One of the most frequently asked questions by those who come into our bike rental shop in Scottsdale is: “What are the best mountain bike trails and road bike routes near the AOA bike rental shop?” On this page you will find three of the mountain bike rides found within a short drive of our bike rental shop in North Scottsdale.
Mountain Bike Routes
1. Easy – Advanced: Brown’s Ranch Trail System
From AOA, Brown’s Ranch Trailhead is just a 15 minute drive north. This trailhead access an expansive network of diverse trails that make this one of our favorite areas to mountain bike ride in Scottsdale. Most of the trails are hard-packed, decomposed granite, allowing for stability and comfort or speed and excitement. From groomed desert singletrack perfect for an introductory Sonoran Desert mountain bike ride to flowy, windy and fast trails, you’ll be sure to enjoy the riding at Brown’s Ranch.
2. Intermediate: McDowell Mountain Regional Park Trails
McDowell Mountain Regional Park has two great trail networks with something for everyone to ride on. Beginners can ride short loops or out-and-backs to bail whenever, but those looking for more of a challenge can add some distance or check out the fast, directional trails of the McDowell Competitive Track. If you take the Pemberton Trail, get ready to work hard and play hard. You’ll start the ride clockwise up a long, gradual climb on nice singletrack through the McDowell Mountains with monster-sized saguaros on either side of the trail. At the halfway point it’s time to play. Ride downhill on rewarding high speed double track all the way back to the parking lot. Other local favorite trails include the rocky climb up Dixie Mine on the southern side of the Pemberton Loop or a fun detour up the “Scenic Trail” beginning and ending at the Pemberton trailhead.
Distance: 15 miles Difficulty: Intermediate Bike: Performance-High Performance Full Suspension
3. Advanced: Gateway Access Area Trails
Desert Park Trail Loop: While trails off of the Gateway Trailhead are only a 1.5 mile ride from the AOA office, they are not a “ride in the park.” If highly technical, steep, and rocky trails full are your cup of tea, Gateway may be what you are looking for, if your preference is not for challenge and chunk, this is not the ride for you. The Desert Park Trail Loop begins with a rocky climb and provides access to Gateway Loop Trail, Windgate Pass Trail and Tom’s Thumb Trail. Ride a loop or an out-and-back, either way, you’ll have a rewarding (and bumpy) downhill ride on your return. Try not to get distracted by the McDowell Mountains towering around you! There are many great and equally challenging options to try from Gateway. Take Paradise Trail south to the Taliesin-Quartz Trail Loop or build a bigger challenge and hit the Double Bypass over Windgate Pass to the east and then back west over Bell Pass.
Distance: 5.9 miles (Desert Park to Gateway loop clockwise) Difficulty: Advanced (Not for beginners) Bike: Performance-High Performance Full Suspension
If you’re looking to ride through the desert terrain of Scottsdale, AOA will have a bike tuned and ready for you to ride. Choose your route, your rental and start digging!