jeep track and cow trails on the west side of the area, and I needed a state trust land permit for access. I am very glad to see the development, and can't wait to try it out. Thanks a bunch for the info, everyone.

  10. #10
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    Whiskers: From your garmin map, it shows you started out on the northeast side of the preserve, near Cave Creek and Carefree, but the Sonoran Preserve website shows the trailhead at the southwest end of the preserve, with the entrance near the I-17.
    Which is the best place to park and ride from?

  11. #11
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    I really couldn't tell you.....like I said, we just found it by accident while riding in the Cave Buttes area (what cosmic ray called the "union hills loop" in his book). I think somebody else mentioned the trailhead elsewhere in this thread...but I will just continue to ride in from the east (from my house).

  12. #12
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    If you are driving to check out the trail, then as PhxChem said, the best place to park is on West Desert Vista Trail. There is basically a little park back there behind the community center building. Lots of parking ( 33 44.464'N 112 5.837'W). Not sure if there is any ammenities....restrooms, water?

    You can also access the trail from a hiking path a little to the North of the park along W Melvern Trail. Just past N 21th Ave, but before you get to West Hunter Court. The trail is on the East Side, but its right off the main road, so not a great place to park. (33 44.843'N 112 6.209'W)

    Finally, not shown on the map, but there is also a connector going North from the trail. I think that community is called Sonoran Foothills. If you look at the pictures in this post, there is one that shows the white trail sign "Sonoran Loop Trail". That is the point where the connector goes North for 1 - 2 miles and connects to West Sonoran Parkway. That road is not a through street (yet). So you can park on the south side of the road there as well. I don't typically take this portion of the leg, so I don't know where it comes out exactly, but somewhere in the area of 33 46.177'N 112 6.138'W.

    Along this same North connector is also where you can break off and head off into the Cave Buttes dam area. The turn off to go east and explore that area is located at 33 45.775'N 112 5.688'W. Lots of Jeep trails, etc.

  13. #13
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    Thanks, man! I might check it out today if I can get everything done in time.

  14. #14
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    Had to check this out this morning, it's not completed yet but it has some real heart pumping steep climbs. I'm at Deems frequently but I would say this is tougher, steeper and longer climbs. The first trail off the parking lot is fairly steep and I would guess about 1/4 mile long and a good workout. It's nice to have options close to home and I'm sure it will be nice when it's completed. Nice steep trails and great views but not very technical, if your a gnar junkie its probably not for you unless they build in something in the future because it is still under construction in parts. There are some great downhills, I saw a handful of bikes today and many hikers. The parking area has a large equestrian area but I saw no evidence of horses.

    Here are some easy directions to the new parking lot at the start of the southend trail head..

    I17 North to Jomax Rd Exit, right (east) on Jomax to Nortera and make a right (south) it curves eastward and turns into Copperhead. Make a left (north) on Melvan Trail, continue past the Community Center to the first right turn Desert Vista Trail and continue through the gate to the Sonoran Trail Preserve parking area.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the trail insight Fletch. I was wondering how this trail compares to the Deem Hills trail. I've never rode Deem Hills, but see the write ups on MTBR.

    ...That section of trail out of the parking lot in Fireside will get your lungs going!

  16. #16
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    IMO I ride Deems a few times a week on average and I really enjoy it, partially because it's less than two miles from home. Although Deems isn't considered to be real technical either I think most people usually agree that the climbs and long fun downhills make it hard to beat on this side of town. I think Sonaran Trail has longer and steeper climbs like you mentioned the first one is a real lung burner. In fairness, it's a bit hard to compare the two being as Sonoran hasn't been seasoned as much yet and is still under construction. I have also been told that they are going to cut some new paths at Deems too. Bottom line, try both of them and you won't be disappointed with either, lots of climbing and long fast downhills at both. Just my opinion......

  17. #17
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    Good Info. Thx.
    I am hoping someone finds an interconnect (Under I-17) that can get me from the Sonoran Trail system to the Deem Hills loop. That would be a nice ride.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhiskersOfDeath
    I really couldn't tell you.....like I said, we just found it by accident while riding in the Cave Buttes area (what cosmic ray called the "union hills loop" in his book). I think somebody else mentioned the trailhead elsewhere in this thread...but I will just continue to ride in from the east (from my house).
    I looked at your route and the main east-west portion was the same path that Funboarder1971 and I took on Wednesday, Jan 26. But there were a lot of new fences with the nurseries for the plants they pulled out while making the new road through. We have ridden CBRA a lot, and found the connector to the Sonoran Preserve that night. Makes for a great ride from where we started at Tatum and Cave Creek. We also had to duck under their yellow rope where our old trail (dirt road) crossed the new roads.

  19. #19
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    Anyone know where that new "Sonoran Pkwy" road they are cutting through the Cave Buttes desert area comes out on the East Side? I see where it starts on the West and have been meaning to ride it and see where it comes out on the East, but haven't had a chance. I heard it was quite a way south. Maybe Dynamite?

  20. #20
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    Video

    Here is a short video of the Sonoran Loop Trail.


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike_Muchacho
    Anyone know where that new "Sonoran Pkwy" road they are cutting through the Cave Buttes desert area comes out on the East Side? I see where it starts on the West and have been meaning to ride it and see where it comes out on the East, but haven't had a chance. I heard it was quite a way south. Maybe Dynamite?

    Looks like Peak View Road from the map. That's the existing blacktop road that runs out to the wash area

    Good Info Here

  22. #22
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    Great vid! definitely makes me want to check it out! How many miles did it end up?

  23. #23
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    Bondo and I are neighbors....his video is the same loop, same ride info as the garmin data in my first post at the top of the page...

  24. #24
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    That is a great vid, I ride this trail also, but I start either at the Preserve parking lot off Desert Vista trail, or I will just ride to it from my place at Las Colinas apts. and start at the Sonoran Parkway trail head, great trail to ride when you don't have a lot of time either.

  25. #25
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    Still some exploring to do out there. It would be great if the Sonoran Trail connects to some of the trails out by Cave Buttes Dam. We rode from Black Mountain Parkway near Cave Creek Road on the new Sonoran Parkway (just dirt right now). I think it was around 11 miles until we got to they Sonoran Loop Trail sign. Total distance for us was 31 miles.

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