Fiery as its capital, Arizona is a state with abundant beauty, tourist spots, and awesome rock formations. We all know about its meteor crater, the Grand Canyon National Park, and the largest skydiving center in the world. But, do you know that there’s a whole list of challenging biking trails in Arizona?
If you want a great biking experience with the twist, go to Arizona. We listed down the best bike trails here that will surely bring out the Phoenix (pun-intended) in you. This list of biking trails in Arizona is not just for daredevils but also for those who just started their biking habits.
Arizona’s Top Biking Trails: Beginner to Expert
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Most of Arizona’s perfect bike trails are for advanced bikers, but we are lucky enough to have one for beginners. Pemberton Loop singletrack trail is up to 15 miles. If you want a fast/short ride, you can cut the loop off several miles by riding Tonto or Bluff Trails. This trail is also well-marked with signs, which makes it so much better for beginners. It has no huge climbs or descents, making it easier to ride. The other fun side of this place is the horse population — you will definitely find some on the trail.
Schultz Creek Trail
Location: Flagstaff, AZ
Do you know that Pluto was discovered from an observatory in Flagstaff? Well, there’s a 4.2 mile- trail ride here, too! You can ride this trail to reach Schultz Pass. Start riding at the bottom of Schultz Pass Road and steadily climb up the valley. After, you’ll pass by Schultz Creek that has a spectacle scenery and shades from fir and pine trees.
Hawes Trail Network
Location: Mesa, AZ
This trail is a part of the Sonoran Desert Trail System and is about 11.2 miles in length and is mostly singletrack. Unlike most biking trails in Arizona, this trail is not too rocky. But as desert-like, as it is, be careful not to run into a lot of cacti around the trail.
It’s also a game-like ride experience because of its twists and curvy turns. The Hawes Trail Network is well-marked with signs so you won’t have to worry about losing your way. Want some trivia? This biking trail is part of the Saguaro Trail network and passes by some abandoned mines.
Cathedral Rock Big Loop
Location: Oak Creek, AZ
This trail is both for intermediate and expert bikers. For cyclists who want beautiful scenery while riding, Cathedral Rock Big Loop is a perfect choice! Intermediate bikers have to walk with their bikes in a few sections while advanced riders can bike these if wanted.
The challenge is, of course, caused by the red soil and rocky areas. The Slim Shady Trail and Templeton Trail loop ride is one of the hardest parts of this trail. The ride down Cathedral Rock is a hard one, too. Nearing the trail’s end, you will ride along Old Creek, hit Baldwin loop and return to Templeton. Be extra careful and look out for hikers during the ride.
Black Canyon Trail
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Black Canyon Trail is another great biking trail in Arizona. It’s highly suggested to start riding this trail at Table Mesa Trailhead that goes straight on the Black Canyon Trail to Little Pan Loop. This biking trail is a part of a 62-mile trail system. A singletrack trail is recommended for advanced skilled riders. You will need to pay attention to cacti to surely enjoy some long downhill sections of the desert terrain.
Honeybee Canyon Loop
Location: Oro Valley Tucson, AZ
This 16.8-mile singletrack trail is easy but requires a lot of endurance. Access this trail via Oracle Road where you will find a gravel and soil parking lot. Dirty as it can be, you will still enjoy its smooth terrain of soil. The Honeybee Canyon Loop trail has minimal uphill sections that add up to the adventure. At the end of the loop, the downhill section back to the starting point is a smooth ride.
50-Year Trail/Golden Ranch
Location: Tucson, AZ
Compared to Honeybee Canyon trail, 50-Year Trail/Golden Ranch trail is more technical and complicated. The 50-Year Trail/Golden Ranch is the best trail Tucson has to offer. Because this trail has a place for every rider, it is highly suggested to visit it. Beginners, intermediate and advanced riders will find a trail that suits their skills here.
There is a local bike shop to rent a bike if you are just visiting the area. As challenging as it can be, one must also pay attention to sandy spots, unexpected ruts, and rocky areas. If you wish to ride at night time, take extra care as snakes are abundant.
Location: Sedona, AZ
Are you a certified daredevil and trained cyclist? The Hangover Trail is perfect for you! Sedona is a gorgeous place both for hikers and mountain bikers. As mentioned, it is only for those who are experienced and daredevils due to Hangover Trail’s unique geography.
This biking trail in Arizona is composed of two-section red rocks which you will run into. You will also need to travel steep cliffs which are pretty high above the canyon floor. Its narrow edge riding section is definitely not for people who have fear of heights! You might think that it is short in distance but it is complicated and intense. Focus and determination will be your major companion here!
Sonoran Desert Loop
Location: Cave Creek, AZ
This 13.1 mile-looped mountain biking trail is not too technical to ride and is well balanced. You will start your ride via Apache Wash Trailhead in the north section of the Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve. Arizona has lots of horse riders and hikers, so you will have to be mindful of them while biking along the trail. It has lots of climbing parts, so everyone will have to prepare their legs to get all worked up.
Arizona is just one of the States bikers and hikers must visit, and one cannot go wrong here. Just remember to pay additional focus and care when roaming its trails. And more importantly, make sure you are fit to tackle these adventurous biking trails in Arizona!
P.S. Safety should be your number one priority when riding these trails. Here’s a list of carefully curated bike helmets to help you get started.