Results 1 to 22 of 22

Thread: McDowells beta

  1. #1
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,032

    McDowells beta

    Embarrassing to admit since I live right here, but I have very little knowledge about the McDowell trail system.

    What I have ridden, I didn't think was all that great, but I suspect I'm missing the best stuff. I'm looking for a fun SS route.

    Probably easier to tell you what spots I know: Anytime I've ridden McDowells, I've either parked at the golf course off 105 in McDowell Mountain Ranch or at 124th or 128th and Via Linda. So I've typically ridden Taliesin/Lost Dog/Etc. as a loop.

    What am I missing? Please share your favorite loop or out/back as well as where you park, etc. Again, I'll mostly be looking to ride SS and not a sufferfest.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    101
    Pima Dynamite. Not exactly near you but go north on Pima, right on Dynamite, pass the golf course and park on your right. Entrance is near some electric lines (as I remember). I rode it once and thought it would be really fun on an SS.

  3. #3
    Click Click Click
    Reputation: dirtbyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,579
    "You either want to or you don't."

  4. #4
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,032
    Very familiar with MM Park, not what I'm looking to ride. Was hoping for a new route in the McDowells proper, but not all the way up to Pima/Dynamite.

  5. #5
    livin' the dream......
    Reputation: tjkm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    1,837
    If you park at Gateway TH or Village Parking lot (Thompson Peak and Bell Rd) you will be climbing pretty much right away. I recommend a clockwise loop from Gateway that takes you up Desert Park to Windgate Pass and down Gateway loop back to the TH for start. That is roughly a 7 mile loop with about 800 ft. of climbing. You can add on from there, but this loop at least puts you up on that part of the trail system gives you a sample with out committing to a bigger loop (yet). I ride with SS guys there sometime, and think they run 32x20? RandyHarris or Raybum can better answer that part!!
    Less f*cks to give every passing day, use them well. - geraldooka

  6. #6
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,032
    Perfect. That's what I was looking for. I know the intersection (Bell/Thompson Peak), but not familiar with a trailhead there. Is it north of Bell?

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    1,722
    Driving East on Bell, there is a small dirt parking lot on the left at 104th Str., but "the Gateway Trailhead" is north on Thompson Peak Pkwy. See the map here:

    Gateway Trailhead

  8. #8
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,032
    Awesome, man. Think I'll try that tomorrow.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    1,722
    I think riding Gateway loop clockwise, then after most of the descent veering to your left down Paradise and downhill(right) on Quartz all the way out to Westworld is fun. Then depending on how hard you want to make the climbing back to Gateway, ride up Taliesin(easy) to Quartz(take a left) to Paradise(take a right) to Gateway; or ride back up Quartz(more technical) to Paradise to Gateway.

    A variation to riding clockwise on Gateway is to take the Desert Park Trail clockwise up to Windgate Pass Trail(right) to intersect Gateway near the top of the Gateway climb.

    If you are really strong, you can take Windgate over the top and dip down the other side and pick up the Bell Pass Trail(right) and then climb back up Bell Pass and descend to Gateway.

    The trails in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve that go over the mountains connect with the McDowell Mountain Park trails on the other side, so for a mega loop you could descend the other side and go around Pemberton, to Escondido, to Sport Loop, to Tech Loop, to Long Loop, to service road, to Pemberton, and then back over the McDowell mountains via Windgate pass or Bell pass.

  10. #10
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    2,486
    This is a good SS friendly loop in the McD's (on the west side of the mcd's)
    Strava Segment | Walt TT - West Side Start-Finish - no overlook

  11. #11
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,032
    Ray: that segment looks like the Taliesin/Lost Dog loop if I'm not mistaken. I'm looking for something different.

    Think we're gonna try the Gateway thing tomorrow.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: tysonnemb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,090
    Yeah I like the Gateway trailhead too. Nice maps by the bathrooms. If you get there and you can already see the lot is full, you can rest assured most hikers are doing the gateway loop trail towards windgate pass trail. I can't blame them, really. Sweet section. But, if you want to warm up a bit, not a bad section to start on Desert Park Trail. Just under 3 miles, not difficult, and links right on to Windgate. Just cuts out a good section of hikers. But you will miss out on some beautiful people.

    But yeah, windgate to bell pass back to gateway is nice. When are you going? I may be there too, depending on riding buddy. Brown Enduro green jersey.
    “Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.”
-Grant Petersen

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    735
    Taliesin down to quartz thrn up paradise and down to the gateway trailhead is always my favorite.

  14. #14
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,032
    Clearly there are a lot of studs out there. And clearly I'm not one of them.

    Did Gateway-Wingate-Bell Pass-Gateway loop today clockwise. On a single-speed. It was brutal.

  15. #15
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    2,486
    Blatant, you're were running a 32-20? That's my usual gear up that thing, but by no means do I clean all parts...and my HR is definitely pegged. On the Bell side, the section after the Prospector junction is purely HAB for me. A 32-21 is definitely friendlier up there and was the gear I've used in a handful of Quad BP rides...still, an unadulterated sufferfest for sure.
    Not too many nut-jobs ride the passes on a SS...welcome to the club.

  16. #16
    No Clue Crew
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,032
    Yep, 32-20.

    I wasn't mentally prepared for the non-stop nature of the climbing. Or for the crowds. Been riding in the Valley for years and have never seen so many hikers. Everyone seemed nice, but most looked at us like they'd never seen bikers before. Thinned out quite a bit once we got past the initial Gateway Loop turnoff.

    Honestly, I was pretty shelled by the time we got to the top of Bell. Fun descent, though, and loses a grip of altitude in a pretty short space. Did good on the SS, but couldn't help thinking how fun it would have been on the fully.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    735
    I never made wind gate cw without stopping several times or a bit of hab. As for bell... It's all hab for me until the decent cw to gateway or the Paradise turn. SS? Beastmode!

  18. #18
    EJC
    EJC is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    38
    Quote Originally Posted by Blatant View Post
    Yep, 32-20.

    I wasn't mentally prepared for the non-stop nature of the climbing. Or for the crowds. Been riding in the Valley for years and have never seen so many hikers. Everyone seemed nice, but most looked at us like they'd never seen bikers before. Thinned out quite a bit once we got past the initial Gateway Loop turnoff.

    Honestly, I was pretty shelled by the time we got to the top of Bell. Fun descent, though, and loses a grip of altitude in a pretty short space. Did good on the SS, but couldn't help thinking how fun it would have been on the fully.
    Yup, much more fun on fully IMO. Favorite route is the one TJKM described above with easier climbing on Desert Park>Windgate Pass> Gateway Loop descent, then back up on south side of Gateway Loop to top, turn around and descend back to parking lot. You can get a lot of speed heading down so I only ride it in Summer when there are fewer hikers.

  19. #19
    _____
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    367
    I did the windgate to bell pass loop today too with my 6" bike for first time sine 2003. I'm glad had lots of gears, lots of travel and a slack head angle for the descent. I am always amazed to see single speeds on those mega climbs. I promptly sliced a sidewall on the east side and spent the rest of my ride blowing through tubes trying get my dried up tire boot to hold.

    I have never seen so many hikers at one time on any trail. The hikers were nice but I often found myself explaining to them that I am not crazy and it is perfectly rational to ride a bike up and down these trails. I told them if you want crazy then talk to the guys riding up with one gear.

  20. #20
    Meatbomb
    Reputation: Phillbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    6,287
    I'm not a big fan of the Desert Park Trail. It's probably just me but the rocks on the trail really disturb my rhythm and take all the fun out of it.

  21. #21
    parenting for gnarness
    Reputation: chollaball's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    6,230
    Sorry didnt see this in time for your ride.

    Windgate above the Gateway intersection is hard, all of Windgate is. And the climb back over Bell would probably hurt on a SS. For a fun shorter route ~1.5hrs I'd start at Westworld and take the back route up the 98th St. wash into the Desert Park cw, that is a mellow approach into the system, with maybe 500 more vf to get to the Windgate junction. turn back downhill to Gateway loop where there is 1 short hard pitch, and all downhill Gateway->Paradise->Quartz->Westworld. There are a few b-lines and jumps, so i really like that as a 6inch ride. I usually ride it at night. Was out Saturday morning and below Gateway on Bell was a non-stop line of hikers. most are reasonably nice but you cant open it up which is too bad as that part is fast, i use my bell A LOT.

    there are a lot of miles in the flats going south from Gateway\Quartz, paralleling the canal. you can hook some of that west around Shea\90th, then back through some of the new MUPs or st along the canal back to Westworld for another hour of fast riding without much vertical.
    YES to Scottsdale Prop 420
    Our Preserve, Our Taxes, Our Vote

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation: tysonnemb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,090
    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo View Post
    I'm not a big fan of the Desert Park Trail. It's probably just me but the rocks on the trail really disturb my rhythm and take all the fun out of it.
    Yeah I agree, but if you want to avoid a good section of hikers, it can help cut out a heavily populated section of trail. Pretty much every hiker on the trail was very nice (hard not to be, great section of trail, great weather), but if you want to warm up a bit, it can prove to be a nice alternative.
    “Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.”
-Grant Petersen

Similar Threads

  1. PSA hunters in the McDowells
    By 28/29 WIT in forum Arizona
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-09-2013, 08:01 PM
  2. Easiest way over the McDowells
    By 28/29 WIT in forum Arizona
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 04-13-2013, 08:50 PM
  3. Snow on McDowells!
    By Scott In MD in forum Arizona
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 02-22-2013, 07:24 PM
  4. Replies: 28
    Last Post: 07-02-2012, 02:11 PM
  5. bypassing the mcdowells
    By YuriB in forum Arizona
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 08-16-2011, 05:41 PM

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

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

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.