Situated at the edge of Mesa, Arizona, the Usery Mountain Park offers a medley of trails for cyclists across varying skill levels. From the serpentine routes to those that challenge technical proficiency, the park stands as a testament to Arizona's commitment to outdoor recreation.
- Pass Mountain Trail: Best suited for intermediate to advanced riders, this trail promises a blend of challenges and awe-inspiring desert vistas. Views of the Four Peaks from the north and the surreal saguaro grove on the west side add to its allure. While the east side presents a vast rock garden, the west leans more towards curvy, flowy singletrack.
- Cat Peaks Trail: With a hint of technicality and a rewarding climb, this trail is apt for intermediate riders. The Cat Peaks Pass, although short, offers a fun technical stint, promising thrill for those who seek it.
- Trail System: Most trails in the park are tailored for beginners. Yet, when cycled with verve, even seasoned riders can find joy. Crimson Wash, Amigos Wash, and Nighthawk Wash trails might be trickier due to deeper sands. To navigate safely, newcomers can walk their bikes through challenging parts.
- Trail Conditions: Given the park's desert locale, summers can be scorching. Consider rides during early mornings or late afternoons. Also, while the terrain is mostly firm, riders should watch out for loose rocks, and potentially, encounters with cacti.
- Location: The park stands on the eastern frontier of Mesa, a Southeast suburb of Phoenix. To reach, take the Superstition Freeway (Hwy 60) starting from I-10 near Tempe, and exit at Ellsworth Road. Further details for navigation are provided through Google map coordinates.
- Amenities: The entry fee is $6 per car, inclusive of a paper map. Seven access points dot the park's perimeter. Facilities such as portable toilets, shaded tables, and water are available.
- Safety First: Due to the park's natural setting, carrying ample water and a first aid kit is advised. Interactions with cacti can be painful!
Recent cyclists who tackled the trails mentioned a few noteworthy points:
- The downhill (DH) sections are filled with challenges, predominantly rated black diamond, but some spots could be double black.
- While Pass Mountain Trail demands respect and a careful tread, the experience is unparalleled. It encapsulates a pure MTB adventure spirit, with a mix of risk and thrill.
- Several riders recommended using the Ellsworth entrance for the maiden visit and insisted on acquiring a map.
- Additional trails like Moon Rocks, Cat Peaks, and Meridian offer varied challenges and can be combined for a more extended ride.
Usery Mountain Park in Mesa, Arizona, stands as a cycling paradise with its diverse trails. From challenging rock gardens to scenic descents, the park ensures an enriching experience. With a distance spanning 20 miles and suitable for intermediate riders, the park's trail network promises endless adventures against the backdrop of Arizona's captivating desert landscape.