Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 26
  1. #1
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540

    What Is the History of Riding South Mountain???

    When we ride on the Sedona trails I am constantly asking the old timers how certain trails came about. It is obvious that one of the icon trails in the Phoenix area is South Mountain. Are their any old timers out there who were some of the original riders of the trail and know how it involved to it's current state?

    I for one would love to hear the story of who rode it first and when the first time other MTBR viewers first rode it? Do I get any rep points for this, what I anticipate, will be a wonderful thread? Some cool old pictures of riders on hardtails or early full suspension bikes would be nice.

    TD

  2. #2
    SamuraiBunnyGuy
    Reputation: longhairmike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    2,429
    1) i never liked storytime even in kindergarten
    2) over-analysis of anything ruins the fun
    3) not many people's idea of nostalgia here includes the he era of burt reynolds mustaches

  3. #3
    I am Doctor Remulak
    Reputation: AZ Mikey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,403
    Not riding history, but some history behind the park. Sadly this hasn't been updated in over a year.

    South Mountain History
    MTBR wants you to know that I work here

  4. #4
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Mikey View Post
    Not riding history, but some history behind the park. Sadly this hasn't been updated in over a year.

    South Mountain History
    AZ:

    Thanks for the link, still looking for the personal touch from MTBR members who rode there a long time ago. I wonder if any rode as teenagers until the present?

    TD

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: cru_jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    761
    My understanding is that a manager at Bike Masters (when they were in the store next to what is now Fresh and Easy at 48th/Ray) named Al (can't recall the last time) was a major contributer to the development of Desert Classic. Don't know much other than that.

    I've been riding on SOMO since around 1994 in high school and I seem to recall it being quite established even then.

    There were two sections that ran for about 50 yards near the west connector for corono loma that is no longer an option.

    I know "back in the day", the now tiny little jump in the short flat section about halfway between the water tank and ramadas was much bigger and very fun, lots of people crashed hitting it.

    We also used to be able to ride up the road that runs up to the Helipad and the goat trail used to be easier.

    Also, you used to be able to "pump track" down a section that runs just to the east of the water tank. Where the rusted posts are now, used to be open all the way to the road. I'm guess the people that bought the house on a mountain weren't too thrilled with the BMXers and mtbers having any fun, but I don't know for sure.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    232
    I've personally been riding National trail since 92. Very much the same today as it was then.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    2,652
    I love local lore and trail history. I think the stories should be told and shared through the future but the internet may not be the place, for now. I used to be a ski bum and the local stories about lines skied were awesome, maybe one day we can share stories about trails being blazed, features being ridden, and local heroes pushing the limits, but for now those involved feel threatened and keep their lips tight for they surf among us.

  8. #8
    Pivotal figure
    Reputation: kenbentit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    5,764
    I've also been riding SoMo since '94, things haven't changed all that much over the years. Lines vary a bit and spider trails come and go but it's still very recognizable. I know some guys who grew up here that remember riding up Holbert on their trials Motorcycles though and one friend used to ride up and over what is now National on his old Schwinn cruiser to visit friends on the opposite side of the Mtn. (wayyy back in the day). He did say they had to hike a bit of it though
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  9. #9
    dirt visionary
    Reputation: clockwork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    6,257
    Ailens built them and left their marks on the rocks
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of
    arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body.

  10. #10
    Give it a crank
    Reputation: Mtn-Rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    2,998
    The Sinagua indians put in the first trail markers.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Stumpy29er's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    646
    Nice thread TD. I've only been riding SoMo for 2 years, so can't really contribute, but I will definitely find any "old timer" input interesting, especially pics. You know that they were out there tearing it up long before there was long travel full suspension.

  12. #12
    dirt visionary
    Reputation: clockwork's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    6,257
    Also alot of trails/path were created by those that mined SoMo for minerals in the early 1900's
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of
    arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body.

  13. #13
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    Quote Originally Posted by Stumpy29er View Post
    Nice thread TD. I've only been riding SoMo for 2 years, so can't really contribute, but I will definitely find any "old timer" input interesting, especially pics. You know that they were out there tearing it up long before there was long travel full suspension.
    I agree and am looking forward to the PICTURES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    TD

  14. #14
    Eroding into the trail
    Reputation: DustyBones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    892
    Quote Originally Posted by clockwork View Post
    Ailens built them and left their marks on the rocks

    Shhhhhhhhhh!
    Not for terrestrials to know!

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: DirtChump's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    57

    History

    In 1981 i used to ride my yz 125 in the area of what is now pima parking lot, i remember when DC was like a half mile long, it ended at the wash just past the power lines. As for natty and morman it's all pretty much the same.
    "It's all downhill from here fellas"

  16. #16
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    242
    once upon a time in a galaxy far away...

    I did a google images search for South Mountain and this is what came up!?!?!
    WTF!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What Is the History of Riding South Mountain???-jom_1652-9.jpg  


  17. #17
    slower than you
    Reputation: rockychrysler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    788
    prolly took one of my first major hikes there... down national from the parking lot at the top to fat man's gap... saw a gila monster... when I was about 8, in 1974 or so.

    took girls, and my '67 mustang, back along the dirt road to the stone house at the end of guadalupe rd. once in a while back in high school in the 80s.

    used to do a little 4-wheeling on the dirt roads near what later became pointe south mountain.

    took my first mountain bike ride there in about 1990 or 1991 on national, iirc. the path's a bit wider in a few spots, and there are definitely more people about, but as far as the ride goes once you're away from the ramadas, little else has changed.
    "Let our people travel light and free on their bicycles." Ed Abbey
    http://www.rockychrysler.com/

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: cru_jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    761
    I do recall riding down the waterfall without any hesitation on bikes that are MUCH less capabale (i.e. full rigid and eventually cheap 1-2" travel elastomer forks) and not think anything of it.

    Must be getting old now...

  19. #19
    banned
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    242
    Quote Originally Posted by rockychrysler View Post
    prolly took one of my first major hikes there... down national from the parking lot at the top to fat man's gap... saw a gila monster... when I was about 8, in 1974 or so.

    took girls, and my '67 mustang, back along the dirt road to the stone house at the end of guadalupe rd. once in a while back in high school in the 80s.

    used to do a little 4-wheeling on the dirt roads near what later became pointe south mountain.

    took my first mountain bike ride there in about 1990 or 1991 on national, iirc. the path's a bit wider in a few spots, and there are definitely more people about, but as far as the ride goes once you're away from the ramadas, little else has changed.
    48 years young and have never seen a gila monster alive. Saw one once dead on the side of the road...

  20. #20
    ....just cruisin through
    Reputation: dfrazm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    135
    Parents moved to Ahwatukee in 1977, and we moved to the Equestrian in 1987. Our house was on Warpaint Drive, a stone throw away from Desert Classic. I remember the jumps all along the back of the water tower at the end of Equestrian Trail. Desert classic used to be quite a bit flatter; it did not have the berms, etc. along the trail north of the water tower on DC. Used to ride it on my BMX. It was also re-routed a few times (and the bench was added along the trail). On our first family bike ride on DC in 1988 we found a desert tortoise and brought it home with us (I was 11, didn't know better). The tortoise still lives in the back yard of the house on Warpaint. I have never seen a tortoise on DC since that day.

    I also performed my BS Eagle project on National Trail, as did 2 or 3 others in my troop between 1991 and 1994. We did a lot of trail re-routing, installation of water bars, etc. Don Gummeringer was the main Park Ranger at that time for trail work. Unfortunately he passed away last year. I will see if I can dig up some photos, as that was the time before digital. I remember driving up the pima canyon road and parking at the stone house. You would rarely see more than 5 cars there.

    Although not on SM, we also used to have a huge concrete wash along Montezuma Court, just off of Equestrian Trail. We would use it as a half-pipe for skating, and a large run-in and jump for the bikes. Used to jump it on a schwinn with a banana seat! I think it has been removed and is now just a dirt wash with a large house taking up most of the property.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Here are just a few of the key ingredients: dynamite, pole vaulting, laughing gas, choppers.....

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,967
    My father would only buy me a "tote goat mini bike" if I had a paper route .

    In 1959 I got my first paper route and my tote Goat and dad took me and my cousin out to south mountain and we road there until 65 or so on several different bikes..

    There was not anything out there but trails , in 67 we would have keg beer marijuana and LSD party's and drive our 4x4 trucks all over out there on the week ends.

    Then I did not make it back there until 08 ( life and war got in the way ) and I road a bicycle for the first time in 08 out there and fell back in love with the mountain I had left .

    ( I do not know where and or how Ahwatukee and all that crap came from but its there now )

  22. #22
    banned
    Reputation: traildoc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,540
    Quote Originally Posted by dfrazm View Post
    Parents moved to Ahwatukee in 1977, and we moved to the Equestrian in 1987. Our house was on Warpaint Drive, a stone throw away from Desert Classic. I remember the jumps all along the back of the water tower at the end of Equestrian Trail. Desert classic used to be quite a bit flatter; it did not have the berms, etc. along the trail north of the water tower on DC. Used to ride it on my BMX. It was also re-routed a few times (and the bench was added along the trail). On our first family bike ride on DC in 1988 we found a desert tortoise and brought it home with us (I was 11, didn't know better). The tortoise still lives in the back yard of the house on Warpaint. I have never seen a tortoise on DC since that day.

    I also performed my BS Eagle project on National Trail, as did 2 or 3 others in my troop between 1991 and 1994. We did a lot of trail re-routing, installation of water bars, etc. Don Gummeringer was the main Park Ranger at that time for trail work. Unfortunately he passed away last year. I will see if I can dig up some photos, as that was the time before digital. I remember driving up the pima canyon road and parking at the stone house. You would rarely see more than 5 cars there.

    Although not on SM, we also used to have a huge concrete wash along Montezuma Court, just off of Equestrian Trail. We would use it as a half-pipe for skating, and a large run-in and jump for the bikes. Used to jump it on a schwinn with a banana seat! I think it has been removed and is now just a dirt wash with a large house taking up most of the property.
    Wow, trail Improvement on South Mountain and no one is giving you a bad time that's GREAT. Thanks for sharing this historical bit.

    TD

  23. #23
    EDR
    Reputation: eatdrinkride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    9,034
    I recall 4wd'ing all over SM in the late 80's, starting from the Pima lot. Sorry no pics but it was a fun time. Not legal maybe and I didn't ride or hike back then so I don't remember the trail situation.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,967
    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    I recall 4wd'ing all over SM in the late 80's, starting from the Pima lot. Sorry no pics but it was a fun time. Not legal maybe and I didn't ride or hike back then so I don't remember the trail situation.
    You are right, in the late 60's with our trucks and dirt bikes we cut all kinds of those roads and trails that are still used today ,

  25. #25
    It's a Sledgehammer.
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    357
    Somewhere around I read about the making of kiwanis trail, the first trail made on south mountain for the purposes of recreation. People have been making trails for a long time on south mountain, including Fr. Marcos De Niza 1539... that one kinda blows me away looking at his initials in the rock.

    1987 was my first ride on somo with the Bike Chalet gang from Mesa. we drove to the top and rode to fat man's pass. I had a brand new teal 1986 Diamonback apex.

    http://ns10.reliablehosting.com/~kb11/apex3.jpg

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Saturday riding, Sedona or South Mountain?
    By Jayem in forum Arizona
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 12-18-2009, 08:08 AM
  2. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 01-20-2009, 05:23 AM
  3. South Mountain History
    By FastrThnU in forum Arizona
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 06-18-2008, 10:25 PM
  4. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-26-2004, 03:35 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •