MTB Project Logo

Sonoran Long Figure 8

Intermediate
 3.9 (31) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A 10-mile loop through the Phoenix Sonoran Desert Preserve


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

10.5

Miles

16.9

KM

100%

Singletrack

2,032' 619 m

High

1,616' 493 m

Low

1,091' 333 m

Up

1,082' 330 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

16%

Max Grade (9°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Overview

The Sonoran Long Figure 8 is a 10-mile intermediate loop through the Phoenix 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.

Description

Start at the parking lot behind the community center on Desert Vista Drive. From the get go, the trail climbs steeply enough that some riders 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 continuing 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. At the beginning of this trail, a very short climb leads to a long downhill around the mountain. This portion of the downhill is mainly smooth without many tricky sections. Once you learn the trail, you can really fly.

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 that's a good section to rip through. It's got one or two tight turns to look out for, but otherwise, it's very calm and steady. As you near the end of the downhill, continue on the Dixie Mountain Loop. There is an exit for Bobcat but it takes you north towards Dove Valley Drive.

Next is a low-grade climb for a few hundred feet followed by a steep uphill. This section up a mountain reaches the highest point of the ride and may require you to hike-a-bike. Upon reaching the highest point on the trail, the Dixie Summit Trail veers right to the summit of the mountain. This trail is not recommended for mountain biking.

Now that you've crested the mountain, let the downhill begin. The first portion of the downhill is rocky and loose, so keep your brake fingers at the ready. As you continue downhill, a marker for the Valle Verde Trail will appear. Take the Valle Verde Trail left and continue following it downhill. At the bottom is a low-grade downhill that's rather enjoyable. Continue following the trail past the Desert Tortoise trail marker.

Next, you'll reach a junction with the Cactus Wren Trail. I recommend following the left fork of the trail. This is a lower-grade climb with a few descents that lead to very steep but short uphills. While it may sound hard, this is the easiest route. 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 you came on the Valle Verde Trail until you connect with Desert Tortoise. Turn left on this trail for a slow uphill and then a long "roller coaster" downhill section. The trail ends at the midpoint of Hawk's Nest mentioned earlier. Follow it back down to the parking lot to complete the ride.

Contacts

Shared By:

Pierre Munger

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 31 votes

#587

Overall
  3.9 from 31 votes
5 Star
26%
4 Star
52%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
6%
1 Star
3%
Recommended Route Rankings

#29

in Arizona

#587

Overall
73 Views Last Month
8,637 Since Jun 16, 2014
Intermediate

4%
0%
69%
0%
27%
0%

Photos

Sonoran sunset in January.
Oct 8, 2015 near Anthem, AZ
Plenty of shin-grazing cacti. The Figure 8 loop on a warm October morning.
Oct 16, 2015 near Anthem, AZ
Sunday morning ride on Sonoran Figure 8 Loop. Hot air balloons around every corner!
Jun 16, 2014 near Anthem, AZ
On the climb up the east side.
Dec 5, 2019 near Anthem, AZ
Sonoran Figure 8 - Sonoran Mountain Preserve
Nov 6, 2017 near Anthem, AZ
Handy color-coded trail markers with QR scans and elevation profiles!
Jan 18, 2014 near Anthem, AZ

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 97 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Mar 14, 2020
Will Falltrick
Smooth trails, nothing challenging. Lots of other trails users. Most exciting part of the day was seeing and hearing a rattlesnake! 12mi — 1h 00m
Dec 5, 2019
Jay Holsten
Nice trail. Solid climbs.
May 18, 2019
Rich Vosko
Apr 23, 2019
Sean Terrillion
10.2mi — 1h 42m
Mar 2, 2019
Don Rizzo
Rehabbing my knee, this was a easy ride with some steep sections that I look forward to crushing when 100%. Many more hikers and joggers than bikers 5mi
Feb 10, 2019
Cody Barrett
Jul 1, 2018
Robert Bruder
Jun 20, 2018
Rich Heuser
Good ride first time on that loop. 10.5mi