Total tour distance: 78 miles
Daily tour distance: 16 miles
Difficulty: 40 / 100
This amazing biking adventure begins in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, the warmest of all the North American deserts, where extraordinary singletrack, breathtaking views, towering cacti and perfect 75-degree weather await you. All this while it’s too cold to ride back home! You will basecamp in beautiful McDowell Mountain Regional Park in the most scenic part of central Arizona. Evenings will be filled with stories around the fire while our days are marked with wheel-to-dirt adventures through some of the best designed bike-specific trails around! Each day you can expect to ride through vast, sweeping desert views, pinned in by scenic mountain ranges and fields of wildflowers or native desert flora.
Available: November 1 - April 30. This program is a 5 day GUIDED experience with camping in our exclusive and posh dessert camp! Your guides take care of setting up all the camp, preparing meals, supporting rides, and shuttling you to trail heads all over the valley so you can get the ultimate experience! Expert guides will enhance your trip by taking care of the camp chores, providing entertaining natural history interpretation, plus riding tips for anyone that is interested in growing their skills.
DAY 1: MCDOWELL SONORAN PRESERVE
8:00AM Meet in the lobby of the Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites in Old Town Scottsdale. Transfer to McDowell Mountain Sonoran Preserve, here among wildly eroded granite boulders you will be fitted with your bike. After everyone is comfortable, begin your first ride with a raucous descent down the gradual east slope of the McDowell Mountains. Today’s ride features well maintained non-technical singletrack focused on building your desert riding skills and seeing the unique environment you will be traveling through. At trail’s end you will roll into your well-appointed private basecamp. Bordered by Tonto National Forest to the east and the McDowell Mountains to the west, relax with a cold drink beneath giant cacti and unobstructed views into several mountain ranges. As the setting sun turns the surrounding peaks shades of purple and pink, relax while your guides the evening’s meal in the camp kitchen.
Riding: 12‐18 miles on smooth-rolling singletrack with some sustained gentle climbs and long gradual descents
DAY 2: MCDOWELL MOUNTAIN REGIONAL PARK
After breakfast begin a full day of riding on the superb trails in McDowell Mountain Regional Park. Imagine a place created just for mountain bikers. The Competitive Track loops is that place. Originally built to serve as the home for the Cactus Cup race, Specialized bikes provided significant support during building. This resulted in professionally hand-crafted trails that twist and flow across miles of one-way loop routes, chiseled out of the beautiful Sonoran Desert landscape. With time out for a picnic lunch and skill building on the Pump Track, today’s winding, turning berms, dips, jumps and straight-aways will make your spirit shine.
Riding: 20 miles on tight undulating singletrack with some short steep climbs and some rocky sections
DAY 3: BROWNS RANCH
Rise and shine! We have over 100 miles of pristine desert trails to enjoy. Originally carved by the motocross community, these trails have been restored by the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, varying from mild to wild and offering exciting rollercoaster-like riding for the beginner to the expert. The area is lined on all sides with the desert’s most recognizable cactus, the mighty Saguaro, and huge granite boulders. Put those new pump track skills into practice as you flow through the whoopty-doos and carve the bermed turns. Riding: 12-20 miles on tight undulating singletrack with some short steep climbs and some rocky sections. Riders up for an additional challenge may ride from camp to increase mileage and climbing. Others may choose to utilize the van shuttle to the trailhead.
Meals: Breakfast and Lunch included
DAY 4: BLACK CANYON TRAIL
Designated a National Recreation Trail and traversing along the foothills of the 7,000-ft Bradshaw Mountains the Black Canyon Trail (BCT) will treat you to some of Arizona’s best cactus studded views. This trail has it all: long flowy lines, challenging but doable climbs, river crossings, and short technical challenges. Today we shuttle to the trailhead before embarking on a one-way ride through some the best new singletrack in the country. The van will be waiting at the end of this epic ride with cold towels and drinks. On our return trip to camp we will stop in Cave Creek at a Cowboy Saloon for dinner and a taste of the Old West.
Riding: 13 miles with long climbs and descents
DAY 5: USERY PARK
After breaking camp, today we transfer along the beautiful Salt River to a trail system north of Mesa, AZ that has a little something for everyone. Pass Mountain, also known as "Scarface" to the local folks, is the geological focal point of the trail system. The mountain itself was named for King Usery (sometimes spelled Ussery). "King" was his first name, rather than a title. Today we can choose our challenge with well-groomed single track loops on relatively flat terrain to technical climbs into the mountains. Today your trip concludes at the Holiday Inn Old Town Scottsdale by between 5 and 6PM.
Riding: 12-15 miles