Best Mountain Bike Trails Arizona

Arizona is a place where riders are as fearless as the terrain. The great thing is, if you live here, you don’t have to go very far to find a mountain biking trail. You have many options to demonstrate your riding skills from Flagstaff to Tucson, and all points in between.

See also: The Best Mountain Bike Trails of the USA

The following guide will show you where to find the best mountain biking trails in Arizona. You will also learn about the differences between each.

TL;DR – The Top Mountain Bike Trails in Arizona

Are you looking for the best mountain bike trails around Arizona? These are the most difficult mountain biking trails in Arizona.

Easy Trails are great for families and beginners

  • Campbell Mesa Trail, Campbell Mesa Trail System
  • Moonrock Trail, Usery Mountain Regional Park
  • Bunny Trail Loop, Fantasy Island Mountain Biking Trails

Intermediate trails

  • Tunnel Vision, Spence Basin
  • Rimview, City of Page
  • Champagne Trail, Laguna Mountains

For experienced riders, these trails are challenging.

  • Slim Shady Village of Oak Creek
  • Monolith Gardens, Badger Trail
  • Eliminator II, South Mountain Park

Easy Trails

These trails are marked at the trailhead with a green, round symbol. It does not necessarily mean that the trail is safe.

Avoid steep cliffs and cactus plants. It is rare that a rattlesnake bites someone, but it shouldn’t be done intentionally. You are now well on your way for a safe adventure in the open desert.

Campbell Mesa Trail, Campbell Mesa Trail System

This mostly flat, easy-to-follow trail system is just a short drive from Flagstaff. There are many rock gardens, tree roots, and downed tree branches.

The trail’s first third is rough with rocks and roots. You can gain some speed by climbing a bit before the trail levels off again.

You will need to pedal a bit harder in the next section before you reach a large meadow. This section is the easiest and smoothest. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a grazing or elk.

  • Web:
  • City: Flagstaff
  • Distance 6 miles
  • Climb: 368 ft
  • Descent: -367 feet
  • Surface: Dirt, rock gardens and downed trees. Roots
  • Configuration: Singletrack

Moonrock Trail, Usery Mountain Regional Park

If you’ve ever been curious about real desert mountain biking, this is the place to go. Just a few miles away from Mesa in Arizona, the Usery Mountains have a wide network of trails to suit all levels.

Moonrock Trail is most popular due to its easy flow, mostly downhill. Contrary to many southwest routes with sandy, deep terrain, this trail is flat and comfortable.

As you make your way through the desert landscape, a few Saguaro cactus will guard the trail’s outline. You will also find many wildlife, including birds and rabbits. There’s so much to see that you’ll want to go around a second or third time!

Bunny Trail Loop, Fantasy Island Mountain Biking Trails

The truth is, it isn’t easy finding beginner trails in Tucson. That’s because the desert here is brutal. Be aware of the rocks, sand traps and large boulders. If you fall one way or the other on any given trail, you’ll end up in a bed of cactus!

I still managed to locate Bunny Trail Loop in Fantasy Island Mountain Bike Park south of Tucson. It’s perfectly flat all the way around, and it’s nearly free of any obstacles. It is also a bit wider than other trails in the area so it’s easier to navigate in some sections.

This route is also suitable for advanced riders. You can practice your cornering skills and turn at your own speed without the constraints of obstacles. You may also cover a lot more ground quickly, which can be a great way of enjoying the desert scenery.

  • Web:
  • Tucson
  • Distance from the center of town: 4 miles
  • Climb: 27 feet
  • Descent: 64 ft
  • Dirty Surface
  • Configuration: Singletrack

Intermediate trails

Arizona has a lot to offer. This can be subjective. Locals tend not to consider trail ratings based upon how many hospitalizations they cause each year.

There are still some safe transition trails throughout the state. These are some of my favorite.

Tunnel Vision, Spence Basin

Prescott is another popular destination for mountain biking. Tunnel Vision is a beautiful place to go from beginner to intermediate. It flows through Ponderosa Pines, around the scenic hills country.

The trail runs through the Spence basin so you’ll need to start at one of the parking lots. This will give you the opportunity to warm up before starting this difficult course.

Once you wind through a few hairpin turns while going down a moderate incline, you’ll rifle through a 100-foot tunnel the trail is named after. Next, you will have to navigate difficult obstacles like rock outcroppings or tricky creek crossings.

You will find a gentle incline of about 500 feet at the end of the one-mile straightaway. You can then continue your journey through the basin by connecting to other intermediate trails.

  • Web:
  • City: Prescott
  • Distance 1 Mile
  • Climb: 214 ft
  • Descent: -139 ft
  • Surface: Rock outcroppings, dirt
  • Configuration: Singletrack

Rimview, City of Page

This 10-mile loop runs around Page, in the northeast corner. Although the features and challenges are not as great, the breathtaking views from Lake Powell are stunning.

That doesn’t mean there is no danger on the trail. You could fall 100 feet to the jagged rocks below the ridge if you make a mistake.

The course requires you to cross several busy highways, which can be quite distressing for some riders. Rimview still offers mountain bikers a mix of scenic beauty and challenging terrain that will satisfy them all.

  • Web:
  • Page
  • Distance 10 miles
  • Climb: 970 feet
  • Descent: 958 ft
  • Surface: Dirt and slickrock
  • Configuration: Singletrack, primary uphill

Champagne Trail, Laguna Mountains

Yuma is home to the Champagne Trail, a local favourite. It doesn’t look like much from the top. However, this course will be challenging all the way.

The only negative is, you’ll have to climb a bit to get to it. The locals don’t mind, though; they practically worship this trail for being fast and formidable. This trail is a testament to desert mountain biking.

  • Web:
  • Yuma
  • Distance: 3 Miles
  • Climb: 46 ft
  • Descent: -498 feet
  • Surface: Fine desert gravel, rocks
  • Configuration: Singletrack,downhill

Difficult Trails

Trails that are difficult to ride are marked with a black Diamond. These trails are for experienced riders only. Two black diamonds are used to mark the most dangerous trails.

Slim Shady Village of Oak Creek

Locals nickname the city of Sedona “Shredona” due to it containing some of the best mountain biking in the southwest. One of the many legendary trails here is Slim Shady, a fast, bi-directional concoction of mother nature’s droll sense of humor.

If you feel fit enough to ride the bike to the top, great! However, most people need to get off the bike and push themselves about halfway up. Yeah, it’s that steep.

However, if it is a challenge, you might need to seek out psychological help once you reach the bottom. It’s that fast.

This trail is diamond-rated because of the fine dust it covers the slippery rocks. Your bike could easily slip if you make a mistake while flying down the mountain. And there isn’t much that will provide a soft landing, unfortunately.

  • Web:
  • Sedona, Arizona
  • Distance: 2 Miles
  • Climb: 344 ft
  • Descent: 147 ft
  • Surface: Dirty, deep sandy, rocks, boulders and downed tree
  • Configuration: Singletrack, primary downhill

Monolith Gardens, Badger Trail

The hardest part of this steep descent is the negotiating switchbacks, hairpin turns, and other obstacles. You will suddenly need to brake to navigate each turn as you accelerate down the hill. It can be scary.

Once you reach the third section of the trail, it becomes easier to follow. The straightaways are longer and the turns are wider.

It is important to be aware of the rocks that are constantly coming at you. You could end up on the other side of the mountain if one of them bounces you to the left or right.

  • Web:
  • Kingman, City
  • Distance from the center of town: 3 miles
  • Climb: 282 feet
  • Descent: 1,361 feet
  • Surface: Dirt, desert gravel
  • Configuration: Singletrack, primary downhill

Eliminator II, South Mountain Park

Eliminator may be the most difficult double black-diamond path in Arizona. It is crazy, to be honest.

It is a hike/bike trail. There is quite a bit of effort required to reach the top. It’s worth it, as the descent is breathtaking. It’s high up enough that you have a pretty nice view of metro Phoenix.

This narrow trail is dangerous because of the exposed spots, which can lead to hundreds-foot drops. Eliminator II is not recommended for beginners. It is one of the most beautiful mountain biking trails in Arizona.

  • Web:
  • Phoenix
  • Distance 1 mile
  • Climb: 74ft
  • Descent: -1.031 ft
  • Surface: Dirty, rock gardens, boulders
  • Configuration: Singletrack, primary downhill

Please Leave a Comment

Are you familiar with any of these trails? I’d love to know what you think about the trails. Leave me a comment and tell me how you enjoyed riding the Arizona mountain bike trails.

Are there any other trails that you feel should be added to my Arizona list of bike trails? Leave a comment below to tell me what you think!

1 thought on “Best Mountain Bike Trails Arizona”

  1. Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Many thanks

    Reply

Leave a Comment