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The Big U

Easy/Intermediate
 3.9 (14) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A nice and easy 15-ish miles to do before the workday.


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Map Key

15.0

Miles

24.1

KM

95%

Singletrack

1,870' 570 m

High

1,703' 519 m

Low

434' 132 m

Up

433' 132 m

Down

1%

Avg Grade (1°)

6%

Max Grade (4°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Family Friendly No big climbs or downhills. Very smooth and easy ride. Could be cut short by staying on Apache Wash Loop if anyone gets tired as well.

Overview

This is a mellow ride that goes along the Apache Wash Loop but decides not to end so abruptly. There is lots of wash riding but not overly sandy. Expect some rocks but not too chunky. Overall, a great beginner ride for those who want to do something mellow, but for a bit longer.

The best part about loops like this is you can make them as hard as you want by just going faster. There isn't really anything technical to slow you down and as long as you want to keep pedaling harder you can make the ride into whatever you want!

Description

Starting off at the Apache Wash Loop trailhead, you start by going into the trail system as if you were going to do the Apache Wash Loop. You can take a small section of Sidewinder Trail as we did on this route and take the Sidewinder - Apache Wash Cutback to the Apache Wash Loop.

When you're almost at the end of Apache Wash Loop, you'll come upon a sign marked "E" for the Esplanade Trail. That is where you're going to turn left and head back towards Carefree Hwy.

For the most part, Esplanade Trail is a nice, smooth gradual uphill (1-2%) that spans about 3.5 miles. This will take you all the way to a wash next to Carefree Highway, where you'll intersect the Cliff Walk Trail.

Head left (south) onto Cliff Walk Trail and cruise it all the way down to where it ends at Badger Brawl Trail. This section is mainly downhill with some small wash crossings but is a little bit rockier than Esplanade Trail. It is not anything difficult at all and would be something I have no problem recommending to beginner MTB riders to go have fun on and learn how to ride rocky terrain.

A on right Badger Brawl Trail will take you back to the Apache Wash Loop where you'll ride a short distance back to the trailhead. Again, nothing crazy here.

The final left on Apache Wash Loop will take you back to the trailhead where you'll have hit somewhere north of the 14-mile mark of total distance traveled. Hope you all enjoy the ride!

Contacts

Shared By:

Jacob Person with improvements by Paul S

Trail Ratings

  3.9 from 14 votes

#1690

Overall
  3.9 from 14 votes
5 Star
21%
4 Star
57%
3 Star
14%
2 Star
7%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#63

in Arizona

#1,690

Overall
141 Views Last Month
4,418 Since May 30, 2018
Easy/Intermediate

27%
20%
53%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Western Diamondback along Esplanade Trail. Sunday 9/20/20
Sep 22, 2020 near Cave Creek, AZ
Did not anticipate this much fun on a ride near Scottsdale (Badger Brawl). Honestly, ripping fun!
Oct 21, 2018 near Cave Creek, AZ
This is a 'green' rating at it's finest. Esplanade Trail. Fast, flowy, XC fun!
Oct 21, 2018 near Cave Creek, AZ
Apache Wash Trail
Jan 4, 2015 near Cave Creek, AZ
Easily viewed trail marker.  Left Ocotillo, right Apache Wash Loop
Nov 18, 2017 near Cave Creek, AZ
Apache Wash Trail
Jan 4, 2015 near Cave Creek, AZ

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 3 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jun 30, 2020
Frank Mulich
rode it in reverse 14.4mi — 1h 13m
Jun 25, 2020
Michael Baczynski
20.1mi — 2h 01m
Jan 1, 2020
Frank Mulich
Dec 1, 2019
Ken Siegfried
12h 00m
May 5, 2019
Sean Terrillion
14.6mi — 1h 40m
Mar 11, 2019
Joanne Ogden
Mar 10, 2019
Joanne Ogden
Feb 9, 2019
Laureano Gherardi
15mi