Javelina to Mormon, South Mountain

by Mike on August 29, 2006

Mormon Trail South MountainIn Phoenix in the summertime, there is no such thing as a lunch ride. In the desert, from June through about the middle of September, the only kind of riding I do is the early morning wake-me-up ride.

That means a 4:30 AM alarm clock and a 5:30 AM trail time. This morning I was at the top of Javelina where it meets the Ridgeline trail on South Mountain before the sun decided to join me.

JavelinaGoogle Earth File.  You must have Google Earth installed for this link to work.  is a rough and rocky double-track that slowly turns into a wide singletrack with just a little forgiveness. The 46th Street parking lot is a good place to start if you want to do a quick ride up Mormon and then down the less ridden back side of Mormon. It’s a couple of miles of pretty gnarley singletrack that’s littered with boulders, shutes, steps, and some of the sweetest technical lines I’ve been blessed to decend. If Javelina was a little forgiving, the north side of South Mountain has never even heard of forgiveness. She’ll lie, cheat, and steal your soul right off your bike just to watch you bleed.

I went over the handelbars twice down the mountain. I got lucky on one landing and controlled the fall. The second endo threw me and my bike onto a a series of sharp rocks, but we caught ourselves just before gravity pushed us down further…both the Trek EX 9 and I are doing well, just a bit bruised and scratched.

When people say this trail is not recommended for beginners, they are not telling the whole truth. This trail is not recommended for anyone who does not want to fall. I never thought I would say that I could use more suspension, but on this trail it would have come in handy. Now I’m really thinking about the 5 and a half inches on the 2007 Trek Fuel bikes

Mormon is an awesome challenge. It has just enough of the good stuff to keep me coming back again and again and again.

Mormon Trail Links

MTBR Javelina Trail Review

Mormon trail video: pete fagerline has excellent footage of the north side of Mormon trail – 50 MB

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Tales From The Trails » Blog Archive » Mountain biking at South Mountain can be dangerous
October 8, 2009 at 12:37 pm

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 East Mesa Mike May 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm

This trail is awesome for a quick spin after work. I ride it at night often. I like to start at Pima Canyon, ride up the 2 track jeep trail to the National trailhead, take a right at the Mormon intersection, then another right at the Javelina intersection, get up the steep technical climb and then rip down for miles…it’s a blast. traverse the 46th st parking lot, then work your way around the apartments to the east loop and back to Pima Canyon..This trail is not too gnarly, it has some nice little climbs and a few moderately technical sections. Great fitness ride with a little extra to keep it from being lame. The entire loop takes under an hour at a leisurely pace.

2 Dave May 12, 2010 at 7:47 am

Did the same ride yesterday afternoon, except started at 46th street and finished with Javelina back to 46th street. Great one hour ride. You can bipass alot of the fire road by cutting back thru the middle and going up Beverly Canyon. 2 decent climbs thru there and you pick up the fie road about halfway up.

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