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  1. #1
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    Want to take my 8yo daughter Mountain Biking...

    I took my daughter out for her first real ride this spring. We went to san-tan, and having never ridden there before I picked the wrong loop to start, and there were some descent sized washes that were pretty intimidating for her. She had less than a great time.

    So, I want to find a trail - any trail within 200 miles of phoenix that is easy and super-duper scenic. She loves being out-doors and in the forest, etc - so looking a beautiful ride to pull her back in...

    Suggestions?

    Also, what are some of the best easy rides around Sedona? Probably heading up in October to do some camping/MTB.

    Thanks all!

  2. #2
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    The trails at Usery Mountain on the south side of the park are pretty easy with nice views. The entrance off of Mckellips and Crismon leads right to those trails. Just stay away from pass mountain loop trail.

  3. #3
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    My daughter, who's now 8, has been riding parts of Schultz since she was 3.



    We session the dips and the first mile or so on a weekly basis and have begun working on the rock-garden section lately, too.

    Other nice spots around FLG: Pumphouse Wash behind Kachina Village, and the trails beyond the trailhead at the end of Paradise Rd.

    Campbell Mesa and Soldier Trail Loop at Ft. Tuthill are probably good, too, but we've not ridden those trails together yet.
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  4. #4
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    McDowell Mountain in Phoenix - Pemberton Loop

    Sedona - Bell rock pathway - out n back

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockychrysler View Post
    Other nice spots around FLG: Pumphouse Wash behind Kachina Village, and the trails beyond the trailhead at the end of Paradise Rd.
    ^could you give any more details, for an out-o-towner? I'm not familiar with any of that.

    Last month shuttled AZT from Sunset TH to Dogfood to Schultz with my 7yo and 4yo on trail-a-bike. a few of the rocks at the end were indeed sketchy for her (an ugly bail or 2), she hit the double blind, rode it out! Snapped her deraileur somewhere on that ride, that is gnar! I think I put the 4yo on a pole when i did the logroll on Dogfood with her.

    last weekend AZT from 418 to the lake.

    Want to take my 8yo daughter Mountain Biking...-p1010911_sm.jpg


    In Scottsdale, Reach 11 is good out and back as far as you want. Westworld TH->Westworld->Quartz and back. 98th St. Wash til it ends north of Windgate Ranch and back. These 2 are both about 8 miles and a few hundred vf with some rocks and sand.
    Last edited by chollaball; 08-06-2013 at 10:36 PM.

  6. #6
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    I think you just got into the wrong trails in Santan. This is a great place for a beginner to learn. Not saying it's easy for a beginner but it's definitely easy generally speaking as far as mountain biking goes. Stay on the blue highlighted trails to avoid large washes (click for larger image). Avoid Malpais (MP) and the southern part of Santan (SA) at all costs as these have major sand trap segments that are no bueno on a bike. Try Dynamite (DN) after she gets some saddle time as this is probably the funnest segment but it takes some work to get up from the Goldmine TH. If she doesn't like this stuff then I'm not sure she'll like much else here in the valley as this is about as easy as it gets.

    http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/santan...n-11x17-3d.pdf

    Want to take my 8yo daughter Mountain Biking...-santan.jpg

    Edit: Sorry. I stepped away from the computer in the middle of writing this and forgot you were talking about an 8 y/o and not an adult. Even the sections I highlighted might be kinda intimidating for her in spots but I still think this is a great place for a beginner and especially a youngster to learn if you stick to these trails. Good luck!

  7. #7
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    Papago Park? Black Canyon Trail Cheapshot decent? (Just kidding about that last one) Haha.

  8. #8
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    Wow good timing. I really want to start my daughter on some trails too, so this is good. She will be 3 in October, an if she is as fearless on a bike as she is in normal life, I may just throw her on National!

    But in all seriousness, how is the Emery Henderson section of BCT? I heard its easier, but is it good for a child?

    Another vote for Bell Rock Pathway and Pemberton from me.
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  9. #9
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    Check out the new trails at Browns Ranch Trail Head (Alma School & Dynamite). Really mellow trails and nothing that will get anyone in over there head. I plan on taking my daughter there (7yo) once I get her a bigger bike.

  10. #10
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    Want to take my 8yo daughter Mountain Biking...

    North Trail at McDowell Mountain Park. Three miles of rolling mellow, and great desert vibe. Much easier even than Pemberton - no five mile climb or technical switchbacks. Plus stop by the desert museum on way out and Ranger Amy will show you the tortoise and the rattlesnake.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjkm View Post
    Check out the new trails at Browns Ranch Trail Head (Alma School & Dynamite). Really mellow trails and nothing that will get anyone in over there head. I plan on taking my daughter there (7yo) once I get her a bigger bike.
    please post up report and gpx if it works out.

    @Scott in MD - Sport loop we pulled it off, but my kids had some PT experience so were mostly ok with the whoopdees and berms. there are no rocks really.

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=tysonnemb;10588789] But in all seriousness, how is the Emery Henderson section of BCT? I heard its easier, but is it good for a child? [QUOTE]

    I think Emery Henderson is still way too rocky for a kid. It doesn't have the steep hills of the Black Canyon City area, but its still pretty technical. You could possibly ride area south of Emery Henderson, but everyone says that its really boring and it passes a federal prison. Not the greatest scenery. Cycle: Riding the Black Canyon Trail's Southern Leg - Phoenix - Arts - Jackalope Ranch

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=BCTJ;10589403][QUOTE=tysonnemb;10588789] But in all seriousness, how is the Emery Henderson section of BCT? I heard its easier, but is it good for a child?

    I think Emery Henderson is still way too rocky for a kid. It doesn't have the steep hills of the Black Canyon City area, but its still pretty technical. You could possibly ride area south of Emery Henderson, but everyone says that its really boring and it passes a federal prison. Not the greatest scenery. Cycle: Riding the Black Canyon Trail's Southern Leg - Phoenix - Arts - Jackalope Ranch
    drunk rednecks with guns = main reason not to bring kids to EH

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tysonnemb View Post
    But in all seriousness, how is the Emery Henderson section of BCT? I heard its easier, but is it good for a child?
    No not at all. EH trailhead is 12 min from my house and I ride there often. Right out of the trailhead is rocky descent into a wash a and rocky climb. Nothing too hard, but not kid friendly. After you cross the powerlines it gets easier, but really last summer's monsoon storms washed out much of he trail leaving it rocky. I have seen kids ride it, but only those who really know how to ride.
    Joe
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post

    drunk rednecks with guns = main reason not to bring kids to EH
    I have never seen anyone with Guns near EH trailhead.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  16. #16
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    My 7 y/o and I do Desert Classic at South Mountain all the time. I also take my 5 y/o there on a tag-a-long

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    McDowell Mountain in Phoenix - Pemberton Loop
    I also found that Tonto Tank, Granite & Bluff are also kid-friendly...my 9 & 11yo's love it
    26" isn't dead, it just got FAT



  18. #18
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    Anybody take their kid to papago park area?
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TBoneAz View Post
    I took my daughter out for her first real ride this spring. We went to san-tan, and having never ridden there before I picked the wrong loop to start, and there were some descent sized washes that were pretty intimidating for her. She had less than a great time.

    So, I want to find a trail - any trail within 200 miles of phoenix that is easy and super-duper scenic. She loves being out-doors and in the forest, etc - so looking a beautiful ride to pull her back in...

    Suggestions?

    Also, what are some of the best easy rides around Sedona? Probably heading up in October to do some camping/MTB.

    Thanks all!
    Do your daughter a favor and leave the bike at home when you go to Sedona. There's a nice trail that starts just past Bell Rock that you can take to Baby Bell rock and then Bell Rock.

    Papago Park is good if you park opposite the zoo parking lot and then ride the trail around the golf course.

    Reach 11 off of Tatum is great for a beginning rider.

    The portion of the Desert Classic trail at WarPoint (west on Knox until you pass Corpus Christi church and right at the next wash has a three mile loop that's relatively kid-friendly.

    Not a mountain bike ride, but Indian Bend Wash off of McDowell just north of Tempe Towne Lake is a kid-friendly place for bike riding.

    When your daughter gets a little bit of experience you might consider Carr Lakes off of the 260 on the Mogollon rim.

    There's a rail trail off of Watson Lake in Prescott that's kid-friendly.

    The sand flats off of Desert Classic at Corona De Las Lomas school would entertain your kid.
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  20. #20
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    Hikerdaveís comments are pretty consistent with my experience. My sonís favorite when he was a 10-year old was Papago Park off of Galvin Parkway. We always did the loop around the golf course and then the loops around the buttes. He loved the long gentle downhill trails back from the big butte.

    We tried Usery Park once, but my son thought the trails were boring so we never went back.

    Initially Pemberton was too long and mundane for him, and he didnít like some of the rocky parts of the first section (heading CW), but a few years later he has grown to like it. What he really liked at McDowell Mountain Park was the Sport Loop. Heís a teenager now, and one of his favorite valley rides is the Sport Loop followed by just enough of Pemberton to work in the Coachwhip Trail.

    About the only thing in Sedona for a beginner would be Bell Rock Pathway. My son loved the trail, but itís an awful long trip from the valley for just a short out-and-back. We always tried to make a day of it with other activities, e.g. Slide Rock, jeep tours, ATV rental, Segway tours,Ö

    TRW trail next to Hawes was another favorite, but itís now posted as no trespassing.

    Fantasy Island North Singletrack (FINS) is like a mountain bike theme park with trails and ratings posted. The outer trails tend to be the easier ones.

    Hikerdave is right about the middle portions of Desert Classic being best for kids. We always accessed it from Warpaint Trail. Right now may not be the best time to try it though. I was there just after the July rain storms and there was quite a bit of damage, making the trail more challenging. Although with all the traffic it does tend to recover fairly quickly. If your daughter was intimidated by the washes at San Tan then it will probably only be worse on DC.

  21. #21
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    I have an idea i've been working on that the wife agreed to try this weekend. Scottsdale Greenbelt, from about Shea\90th at the north end down to the Tempe Beach Park. I plan to stage my truck in work's parking garage next to ASU and pedal home the day before. 1-way about 15 miles, all flat with a minor downhill trend, much of it shaded. The ride will take the kids about 2 hrs spin time, with lots of playgrounds, tunnels, waterplay, etc to keep them interested and very little in the way of boring road miles or street crossings. I think they'll get tired and it will probably be over 3 hrs by the time they are done exploring, but ending along the lake should inspire them to finish. We're leaving early like 6:30.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball View Post
    please post up report and gpx if it works out.
    Browns ranch is the best place for beginners. Easy enough and more interesting that the Pemberton. The new trailhead is very nice.

    The new trails from Brown's ranch are VERY beginner friendly and they routed them through some of the more scenic areas out there. Every intersection is signed and there are maps at the trailhead. It is WAYYYY different from when we were there with you last.

    My recommendation is to start at the 136th street trailhead - there is an actual trailhead there now - and go around Granite mountain. Very scenic and quite fun - for beginners.

    THe Cholla Mountain loop trail is also nice if you start from the Brown's Ranch trailhead.
    http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/Assets/N...eserve+Map.pdf

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtownmtb View Post
    Browns ranch is the best place for beginners. Easy enough and more interesting that the Pemberton. The new trailhead is very nice.

    The new trails from Brown's ranch are VERY beginner friendly and they routed them through some of the more scenic areas out there. Every intersection is signed and there are maps at the trailhead. It is WAYYYY different from when we were there with you last.

    My recommendation is to start at the 136th street trailhead - there is an actual trailhead there now - and go around Granite mountain. Very scenic and quite fun - for beginners.

    THe Cholla Mountain loop trail is also nice if you start from the Brown's Ranch trailhead.
    http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/Assets/N...eserve+Map.pdf
    sweet, will try it when it cools down a bit.

    I would love if this thread could get stickied, but plan to save it in favs. lots of good info in here.

  24. #24
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    Want to take my 8yo daughter Mountain Biking...

    Quote Originally Posted by dtownmtb View Post
    This.

    And thanks for the map.

    The new stuff at P&D is awesome, rolling, flowy singletrack. And there are clean heads, shade, and drinking water fountains at Brown's Ranch Trailhead. It's a nice place to water up.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by chollaball View Post
    I have an idea i've been working on that the wife agreed to try this weekend. Scottsdale Greenbelt, from about Shea\90th at the north end down to the Tempe Beach Park. I plan to stage my truck in work's parking garage next to ASU and pedal home the day before. 1-way about 15 miles, all flat with a minor downhill trend, much of it shaded. The ride will take the kids about 2 hrs spin time, with lots of playgrounds, tunnels, waterplay, etc to keep them interested and very little in the way of boring road miles or street crossings. I think they'll get tired and it will probably be over 3 hrs by the time they are done exploring, but ending along the lake should inspire them to finish. We're leaving early like 6:30.
    that went great! ended at the splash pad at tempe beach park. highly recommend it for kids.

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