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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any ride recommendations for a Saturday sunset? I’ll be doing National/Mormon Sunday morning, so looking for a 10-15mile, 2hr, loop ride for Saturday with some views, maybe 800-1200ft of climbing, single track but can be just fast and flowy, doesn’t need to be as techy as South Mtn. Was thinking something in Brown’s Ranch or west side McDowell. And, this will be late June.

Thx
 

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parenting for gnarness
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i wouldnt do it unless you are used to heat and in good shape. But, if you can suffer your way up about 40 min and 800 feet to the peak of Gateway loop, that's a good sunset and all downhill from there. Browns is much easier riding.
 

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Black and Sticky
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Here's a thought. Park at the Pemberton trailhead in McDowell Mtn Regional Park. Ride clockwise about 6 miles. Then turn left at the Rock Knob trail and go about a mile and cross into McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Keep going up. You will pass the turn off to the Gooseneck trail on the right. But keep going another quarter mile until you intersect the Marcus Landslide Trail. Stop and enjoy the view to the east and northwest. Turn around and head back to the Gooseneck Trail and turn left and head back down. After about 2.5 miles you will intersect a trail that will lead you back to the Pemberton Trail at a place called Jackass Junction. you will see a ramada with a dead guy on top. Go left on the Pemberton trail for about 7 miles back to the trailhead. By the time you are done you will have done a fairly mellow 17 miles and about 1200 ft climbing. The views are pretty good and depending on timing and the amount of dust in the air, the sunset could be spectacular. Here's a map that will make my directions more clear:

https://www.maricopacountyparks.net/assets/1/6/mcdowell-8x11-mi.pdf

Have fun.

Bob
PS-on the map Jackass Junction is called Granite Tank, which is the name that all us old timers call that place. Again, look for the dead guy on top of the ramada.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Late June and late in the day do not really mix well. It could be close to 115* +. Where are you visiting from?

Browns Ranch would be a good choice.
Coming from NC. By then I'll have some hot weather fitness built up, but granted, in the humidity. Was thinking that when the shadows grew it would be a bit cooler but maybe that doesn't happen there. Have ridden Sedona but for sure it wasn't 115.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Here's a thought. Park at the Pemberton trailhead in McDowell Mtn Regional Park. Ride clockwise about 6 miles. Then turn left at the Rock Knob trail and go about a mile and cross into McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Keep going up. You will pass the turn off to the Gooseneck trail on the right. But keep going another quarter mile until you intersect the Marcus Landslide Trail. Stop and enjoy the view to the east and northwest. Turn around and head back to the Gooseneck Trail and turn left and head back down. After about 2.5 miles you will intersect a trail that will lead you back to the Pemberton Trail at a place called Jackass Junction. you will see a ramada with a dead guy on top. Go left on the Pemberton trail for about 7 miles back to the trailhead. By the time you are done you will have done a fairly mellow 17 miles and about 1200 ft climbing. The views are pretty good and depending on timing and the amount of dust in the air, the sunset could be spectacular. Here's a map that will make my directions more clear:

https://www.maricopacountyparks.net/assets/1/6/mcdowell-8x11-mi.pdf

Have fun.

Bob
PS-on the map Jackass Junction is called Granite Tank, which is the name that all us old timers call that place. Again, look for the dead guy on top of the ramada.
Mention of the dead guy really makes me want to pursue that, but the level of detail, and distance, makes me wary I'll be another non-desert sucker. Either way, thx.
 

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Coming from NC. By then I'll have some hot weather fitness built up, but granted, in the humidity. Was thinking that when the shadows grew it would be a bit cooler but maybe that doesn't happen there. Have ridden Sedona but for sure it wasn't 115.
I lived in Western NC (Winston-Salem) and I'll be honest going out in the middle of the Summer there was sticky and uncomfortable, but could be done safely. I wouldn't attempt a ride here on a 115 day unless it was a late evening/night ride or dawn patrol.

That being said, if you can tough it out Browns is a good option because there are a some interesting landmarks to check out and nice flowy trails. If you want something with a bit more elevation and technical riding you could consider the mineshaft trail at Hawes.

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If you are going to ride I would really recommend doing it after the sun goes down. Either Brown’s or McDowell Mountain Park offer good night riding. Bring plenty of water and let someone know your route and your expected time to check in.
 

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Just drink lots of water before the ride and bring some on your ride. You will be fine, My first ride in PHX after moving from CT was a 113F summer day on South Mountain. I still don't ride with water any time of the year and ride in the middle of the day and hottest times here and there. I hydrate with just water before a ride and never ever come close to having a problem, not sure if it's my body vs others, but I just think you guys are over thinking it. With that said dehydration will kill you, just hydrate it's obvious no matter how hot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I lived in Western NC (Winston-Salem) and I'll be honest going out in the middle of the Summer there was sticky and uncomfortable, but could be done safely. I wouldn't attempt a ride here on a 115 day unless it was a late evening/night ride or dawn patrol.

That being said, if you can tough it out Browns is a good option because there are a some interesting landmarks to check out and nice flowy trails. If you want something with a bit more elevation and technical riding you could consider the mineshaft trail at Hawes.

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Thx for the tips. Yeah, Western Carolina can be uncomfortable, but it does tend to be about 10 degrees cooler than the the lowlands (and Pisgah is, after all, a rain forest, so agua, no problem).

Think I'll head to Brown, as late as possible, with lots of water and low expectations. I don't need a bunch of climbing. But I do want some daylight for the expansive views. Sunday I'll be on dawn patrol, seeking more challenge, which I expect to find on National.
 

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Mention of the dead guy really makes me want to pursue that, but the level of detail, and distance, makes me wary I'll be another non-desert sucker. Either way, thx.
Actually, in suggesting that route I was trying to give you something that a non-desert dweller might be able to survive in the late afternoon of June. But if you are going to try Browns Ranch, I would suggest starting at Granite Mtn trailhead. FYI, "Browns Ranch" is just one of the trailheads in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve North Area but has become the generic name for that area. IMO the area around Granite Mtn is the most scenic in that area. So here's another map to help you:

https://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/Assets/ScottsdaleAZ/Preserve/Preserve+North+Area+Trail+Map.pdf

Suggest you ride the Granite Mtn Loop trail and if you want a little longer ride, add the Cholla Mtn Loop trail via Branding Iron. The good thing about that area is that the trails are really well marked and if you use the map, you can't get lost. From the trails I'm talking about you will get a decent view of sunset. FYI, there are no dead guys on top of ramadas there. Yes, bring plenty of water. Enjoy!

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
i wouldnt do it unless you are used to heat and in good shape. But, if you can suffer your way up about 40 min and 800 feet to the peak of Gateway loop, that's a good sunset and all downhill from there. Browns is much easier riding.
If I've found the right trail on Trailforks, Gateway loop is 4 miles, 682ft climbing. Is this what you're thinking? That's little for sure.
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It's not Scottsdale but I'd go to Gold Canyon if you want some epic scenery. The Superstitions at sunset and sunrise are both pretty magical....plus it's legit twisty, windy singletrack vs the wide openers at Browns IMO.
 

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If I've found the right trail on Trailforks, Gateway loop is 4 miles, 682ft climbing. Is this what you're thinking? That's little for sure.
View attachment 1249114
Gateway is like Disneyland on a weekend for pedestrian traffic. I suggest if you go out Gateway, drop down Paradise to Quartz and you could go off to Lost Dog Wash and Old Jeep. Or go the other way on Gateway and find your way over to Windgate and Bell Pass. But I wouldn't suggest those rides the night before SoMo.

If you want easier miles versus to technical miles, park at Toms Thumb TH. Drop down Rock Knob to Pemberton to Bluff or Coachwhip/Dixie Mine and pick your route back to Toms Thumb, possibly Tonto Tank. Very pretty desert here, the Bluff DH is a fast, swoopy roller. Other option is Browns Ranch and pick your trails. Hawkesnest going from West to East is fun. Latigo is fun either direction out of the parking lot. If you get to Cholla Mt Loop you can check out Cathedral Rock. Again very pretty desert and laid back fun roller riding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It's not Scottsdale but I'd go to Gold Canyon if you want some epic scenery. The Superstitions at sunset and sunrise are both pretty magical....plus it's legit twisty, windy singletrack vs the wide openers at Browns IMO.
Another 25mins to get there. I guess you mean the view of the S mountains from the GC trails? Any particular routes or just fool around in there?
 
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