The Sonoran Figure 8
is a 10-mile intermediate loop through the Sonoran Desert Preserve near 19th Ave & Jomax. Depending on your skill level, you may or may not need to hike-a-bike in spots.
This ride is clear most weekday mornings, and only sees minimal traffic on the weekends. Make sure to watch for hikers and other riders as there are some blind turns throughout.
Start at the parking lot behind the community center on Desert Vista Dr. The trail immediately has a steep climb. This is a steep hill and you may need to hike up. Halfway to the summit the trail separates in two. You can either keep going up or take the trail on the right. I would highly recommend continuing to the top and running the ride from there. The climbs this way are harder but generally shorter and the descents are a bit longer.
Once you reach the summit of Hawk's Nest
, turn left on Dixie Mountain Loop
. a very short climb leads to a long downhill around the mountain. This portion of the downhill is mainly flat, not a whole lot of tricky sections. Once you learn the track, you can really fly down it.
Upon reaching the bottom the trail levels out for a short distance before reaching a low-grade climb for about 100 feet. At the top of the climb, you'll begin a very gradual downhill, which is a good section rip through. 1 or 2 tight turns to look out for but otherwise very calm and steady. As you near the end of the downhill continue on trail Dixie Mountain Loop
. There is an exit for Bobcat
but this takes you north towards dove valley dr.
Next is a low grade climb for a few hundred feet followed by a steep uphill. This mountain is the highest point of the ride and may require you to hike a bike. Reaching the highest point on the trail there is another path, the Dixie Summit Trail
, which takes you to the summit of the mountain. Not recommended for mountain biking.
The first portion of the downhill from the mountain is rocky and loose. Keep your brakes at the ready. As you continue downhill a marker for trail Valle Verde will appear. Take the left and continue following this trail down. At the bottom is a low grade downhill which you can power through. Continue following the trail, past the Desert Tortoise
Next you'll see a fork in the road for trail Cactus Wren Trail
. I recommend following the left fork of the trail. This is a lower grade climb with a few descents and will lead to very steep but short uphill. This is the easiest route for the trail. As you come around the top of the steep hill, a low grade downhill approaches and you end up back at the fork for Cactus Wren Trail
Head back the same way on trail V until you meet with Desert Tortoise
. Turn left on this trail for a slow uphill and then a long "roller coaster" downhill section. The trail ends ends at the midpoint on Hawk's Nest
trail mentioned earlier. Follow it back down to the parking lot and finish the run.