Mountain Bike Trails near Phoenix

Dry, dusty, but beautiful trails, multiple hills to flow up and down, a bit of greenery, and cactus on the edges of the singletracks that you should definitely be wary of. These are some of the hallmarks of the Phoenix bike trails, and they are worth at least one visit by MTB enthusiasts from around the country.

Best Mountain Bike Trails near Phoenix

The Phoenix Sonoran Preserve North/South Loop is a mostly easy trail that should be thoroughly enjoyable for most, including novice riders. There is an optional
11.55 mi
The Sonoran Desert Loop is perfect for anyone who wants a great workout and a bit of excitement without the risks of a highly technical trail. It’s, however, a multi-use
13.35 mi
The BCT Table Mesa to Black Canyon City is one of the most technical trails in the area despite not having many hairpins turns or bumps in the road. There’s lots of elevation,
12.48 mi
Trail 100 is a hidden gem for riders who want to experience everything in a single trail. It has climbs, descents, technical sections that will have your heart thumping, and
21.18 mi
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
6.08 mi
The Trail OverviewNestled near Phoenix, Arizona, the Table Mesa Trail Head offers a unique cycling experience for adventurers looking to delve into the desert landscape. This
62 mi
Phoenix, Arizona, holds numerous treasures for mountain biking enthusiasts. One of the standout gems in the heart of the state is the Desert Classic Trail. This trail is
9 mi
Estrella Mountain Park: Phoenix's Scenic RideNestled amidst the picturesque backdrop of Phoenix, Arizona, the Estrella Mountain Park's biking trails are a true testament to
10 mi
Hawksnest Trail Review: Phoenix’s Hidden GemOverviewNestled on the east side of Phoenix, in the picturesque state of Arizona, the Hawksnest trail offers an exhilarating
13 mi
South Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona, hosts a fascinating mix of challenging terrains and panoramic views. Among the many trails that snake through its rugged landscape, the
14 mi

Phoenix: Area Description

Phoenix is a vibrant city in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, known for its sprawling bike-friendly areas that offer a thrilling experience for cyclists of all levels.

Geography of Phoenix

The Phoenix trail scene is supposed to be a desert, so there are plenty of dry, dusty singletracks to explore. They meander in and around the hills in the area and offer good flow, especially if you’re going downhill.

Naturally, as in most desert areas, cactus plants are a dime a dozen, with some lining some of the trail sections. As such, while they may not be as technical, avoiding the thorns while you ride through may prove tricky, depending on the speeds.

Also, some parts of the trails get a bit more precipitation than the rest, so you should be able to go down some green hillsides with desert wildflowers lining the singletracks instead of the cactus.

Land area 1,338 km² / 516.6 mi²
Max elevation 1,510 m / 4954 ft
Min elevation 267 m / 876 ft

Demographics of Phoenix

Phoenix is a pretty densely populated city with 3,102.92 people per square mile. It’s actually the fifth largest populous city after New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Philadelphia. The median age in the city is 33.9 years as of 2020, and as such, it has a fairly young population.

Given how young the population is, the city has a vibrant nightlife with the people also trying to keep fit. As such, it has one of the biggest bicycling communities in the country, with some using bikes to commute while others only take up their mountain bikes in the evenings or during the weekends.

Total population (in 2021) 1.625 million
Population density (in 2021) 3,102.92/mi2

Climate of Phoenix

Given that the city is in a desert region, temperatures are rarely ever low enough to prevent you from hitting the trails. However, given that there’s barely any tree cover and shade in the trails, you might need to rethink going out at midday during the summer when temperatures can be as high as 104.2°F.

It may be chilly during winter, but riding your bike should warm you up. Besides that, the trails should be open and rideable almost all year round.

Average temperature by months

Month Low High
Jan 43.4°F 65.0°F
Feb 47.0°F 69.4°F
Mar 51.1°F 74.3°F
Apr 57.5°F 83.0°F
May 66.3°F 91.9°F
Jun 75.2°F 102.0°F
Jul 81.4°F 104.2°F
Aug 80.4°F 102.4°F
Sept 74.5°F 97.4°F
Oct 62.9°F 86.4°F
Nov 50.0°F 73.3°F
Dec 43.5°F 65.0°F


The Greater Phoenix area is one of the top bicycling communities in the country, and of the more than 700 miles of bike infrastructure, mountain bike, and off-street trails make up just about 100 miles. The rest is bike lanes that can be used for daily commutes and running errands in the city.

This is, of course, understandable given that the city has a 517.9 square mile area, with most of the off-street trails being outside the city limits. With that, visitors can also explore the city on their mountain bikes before hitting the trails.

Phoenix is also a popular holiday destination, and with that comes multiple highly-rated hotels. The Hyatt Regency, for instance, is less than five miles from the airport and just under 220 yards from the city center.

Others like Found Re Phoenix are just as impressive with year-round outdoor pools. That said, you’ll have to be further away from the city center, which makes sense if you want easy access to some trails.

Sights and Landmarks in Phoenix

You can see the city from trails like the Phoenix Sonoran Desert loop, with the hills in the area also providing a lovely landscape to look at while cycling with amazing sunsets. If you’re looking for a whole-day trail as soon as you touch down in town, the Trail 100 is a great place to get yourself acquainted with the area and should be a snippet of what to expect on other Phoenix trails.

There’s also the Desert Botanical Garden in Papago Park. Fortunately for mountain bikers, there’s a trail network in the park that you can use to access the garden while you explore. If you find the trails gorgeous, you may want to consider a hot air balloon ride while in the city since it should give you a much better vantage point. It may even help you plan which trails to explore first, especially if you don’t have enough time for all of them. In addition to Papago Park, some of the more popular parks for mountain bikers include Reach 11 Recreational Area, Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve, and South Mountain Park.


What are some good long beginner trails near Phoenix?

If you want to experience Phoenix on two wheels for a beginner, the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve North/South Loop is a great place to start. While it is long, there’s hardly anything technical about it, so you won’t need great bike skills to get through. The only problem might be the hot midday sun and harsh exposure in the summer, but if you go in the cooler months, it shouldn’t be a problem.

How much travel is enough for mountain biking near Phoenix?

For the most part, you don’t need much travel when exploring the Phoenix bike trails since most of the drops and jumps aren’t that big. You can make do with a basic mountain bike just fine. However, if you want to rip through the trails fast, the more travel you have, the better.

Are there mountain bike rentals in Phoenix?

If you don’t want to travel with your bike, you can still find rentals to use once you’re in the city. Some renters offer maps, helmets, and even the water you’ll need to get through the sunny trails.

There are also electric bike rentals for exploring the city, so if you want to save your legs for the climbs and technical off-street trails, you can.