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A looped ride around Brown's and Granite Mountain, then back through Balanced Rock and the Amphitheater.

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2,928' 892 m


2,651' 808 m


607' 185 m


607' 185 m



Avg Grade (1°)


Max Grade (4°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Not Allowed


This route wraps around Brown's Mountain to the west then takes you up to the northern section of trails for great desert vistas before heading back around Granite Mountain to enjoy the views of Balanced Rock and the Amphitheater. Most of the trails are formed of crushed granite that roll and twist around. There are some fast downhills and no major climbs to contend with.


From the parking lot, head north on the Brown's Ranch Road. Take your first left onto the Upper Ranch Trail and follow this all the way behind Brown's Mountain past Basalt Ridge Trail to Brown's Ranch Road where you make a left (almost a u-turn). Briefly follow the road until you reach the Corral Trail, turn right and continue pedaling until the trail reaches an intersection. Turn left here onto the High Desert Trail.

Up to this point, the trails have been well marked but once you cross over The Divide Trail, the signs are less frequent.

Continue on High Desert Trail, passing several sign posts that are not yet marked. Keep the MTB Project mobile app out as it's easy to make a wrong turn or miss the way. Just before the seven mile mark (about 6.9 miles in) you'll make a turn to the right at an unmarked sign post, heading south on the Renegade Trail and then soon onto the Desperado Trail. Keep going past the Soapberry Wash Trail and turn right at the intersection with the Coyote Canyon Trail.

This will connect to the Granite Mountain Loop Trail. Head left at the intersection for a clockwise loop around Granite Mountain. This section is a little more technical, but still pretty easy, though there is some climbing. At the southwest corner of the looping trail, turn left to the Balanced Rock Trail to pass the popular Balanced Rock. Proceed straight to travel clockwise along the Cholla Mountain Loop trail at the next intersection.

Watch for the Amphitheater Connector as it's a short and very worthwhile detour to an awesome formation of rocks. After you've enjoyed the sights, continue clockwise. At the southwest corner of the Cholla Mountain Loop, take the Maverick - Cholla Mountain Connector for a short distance and then head right on the Maverick Trail. This will take you back to Brown's Ranch Road and eventually the parking area.


Land Manager: City of Scottsdale

Shared By:

Brent Miller with improvements by ryan reynolds and 1 other

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 87 votes


  4.4 from 87 votes
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in Arizona


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42,982 Since May 12, 2016
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Ride past Balanced Rock for a unique and epic experience!
Feb 10, 2017 near Carefree, AZ
Cruise the buff singletrack along the perimeter of Brown's Ranch for a great time!
Feb 7, 2017 near Carefree, AZ
Making the turns on Cholla Mtn Loop.
Jun 2, 2016 near Carefree, AZ
Enjoy a fun-filled, twisty ride with scenic desert vistas in Brown's Ranch.
Feb 27, 2017 near Carefree, AZ
Wildflowers 2020
Mar 19, 2020 near Carefree, AZ
Wildflowers 2020
Mar 19, 2020 near Carefree, AZ


Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 26 days ago
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