Health + Fitness

These 4 Phoenix Bike Trails Promise the Ultimate Adventure

Your heart will be pounding on these hardcore Phoenix trails. (Photo: Alamy)

You already love biking and hit the trails at home, so why not bring the hobby with you on vacation? Take a trip to Phoenix and indulge your inner bicycling aficionado on the city’s many trails. From a moderate-difficulty trail like McDowell Mt. Park to the far more challenging National Trail, Phoenix has the perfect options for bikers of all ages and skill levels. Strap on your helmet and get ready to ride.

Sonoran Preserve North

If getting up-close-and-personal to saguaro and other species of cacti is on your list, Sonoran Preserve North is the bike trail in Phoenix for you. With 20 miles of trails available, you can easily find a trail length and difficulty to suit your preferences. Just remember that you are riding through open and remote desert areas, so you may be subject to bumpy terrain or potentially dangerous wildlife like rattlesnakes. Be sure to bring a fully charged phone and plenty of water along with you for your ride so that you can enjoy the scenery without feeling parched.

McDowell Mt. Park

Venture to McDowell Mountain Regional Park in Fort McDowell, AZ, for the ride of a lifetime. If competitive biking is your kryptonite, you’ll fall hard for the three mountain bike trails here: the Technical Loop for experts, the Sport Loop for intermediates and the Long Loop for average riders. The first loop was opened in 1998, and now all three total 15 miles of trails to satisfy your exploring and riding curiosity in Phoenix. All trails are multi-use (biking, hiking jogging, equestrian, etc.) unless otherwise specified, so please be aware of other park visitors around you.

Phoenix bike trail
Try not to eat rocks when things on the trail get intense. (Photo: Alamy)

Sonoran Trail

Enjoy a smooth, paved ride throughout the city that allows you to see both nature and urban sites. The Phoenix Sonoran Bikeway delivers on this promise, with 12 miles of biking in and around the heart of Phoenix. You’ll bike through some of the city’s most famous neighborhoods like Willo Historic District and Roosevelt Historic District. The trail even leads to South Mountain Park, which features a 5-mile paved bike path to the top of the mountain. Prepare to enjoy epic views and toned thighs!

National Trail

Perhaps the most epic of all the city’s mountain bike trails, National Trail in Phoenix does not disappoint for those looking for off-road biking and an extreme challenge. This 14-mile trail cuts right through the heart of South Mountain, and we promise it doesn’t mess around. Be warned if you attempt this trail in the middle of summer—the afternoon heat will make pushing those pedals feel nearly impossible. Get ready to eat some rocks, as this trail isn’t for the faint of heart and is guaranteed to put your SoulCycle class to shame. Highly recommended for experts only.