The Figure 8 is part of the Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve network of bike trails and, as implied by the name, is a looped trail that draws the number 8 on a map. It’s short enough for a quick ride when you don’t have time for something longer. Additionally, it has a few difficult sections and, therefore, should be just right for the intermediate or advanced rider who doesn’t want to strain themselves too much. It’s also part of a recently added section of the preserve system, so it should be relatively unexplored.
The trail starts at the Desert Vista Trailhead, where you’ll also have access to other trails on the south end of the preserve’s trail system. You should also be able to find parking at the trailhead. Nevertheless, you start with a climb up the Hawk’s Nest trail, and a quarter of a mile in, you turn right onto the Desert Tortoise road.
You then need to follow that trail until you reach a T junction, where you’ll again turn right onto the Valle Verde trail, giving you access to several looped trails. However, since we were only looking to complete the Figure 8, we again turned right to head to Great Horned Owl Loop.
You can take a right to extend your ride or a left to head straight to the Cactus Wren Trail. That said, both routes are connected to the Cactus Wren Trail by a T-Junction. After that, you can follow the Cactus Wren back to the Valle Verde Trail.
Stay on the Valle Verde to the Dixie Mountain Loop and take a left at the next intersection for a straight shot back to the Hawk’s Nest trail and the parking lot. However, if you’ve not had enough, taking a right instead of a left should take you the long way around the Dixie Mountain Loop to the start point.
However, this is not part of Figure 8.
If you go past the normal Figure 8 on the Dixie Mountain Loop, a difficult 0.4 km trail will lead to the Dixie Mountain summit with a great view of the surrounding area.