- Type: Biking
NileGuide Expert Says:
The McDowell Competitive loops can get very busy on the weekends in season. If you find yourself back-to-back on this very popular trail, head further into McDowell Park to the Pemberton trailhead. It's a longer ride, but you'll find it more peaceful with less traffic.
- McDowell Mountain Regional Park is located in Arizona 15 miles northeast of the city of Scottsdale in the lower Verde Basin. This 21,099-acre Sonoran Desert Park is one of Maricopa County's largest parks. The Park's elevation ranges from 1,550 feet at the southeastern corner, to 3,100 feet along the western boundary of the park. The park offers over 40 miles of hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding trails. Park Trails range in length from 0.5 miles to 15.3 miles and range in difficulty from easy to strenuous. The McDowell Competitive Track used to be home of the Cactus Cup. The track was designed specifically for fast competitive riding. It consists of 3 interconnecting trails. The Sport loop is 3 miles long starting with a very gradual climb and turning into fast, tight twisting singletrack. The Expert loop is 2.9 mile long with a couple of steep drop offs and a catwalk climb. It is designated for expert riders only, but it isn't that technical. Although, one of my friends broke his collar bone during the last race there. There are some loose rocky fast descents, so be careful. The long loop is 8.2 miles long and consists of fast singletrack with one minor climb. The trails are marked very well in this area. Take Shea Boulevard to Fountain Hills Boulevard. If coming from the east valley, take the Beeline Highway to Shea and turn left to find Fountain Hills Boulevard. Once on Fountain hills Boulevard head north on and follow road through Fountain Hills and into desert. The street will turn into McDowell Mountain Road. About 4 miles down, the park will be on the left. See map here. Once in the park, the trail is on the left just inside the park. Park there and choose a trail. The Sport loop is located at the west end of the parking lot. The Expert loop is located at the southwest end of the parking lot. The Long loop is located at the east end of the parking lot. There are trail maps available at the park entrance. See map here also.
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- Phoenix, AZ 85264
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