McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Competitive Loops


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The McDowell Mountain Regional Park is one of my favorite places to ride. The competitive track has a Sport Loop and a Technical Loop that are about 3 miles each and full of fast singletrack.

The Technical Loop is only called technical because of a couple of steep drops you can launch off of, plus it has a short tech climb. When I demoed the Session 10 last year, I rode the big drop about 10 times in awe of all the plush. You can ride these loops to your hearts content. I like to ride each loop twice and then connect to the Long Loop via the Tech Loop connector. Makes for a nice 20 miler.

The Long Loop is just that. Long. The Long Loop was not a friend of mine the first time I rode it as I pretty much bonked. I spent all my energy on the Technical and Sport Loops, so it was a beast.

On another Long Loop epic, I was stopped for a trailside break a couple of miles in. A girl came up the trail and as she passed she politely said, “I’ll let you pass when you catch back up to me.” I thought…”that was nice of her, it shouldn’t take long until I pass her…” I clipped back in and spun off in hot pursuit. I never even came close to catching her. I remember seeing her up in the distance hammering away and she turned to look behind her. I couldn’t see her face but I knew she was laughing. I found new life on the long loop as soon as I upgraded to full suspension.

The McDowell’s are home to the McDowell Meltdown, part of the Arizona State Championship Series and the Giant Dust Devil Mountain Bike Series. The park also offers moonlight riding on Pemberton Trail on select dates in June, July, and August.

Overall the park has a lot to offer. If you’re going to pay 6 bucks to get in, you might as well bring lunch, stay a while, and hit a few other trails; Pemberton, Dixie Mine, Coachwhip, Scenic, Granite, Tonto Tank, and Bluff.

McDowell Parks & Recreation Website

Race Loops Map

McDowell Regional Park Map

{ 2 trackbacks }

Tony Rice Fitness | McDowell Mountain Sport Loop
January 5, 2013 at 4:11 pm
Whiskey Off-Road 25-Proof Trip Report | Endurance Guy
July 17, 2013 at 2:02 pm

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

East Mesa Mike September 17, 2009 at 3:45 pm

This trail network is well suited to beginners, as it has has very little in the way of technical challenge. The “technical loop” has a couple of cool drops, a moderately challenging climb, and a fast and rocky downhill section that will get your attention and cause some adrenaline rush. The rest of the trails are low stress, pleasurable spins. Nice area overall.

Casey October 13, 2009 at 9:05 am

NOTE the price has gone up – last time I was there (summer 2009) it was $8 to park. Worth it – the new showers are completed. ;)

Mat April 19, 2010 at 10:07 am

A few of us did this on Saturday. The fee is only $6, and it was a great ride!

Phil July 4, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Rode Sport and Long this morning, love these trails! I was the sole rider out there, must be because of the holiday?? Great trails day AND night.

Jay July 17, 2010 at 11:48 pm

Did all 3 loops this morning, and I have to say, just fantastic. I’m a pretty new to mtb, and this park had a little bit of everything. Great place to learn techniques.
P.S. The pump track is looking awesome!

Mike July 18, 2010 at 8:36 am

These loops are always fun. Sport-Tech-Sport-Tech-Long is an awesome 20 miler. I need to get out here and ride more! Glad you are having fun Jay. Welcome to the best sport in the world!

Bill December 29, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Any chance you can post a KMZ on this one?? Thanks :)

JJ April 9, 2012 at 10:52 pm

I rode it last Tuesday morning 4/4/12. I got too the parking lot around 7:30am. Not a soul around. I started the long loop. It took me about 45min. due to stoping and taking pictures. When I finish I relized I lost my new water bottle. Lucky I had some water in the car. So after that I jumped right into the Tech. Loop and connected with the long loop again hoping to find my new water bottle. Nothing. This time with out stoping it took me about 30min. to ride the long loop again. After that It was time to hit the Sport loop. After that it was just after 10am and it was time for me to head back. Great ride. Fast rolling fun desert riding. Great for rookies.

Mat June 26, 2012 at 7:27 am

Does anyonw know how LONG the LONG loop is??? Thanks

Laura January 2, 2014 at 10:04 am

With regards to the loop lengths… http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/mcdowell/pdf/2011%20maps/mcdowell-compet-track-3d.pdf
And I was there this past week, entry is $6 into the park.

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