Situated in the sun-drenched landscapes of Phoenix, Arizona, lies the Apache Wash Trail—a true gem for cycling enthusiasts. This trail provides a beautiful synthesis of sustained climbs, thrilling descents, and an atmosphere ripe for adventure.
- Distance: 20 mi
- Level: Very Easy
- Route type: Loop
- City: Phoenix
- State: Arizona
Directions to the Starting Line
Begin the journey at Apache Wash Trailhead, located at 1600 E. Sonoran Desert Dr. For those traveling from Phoenix, take I 17 north until reaching Dove Valley road. A short drive east for approximately 5 miles, then turning left on Sonoran Desert Dr will lead directly to the trailhead, equipped with bathrooms for convenience.
On the Trail
The Apache Wash Trail has, over time, earned a reputation for its rolling single tracks characterized by numerous steep climbs and delightful downhill sections. While devoid of technical features, ensuring good fitness will enhance the overall experience. Going the extra mile on all its loops can amount to over 20 miles of riding and almost 4000 ft of climbing. It's very pump-able and a real treat on a hard tail.
Gleaning from the experiences of various riders:
- Dual Experience: Riding the Apache Wash counterclockwise offers two contrasting terrains. The initial three miles could pose as 'technical' for newbies. However, the subsequent miles are primarily packed dirt, interspersed with gentle climbs and downhills.
- Octillo's Challenges: The Octillo trail, albeit slightly more challenging for novices, mainly because of its lengthy climbs, remains a favorite. It's recommended to tackle Apache Wash clockwise initially for a smoother experience.
- Trail Diversity: Apache Wash serves as an excellent introduction to mountain biking, catering to both beginners and intermediate cyclists. It's frequently bustling with both cyclists and hikers, especially on weekends. For those who appreciate a mix of terrains, options like Ocotillo, Ridgeback, and Sidewinder offer varying challenges.
- Facilities: The Apache Wash trailhead is a popular starting point. While it boasts pit toilets, riders should note the absence of drinkable water.
- Views and Vistas: Apart from the exhilarating rides, the trail offers mesmerizing views. The descents and climbs test a rider's mettle, yet the trail's scenic beauty provides ample reward.
For an optimal experience:
- Weekends might see heavier traffic, but the plethora of trails ensures ample space for all.
- Do ensure hydration; the trailhead lacks potable water.
- While labeled as 'Very Easy', beginners are advised to be cautious, especially on steeper terrains.
Apache Wash Trail embodies the spirit of Phoenix's landscapes—a harmonious blend of challenge and serenity. It stands as a testament to nature's beauty and the thrill of cycling. For those seeking an unforgettable ride, this trail awaits!