XC trail option in the valley- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    XC trail option in the valley

    So I recently decided that the hard core National type trail is not my cup of tea.

    Im going to be an XC guy when I grow up. I enjoy riding Desert classic (Maybe I enjoy it a bit too much), but looking for a few other trails that are more XC style. No crazy drops.

    I have been out to usery park, which is a really fun trail network.

    What else is there here in the valley?

  2. #2
    wrecking crew
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    It all depends on what you consider XC.

    McDowell Mountain Park trails definitely fall into that easy XC catagory, as do some of the Estrella trails and definitely Papago. Dreamy Draw/T100 Area has miles and miles of trail suitable for XC riding. Options of harder stuff of course being available as well. These range from mild to wicked hairy. They all interconnect so it's a great place to find tons of trail. T100 being the "Main Road" of the system is of course fairly mild in my opinion.

    Hawes I think has some pretty nice XC trails and I'm sure there are trails in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve system that have some too (in addition to more advanced trail). The White Tank Mountains has an XC course at the base of the mountains. But stick to the course unless you are in for some serious climbs. The hiking trails into the mountains provide alot of uphill climbs that I consider XC, but you need to do an out an back to avoid serious DH rocky drops action and there are sections of hike-a-bike. But there are a few hiking trails around there that skirt the hills or just take them until they get hairy and turn around.

    The always controversial Pima & Dynamite area is XC but with lots of kitty litter and whoops. But not a ton of severe elevation changes and the trails go for miles. I find this area very loose as the soil is mostly decomposed granite and can be a pain to ride in although there is some very nice trail out there. Good place to run into dirtbikes and ATV so you need to keep and ear out. There are maps available of this area I believe.

    Cave Creek Recreation Area has some fun trail, but there are sections that may require some care. Small area, maybe 6 or 7 miles of trail? Still fun IMO.

    I'm sure there are other areas that people can give you more information on. And keep in mind this is all subjective. My opinion on the trails being XC may not ring true with others. Everyone's skill level is different and the rating of trail ease/difficulty is sure to bring up some varying opinion.
    Last edited by su.ling~; 11-30-2006 at 08:29 AM.
    ~~~

  3. #3
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    Cool. Thanks. I totally forgot about Hawes and McDowell.

    I have never been to the others, but I think will be checking them out soon. I have heard of all of them, just didnt know what was what.

  4. #4
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    Casa Grande Mountain is purtty much pure XC, IMO, that is.. Seriously you should all come check it out, what's a 45 minute drive for some good XC singletrack. PM me if you are interested, I will more than likely be out there 7 AM Sunday morning.

  5. #5
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    AZsun, you up for a ride sunday afternoon? I go to church in the AM, and I have a lunch thing I have to go to, but should be done by 2:30 or so. Im down in maricopa, so its only a 20 min. drive for me. My neighbor and I where talking about riding SOMO anyway, Mabye we just head your way for a guided tour.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattKHS
    AZsun, you up for a ride sunday afternoon? I go to church in the AM, and I have a lunch thing I have to go to, but should be done by 2:30 or so. Im down in maricopa, so its only a 20 min. drive for me. My neighbor and I where talking about riding SOMO anyway, Mabye we just head your way for a guided tour.
    Sent you a PM.

    Also, don't forget Tucson, I rode Starr Pass with another MTBR member about 1 month or so ago, it was great XC and only a 45 min drive for me from Casa Grande. But like Su. ling said XC is all in the eye of the beholder....

  7. #7
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    AZsun - your PM box is full. See reply bellow.

    normally we ride saturday AM's as well. My neighbor and I pretty much ride every saturday at South Mountain. I just have to pick up my wife from the airport Sat. AM, and have stuff the rest of the day. So normally Sat. is good.

    No riding at all in maricopa. I have heard some stuff about a trail out west near Gila bend. But I dont care to explore it. too far for the little mountains that are there. If i was to drive 45 minutes for biking, i'll go to hawes, Usery or South Mountain.

    keep me posted.

    -matt

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZSunGod
    like Su. ling said XC is all in the eye of the beholder....
    I used to ride a 5.5" trail bike on some of the hairier stuff at hawes. Im used to rocky tech stuff. just never been great at it. Especially going down.

    I guess Id rather push my self with endurance challenges, than technical stuff. I dont mind small tech stuff, but 2 foot drops, down a rocky mountain side I just cant do.

    I can handle some drops. My new rig is a 4" travel XC bike, Specialized Epic. So it will take some stuff. just not the same as my 5.5" Liquid did.

  9. #9
    igoslo
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    I have found that what counts as XC here in the valley is more akin to AM everywhere else I've ever lived. I've always been a person that will ride(and occasionally walk) pretty much any terrain without much of a second thought. Nearly all of the trails here, even the easy ones, are pretty rocky and when I first moved here I had a hell of a time finding a place where my wife would enjoy riding. She loves to ride but has glass ankles(somthing in the neighborhood of 10 breaks in her lifetime) and because of that she has a healthy fear of rocky trails.

    That said I would say that SuLing covered it pretty well as far as the valley is concerned. Definately hit McDowell, both Pemberton and the race loops are a kick and make for a good ride. Also from Maicopa, Tucson isn't too unreasonable of a drive for some fun and Fantasy Island is an absolute blast no matter what your skill level.

  10. #10
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    i have ridden in tucson, but just the 24 hour trail.

    Anyone know if thats open to ride? I think I still have my AZ state land permit to park & ride.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoloRider
    I have found that what counts as XC here in the valley is more akin to AM everywhere else I've ever lived. I've always been a person that will ride(and occasionally walk) pretty much any terrain without much of a second thought. Nearly all of the trails here, even the easy ones, are pretty rocky and when I first moved here I had a hell of a time finding a place where my wife would enjoy riding. She loves to ride but has glass ankles(somthing in the neighborhood of 10 breaks in her lifetime) and because of that she has a healthy fear of rocky trails.

    That said I would say that SuLing covered it pretty well as far as the valley is concerned. Definately hit McDowell, both Pemberton and the race loops are a kick and make for a good ride. Also from Maicopa, Tucson isn't too unreasonable of a drive for some fun and Fantasy Island is an absolute blast no matter what your skill level.
    yeah, it is all pretty rocky here. My wife loves Usery because it is smooth and easy.

    I rode an AM trail in So Cal last month. It was not all mountain in my opinion. Barely any rocks. 90% of the trail was smooth. I was on a steel hard tail 29er, and 3 of the 4 guys I rode with had 5" trail bikes. I dont know why. All the trails we rode were not AM. maybe I'm just used to rocky trails.

  12. #12
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    A little off topic, but does anyone have the link to get an AZ State land permit??

    Matt- Let's plan for another weekend to meet up in CG, the wife has plans for me Sunday afternoon.

  13. #13
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    Sounds good.

    State Land Dept site:
    http://www.land.state.az.us/programs...oad_permit.htm

    Its pretty easy to get. And f you downtown to the office, it only takes about 5 minutes to get. I have the family pass for a year. Worth the $20, considering a ticket is $200. They do hand out tickets near the 24 course. I heard of several tickets last year.

  14. #14
    I am Doctor Remulak
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZSunGod
    A little off topic, but does anyone have the link to get an AZ State land permit??
    Check the AZ State Land Dept website for info.

    The 24 Hour course is usually open to ride all of the time, you will most likely need to open or go around a few gates that are closed or locked.

  15. #15
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    is going through those gates cool? I just dont feel like being shot at for trespassing. Although sometimes I need a little motivation to ride faster.

  16. #16
    CrazyEye
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattKHS
    So I recently decided that the hard core National type trail is not my cup of tea.

    Im going to be an XC guy when I grow up. I enjoy riding Desert classic (Maybe I enjoy it a bit too much), but looking for a few other trails that are more XC style. No crazy drops.

    I have been out to usery park, which is a really fun trail network.

    What else is there here in the valley?
    Check out FINs, its sound like you'd really dig it. Just ignore all the stupid drama going on the thread about it. I been out there about ten times and never see more then a couple other riders...Fun and fast nothing very tech.

  17. #17
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    I'll be at CG Mountain 2:30 Sunday with at least one other rider, your welcome to join up. I'm riding in the morning also but I'll be able to get you thru the north trail and some of the east side.

  18. #18
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    Whats FIN's?

    I'll let you know CG charlie.

  19. #19
    CrazyEye
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattKHS
    Whats FIN's?

    I'll let you know CG charlie.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=244907

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