Arizona Mountain Biking
South Mountain

I Rode a Goat on Desert Classic


I’ve ridden Desert Classic as an out-n-back from Pima plenty of times. But how far “out” I go varies…since I’ve never made it out all the way, I decided to shake up the normal routine. With a hankering for fresh, steep, and technical Goat, I set out yesterday at lunch from the Telegraph Pass lot and rolled through the west end of Desert Classic.

The west end of DC out to the Corona Loma loop is awesome. It’s more technical than the heavily trafficked east side. While the east side has Secret and Warpaint alternate loops,, the west side has Goat and Helipad. I’d heard stories of these two trails…so actually riding them after so many years was nice.

Goat: It’s name says it all. If your name is Billy you’ve got a good chance of staying on your bike. It’s been a while since I got worked by a hill. I got bucked twice but got back on the Goat and kept climbing. I’m certain the entire trail is all rideable. I guarantee Ill be back again and again until I clean the Goat. From DC post marker 59, you climb south. Only a half mile, but 400 feet elevation gain.

Helipad: From DC marker 54 head south down to the wash and then comes the climb. Steep and loose at first but then the singletrack appears carved into the mountain, steadily climbing the ridgeline to the namesake helipad. I climbed Helipad first, descended Goat, then turned right around and climbed Goat to descend the glorious Helipad singletrack.

U2metoo took some video footage coming down Helipad last year. It’s a great climb and a really fun downhill. South Mountain continues to amaze me.

From Goat-Helipad

5 thoughts on “I Rode a Goat on Desert Classic

  • I have not heard of any closures on DC. You’re right though, Secret is not official Desert Classic. Neither are a lot of the side trails at SoMo… if it’s true, I’m sure we’ll read about it on the MTBR forum.

  • I was riding secret loop off of warpaint today and someone told me they are closing that one because it is not a published trail. Is this true? or was it someone telling me lies to me to keep us bikers out to save the animals?

  • Justin. Thanks for your comments. I can see Heli-pad becoming a new favorite of mine. As for Goat, I’m a glutton for punishment, so I’m going to keep trying to ride up it until I clean it. It may take a while…

    Thanks for the recommended detour. I’ll surely explore there on my next ride.

  • Justin

    I ride west of the water tank on DC 2-3 times a week. It is my stomping ground and know it well. I go up Heli-pad often, it is a great challange and a short after work run (from Warpaint 1hr round trip) . It is a grind going up but def rideable. Goat on the other hand I dont recommend going up. I tried it once and parts are unrideable. Going down is a blast though. I HIGHLY recommend a short detour through “forever spring”. It is due south of the saddle at the bottom of the heli-pad trail. It loops back so you can simply add it on to your next ride.

  • Chris

    Looks like a good ride. Desert Classic is always a good time. I wish I could ride during my lunch…

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