“A looped ride around Brown's and Granite Mountain, then back through Balanced Rock and the Amphitheater.”
— Brent Miller
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.