If you are looking for an excellent mountain biking experience, then there is no better place in America than Arizona to test your biking skills. The Great Canyon State offers numerous mountain biking trails that are not only challenging, but also take you through some of the beautiful natural vistas and unspoiled surroundings in the state, something one may not be able to see and experience in most other biking trails in and outside of the US.
To list all of the Arizona mountain biking trails, it would easily fill the entire webpage, and still you would only be half finished. So the focus will be on the major and the most popular mountain biking trails in Arizona. We’ll start from the south of the Arizona state – Tucson – and proceed north up to Page and see some of the more popular mountain biking trails that lie on the way.
The best of the Tucson mountain biking trails would easily be the 50 Year Trail. It is an extensive network of old ranch roads and horse trails that have evolved into a single track. There are also a few double tracks and dirt roads. The major attraction of the 50 Year Trail is that it is a bird watching paradise through which the route passes. The area is home to hundreds of bird species, some of which are rare or endangered. The circuit can be rough at times and sealed or thorn-resistant tires are advised for a rider’s safety and to avoid tire punctures. Other southern Arizona mountain trails include Brown Canyon, Chiva Falls, Gold Country, and Cobre Ridge. Of these, the Brown Canyon is the shortest – just a mile and a half in length – and therefore a popular cyclist circuit.
Moving north, in and around the Phoenix area, there is the short but charming Blevins Loop, suitable for families and young riders, located at northeast Mesa, the Dessert Classic that passes through the foothills of South Mountain, a single track and the Javelin Loop, again a single track trail with few tough sections. Other popular trails in the region include Estrella Loop, Long Loop, and Dynamite Loop.
Sedona, located south of Flagstaff, has some interesting and exciting mountain biking trails. The Oak Creek Canyon Trail is one amongst them that an avid adventure biker cannot miss. It is challenging, scenic, and offers some epic daylong rides. Trail surface is a single track and double track with some slick rocks, an ideal mountain biking trail mix. Other sought after biking trails in and around Sedona include Schnebly Hill, Hot Loop, Chapel Rock Loop, Courthouse Butt, the famous Teacup Trail to the Cockscomb (West Sedona).
In the Flagstaff area, if there is any mountain biking trail that is a must, then it has to be the Dry Lakes, located 8 miles north of Flagstaff, in the Dry Lakes Hills. It is an enchanting forested loop, moderately difficult, with stunning views of Eden and the San Francisco peaks on the way. Little Bear Trail is another scenic and smooth trail in the same region. Other interesting biking trails include Fry Park, Government Prairie, Abineau Canyon, Mount Elden, and Lava River Cave.
Coming to the Grand Canyon, other than marveling at nature’s splendor, not many have tried its mountain biking trails. It is one of the more challenging mountain biking trails, and a bit more difficult than the South Rim. The route includes parts of the Arizona Trail and the Rainbow Rim Trail. A visit to the Grand Canyon National Park will come as a plus.
At Page, the northern tip of Arizona, there are not many biking trails of note, but for the Page Rimview Trail. This single track trail of 10.3 miles stands out in terms of beautiful vistas through which it passes, the scenery the route offers, and also the unique challenges that await the bikers on the way. The downside, this is not a biking trail meant for novices and beginners.