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Tucson, AZ
2,980 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My love for long day rides has taken me to see far reaching singletrack here in Arizona. During my last 16-hour ride last Sunday on the Antelope Peak Challenge, I decided to make a list of the Top 10 Underestimated Rides here in Arizona that I have ridden in the past 8 months.


1. Ripsey Segment on the AZT near Kelvin
A little on the remote side, but you can do it from the Florence-Kelvin Highway as a loop or simply park on Freeman Rd near Antelope Peak/Willow Springs Area. This is best ridgeline trail in all of Arizona.

2. Brown Mountain and Golden Gate, Tucson Mountain Park

One of my favorite rides in the Tucson area. Many people just do one or the other, when you can combine both Brown and Golden, you get a sweet, chunky ride. Linking up can be done in several ways, either via Prospertor or Gates Pass Trail.

3. Red Ridge Epic, Mt Lemmon

Red Ridge drops off the back side of Mt Lemmon, dropping some 6k feet in less then 4 miles. Epic indeed. Not for the faint at heart, but it is very rewarding. Make sure to get the current beta for this ride it has been known to be lined with downed trees and tons of scratchy bushes.

4. Yaeger (#28) or Trail 105, Mingus Mountain, Prescott

Few have ever ventured up 105. It is normally done as a shuttle ride down to Cottonwood. It is a great ride up (until the very end) and you'll have a lot more time to take some shots. Parking at Jerome and taking some double track to 105 is a quick way to see this trail. Trail #28 is fast, fun and short.

5. Bill Williams Mtn, Williams, AZ

Aspen singletrack on one side, tight fun switchbacks on the other side. Best done as a sem-epic loop from town.

6. Box Canyon Rd to Pistol Hill, AZT Jamboree Route, Sonoita

With almost 95% singletrack, this 38 mile shuttle ride is a blast. Done as a fundraiser ever year for the AZT, it will make you grin the entire way.

7. Picket Post on AZT, Superior

The "BCT (Black Canyon Trail) of Superior", the Picket Post trail is a little more technical but just well-built. As soon as people from Phoenix realize this is their backyard, I guarantee it will see a lot more traffic. If you finish early and want some grub, stop by Los Hermanos in Superior for the amazing green/red chile burritos. Best done as two out-n-backs from the Picket Post parking lot.

8. Riding out on East Mesa on the Kaibab, AZT

Speechless. After you see the view and the singeltrack. All too often, mountain bikers only do the Rainbow Rim Trail on the west side. Big mistake. The AZ Trail offers equally stunning views with better singletrack. For a real epic, start at Sublime Pt Rd in the National Park and go to Jacob Lake (shuttle required). Or consider doing the Kaibab Monstercross.

9. Cherry Tank and Upper 50, 50 Year Trail, Tucson

Climb, climb, climb. Few people venture up to Cherry Tank at the 50 Year Trail. If you add trails like Around the Mountain, Buddha, Deer Camp, or Baby Jesus, you'll want to never leave. Plenty of b-line options for those with bigger bikes. This is the big bike mecca of Tucson.

10. Upper Javelina and Wild Mustang, Tortolitas near Tucson

Less than a handfull of people have ridden this trail since it was constructed a year ago. If you love tight switchbacks, steep techy climbs, this is a must do ride. You can do it as an out-n-back in about 3 hours, or make it into an epic loop (a GPX file would be required for any loops) into the heart of the Tortolitas.

Reposted from my blog if you want to see the original post.

Elitest thrill junkie
39,567 Posts
Just remember that in the summer-time, Williams is WAY too far from Phoenix. ;)

Victim of Saddle Rage
620 Posts
One of the best posts ever on mtbr. Those really are 10 of my favs

Thanks for posting

527 Posts
tg said:
I miss AZ. this time of year.Looks like a lot of fun. Thanks.
x2. I just moved back to indiana 3 months ago and posts like this make me miss it. I am enjoying the snow as we speak but miss all the single track.

2,203 Posts
wow, gr8 post!
chad, when is the fundraiser held for trail #6? looks like my kind'a trail - cool xc single track, not too technical...or is it??
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