Mountain bikers enjoy the technical sections in the north area of Scottsdale's McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

There are trails available for every ability, so get your bike and enjoy the Preserve!

Mountain Biking

The McDowell Sonoran Preserve offers many trails to mountain bike in Scottsdale and enjoy a great ride. 

SOUTHERN REGION – LOST DOG TRAILHEAD ACCESS

Trails – Lost Dog, Quartz, Sunrise, Ringtail, Paradise

Terrain: Rocky, some loose gravel

Characteristics: Steep climbs, fast descents, some exposure (steep drops on side of trail)

Difficulty: Intermediate/Advanced – need good cardio and bike handling skills

MID-REGION – GATEWAY TRAILHEAD ACCESS

Trails - Gateway, Windgate, Bell Pass, Prospector, Windmill

Terrain: Rocky, some loose gravel

Characteristics: Steep climbs, fast descents, some exposure (steep drops on side of trail)

Difficulty: Intermediate/Advanced – need good cardio and bike handling skills

NORTHERN REGION – TOM’S THUMB TRAILHEAD

Tom’s Thumb Trail

Terrain: Compacted soil with areas of loose crushed granite

Characteristics: Significant steep climbs, sharp switchbacks

Difficulty: Advanced – need excellent cardio for climbing and bike handling skills for steep descents

Mesquite Canyon Trail, Marcus Landslide, Rock Knob

Terrain: Compacted soil with areas of loose crushed granite

Characteristics: Rolling trail, brief sections of loose gravel

Difficulty: Beginner+ – need good bike handling skills to control speed and ride on loose terrain.

NORTH AREA – BROWN’S RANCH TRAILHEAD

Multiple Trails – Brown’s Mountain, Cholla Mountain, Granite Mountain loops and various other trails.

Terrain: Compacted soil with loose crushed granite, some sandy washes.

Characteristics: Flowing, winding trails with moderate climbs and fun descents.

Difficulty: Beginner+/Intermediate – need good bike handling skills to ride in loose terrain and good cardio for certain trails with steeper climbs.

Make sure you take a Trail Map available at the trailheads for mileage stats and elevation gain.

The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy has a Mountain Bike Patrol that is recruiting new members. If you are a mountain biker or are a supporter of mountain biking and would like to know more about our bike patrol, please contact Toni Vallee.