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An easy but fun desert ride.


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Map Key

15.7

Miles

25.3

KM

60%

Singletrack

2,477' 755 m

High

1,826' 557 m

Low

792' 242 m

Up

791' 241 m

Down

2%

Avg Grade (1°)

7%

Max Grade (4°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Allowed

Overview

Clockwise is the best way to ride this one, with nice singletrack and a slow climb to the halfway mark then high speed doubletrack back to the parking lot.

Need to Know

Check the park web page for entry fees and possible closures for special events.

www.maricopa.gov/parks/mcdowell

Description

The ride is done both clockwise and counter-clockwise, but this description is for clockwise. Start early, as it can be warm in winter and un-rideable in summer. Leave the parking lot on well-marked trail leaving from the southwest corner. From here, it's flat riding until you cross the paved road, at which point you begin a slow, easy climb most of the way to the 9-mile mark.

As you get closer to the McDowell Mountains, the trail gets a little more interesting with large saguaros and some rock outcroppings. At the 9-mile mark, the singletrack turns to doubletrack and exhibits some great high speed riding back to the parking lot.

Contacts

Land Manager: Maricopa County Parks

Shared By:

Richard Gauer with improvements by Brigitte Flanagan

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 100 votes

#184

Overall
  4.0 from 100 votes
5 Star
30%
4 Star
46%
3 Star
20%
2 Star
2%
1 Star
2%
Recommended Route Rankings

#13

in Arizona

#184

Overall
233 Views Last Month
38,620 Since Jun 28, 2013
Intermediate Intermediate

19%
14%
64%
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Photos

Pemberton Loop, starting from the Tom's Thumb Parking Lot on the west side, running clockwise.
Dec 10, 2017 near Rio Verde, AZ
Cruisin' down Rock Knob Trail
May 27, 2014 near Rio Verde, AZ
Pemberton 15 mile trail out out Fountain Hills. 38 min video of my 1hr 6 min ride. Well groomed fun trail! Awesome weather late March 2019
Mar 31, 2019 near Rio Verde, AZ
Jackass Junction after the 2023 Diamond Fire.
Sep 25, 2023 near Rio Verde, AZ
Enjoying the view
Dec 27, 2020 near Rio Verde, AZ
Four Peaks from Scenic Trail at McDowell Mountain Regional Park
Sep 26, 2019 near Rio Verde, AZ
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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 97 days ago
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Feb 24, 2024
Dave Montesano
Dec 10, 2023
Robert Janca
Nov 25, 2023
Jared Trouillot
15.7mi
Nov 10, 2023
Mike Matejka
Great loop through the park, steady climb clockwise, nice decent on 2nd half. 21mi — 9h 43m
Sep 23, 2023
Tom Riddle
The Northwest section of the trail was burned by the Diamond Fire in June 2023. The trail remains in good shape. The signs are all intact.
Mar 26, 2023
Ross Cournoyer
Fun and easy trail for beginner mountain bikers. It's a long ascent with a long gradual ascent. You'll hardly need to peddle the last half. 15.7mi — 2h 08m
Feb 1, 2023
Will Day
15.3mi — 1h 37m
Jan 22, 2023
Jeff Q
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