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Sonoran Desert Loop

Intermediate
 4.2 (69) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


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Map Key

13.4

Miles

21.5

KM

100%

Singletrack

2,082' 635 m

High

1,700' 518 m

Low

1,112' 339 m

Up

1,110' 338 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

16%

Max Grade (9°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Overview

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. Great views throughout. Recommend going clockwise. The climbs are a challenge but the reward is nice, long, flowing downhills.

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.

This loop can start/finish from 2 different trailheads. Southern side at Apache Wash TH at 1600 E. Sonoran Desert Dr. or the northern side at Desert Hills TH at 705 W. Carefree Hwy. 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). The gates lock to go IN at 7 p.m. They lock to go OUT at 11 p.m.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brandon Rolfes with improvements by Brigitte Flanagan and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 69 votes

#93

Overall
  4.2 from 69 votes
5 Star
32%
4 Star
59%
3 Star
9%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#6

in Arizona

#93

Overall
305 Views Last Month
48,571 Since Feb 10, 2016
Intermediate

3%
0%
86%
0%
12%
0%

Photos

Sidewinder Trail cutting through the saguaros
Feb 14, 2015 near Anthem, AZ
Ride through desert wildflowers along the Ocotillo Trail.
Mar 5, 2017 near Cave Creek, AZ
The hills are alive...with poppies.
Mar 5, 2017 near Anthem, AZ
Sidewinder Junction
Jan 4, 2015 near Cave Creek, AZ
Poppies bloom all around you on a ride along the Sidewinder Trail.
Mar 5, 2017 near Anthem, AZ
In mid-March, the desert is in stunning, full bloom.
Mar 20, 2017 near Anthem, AZ

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 16 hours ago See History
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Check-Ins

May 30, 2020
Edgar Ivan
Apr 4, 2020
C B
Mar 28, 2020
Ruthie Jay
13.4mi — 8h 20m
Mar 28, 2020
Thomas Jenkins
Dec 29, 2019
James Bishop
13.5mi
Dec 12, 2019
Grant Koby
Nov 25, 2019
Johnny Canuck
Nov 1, 2019
Wes Patterson