Arizona Mountain Biking

Goat Camp Loop, White Tank Park

View Goat Camp Loop – XC in a larger map

Goat Camp Loop reviews on MTBR forum Goat Camp Loop TOPO by Dale Wiggins Goat Camp Loop on YouTube

Goat Camp Loop

I finally rode Goat Camp Loop in the White Tanks on Dec. 22, 2008 with a group of MTBR riders. Man have I been missing out on some sweet trail the last how many years. It is an excellent sustained climb and a absolutely gnarly descent. I managed it on the Fuel EX 9, only 4 inches of travel. Cleaned the spiral staircase but got jacked up in the Jackhammer. I could have used at least 2 more inches in travel and 3 more inches in wheel! I’ll be back.

Full review to come. Here’s the elevation profile riding up the new Mesquite trail.

goat camp

If you’re planning to ride Goat Camp — here’s your pre-ride mandatory reading and watching checklist:

Dale Wiggins Goat Camp Loop TOPO Map

MTBR Forums tidbits about Goat camp from riders

Pete Fagerlin’s Goat Camp Video (Windows Media 70MB)

All Pete’s MTB Videos (optional)

White Tank Mountain Regional Park Trail Map (PDF 1MB)

White Tank Park: Main Page for Biking

Goat Camp MTBR ride 12-23-08 from DurtGurl on Vimeo.

Spiral Staircase on Goat Camp Trail, AZ from DurtGurl on Vimeo.

6 thoughts on “Goat Camp Loop, White Tank Park

  • Laura

    Yeah, it would be helpful if, in general, these trail reviews were rated for novice, intermediate, expert, etc. Because for me being a novice, reading this I might not have known how difficult this trail was. And there’s nothing worse than getting into a trail that’s way too advanced for you and then being stuck (like another reviewer says) hike-a-biking your way out. It’s a waste of time and does nothing for your confidence. And it’s not just this site, it’s frustrating as a noob to go looking around sites to get an idea of what trails might be good for me and there’s a bunch of ego jockeys everywhere saying “this is easy” (like Long Loop at McDowell) and then you go out there to discover you have no business being on that trail. Just a little honest objectivity would be nice with trail ratings, everybody was new once.

    That said, I appreciate all the comments and the videos that were posted. The videos were really helpful. It looks like I might try Mesquite but not Goat Camp.

    Does anyone know what the competitive loops are like in terms of difficulty?

  • R. Smith

    I have been riding Mesquite, Ford, Willow Canyon loop for the past six years. I usually ride at least twice a week during the winter. In my opinion, the classic 3 hour ride is Mesquite up to Goat. Ride Goat Camp for approximately 3 miles out and back, until you get to the last ridge line and it starts big descent (the Classic Goat Camp that is very difficult). Then downhill back down Goat Camp to top of Ford Canyon. The last mile of Goat Camp mile post 5 and 6 just prior to Ford Canyon is by far the fastest and most exciting downhill in all the valley. Ride Ford past Willow Canyon trail turnoff up to top Ridge (half a mile). Turn around at top of ridge for another fantastic downhill to Willow Canyon. You can continue from top off ridge down to creek for a longer out and back. The rest of Ford down the creek is a nightmare. My favorite part of trial Willow Canyon downhill all the way to Mesquite and parking lot.
    This trail done often will rock your bike. I started with a 2003 Trek Fuel 90, cracked frame twice. Under warranty replacement Trek Remedy has already been replaced for a crack. Have only had Remedy for two years, but have gone through three shocks, all replaced under warranty, at least two rear rims a year, a new free hub every year (last one I actually sheared axle cranking up hill), and a rear tire every three months. Front Cranks will get shredded too.
    Having said all that (including around 1000 plus dollars a year in maintenance), this trail network I described is insane and worth all the pain. My best description is like a chess match against the mountain. All of it can be ridden up hill, the chest match part of it, is cleaning the whole thing all at once with out stopping. I have never done it. I have ridden every part but never all at once. It takes a lot of stamina and pretty good speed to clean. I love the challenge of it, and it never gets old.
    Last thing, there are cairns off mile post 5.3 or so on Goat Camp, that will take you up to fire roads at top of mountain.

  • Andrew

    There is no false advertising here!
    If you have ever dreamed of what it would be like to ride your mtn bike on Camelback mtn – this is a great taste of that dream!

    The first section of Mesquite will give a great preview of what’s to come on Goat Camp DH (expect you will be going downhill).

    I actually really enjoyed the XC climbs; however, I should have turned around at the recommended checkpoint. And it would have been much faster!!

    Unless you would want to ride down the first section on Mesquite – then you should turn around also or you will encounter 3 miles of HAB.

  • shoupdawg

    This trail rocks literally, it is not for people that like smooth singletrack. If you need to dump your girlfriend / riding partner this is the trail. They will hate you by the end and probably not ever talk to you again. But I loved the technical challenge. It is a hardy climb, that I walked alot of , I was on my single speed and not in very good shape. Most of the climb is rideable after the first 1-2 miles. The views and the desert are beautiful. Once you get to the top the fun begins. The downhill is about 3-4 miles of rock garden and it does not let up till you get to the flats and even then it is not easy. So if you are into technical kinda steep rock gardens then you might consider this trail to be heaven. I rode it on my hardtail single speed and it was nice not to have a derailure to worry about. But next time I’m going to bring my FS 29er and pray for my derailure to make it through. I live CO. and visit this area a couple times a year, my Mom lives in Sun City. So if you want to ride, send an E-mail.

  • Very disappointed? Sorry to hear that. I have not really given this trail a proper description here. I guess it is time to do that.

    I agree, intermediate riders and below, beware. The Goat Camp Loop will get your goat. Rock gardens and hike a bike galore. I would still recommend the XC out-n-back to intermediate riders, that do not mind a few hundred feet of HAB, and a lot of perfect bench cut climbs. Goat Camp XC is a climbers paradise.

    For the advanced/experienced/uber adventurous rider the Goat will be an epic ride you will tell people about again and again and again…

    I love the Goat because it is treacherous. It is challenging. I stay on my bike until the trail bucks me off. Then I get back on again. I still have not conquered the Jackhammer. But I will. I’m hoping a 29er will be my redemption there.

    Thanks for your comments Jeff. If you live on the West side I hope you are riding FINS, now there is some sweet non-treacherous singletrack.

  • Jeff Robertson

    Rode this trail on Monday 7Sep 2009 & was very disappointed, more hike-a-bike than actual riding! Starting out on the trail was ok, but about 3 to 4 miles in the trail turned into a rock garden, & the start of hike -a -bike. Towards the top you could start riding but involved a lot of climbing, never sis get out of granny gear the whole time. Once at the top we expected a nice downhill run into the area’s where the video’s were shot, this is where the trail really surprised us! The first part of the downhill was hike-a-bike through too steep to ride loose rock for a mile or so. After that part of the trail, we thought it would turn into singlestrack, wrong again, trail was too rocky to ride safely & we could not start actually riding until almost to the bottom of the trail! If your a intermediate rider or below, avoid riding this trail, its not worth your time or effort! If you want to try this trail loop, I recommend hiking it & leave the bike at home! If you do plan to hike this trail, be sure to wear a good pair of ankle height hiking boots with a sturdy sole, bring plenty of water with you, & plan on lots of climbing & scrambling through rock strewn sections of the trail!

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