Arizona Mountain Biking
South Mountain

Hot, hot, hot

Summer is here. We hit 92 today in the valley today. The hottest day of the year. I had planned on heading to the Goldfields for a little more exploration, but following my routine bike inspection I found a knob torn off of my Larsen TT. I replaced it with a Crossmark and a slime tube, and then changed my mind about exploring the rugged Goldfields…I decided to hit something up a little shorter due to the time and the forecasted heat.

So in my head I was going through the short list of trails I still need to ride in the valley…Cave Creek, too far. BCT, way too far. Papago, to boring, South mountain? Hmmm I haven’t ridden Alta, Kiwanis, Ranger or Bajada…all too burly for my lunch ride. Then I remembered there are some loops on the north east end of SoMo, just north of the Pima lot. I had to bust out my Spring 2000 copy of Cosmic Ray’s Fat Tire Tales and Trails for the info. That guidebook literally kept me alive when I first moved to Arizona.

I have never considered the East Loop or anything in that corner of the park before…Cosmic Ray made it out to be easy, for beginners. So with an hour to kill, I headed out on the “easy” East Loop. I gotta tell you I was surprised to find such beautifully challenging singletrack flowing around the east side of the East Loop. Sure it was easy compared to most of South Mountain, but I found plenty of tech lines and drops throughout. I stayed on the main trail but was tempted to stray off onto the many, many spurs that spider off the loop. I not sure exactly what I rode, but I saw signs for East and West loops, and I rode out to the Beverly lot just for some extra spinning.

Another gem of a trail under my nose for years. I always passed it up to ride DC or National. I didn’t see one other biker out there this afternoon. I think I see a Beverly lot to Telegraph lot epic in the future… how about a Bev to Tele to National to Alta to Ranger to National to Holbert to 24th street to Mormon to Javelina to Beverly? Now that’s epic.

3 thoughts on “Hot, hot, hot

  • I’m a little mature to take up riding SoMo (joints probably couldn’t take the pounding) but I hike up there 3 days a week so I’ve seen just about everything and then some west of Telegraph Pass trail. I did a loop starting at 24th street and headed up Mormon, then west on National. When I reached the parking lot I headed out the north end taking Geronimo all the way down to the Boy Scout camp (20th st.). I gotta say it was one hella loop to hike, took me almost 3 hours. Geronimo has a lot of everything, some steep, some ruts, some cut backs and a few 75’+ runs to just bomb down. It’s about 2 miles long and drops over 1000 vert feet and has some great views. If you haven’t been on it yet I’d highly recommend it.

  • I’ve ridden Ranger and had a blast. We semi-shuttled it one day from telegraph saddle. Hiked up the natty ridge, rode down the natty ridgeline to ranger, and dropped in…way in. It’s not super gnar, but fun, flowy, switchbacky, and really exposed. Lower ranger after crossing the road was a couple fun switchbacks and a 30mph rip down to the main gate. Good times for something new. Totally doable on a HT or smaller squishy.

  • I live in So Phoenix, and the east loops are my after work playground. When I ride DC or Nat’l, I usually start and finish in the loops. Try parking at 46th Street, and taking Javelina to Mormon to Nat’l. On your way back you can come down Nat’l, invent a route around the east loops and either punish or reward yourself at the end of your ride.

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