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  1. #1
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    Kid friendly trails...anywhere?

    So, I am taking the camper and my ten year old son on a long spring break trip through Arizona this early April. Any suggestions on good non technical trail systems to hit for a few days? We will start in Page (where I think he will like the single track around town) and head south from there, to wherever riding may take us. We will go through Flag and probably Sedona (reccs needed for not too technical, not too climby trails), and then south towards Phoenix and Tucson (if I can find good riding for him there).
    Thoughts, good Arizonians? ( we will be coming from the snowy Tetons!)
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  2. #2
    Meatbomb
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    In the Phoenix area check out the McDowell Mountain Park.... Tons of kid friendly trails and great camping as well.


    https://maricopacountyparks.org/mcdowell

  3. #3
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    The Page loop is ok but if you head a little east you can hit Phil's World outside Cortez which is kid friendly. Sand Canyon is also cool and has nearby ruins to gaze at. Then, down to Gallup and ride the singletrack in the Zuni Mtns. There's lots of dispersed camping and a quiet FS campground right there.

    Campbell Mesa, the new Roger's Lake loop, Fort Valley, Schultz Creek are all trails your so would have fun on in Flagstaff. PM me and I can recommend good places to camp near the trails when the time get's near.

    The trails in the Dry Creek area are pretty tame and it's hard to at least not stop in to Sedona for the scenery. Aerie, AZ Cypress, Dawa, Cockscomb. Mescal and Chuckwagon might be a bit much.

    Lots of trails in Prescott that meet the bill. I'm sure others will chime in on recommended Prescott rides.

    As for Phoenix, Phillbo's recommendation is good and for sure Brown's Ranch. Not sure about camping.

  4. #4
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    In Flag ride Schultz creek O&B, or shuttle from Sunset parking area down AZT and Schultz. Also AZT from the 418 and back.

    In Phx, Browns Ranch in N. Scottsdale.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo View Post
    In the Phoenix area check out the McDowell Mountain Park.... Tons of kid friendly trails and great camping as well.


    https://maricopacountyparks.org/mcdowell
    Exactly this. Plus it is very close to McDowell Sonoran Preserve-North Area (aka Browns Ranch). Have fun!

    Bob
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  6. #6
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    I think Schultz is a little too much climb for him (he will not have been on a bike since oct.). The other suggestions are great, thanks and keep em' coming!
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    I think Schultz is a little too much climb for him (he will not have been on a bike since oct.). The other suggestions are great, thanks and keep em' coming!
    There are a couple of short loops you can make towards the bottom with social trails and Fort Valley Trail. If you need to get your game on I'm sure I could find a baby-sitter for a couple of hours while your in the Flag area.

  8. #8
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    Hmmmn...I would love to do Wasabi again....
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

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  9. #9
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    As other's mentioned...Browns Ranch and McDowell Mountain Park would be great in the Phoenix area. I would check out Usery Regional Park (Mesa, AZ) which has plenty of non-technical trails with minimal elevations change (Blevins, Cats Peak, Moon Rock - primarily the southern portion of the park, but you can also ride Pass mountain trail on the south section and west section, just want to stay off the east side of the mountain). There is a campground in Usery as well. You may want to check out Gold Canyon as well, which is further east but has some low key trails, and the scenery is unmatched. San Tan is another trail system that your 10 y.o. would have a great time on, which is more in the southern section of the valley (Queen Creek Area). Ton's of riding in the Phx area that would fit the bill. Sedona is a tricky area to recommend non-tech trail with minimal climbing...other than walking paths. May be better to plan a hiking day for Sedona in my opinion, you could see some more remote areas away from the crowds. Sounds like it should be a great trip!

  10. #10
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    Phx Sonoran perserve has 20 miles of flat winding trails with minimal rocks. There are also some good climbs too, but you can skip those.

    https://www.phoenix.gov/parks/trails...noran-preserve

    Eastern loops are flat.
    Joe
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  11. #11
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    Another vote for the Campbell Mesa area in Flag. I had no idea how many loops and trails were right there until my own son and I hit a couple on our way back to the condo after riding other parts of the AZT a bit further down the down the dirt road. Will definitely hit Campbell Mesa when we are back in the area later this year!

  12. #12
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    Depending on your son's riding abilities, another thought is the trails by Dead Horse Ranch in Cottonwood, AZ. My son (12yro at the time) is "advanced-beginner" at best, and he did really good. There's a "main" loop about 7-8mi long we did this summer. Camping at Dead Horse as well, so ride right from the park/camp.

  13. #13
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    Kid friendly trails...anywhere?

    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Phx Sonoran perserve has 20 miles of flat winding trails with minimal rocks. There are also some good climbs too, but you can skip those.

    https://www.phoenix.gov/parks/trails...noran-preserve

    Eastern loops are flat.
    I'll be staying in N. Scottsdale and am interested in this area. I found this loop on MTB Project. Sonoran Desert loop. Any opinions? Looks scenic


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  14. #14
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    Has anyone tried Desert Trails Park in Mesa? I know their website mentions trails, a pump track, and a kid's skills track. Just upgraded my son's bike to a new Trek Precaliber 20(he will be 7 in a couple weeks) and want to get him started off-road. This place sounds like it may be a decent place to start for his first real venture out of the neighborhood and off pavement. Anyone have any feedback on the place?

    City of Mesa : Desert Trails Park

  15. #15
    Meatbomb
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    He needs a place to park his camper.

  16. #16
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    Yes, this is a strong factor. Although if I have a safe campsite, I can drop the trailer and drive to a trailhead or two. Maybe a new discussion of safe campsites in the PHX area?
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecanoe View Post
    I'll be staying in N. Scottsdale and am interested in this area. I found this loop on MTB Project. Sonoran Desert loop. Any opinions? Looks scenic


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    Yep that's a good choice. The trails are fairly smooth with some decent climbs, but nothing that will blow you up. As JoPaz pointed out, that's the north area of Phoenix Sonoran Preserve. The loop you show is a combo of the Sidewinder and Ocotillo trails. Last time I did that it was about 18 miles and 1800 ft climbing. For sure a great loop and worth your time, and not too far from N. Scottsdale. It's spectacular in March when poppys are blooming. The trailhead you show is called Apache Wash. There is another newer trailhead on the north side along Carefree Hwy called Desert Hills. Here's a map.

    https://www.phoenix.gov/parkssite/Do...20Preserve.pdf

    Have fun.

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  18. #18
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    ericridebike, Desert Trails is small but has some great stuff for riders of all ages. I took my 7 year old daughter there last week. The pump track is mellow and has lots of lines. There is a teeter toter and some mellow wood features in another track. Then tehre is about a 1 mile loop that is 6 feet wide with light climbs.

    It is a good place to build skills.

    You can jump the big bike lines too if you want.

    OP, Usery is great for kids. Camping is likely booked out from the snow birds. Call ahead. It is alos close to the Salt River so you go that too. Lot's of areas around AZ. Have a great trip with your kid.

  19. #19
    Meatbomb
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Yes, this is a strong factor. Although if I have a safe campsite, I can drop the trailer and drive to a trailhead or two. Maybe a new discussion of safe campsites in the PHX area?
    The McDowell Mountain Park will be as safe as any. Nice facilities as well.

  20. #20
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    Is it just me or does camping and Phoenix sound like an oxymoron? And by April it will start getting hot. Perhaps not to a desert dweller but to a winter denizen used to sub-zero 80F in the desert will be toasty. And you don't go to major cities like Phoenix and Tucson to camp.

    Rideit, unless you want the Sonoran desert experience I'd spend some time in SW Utah where it will be perfect and hitting northern Arizona (Sedona, Flagstaff, and Prescott) and perhaps SW CO for Phils and NW NM for the Zunis. Perhaps even Fruita Rd 18 on the way up or way back.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecanoe View Post
    I'll be staying in N. Scottsdale and am interested in this area. I found this loop on MTB Project. Sonoran Desert loop. Any opinions? Looks scenic


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    I ride these at least once a week. Pretty, but not OMG amazing. Good trails to ride however. That loop is mostly smooth, but has some stout climbs. The two green loops to the right of the screen grab are mostly flat and have enough turns to make them interesting even for experienced riders at speed. Even so staying North scottsdale you should hit up brown's ranch area as well. Lots of good stuff there too. I couple weeks ago I did a 100 mile ride in Brown Ranch and McDowells Mtn Park. All on dirty with no repeated trails and I did not hit all the trails.
    Joe
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I ride these at least once a week. Pretty, but not OMG amazing. Good trails to ride however. That loop is mostly smooth, but has some stout climbs. The two green loops to the right of the screen grab are mostly flat and have enough turns to make them interesting even for experienced riders at speed. Even so staying North scottsdale you should hit up brown's ranch area as well. Lots of good stuff there too. I couple weeks ago I did a 100 mile ride in Brown Ranch and McDowells Mtn Park. All on dirty with no repeated trails and I did not hit all the trails.
    Don't want to derail the OP, but last year I was here for 6 weeks and rode Browns at least 2-3 times a week. Loved it. At 68 y/o, it was right in my comfort zone. I'm staying 3 months this winter and looking to mix it up. I'll take your suggestion and also ride MMRP. Loved the Competitive loops.
    Coming from New England it's nice to not see too many rocks. Although the Gateway TH and the Taliesen/Quartz loop or not kid friendly.


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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecanoe View Post
    .. Although the Gateway TH and the Taliesen/Quartz loop or not kid friendly.


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    Yeah McDowells East and Browns ranch have few rocks. However the West side of the McDowell Mtns as well as upper slopes on the east side are rocky. Very rocky in spots. Interesing how the geology changes. Phx Sonoran north and south are pretty smooth, but again this is different geology. These trails are getting rough each rain storm as the geology is such it will do that. Very different from the decomposed granite at Browns. Phx Sonoran is mostly smooth because the the trails were machined built and made smooth. Based on Geology I believe they will start looking more like T100 area in Phx Mtn Preserve in the coming years. But maybe not quite that bad because these trails were built in a more sustainable fashion.
    Joe
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Yeah McDowells East and Browns ranch have few rocks. However the West side of the McDowell Mtns as well as upper slopes on the east side are rocky. Very rocky in spots. Interesing how the geology changes. Phx Sonoran north and south are pretty smooth, but again this is different geology. These trails are getting rough each rain storm as the geology is such it will do that. Very different from the decomposed granite at Browns. Phx Sonoran is mostly smooth because the the trails were machined built and made smooth. Based on Geology I believe they will start looking more like T100 area in Phx Mtn Preserve in the coming years. But maybe not quite that bad because these trails were built in a more sustainable fashion.
    I have worked out some progressive loops on the West face of the McDs that my 10yo has been getting more and more comfortable with. She can ride Gateway to Paradise, Natural Wash, Quartz, Taliesin. Once she got stronger climbing the rocks were not a sticking point for her. Its AZ, if you dont ride rocks you are not riding.
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  25. #25
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    Thanks for the info about Desert Trails SugarHigh! Sounds like a good option for exposing my son to some off road fun.

  26. #26
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    Any good suggestions for camping/kid riding in Prescott? Are there multiple areas good for this?
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Any good suggestions for camping/kid riding in Prescott? Are there multiple areas good for this?
    Some of the campgrounds are seasonal so it would be worth checking with the USFS. They include Granite Basin, Whitespar (closest to downtown shops and restaurants), and Lynx Lake. All of which have good trails for what you describe.
    Brownlow Trails, Jan Aflano(sp?) Trail, and a few trails around Thumb Butte rec area could also do the trick.

    Lotta options around here. Could be a good fit for what you're seeking.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by rideit View Post
    Any good suggestions for camping/kid riding in Prescott? Are there multiple areas good for this?
    I did this 2 summers ago. We started out riding around Watson lake (cool Riparison area, SW part of the lake) and the Peevine Trail (old rail road path). We pretty much navigated around half the lake.

    Then we camped at Manzanita, West of town, just above/South of Granite Basin pond. You can enter a trail in Manzanita and ride down to Granite Basin pond. There are also some trails around the pond. I had a few kids with me so I shuttled them back up to the camp site. It worked out great. We also fished blue gil and swam in the pond.

  29. #29
    Cleavage Of The Tetons
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    Trip is starting to gel, thanks everyone! Still having trouble finding an (RV) campsite in Prescott that has Mt. Biking nearby. Any more suggestions, good folks?
    "We LOVE cows! They make trails for us.....

    And then we eat them."

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  30. #30
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    USFS Whitespar Campground: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/pres...a/?recid=67165

    But if you're looking for full hookups that won't help.

    This site might: Point of Rocks RV Park and Campground Prescott Arizona It's pretty close to some decent singletrack, too.

  31. #31
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    brown's ranch is the best tame trail system in the state... camp at the east side of mcDowell mt park... there is a campground...

    sedona -- dry creek area in the northwest part of sedona as Rockman stated..
    Last edited by RajunCajun44; 02-24-2017 at 07:50 AM.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I ride these at least once a week. Pretty, but not OMG amazing. Good trails to ride however. That loop is mostly smooth, but has some stout climbs. The two green loops to the right of the screen grab are mostly flat and have enough turns to make them interesting even for experienced riders at speed. Even so staying North scottsdale you should hit up brown's ranch area as well. Lots of good stuff there too. I couple weeks ago I did a 100 mile ride in Brown Ranch and McDowells Mtn Park. All on dirty with no repeated trails and I did not hit all the trails.
    JoePAz,
    Which direction is best for the Sonoran loop. Sidewinder/Ocotillo etc?


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  33. #33
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    Pm sent

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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecanoe View Post
    JoePAz,
    Which direction is best for the Sonoran loop. Sidewinder/Ocotillo etc?


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    take your pick. either way is fun and which is better is personal preference.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  35. #35
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    Rideit, I sent you a PM. You got a sitter for next wed if you're still passing through Flag. If it works out then you owe me. Your penance is to ride Mile-Sheep with me in late July so I'm not solo grizzly bait.

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