“This a great ride using Hawknest Trail and the 136th St. Express to ride the perimeter of the preserve.
— Peter May
This ride is a great way to find solitude. You can ride this either direction and get the same amount of climbing and fast downhill sections.
This is a multi-use trail system - please use caution and respect other users. Downhill traffic should yield to uphill traffic. All users should yield to horses, and bikers and runners should yield to all users. Announce presence when approaching from behind.
Need to Know
Use the MTB Project mobile app
, or pick up a trail map at the trailhead at Browns Ranch to reference for the ride.
This 18-mile long ride will give you a good workout with small climbs along with some fast downhill sections. The views are fantastic of the desert and during the weekdays you'll probably not meet many riders on Hawknest Trail
. There is nothing technical just good fun riding. The trails are all well-marked and can be navigated easily with emergency markers and directional trail signs at each intersection.
This loop starts at the Browns Ranch Trailhead and takes Brown's Ranch Road
north from the parking lot. There is on turn on Brown's Ranch Road
on the way to Hawknest Trail
, about 2.5 miles from the trailhead that turns to the right with an unmarked trail that goes straight. There is a sign post showing the turn. Don't take the narrower unmarked trail that goes straight.
A general rule of thumb: if the trail isn't marked, don't follow it.
I used Brown's Ranch Road
to get to Hawknest Trail
then rode the entirety of Hawknest Trail
east along the top of preserve to 136th St. Express
. 136th St. Express
was a fun ride with a lot of twists and turns and a couple of tight turns that will keep you alert. The parking areas along this trail do have port-a-potties but no water so be sure you carry plenty of water for the whole ride.
After a few miles on 136th St. Express
, turn right onto Turpentine Trail
which deadens at Whiskey Bottle Trail
. A right onto Whiskey Bottle Trail
will take you to Chuck Wagon Trail and a left onto Chuck Wagon Trail will lead you back to Brown's Ranch Road
and to the trailhead.
There are many variations you can make to this ride because of the multitude of trails at Browns Ranch. The trails are hard packed desert soil so the riding is easy. You may even cross some old lava flows from when this area of Arizona still had active volcanos.