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  1. #1
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    Thunderbird Regional Park

    Does anyone on here ride Thunderbird Regional Park in Glendale. Are the trails to steep/rocky for biking or are there some nice trails out there?

  2. #2
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    I've ridden it a couple of times and have a buddy who rides it a lot. Just need to be careful since it is heavily used by hikers.

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    I ride pretty much everything on the west side of 59th avenue. It's all very ride-able. I haven't been down the east side of the mountain where H3 is in quite a while, but it was much more tech than anything else there...not sure if it has changed. I normally will ride H3 on the west side until it summits and then come back down the same way.

    H1 from the bridge around to where it spits you out on 51st avenue is rideable but not super fun. Lots of babyheads.

    I haven't been on H2 or on H1 east of the bridge.

    Be prepared for lots of hikers.

    If you are in that area, you might have more fun at Deem Hills or a little further north you can hit the sonoran preserve.

  4. #4
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    I ride the hedgepath trail from where 51st ave ends. the trail goes behind all the homes and then some rocky tech switchback climb to the bridge on 59th ave. Very fun ride but rocky great for training and not used by very many hikers. If you want a long ride. Ride from 51st ave to the bridge on 59th bridge west to the trail then go south to 55th. 55th north to deems park ride the trail at deems then trace your way back. Good ride mix of trail and road.

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    I ride the mountains west of 59th a bunch. I have a nice loops i do to maximize the downhill fun. I dont know the trail names but lemme see if i can post one of my rides.

    Edit: I hope this link works..
    Sports Tracker

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    Quote Originally Posted by markaz View Post
    I ride the hedgepath trail from where 51st ave ends. the trail goes behind all the homes and then some rocky tech switchback climb to the bridge on 59th ave. Very fun ride but rocky great for training and not used by very many hikers. If you want a long ride. Ride from 51st ave to the bridge on 59th bridge west to the trail then go south to 55th. 55th north to deems park ride the trail at deems then trace your way back. Good ride mix of trail and road.
    The stuff west of 59th is where most people go....so I go elsewhere. Recently they've done trail work. Basically they've flattened the tread, reestablished the outslope, installed better drains, and brushed off all of the loose rocks that Thunderbird is known for. So basically, it's as smooth as you're ever going to see it.

    That being said, it's still not all that smooth...it's still Thunderbird, after all. So, compared to somewhere like PHX Sonoran Preserve, Thunderbird is still rocky....

    West of 59th is where everyone seems to go. Thunderbird is a hiker haven...but if you're patient, most hikers are nice.

    One of my faves is the H-1from east of 59th St. headed south (behind the homes as explained above). It's the only trail they didn't touch. And, most people either don't use it or know about. As someone said above, it has some nice switchbacks....if you need the practice up or down. The rest of H-1 heading south is pretty fun with no major climbs. Then I turn around. I usually park in the spaces in the north part of the park off 59th. There is a spur trail that connects to H-3 where you can cross over 59th on the bridge.

    About once every couple of months I'll take a clockwise trip on H-3. Lots of climbing, but fun going down the east side. Although I was afraid they would sanitize that part of the trail...they really haven't; they've actually added some rock steps on the downhill portion. Very rideable...almost perfect spacing for bikes going down.

    So, although you won't see a lot of bikes, it's a good place to go if you get tired of everything else and want to get in a quick ride......

    Last edited by PhxChem; 02-10-2012 at 10:51 PM. Reason: I apparently think clocks run counter-clockwise....ooopppsss..

  7. #7
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    I live close to this trail, and ride it from time to time, good stuff! Used to be more of a challenge, but has been smoothed down over the years for hiking! Still great climbs...be nice to hiking folks with and their pooches!!!

    Here's an old video Thunderbird Park on Vimeo

  8. #8
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    I live in the neighbourhood and ride these regularly. The park crews have done a great job smoothing out the trails since Thanksgiving. They are now doable almost exclusively without walking. Last Thursday morning I did all 3 mountains in two hours. Looking at the map above, H4 mountain is the smallest and doable in one shot. Continue onto H3 from the south side and you should be able to make it all the way to the top without walking (but probably with 2 breather stops!)... continue around, come back down H1 to the bridge, take a left to cross, and continue up H2...the toughest climb! Going down H2 on the other side is very technical. Very popular trails... many hikers.

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    Just rode the H1-H4 loop and H2 loop today. Basically the same as what everyone else is saying. LOTS of Hikers, and many with earbuds in both ears cranked to the max so they can not hear you coming up behind them. I ride here about once a week because it is across the street from my house, but if you are driving here, just go to Deem hill down the street, WAY better riding there. But it is fun for a change every once in awhile.

    The recent trail maintenance make H2 MUCH more ride able. I have done H3 loop once (counter clockwise) and had a blast on it (less hikers on that one).

  10. #10
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    Does anybody know of trails similar to the Thunderbird Regional Park trails, just less crowded? Its a good ride just too many hikers.
    Hey Ma! Look at this laceration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZGroundPound3r View Post
    Does anybody know of trails similar to the Thunderbird Regional Park trails, just less crowded? Its a good ride just too many hikers.

    Dude, did you read ANY of this thread? DEEM HILLS Just down the street, WAY less barely see any hikers there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by denniswebb View Post
    Dude, did you read ANY of this thread? DEEM HILLS Just down the street, WAY less barely see any hikers there.
    I was looking for something a bit more rough than deem hills. The H-1 trail would be the Ideal trail for me, Just too crowded. Deem has the long descents but the trails aren't that rough, to my taste at least.
    Hey Ma! Look at this laceration.

  13. #13
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    If your looking for major chunk on the westside, look into "White tank Regional Park", head up mesquite, Ford canyon, goat camp. Great trails from xc to full body armor danger. Stop and pick up some maps and pick your poison. Goat camp is for expert skills, not for a beginner.

  14. #14
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    I rode H2 today but when I got to the top, where the flag is, I didn't see where the trail continued. I tried to follow what looked like a trail, but ended up running into a bunch of rocks and had to backtrack and go back the way I came. Its strange because on the map above, it looks like H2 makes a loop around the mountain.

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    It does make a loop around the mountain and it is a great smooth downhill without a lot of swichbacks. I did not have a hard time finding it... If you came up the staircase, it would have been directly in front of you, or if your are facing the flag and the way you came up is on your right it would be on the left past the stair case...

    You missed a really fun (fast) downhill. I just did this last week.

    Edit: Here is the GPS track of my ride... Mountain biking Workout | Endomondo
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Thunderbird Regional Park-407215_3194592229002_1391820971_3151110_788343342_n.jpg  


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    dennis - I would agree, now that it's been cleaned up a bit on the east side of 59th ave. That is quite the climb up that long chute, and the last 50 feet or so up to the flag - have some new scars on my leg from trying to "hop" up those steps.

    gazelem - The trail drops almost straight north from the flag.

  17. #17
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    Ah - North from the flag - that's my problem, I followed what I thought was trail East.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazelem View Post
    Ah - North from the flag - that's my problem, I followed what I thought was trail East.
    It occurred to me after re-reading dennis' post, I might be going the opposite direction. We rode CCW, so right after the 59th ave bridge, we started climbing then down to the Pinnacle Peak parking area.

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    Yep I rode CW. I think it would be more fun CCW, and I am going to try that next time (probably going to do all 3 mountains). I am so glad they improved the trail on that mountain, very technically challenging for me and nothing else really like it nearby. I will probably be out there Friday or Sunday, so watch for the guy on the white Giant 29er hardtail huffing and puffing away!

    Either way, I agree when you get to the top just keep going straight and you will be good to go...

  20. #20
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    So, I tried to ride the trail this morning and what happened? Broken chain - I wasn't sure how to fix it on the trail.......sometimes I think I need to buy a new bike.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Thunderbird Regional Park-brokenchain.jpg  


  21. #21
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    I carry these Amazon.com: KMC MISSING LINK Bicycle Chain Link (9-Speed, 6-Pack): Sports & Outdoors and a chain tool in my camelbak for this exact reason.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazelem View Post
    So, I tried to ride the trail this morning and what happened? Broken chain - I wasn't sure how to fix it on the trail.......sometimes I think I need to buy a new bike.
    A chain breaker? You should always carry one. My multi-tool has one built in....it works. Link works, too.

    Buying a new chain is cheaper than buying a whole bike.....but not as fun......

  23. #23
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    I finally made it the entire loop. Nice ride. On the way down, some hikers kind of hurt my feelings. As I approached one of them said, "Watch out for the crazy guy!" Crazy? In my book, crazy is walking a trail in double the time it would take you if you would bike it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Thunderbird Regional Park-h3.jpg  

    Thunderbird Regional Park-shadow.jpg  


  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazelem View Post
    I finally made it the entire loop. Nice ride. On the way down, some hikers kind of hurt my feelings. As I approached one of them said, "Watch out for the crazy guy!" Crazy? In my book, crazy is walking a trail in double the time it would take you if you would bike it.
    Curious, did you ride it CCW or CW? I am going out there this weekend and I have not yet decided which way to go...

  25. #25
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    Counter clockwise.

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