Brown’s Ranch Trail System

Length: 5-50+ miles
Descriptors: Buff, Scenic, XC, Singletrack, No Tech, Flowy, Twisty
Access: Brown’s Ranch Trailhead (gate schedule) Alma School & Dynamite, Granite Mountain Trailhead, Fraesfield Trailhead
Options: Limitless

The Skinny: Brown’s Ranch Trails will give you a bugs-in-teeth grin as you carve turns on groomed desert singletrack. Leave your big travel bike and gears at home. It’s back to basics at Brown’s.

Brown’s Ranch is a low-to-no tech riding adventure where you can roll through the desert at a good pace covering more miles than you thought possible by sunset. My advice for first timers to BR…

Hackamore! Start your ride off in style, with a big smile, by taking Hackamore westbound right from the road just outside the parking lot. You will be rewarded with a good mile of introductory flow trail before you even need to pedal. After the Hackamore honeymoon, stay on the perimeter trails for a solid adventure. Some mild climbing and plenty of fast turns. My suggested 22 mile route…

Clockwise: Hackamore, Cone, Upper Ranch, Corral, Dry Gulch, Cholla Mtn, Branding Iron, Granite Mountain Loop, to Bootlegger. Bootlegger, Saddle Horn, Granite mountain Loop, back up to Branding Iron and return on the perimeter back to the Trailhead. This lollipop loop is great fun and will give you a nice taste of the area in 22 miles.

Other can’t miss trails that offer sustained flowy XC descents are: Watershed to Whisky Bottle southbound and Latigo to Turpentine Eastbound. (Latigo out-n-back Eastbound is an even shorter introduction to the system. It starts with a short gradual climb though.) 136th Street Express southbound will teach you to corner on loose over hardpack for sure. My best rides out at Brown’s have been just after the rains when the trails are dishing out hero dirt. There are places that get muddy, so don’t ride too soon after a big rain.

Steer clear of Powerline Rd, Brown’s Ranch Road, and Dixileta. Wide and sandy.

Expect Brown’s Ranch to expand in the future. New trails are being added into the system and plans to add even more are in the works. The latest new dirt will be North West of Corral Trail.

Brown’s Ranch Map: They usually have these at the BR trailhead. If not, just snap a pic of the big map with your phone.

Gooseneck Connector Map to McDowell Mountain Regional Park. Link up to the McDowell Park and the Sonoran Preserve trails to make some epic loops.

The Browns Ranch trial system has quite a history to it. It is smack dab in the middle of the old Pima and Dynamite system. Many of the old P&D trails outside of Brown’s are still around, but not maintained at all. If you are new to Brown’s Ranch, try not to let the siren song of mysterious singletrack spurs sway you into the wild, rugged and untamed paths know only to Dale Wiggins

Trailforks Map

Brown’s Ranch Trails Map

scottsdale.gov Sonoran Preserve Info

official Maps page

Page Updated: 2/14/2016

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Jeff Rosenberg April 17, 2015 at 1:09 pm

Hey, I saw here: http://mtbikeaz.com/visitor-guide/ that a permit is needed to ride Brown’s Ranch Trail. I presume that is not true but just checking. Can someone confirm? Thanks!

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