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The trailhead sign for Pass Mountain says “Mountain Bikes not recommended”…just what I like to see…less riders on the trail more technical action…Pass mountain proves to be a sweet ride. Yes, it is technically challenging, but just enough to remind me I’m not superman.
I’ve ridden this trail clockwise from the Crismon gate as well as counter clockwise to the saddle (almost) then back down. Counterclockwise is a brutal climb. Clockwise is easier on the lungs and legs, not easy, just less hard.
Park on the southwest corner of Crismon and McKellips, pay the 1 dollar ride-in fee at the access gate and you’re set to go. You can also drive in at the main entrance and pay the $6.00 fee. It’s your money.
A lesser known access point is off Usery Pass Road. A short mile climb through a sandy wash puts you right on the Pass Mountain trail. See the TOPO. This access point is on the Tonto Forest side so there is no ride-in fee, but you sure pay for it in sweat — pushing up the sandy wash. This is my favorite access point and acts as a connector from Wild Horse, which leads to Twisted Sister and the Hawes Trail System.
The Usery Mountain Regional Park trails are all pretty flat, with the exception of Pass Mountain and Cats Peaks. It’s a good place to take your friends who are just beginning to ride.
u2metoo’s Pass Mountain ride report and awesome video
Usery Park Trail Map (PDF)