Drops/Jumps · Views
The upper parts of Mt. Graham are only open April to October, weather permitting. Check with ADOT for closures.
One Way Only:
This is designated as a directional trail.
The trailhead is hard to see. The only indication is an area for about three cars to pull over on the LEFT side of the road. The trailhead is just right of the road and marked by two signs 20 feet up the embankment.
Need to Know
The trailhead is at 32°39'49.5"N 109°48'01.3"W.
Immediate uphill climb to plateau from the trailhead. The trail continues leveling out and winding around large rocks concealed by grass and following the natural contours of the mountain. You'll see many unique fauna and trees like Aligator Bark Juniper. The trail continues like this to the 1-mile mark. At this time, you'll come to a water crossing that may be running all year long. Here would be a nice place to stop and investigate the way the water has carved its path through the quartz and surrounding rocks caused by an ancient volcano.
After soaking in the beauty, continue across the creek and over the large slate rock to discover a tight path around a fallen tree. This is where another short ascent starts. After climbing maybe 50 yards, you'll again be on top of the ridge and winding fast through the trail. Beware of grass that can conceal hidden rocks. Soon, you'll come to a fork in the road with a trail marker. The Noon Creek Loop continues to the right, although you can ride to the left to extend the epic downhill you're about to experience.
The VERY techy downhill you'll experience will push your skills and ability to choose proper and exciting line choices. It is very fast and can be hard if you are not ready. the trail has a few washout areas where the water has carved a trail looking fork. Avoid those... they lead nowhere except PAIN. It is easy to see the difference once you pass the first one.
As you gather your bearings from the mind-numbing downhill, you'll come to a large right curve to the right and be on the lookout for the trail fork to the LEFT after the mentioned curve. The turn you are looking for is on the left. At this point, you have two choices.
Option 1: Take a left to continue the downhill to the Nook Creek picnic area, then ride uphill on pavement all the way back to your car at the trailhead. About 1 mile ride uphill, and about 15 mins.
Option 2: Continue the downhill avoiding the left turn and come to another creek crossing followed by a hike-a-bike up a steep hill to come out near the horse corrals and a set of bathrooms. This short climb will help cut off almost a half-mile of uphill pavement pounding.
With a shuttle car parked at Noon Creek and the trailhead, this would be a trail you could lap multiple times.
Shared By: Adam Rossow