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Sonoran Desert Loop

 29 votes

13.4 Miles 21.6 Kilometers



1,178' 359 m


-1,177' -359 m


2,088' 636 m


1,700' 518 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (8°)



This is a great trail to prep for non-technical riding, and it has it all: flats, climbs, turns.

Brandon Rolfes


This is not a technical trail, but it really has a nice terrain balance. You'll get a lot of climbing, rollers, weaving around cactus, tight turns, downhills, and level ground.
Dogs: Leashed

Need to Know

This is a multi use trail, so there are hikers, bikers, horses, and dog walkers. If you plan to rip on it, find a time when most people will not be able to use it, like mid-morning on a weekday.

Apache Wash Trailhead (northern section of the preserve): 1600 E. Sonoran Desert Dr. Please note there is no water available at this trailhead. Please bring adequate supplies for your planned activity.

Phone: 602-495-6939
All parking lot hours 6 a.m. to sunset or 7 p.m. (whichever comes first)


Much of the Sonoran Preserve is located in the transition zone to the Arizona Upland subdivision of the Sonoran Desert, which has higher amounts of rainfall per year (up to 12.5 inches per year). This increases both the lushness and diversity of plant life. South Mountain, Camelback Mountain and Squaw Peak, on the other hand, are located in the Lower Colorado River Valley, the largest and most arid subdivision of the Sonoran Desert. With only 7.5 inches of rainfall a year, vegetation in these areas is sparser and less varied.

This ride itself isn't overly technical, making this an enjoyable experience for riders of any skill level. This is certainly a leg and lung burner however, as the large amount of climbing will leave you huffing and puffing at times. Enjoy the descents though, as you'll be zipping past cacti, weaving in and out of tight turns, and hurtling over sharp descents and level ground.

History & Background

This area is the newest addition to Phoenix's vast desert preserve system. Purchased with voter approved funds and state grants, the new preserve has added a whole new element to the city's expansive desert preserves -- and we're still adding land. This was built in Q4 of 2013.


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4.2 from 29 votes

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Your Check-Ins


Dec 4, 2017
Julio Cesear
Nov 21, 2017
Ryan Wright
Oct 7, 2017
Scott Hozie
Oct 7, 2017
Heather Hozie
Sep 4, 2017
Robert Worthington
Aug 29, 2017
Brittney Bathurst
Great ride! Nice flow, well marked! Got some great speed and the trail is greatly smooth. 7.5mi
Aug 25, 2017
Cj Procyk
Aug 11, 2017
Amy Nye

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Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 29 votes


  4.2 from 29 votes
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in Arizona


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27,825 Since Feb 10, 2016
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Getting forecast...

You'll get a lot of climbing, rollers, weaving around cactus, tight turns, downhills, and level ground. This is a great trail to prep for non-technical riding, and it has it all: flats, climbs, turns. Be sure to get your bikes at Tucson Bike Rentals at Jul 19, 2016
Seung Kim
Phoenix, AZ
Seung Kim   Phoenix, AZ
This is one of my favorites that's near my house. They built a huge parking lot on Carefree Hwy and 7th Ave due to so many people coming here. Start here clockwise and jump on Sidewinder Trail all the way and use Ocotillo Trail on the way back. I tried every loop combo, but this is the best. About 13miles. Nice 1.5hr ride. The Apache Wash Loop is very boring, totally flat but nice for beginners. Beatiful single track with some hikers here and there. I love this trail for not being rocky. I hate rocky trails. This is just hard packed dirt most of the way. Jul 21, 2016
great ride. will work your lungs on some of the climbs. the hardest climbs are not all that long though. it took me a little under 2 hours to complete but not pushing too hard. i'm almost 60 so younger riders i'm sure would find it less hard than me. went on a tuesday to avoid the crowds. very few people on the trail during the week. was able to stay on the bike for entire ride but for a few loss of traction spots. definately no hike a bike though. Nov 7, 2017

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