ALta Vista Trail - Trail, Phoenix, Arizona

ALta Vista Trail - Trail, Phoenix, Arizona

DESCRIPTION

Up-up-up-up and mre up. Extremely technical, very loose, very steep, with some bitchin switch backs. 1400 foot elevation change in about 2-2.5 miles. Several water falls (dry of course) to maneuver. This trail consists of loose rock and granite faces, a slippery combo. Just when you think it can't get any worse, it does. The gravel is several inches deep in some spot on the climb. Once you get to the top the view is awesome and so is the decent. Take the trail arround for the 1400 foot decent in about the same distance nice and smooth on the down side. Take the road back to the your car and pop open a clod one, you deserve it!

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-4 of 4  
[Jan 10, 2017]
Vlad
Weekend Warrior

I live really close to the trail head and usually ride Bajada trail on to National trail. Only once or twice a year I decided to ride Alta Trail... and it always kicks my ass. Very steep loose rock. It is really steep in some sections that you have to carry-hike bike, not for too long but necessary. Have not see anyone else on the trail but occasional hikers. Have to be careful with the waterfall/washes (dry) as trail is really narrow with a solid cliff that could cause some ouchies. Downhill part was fun some tight switchbacks and some stretches can really pick up good speed.

Consider trail a must (at least once) it will give you a solid reality check ;)

Customer Service

Use the San Juan Parking lot

Similar Products Used:

Bajada Trail is a great alternative which can be ridden until it merges with Ranger.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 30, 1999]

Are you man enough?!?!? This trail will kick the ass of even the strongest and most technical riders. It is a loose, steep, technical climb on a trail that is not all that well traveled. Once to the top however the back side is worth all the hike-a-biking you just did. So tough it out and keep the grumbling to yourself!

Customer Service

Follow the directions above . . .

Similar Products Used:

National, Ranger, corona loma

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Jul 11, 2001]
Mason

Well, this trail is approximately 1 mile from my house, so you would think I'd ride it more often than once a year! But truth is, it's hard riding... and a world-class butt-kicker. The Alta trail is not often traversed by bikes or hikers. The north slope of the trail will occassionally see the equestrian visitors from the farm country of Laveen on the west side of South Mountain... and this is likely the source of this trail's tough spots! The north side is less bike and more hike-a-bike, due to a high concentration of loose rock and sand, combined with some steep slopes and tight switchbacks. In a few spots, it's an all-out "hoist-the-bike-over-the-shoulder-and-climb" section. But the walking and the climbing never lasts long. You'll be on and off your bike several times, but you'll never stay off your bike for long. Get on, ride until ya can't. Get off. Get back on. Etc.

I believe my neighbor's altimeter said it was about a 1200 foot elevation change. I think the entire National/road/Alta loop was about 8-10 miles. I'll have to ride it soon to refresh my memory on the exact distance of trail, though. The Alta itself is about 1.5 or 2 miles per side. So it's definitely a steep climb!

It's good to try this trail. If you like working yourself hard, it's a trail that will do just that! When I wanted to plot the elevation change, all I did was walk my bike up the mountain so I could get accurate distance measurements and altimeter measurements... and it was still a workout! Once you're done, you might never go back to do it again. If I didn't live right at the foot of the trail, I probably wouldn't ride it as much as I have. But once you're done, you can say you've done it! Then you can talk to the 6 other people that have ever ridden it and brag about how cool you are! :) Compared to the east side of South Mountain, not many riders can say they've done the Alta!

I give it 5 tire chunks... for the trail that is! If ya know what to expect and you're ready for a butt-kicking, then it's a good trail!

Customer Service

From the San Juan parking lot, take the National Trail southwest, then southeast. Sooner or later it will cross the road that you took to get to San Juan. At this point, save yourself some time and ride up the road for a few miles. Otherwise, you're going to ride some very slow switchback trail that follows the road. It will add lots of time to your ride without really giving you any thrills or tests. A few miles up the road, take a left up a few steps and head out on the Alta! Once you're done climbing, drop down the other side (north side) of the mountain and you'll return right back to the San Juan parking lot!

Similar Products Used:

Due to the lack of visitors and the equestrians tearing up the trails, not much else is good riding on the west side of South Mountain. You can always ride the National Trail, which will take you clear across the mountains to the complete opposite end of the park. Other than the National and Alta, you don't have many options!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Mar 22, 2002]
Lebe

Connected with Mason (above) & rode this trail last September. As with most difficult and very technical & dangerous mountain trails, the first time may be not all that much fun. The climb was steep and loose but mostly ridable. Once up, the single tack is very narrow with steep dropoffs (don't screw-up). The down hill is fun with many rugged switchbacks. Mason rides a hardtail and does very well. Don't have any desire to ride this trail again soon. Glad I did it once, though. Only recommended for the adventurous, skilled rider.

Customer Service

Started at the east end & ended up at the San Juan parking lot at the west end.

Similar Products Used:

National west of Telegraph Pass, Telegraph, Corona Loma

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-4 of 4  
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