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Pass Mountain Trail

Difficult
 3.0 (27)

A take-no-prisoners loop around Pass Mountain.


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Map Key

7.2

Miles

11.6

KM

Singletrack

2,632' 802 m

High

1,889' 576 m

Low

1,141' 348 m

Up

1,139' 347 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

39%

Max Grade (21°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

If entering from Usery Park, there is a fee. The sandy Tonto Forest access at the northwest corner is free.

Description

Most of the trails in Usery Park are easy, beginner trails. Experienced mountain bikers often hit up Usery when they are recovering from injury - like after riding Pass Mountain.

Pass Mountain is (mostly) rideable in either direction, but clockwise is a bit more manageable as it puts more of the chunkier sections on the downhill and it will be an easier climb up to the saddle. There are a couple of possible starting points, but heading north from the Usery parking lots is a gradual climb with several water barriers that are not insurmountable, but after a few dozen they start to sap your strength. Near the northern end there are some treacherous wash crossings that only the bravest will tackle on a bike.

On the northern side of Pass Mountain, things really get interesting. The narrow, off-camber trail hugs the side of the mountain as it winds its way precariously along the escarpment. Take advantage of the viewpoints to get your fill of scenery. Hopefully once you're satisfied it will allow you to laser-focus on the trail rather than gawking at the scenic Goldfied Mountains and inadvertently riding off a cliff (don't ask me how I know).

Continuing around the northeastern side of the mountain is more of the same fun, rolling, cliff-edge riding, mostly smooth, decomposed granite surface with some techy boulders now and then to challenge you. There is one rocky, rubbly climb before you arrive at the saddle. The whole northern section of the trail up to the saddle is five-star stuff, so many prefer to turn around at this point and bomb back down for a ridiculously fun ride.

You don't have to be criminally insane to continue the loop clockwise from the saddle, but it helps. You'll first have an off-camber rock ledge to maneuver. There's a high penalty for failure, so walk it if you need to - somebody has to live to pay the mortgage. There are some hairpin turns and a chest-on-seat rockface to descend. The trail smoothes out for a bit, but much of the southern portion will include streambeds, babyheads, and bowling balls. The chunky downhill stuff is rideable but may shake your kidneys loose before you're done. You feel super-human if you've made the descent from the saddle with all your skin intact, but don't lose focus on the last bit back into Usery, as the chunkiness has been known to grab a front wheel and send an overconfident rider OTB.

Contacts

Shared By:

C R John

Trail Ratings

  3.0 from 27 votes

#8876

Overall
  3.0 from 27 votes
5 Star
19%
4 Star
26%
3 Star
19%
2 Star
11%
1 Star
26%
Trail Rankings

#216

in Arizona

#8,876

Overall
53 Views Last Month
6,015 Since Apr 13, 2014
Difficult

0%
0%
9%
0%
70%
22%

Photos

The viewpoint
Nov 23, 2016 near Apache…, AZ
East side just below peak
Apr 6, 2018 near Apache…, AZ
North side
Apr 6, 2018 near Apache…, AZ
Coming around Cat's Peak with the Superstitions in the background
Jan 10, 2015 near Apache…, AZ
climbing up the east side during a counter-clockwise run on the Pass Mountain Trail. Ride clockwise for a better descent.
Apr 30, 2017 near Apache…, AZ
A benched section of trail to the east of the second lookout on the Pass Mountain Trail.
Apr 30, 2017 near Apache…, AZ

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 94 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Jan 16, 2021
Seth Ad
Dec 7, 2020
Daniel Hanrahan
Definitely an intense ride!! Ride clockwise, pace yourself cuz those water barriers will take everything out of you before some ballbusting descent
Oct 3, 2020
Josiah Taulbee
6h 23m
Apr 10, 2020
Abraham Martinez
9h 52m
May 19, 2019
Daniel Pompa Jr
incline till you get to the and through the mtn on the back side overall fun!!! 7.9mi — 2h 20m
Dec 26, 2018
John Fleming
Nov 16, 2018
Justin Peek
This is not a MTB Trail. 90% of mountain bikers are not going to enjoy this trail in anyway. 9.7mi — 3h 30m
Jul 28, 2018
Dylan Pierce
2mi