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Discussion Starter #1
I’m looking on riding tips in Scottsdale. I’ll be headed that way a couple times a month and would appreciate any trail suggestions. My schedule is pretty flexible but I’d prefer not driving any longer than 20 min one way. I am an advanced rider that can hold his own on most terrain.

TIA


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What part of Scottsdale? It takes about 20 mins to drive from one end to the other, so that can effect what trails you ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Near Shea Blvd and 101. I see a bunch of trails near McDowell. The west side seems like a good launching point for a variety of rides but are any of them worth doing? On MTBproject, the reviews are iffy.


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I am Walt
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Near Shea Blvd and 101. I see a bunch of trails near McDowell. The west side seems like a good launching point for a variety of rides but are any of them worth doing? On MTBproject, the reviews are iffy.


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Absolutely worth doing, though the west side is pretty chunky, with some grueling climbing. Since you are an advanced rider, here are some options:
- From 124th St/Lost Dog TH, do Lost Dog, Quartz, Taliesin, back up Quartz, Old Jeep, Ringtail. 1.5 hours.
- Same start...Lost Dog, Quartz, but go right on Paradise over to Bell, left on Bell, down to Gateway area, find Desert Park, up to Windgate, right on lower Windgate, left and up on Gateway, down Gateway to Bell, right on lower Bell, left on Paradise, back to Quartz, then same as prior route. 3 hours.
- Park at the Gateway TH, up Desert Park or Windgate, Windgate to the top, down the backside, right and south over to Bell (I forget the name - Prospector?), up and over Bell Pass, down Bell and back to Gateway. 2 hours, but tough, extended climbing and descending.
- From Gateway TH, navigate over to Paradise, down Paradise, up Quartz, Old Jeep, up Sunrise, Andrews-Kinsey, left on Western something or other, Lower Sonoran over to Dixie Mine, Dixie Mine to Prospector, up Prospector to either Bell or Windgate, down either and back to Gateway TH. 3-4 hours and very grueling.

Tons of riding on the west side, and that will keep you busy for a while...


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Discussion Starter #6
Awesome. Thanks. I was going to ride on Sunday and Monday. There might be rain on Monday but I’m generally an all season rider where I live. How do the trails do in the rain in the desert?


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I am Walt
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Awesome. Thanks. I was going to ride on Sunday and Monday. There might be rain on Monday but I’m generally an all season rider where I live. How do the trails do in the rain in the desert?


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The rain won’t be heavy, and little to no issue on those trails in the a light to moderate rain, or right after.


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PMP,TAN,LAUNDRY
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The rain won’t be heavy, and little to no issue on those trails in the a light to moderate rain, or right after.


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Windgate/Bell
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm in California and we're dying for rain. 1/2 the state has already burned away already.

I'm a big fan of chunk and climbing. I live in Marin but ride in the Sierras a lot. Will be riding an ibis Mojo 3 with DHF and Aggressors, 2.5 and obviously tubeless. Which is the most technical of those trails on McDowell?
 

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Elitest thrill junkie
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I'm in California and we're dying for rain. 1/2 the state has already burned away already.

I'm a big fan of chunk and climbing. I live in Marin but ride in the Sierras a lot. Will be riding an ibis Mojo 3 with DHF and Aggressors, 2.5 and obviously tubeless. Which is the most technical of those trails on McDowell?
I found Windgate to be pretty pounding and relentless, but Bell Pass to be still very technical and a lot more fun. Climbing up Windgate was probably the most technical aspect of the ride for me doing the Quadruple Bypass.
 

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I am Walt
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I found Windgate to be pretty pounding and relentless, but Bell Pass to be still very technical and a lot more fun. Climbing up Windgate was probably the most technical aspect of the ride for me doing the Quadruple Bypass.
Yep; Bell down to the west is the most technical of the bunch...


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Yep; Bell down to the west is the most technical of the bunch...


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I wasn't even saying it like that, but it was the most fun, decent flow for as rough as it was. I can't remember enough about Windgate down to compare though, it was just a beat-down climbing (you don't notice as much starting fresh) and I want to say with the descent as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I mapped it all out. Thanks for the tips. I'm looking forward to riding in a new area more frequently.

On the flip side, what trails do you all recommend for a total noob? I was thinking about taking my girlfriend out but she hasn't ridden on trails before. She'll have one of my old 26ers but I'm looking for something flat and not technical. I don't want to scare her away from mountain biking too early.

Thanks again!
 

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No Clue Crew
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Browns Ranch for a newb.

I lived in that area of Scottsdale for 15 years and rarely rode the McDowells. Just not much fun. Sure, the descent down Bell Pass is OK, but short. And the climb up Wingate is heinous.

Do yourself a favor and drive 20 minutes to South Mountain.
 

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Browns Ranch for a newb.

I lived in that area of Scottsdale for 15 years and rarely rode the McDowells. Just not much fun. Sure, the descent down Bell Pass is OK, but short. And the climb up Wingate is heinous.

Do yourself a favor and drive 20 minutes to South Mountain.
I was thinking the same thing. I prefer the East side of the McDowells, but YMMV.

Browns 100% with the girlfriend. Drive around granite mountain for scenery.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I rode National today. Road up JC, Mormon and national to the saddle. What a super trail. Thanks for the suggestion.


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Good for you. Much more entertaining than the McDowells. Your experience will be even better next time if you go on a weekday.
 
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