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The Big U

 4.5 (2)

15.0 Miles 24.1 Kilometers



434' 132 m


-433' -132 m



Avg Grade (1°)


Max Grade (4°)

1,870' 570 m


1,703' 519 m


Shared By Jacob Person


All Clear 91 days ago
Dry: all dry and hot History

Getting forecast...

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

Jacob Person

Dogs 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.


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!


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 left on 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!


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Your Check-Ins


Sep 3, 2018
Michael Jokich
3 laps around 45mi
May 30, 2018
Jacob Person
14.5mi — 1h 19m

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 2 votes


  4.5 from 2 votes
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in Arizona


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492 Since May 30, 2018
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