As I understand it, this is the end of the season for you riders that observe seasons. As I also understand it, some of you like to escape the snow from time to time. Actually, I am absolutely sure of this since our streets are packed with slow moving death machines camouflaged as town cars, operated by the elderly snow birds of the north. But don’t let them scare you, Phoenix is a great place to ride in the winter and a fantastic place for your next getaway. While you are here there are several stops that you will need to make to get the complete picture of Phoenix.
Located in the heart of Arizona, Phoenix is one of the largest cities in the U.S. (6th). As you can imagine there are a lot of things to do here and a lot of areas to stay. I recommend staying near South Mountain, which has two sides to it, both are accessible for bikes, yet the South side tends to be more hospitable (better bars, restaurants, accommodations). I recommend renting a vacation home in the Ahwatukee area.
South Mountain is the largest municipal park in the United States boasting 58 miles of trails, and over 16,000 acres of mountainous terrain. Here you will need to make sure that you ride the following trails:
- National: For expert riders, this is a highly technical world class trail running down the middle of the mountain
- Mormon: Intermediate by nature, this is as tough as you want to make it with steep climbs and optional lines that will put you to the test
- Geronimo: This is one of the fastest, gnarliest trails on the mountain mainly used by Downhill riders
- Holbert: The most technical trail on the mountain. Bring your hiking shoes if you aren’t an absolute expert
- Javelina: Intermediate, gradual incline/decline. This would be a good starting point to get used to riding in the desert
- Desert Classic: This is a world class cross country trail running along the foot of the mountain.
- Bursera: Super fast and flowy, this break squealer will test your abilities along the ridgeline of the Western portion of the mountain
Black Canyon Trail is an absolute must, it is on your way out of Phoenix if you choose to head up north. I strongly suggest you plan a visit to Sedona which is only a 2.5 hour drive from Phoenix. BCT is a favorite among Arizonans for its incredible views and desert landscape and you can stop by for a long 16 mile ride on your way out of town.
Hawes Trail System is on the East Side of Phoenix in a suburb called Mesa. This will give you a very different view of our trails and is nearby the Salt River and Saguaro Lakes. The red rock views are astounding and the riding is great too!
Desert Trails Bike Park- On your way back to civilization from Hawes, stop by the newly opened Flow Park, here you can utilize the pump track or practice drops, jumping, and berms.
There are several Bike Shops throughout Phoenix, but some of my favorites are Cactus Bikes, Global Bikes and Rage Cycles. Luckily enough Cactus and Global have locations in Ahwatukee, yet notably Rage Cycles has a great selection of Mountain bike accessories and its own pump track.
So, if you get tired of staring at the snow or your bike in the garage, make a trip down to Phoenix and enjoy our delightful winter weather.