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Malpais Trail

 7 votes

Length

4.3 Miles 6.9 Kilometers


Doubletrack

Elevation

348' 106 m

Ascent

-450' -137 m

Descent

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

14%

Max Grade (8°)

1,923' 586 m

High

1,722' 525 m

Low

Conditions


Unknown

Getting forecast...

A trial drudging through a sandy wash that's not very bike friendly.

Gregory Thompson

Overview

NEED TO KNOW: $6 to access San Tan Mountain Regional Park from main entrance, or $2 ride in or parking on the North entrance.

Description

The San Tan Mountain Regional Park description of the trail follows: "Pronounced [mahl-pah-ees], this trail invigorates the mind and stimulates the heart through an awe-inspiring experience along the base of the Malpais Hills. The trail connects to two different points along the San Tan Trail in the southwest are of the park."

This is the worst trail in the park for mountain bikes, over 50% of it goes through deep sandy washes that are impossible to ride through. It will piss you off because you can see it is all desert on both sides and someone could have easily made a trail go just above the wash, but they didn't. Actually they just pounded trail marking signs through the wash, and it is a good thing because you would have no idea where you were otherwise.

Pros:
-Arguably the most scenic trail as you are next to the Malpais foothills.
-There are parts that are not in a wash that are on par for the trails in this area.
-You probably won't see anyone, one of the lowest traffic areas of the park - which is good because you can shout swear words as you are hiking your bike.

Cons:
-Hiking your bike miles through a gravel pit.
-You'll exhaust your four letter word vocabulary, which may be a pro because you might come up with some new words.

AVOID THIS TRAIL!! Only ride it until you start getting into the sandy/gravely areas, then turn around and get out of there. You'll miss out on some scenery but you'll not hate yourself for going through that mess. Rumor is they may put a biker friendly path down there one day.

Contacts

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Your Check-Ins

Check-Ins

Nov 25, 2017
Jacques Li
Nov 23, 2017
Jacob Aiello
Dec 12, 2016
James Eby
Mar 8, 2016
Sam Marshall
Aggregious. Turn back at the fence in the right when entering from the north side.

Trail Ratings

  1.9 from 7 votes

#20047

Overall
  1.9 from 7 votes
5 Star
14%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
14%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
71%
Rankings

#609

in Arizona

#20,047

Overall
16 Views Last Month
757 Since Dec 9, 2014
Difficult Difficult

0%
0%
25%
25%
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25%
I saw the comments and thought i would give it a try. Yes, it is sandy and difficult, but I liked the challenge. nonetheless. Unless, you are hardcore MTB, I would stay away from Malpais, but I am a 58 year old guy in reasonably good shape with an Sondors fat tire e-bike (sorry, purists). I had no problem with the sand. It was the rocks everywhere that made this ride difficult, and despite my crash in the wash it was worth it. Jan 18, 2018

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