Mountain Biking Houston Loop Trail
Mountain Biking Houston Loop Trail

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Mountain Biking In Rim Country
Mountain Biking In Rim Country

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Mountain Biking in Gila County
Mountain Biking in Gila County

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Mountain Biking Houston Loop Trail
Mountain Biking Houston Loop Trail

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MOUNTAIN BIKE TRAILS IN GILA COUNTY, ARIZONA

Mountain Biking the Arizona Trail
Mountain Biking the Arizona Trail

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Six Shooter Trail
Six Shooter Trail

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Horton Trail Mountain Biking
Horton Trail Mountain Biking

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Mountain Biking the Arizona Trail
Mountain Biking the Arizona Trail

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The best thing about mountain biking in Gila County, Arizona is how each trail takes your breath away — not just from all the uphill pedaling, but how almost all the trails wind their way around at some point to a vista. 

 

Overlooks at the end of first-class mountain bike trails include the 200-mile view from on top of the Mogollon Rim out across into the world’s largest ponderosa pine forest, the vista overlooking the rugged Highline Trail and the beautiful jumble of boulders in Granite Dells from the Houston Loop trail in Payson.  Or the stunning blue sky from the Pine/Stawberry Trail which has become an integral part of the annual Fire on the Rim Mountain Bike Race.  Further south the Pinal Mountains rise over Globe and offer single track trails through stunning pine forests with amazing flora and fauna seldom found.

Luckily, you don’t have to be an expert rider to witness these sights. Trails spread out across terrains suitable for every level of expertise. From the rocky trails found around Payson to the trails along the Rim, which meander through grassy meadows and hug lake shores.  To the chaparral and pinyon-juniper hills nestled just outside of Globe, Arizona.  Gila County may just be the best kept Mountain Biking secret in Arizona.

Mountainbiking_ FR201.jpg
 

Click on the buttons above to be directed to Mountain Biking Trails near each of these communities.

Globe, Arizona - Mountain Bike Trails

 
Bob Tail Ridge Mountain Bike Trail
Bob Tail Ridge Mountain Bike Trail

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Bob Tail Ridge Mountain Bike Trail
Bob Tail Ridge Mountain Bike Trail

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Bobtail Ridge

This is an extreme downhill single track in a state of disrepair but it has absolutely stunning views of the valley below.  

Difficulty Level: Very Difficult                                                

Check Dam Trail Mountain Biking
Check Dam Trail Mountain Biking

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Check Dam Trail Mountain Biking
Check Dam Trail Mountain Biking

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Check Dam Trail

The Check Dam Trail #190 serves as a connector between the Sixshooter Trail #197 and the Tollroad Trail #200. It is one of several trails that criss-cross the northern foothills of the Pinal Mountains, south of Globe.

 

The Check Dam Trail was named for the erosion control dams constructed in the area by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930's. There really isn't anything exciting about this trail, other than the views of the high Pinal Peaks above and a windmill. This trail could be used to create a loop hike by using the Tollroad #200, Una Del Oso #201, and Sixshooter #197 trails in conjunction with Forest Road #112.

 

Two trailheads access the Check Dam Trail: Icehouse C.C.C. and Tollroad. Total mileage given includes the one mile round trip on the Sixshooter Trail to access the Check Dam Trail.

Difficulty Level: Moderate                                                     

Mountainbiking_East Mountain Trail
Mountainbiking_East Mountain Trail

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Mountainbiking_East Mountain Trail
Mountainbiking_East Mountain Trail

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East Mountain Trail

Pretty fun trail with stunning views, extremely dry moon dust, tons of loose off camber single track. Switchbacks on the last stage are steep and very narrow. This trail is not traveled often so it is overgrown and plenty of downed trees.  

Difficulty Level: Moderate 

Mountain Biking The Ferndell Trail
Mountain Biking The Ferndell Trail

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Mountain Biking The Ferndell Trail
Mountain Biking The Ferndell Trail

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Ferndell Trail

Beginning at the Pinal Peak Trailhead at the end of forest road 651F, the Ferndell Trail leaves the north side of the parking lot, and enters a small burned area of short locust trees and gambel oaks. The trail begins to descend past rounded boulders of lichen covered granite as it leaves the burned area, and soon comes to the first aspen grove on the left side of the trail. Beyond the aspen grove, the trail continues north and west through a forest of rocky mountain maple, gambel oak, and fir, with a fair amount of aspen. A few short breaks in the forest cover offer some glimpses down Sixshooter Canyon. At the 0.25 mile point, the Ferndell Trail encounters a side trail on the left that heads uphill to the Upper Pinal Campground. Now on the north side of Pinal Peak, the fern shrouded Ferndell Trail makes a short downhill drop before leveling out. As the trail contours along through the shady forest, it becomes an old road, and passes another grove of tall aspens, mixed with maple trees. Keep going straight where an old road crosses a short distance later. Soon you will arrive at the junction with the scenic Sixshooter Trail. Just past the Sixshooter junction, the trail passes an old rock foundation, and then a locked gate, before coming to an end at the parking area of the Ferndell Trailhead (0.8 miles one way). Somewhere in this area is Ferndell Spring. There is a open meadow like area on the south side of the trailhead here, where new aspen shoots abound.

Return the way you came, or create a loop by taking one of the branches of road 651 back to the Pinal Peak Trailhead.

Difficulty Level: Moderate 

Mountain Biking Ice House Canyon
Mountain Biking Ice House Canyon

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Mountain Biking Ice House Canyon
Mountain Biking Ice House Canyon

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Icehouse Canyon Trail

The Icehouse Trail itself is 6 miles of almost non-stop downhill, descending 2000 vertical feet. There are occasional very short gentle climbs to keep you honest. Intermittent pumice boulders situated in the trail surface raise the overall technical level to upper-intermediate. The final 1/3-mile plunge off the mesa is advanced technical and requires good skills. 

Those who want to earn their vertical -- or who don't have a shuttle -- can ride up Cottonwood Road for an 18-mile loop. The 2000 vertical of climbing occurs over 10 miles (with some up-and-down added) on graded dirt road, so it's basically just a long cruise to the upper trailhead. After the first mile, the Cottonwood Road surface turns to dirt. It becomes more narrow and rough after passing the Broken Mesa trailhead. 

Make sure you have loaded the trail gps track on your device.... The start is very difficult to find, and there are no signs above the Broken Mesa/Icehouse trail junction. It is also very easy to lose the trail in the upper sections. Beware that this appears to be a user-created trail, and mostly goes directly down the fall line, which means that it has become a watercourse and is now (in 2018) a rutted rocky experience. 

Difficulty Level: Very Difficult

Mountain Biking Kellner Canyon
Mountain Biking Kellner Canyon

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Mountain Biking Kellner Canyon
Mountain Biking Kellner Canyon

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Kellner Canyon Trail

The Kellner Canyon Trail #242 is one of a group of four main trails climbing the north slope of Mt. Pinal. The elevation and north facing slopes combine to create a surprisingly lush alpine microenvironment and some very enjoyable mountain biking experiences. The stands of Aspen near the top may be the closest to the Phoenix area to be found. If you can catch this area when the leaves are turning, it just doesn't get much better.

Although some old mine shafts still dot the area, it is noted mainly for its logging history. Many of the trails, and this trail in particular, are remnants of old logging roads and ruins are numerous.

The Kellner Canyon Trail, like the others in the area, disguises a real workout with relaxing beauty. All of the trails generally start at the same 4500' elevation trailhead and finish near the top of the mountain at over 7500'. Of the four main trails, this one does top out a little further west than the others on FR651 at only about 7200'. These trails are best enjoyed as a one-way downhill via car shuttle. This trail and the Sixshooter #197 are quite possibly the being the two best for biking. It is quite wide and well maintained for most of its length.

Difficulty Level: Very Difficult

Mountainbiking_sixshooter1
Mountainbiking_sixshooter1

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Mountainbiking_sixshooter1
Mountainbiking_sixshooter1

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Six Shooter Trail

Downhill big travel ride. At times there's a running stream early near the top. Wear your pads and attack the downhill ride. Big temperature changes between top and bottom, 15-20 degrees!

The Trail starts off as winding singletrack, includes a short hill climb, then lots of rocks gardens. Singletrack lasts about 8.5 miles, then rest is a dirt/paved road back to Forest Service station in Globe.

Great ride in the fall with amazing color.

Difficulty Level: Difficult

Mountain Biking Squaw Spring Trail
Mountain Biking Squaw Spring Trail

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Mountain Biking Squaw Spring Trail
Mountain Biking Squaw Spring Trail

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Squaw Spring Trail

Squaw Spring features a very cool "staircase" of drainage logs near the top but is otherwise pretty smooth.  Amazingly beautiful in the spring and fall.  This trail is a fun ride.  This trail is easy to loose so be careful and on the look out.

Difficulty Level: Very Difficult

Mountain Biking Telephone Trail
Mountain Biking Telephone Trail

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Mountain Biking Telephone Trail
Mountain Biking Telephone Trail

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Telephone Trail

The Telephone Trail #192 leaves the west side of the large Icehouse CCC Recreation Site / trailhead. From the sign, proceed through some manzanita scrub and across a forest road for about .2mi to the signed Icehouse Tr/198 intersection. Remain straight on #192. From here to the Doghouse Spring area, the two trails diverge with the Telephone following the east side of the canyon offering some views of the Icehouse Tr. on the opposite side. Between the two, the Telephone offers superior scenery and a friendlier layout for the climb. The climb is a healthy one and begins up through wide tunnels of manzanita and then into shady forest where it begins to ease up.

At about two miles, the trail once again merges with the Icehouse/198 at Doghouse Spring. This is a beautiful little spot with a water filled hole in the middle of the trail and some old relics lying about. The two trails run together here for only about 200' where the Telephone quickly departs again up the east slope to connect over to the Sixshooter Trail. From the sign post head up the trail where it quickly doubles back to the north as it climbs the slope to the top of the ridge. Here the manzanita returns and the trail again doubles back at about 3 miles to essentially climb the spine of the ridge for a ways before heading along the west slope into Sixshooter Canyon. Be careful in spots to follow the most worn trail and look for small FS signs to help point the way. There are some maintenance roads for the underground power line that intersect in spots with this trail.

As you approach the bottom of Sixshooter Canyon the forest thickens from chaparral to shady pine. Just prior to the intersection with Sixshooter/197, look for some ruins on the right. These are the remains of an old sawmill. Also in the immediate area are an old spring and two old mine shafts just a few yards north on #197.

The Telephone Trail officially ends here, but leaves you with several options. There are two worth recommendation: You can continue up the Icehouse Trail just less than one "long & steep", but beautiful mile to the top at Ferndell Spring. Then on the way back down loop onto the beautiful cruising Sixshooter trail to the bottom.

Difficulty Level: Very Difficult

Mountain Biking Toll Road Trail
Mountain Biking Toll Road Trail

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Mountain Biking Toll Road Trail
Mountain Biking Toll Road Trail

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Tollroad Trail

The Toll Road Trail #200 climbs the northern foothills of the Pinal Mountains south of Globe, Arizona. Starting in the high desert, this trail terminates in the tall pines of upper Pinal Creek canyon. The Toll Road Trail follows the route of an 1883 toll road that was built to provide access to the Pioneer Mining District on the south side of the Pinals. With three other trails connecting to it, the Toll Road Trail provides opportunities for loop hikes as well.

 

This trail can be loose and fast in some sections also very tight and technical in others. Very overgrown and about a dozen downed trees. It's very easy to loose the trail so follow the stacked rocks.

Difficulty Level: Very Difficult

 

Gisela/Rye/Tonto Basin/Roosevelt, Arizona - Mountain Bike Trails

Mountain Biking Arizona Trail # 21
Mountain Biking Arizona Trail # 21

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Mountain Biking Arizona Trail # 21
Mountain Biking Arizona Trail # 21

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Arizona Trail: 21

Upper section of this route is on well maintained forest roads. Moderate effort. The second half of the ride is on singletrack, steep downhill grade on narrow trail. Hike-a-bike wash crossings and potential need for GPS to aid in route navigation. Very remote

Difficulty Level: Difficult  

Mountain Biking AZT Four Peaks
Mountain Biking AZT Four Peaks

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Mountain Biking AZT Four Peaks
Mountain Biking AZT Four Peaks

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AZT: Four Peaks

This passage begins on the north side of the Roosevelt Lake Bridge at the Vineyard Trailhead on Highway 188. The trail climbs immediately along Inspiration Point, passes the radio towers and then passes north of Vineyard Mountain. It climbs up to the Mills Ridge Trailhead and from here a trail (#130) continues up and reaches the Four Peaks Wilderness boundary. The trail drops into Buckhorn Creek and then goes up again, passing Hackberry Creek and finally reaching Granite Spring. From here a new section of #130 heads north and then west, skirting around Buckhorn Peak. Heading north again the trail intersects with the Alder Creek Trail (#82) and then the Oak Flat Trail (#123) where it turns left and soon reaches Shake Spring. From here the trail works its way north and west to Pigeon Spring, climbs southwest on an old roadbed, and finally comes to the Pigeon Spring Trailhead on FR 648.

Difficulty Level: Difficult

Mountain Biking AZT Saddle Mountain
Mountain Biking AZT Saddle Mountain

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Mountain Biking AZT Saddle Mountain
Mountain Biking AZT Saddle Mountain

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AZT: Saddle Mountain

From the Highway 87 underpass, the trail follows a drainage west a short distance and then turns right. It goes through one gate and then another and then swings north and through another gate. It continues northwest, reaches yet another gate, goes up a drainage, crosses it and gets to another gate. It then passes under twin powerlines and comes to a trail junction marked by a steel AZT sign. Cross F TH is 0.5 miles to the right/east. A turn to the left here, through another gate and the trail begins working up a drainage. It goes over a low saddle and follows another drainage, curving around to the north and then northeast, reaching the junction with Saddle Mountain Trail 91. Mormon Grove TH is 0.5 miles to the east. The AZT follows Trail 91 north to the junction with Sheep Creek Trail 88. It takes Trail 88 a short mile, dropping into wooded McFarland Canyon (great camping) where it takes Thicket Spring Trail 95 downstream east for 0.5 mile, across the Wilderness boundary to a sharp left turn up out of the canyon. Another mile and it reaches the junction with West Fork Trail 260, portions of which were rebuilt in 2015. The AZT takes this new route east, dropping steeply into an unnamed canyon and reaches the Cornucopia Trail 86, where it turns sharply left/north and follows the drainage 1.5 miles to the junction with the Thicket Spring Trail 95. A right (east) turn here and another mile climbing and the trail reaches the Mazatzal Divide Trail junction marked with a steel AZT sign and the end of the passage. Mt Peeley TH, a remote TH accessible in dry conditions is 0.5 miles east.

Difficulty Level: Moderate 

MTB - AZT Supersition Wilderness
MTB - AZT Supersition Wilderness

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MTB - AZT Supersition Wilderness
MTB - AZT Supersition Wilderness

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AZT: Superstition Wilderness

The trail enters the Superstition Wilderness and descends into Rogers Canyon on trail #109. It reaches an intersection with trail #110 and then turns northeast and travels up on to Reavis Saddle and on to the ruins of Reavis Ranch. From the ranch area trail #109 heads north to a junction with trail #117 (the Reavis Gap Trail). The route follows this trail across Pine Creek towards Reavis Gap. At a trail junction with trail #119 (the Two Bar Ridge Trail) the route turns and goes past Walnut Spring, Two Bar Mountain and along the high Two Bar Ridge. Just beyond Pinyon Mountain trail #119 ends at the Black Bush ranch road (FR 83). The route follows this road and then turns north on trail #120 (the Cottonwood Trail). This trail goes through Cottonwood Canyon, by Cottonwood Spring and then onto FR 341. This road climbs out of Cottonwood Canyon and then descends to trail #121 (the Thompson Trail). Trail #121 parallels Roosevelt Lake, passes the Roosevelt Cemetery and then works its way over and down to the Thompson Trailhead. From here the route follows Highway 88 over the Roosevelt Lake Bridge to the Vineyard Trailhead.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Mountain Biking El Oso Road
Mountain Biking El Oso Road

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Mountain Biking El Oso Road
Mountain Biking El Oso Road

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El Oso Road

"For the most part, this long trail is suitable for passenger vehicles in dry weather. However, there is one section, a 0.5-milelong stretch immediately east of the Mud Springs Trailhead, for which high-clearance vehicles, preferably 4WDs, are required. The day the trail was surveyed there was a VW Beetle abandoned on this stretch of trail. The unfortunate vehicle suffered major damage to its undercarriage and was hopelessly stuck on the embedded rocks. 

The driver was lucky enough to catch a ride with a passing vehicle, but only after he had spent the night along the trail. Special Attractions: Very scenic ridgeline trail with excellent primitive camping spots; Remains of the El Oso and Jolene Mines; Optional 7-rated detour. High-clearance 4WDs are preferred, but any high-clearance vehicle is acceptable. Expect a rough road surface; mud and sand are possible but will be easily passable. You may encounter rocks up to 6 inches in diameter, a loose road surface, and shelf roads, though these will be wide enough for passing or will have adequate pull-offs."

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Mountain Biking FR 27
Mountain Biking FR 27

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Mountain Biking FR 27
Mountain Biking FR 27

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FR 27

Accessed from Rye Arizona this is a Dirt/Gravel Road that has a climb difficulty of hard.  This is a scenic Forest Road with some good climbing  and not so technical.

Difficulty Level: Difficult 

Mountain Biking FR 429
Mountain Biking FR 429

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Mountain Biking FR 429
Mountain Biking FR 429

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FR 429

Forest Road 429 is close to Roosevelt, Arizona and climbs from about 1500 to 3800 feet.  It is a dirt gravel road with some great views of the surrounding area and Roosevelt Lake.​

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Mountain Biking FR 201
Mountain Biking FR 201

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Mountain Biking FR 201
Mountain Biking FR 201

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FR 201

Close to Sunflower, Arizona this is a dirt gravel road with some fun downhills and some moderate uphill climbs.  Best time to ride is autumn, winter or spring.​

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Mountainbiking_ FR626
Mountainbiking_ FR626

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Mountainbiking_ FR626
Mountainbiking_ FR626

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FR 626 

This is a generally well-maintained Forest Road gravel. Sometimes slippery marbley gravel sometimes ruts, generally strict uphill workout Trail. There are some Shady sections however it's mostly in the Sun. Because of the elevation and proximity to Phoenix, it's a good trail to get out of the city Heat and into some cooler temperatures for a workout

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Mountain Biking FR #66
Mountain Biking FR #66

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Mountain Biking FR #66
Mountain Biking FR #66

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Park Trail #66

While this is an official trail on the Tonto National Forest and open to bikes, it's not much of a trail at this point. Heavy vegetation makes the trail tread extremely difficult to follow. Some work has been done on the lower reaches, but the upper portion is really bad. Manzanita, Jojoba & Holly bushes encroach everywhere!! This trail needs some love. The potential for a backcountry route is there, if the manpower is available. Currently, not much of a hiking trail either. Proceed at your own risk.

Difficulty Level: Very Difficult

 

Payson, Arizona - Mountain Bike Trails

Mountain Biking American Gulch Trail
Mountain Biking American Gulch Trail

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Mountain Biking American Gulch Trail
Mountain Biking American Gulch Trail

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American Gulch Trail

The American Gulch Trail begins approximately 2.6 miles west of the Highway 87 and Main Street intersection.  Main Street turns into Country Club Drive and then into Doll Baby Ranch Road, as you head west.  After passing the Northern Gila County Sanitation District site, you will continue on Doll Baby Ranch Road until you see a widened dirt parking area immediately west of a cattle guard.  This area can be used for parking.  The trail begins on the north side of Doll Baby Ranch Road, right after the cattle guard. 

This is a PATS trail/USFS road that currently does not prohibit motorized vehicles, so expect to see all trail-user types on this section.  This trail does not yet connect with the North Section of the American Gulch Trail, but a future connection will be made.  

Difficulty Level: Difficult

Mountain Biking Aspen Trail
Mountain Biking Aspen Trail

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Mountain Biking Aspen Trail
Mountain Biking Aspen Trail

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Aspen Trail

The Aspen trail is 5.5 miles long. It begins at Carr Lake Trailhead and ends at Carr Lake Trailhead. The Aspen trail forms "loop A", the red loop of the Carr Lake Trail System. After the trail passes the end of trail #412, it travels past an enclosed fence built to keep eld out of an area to protect young aspen trees. The General Crook Trail follows this trail briefly from Carr Lake Trailhead.

Difficulty Level: Easy 

Mountainbiking_ Boulders Loop Trail
Mountainbiking_ Boulders Loop Trail

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Mountainbiking_ Boulders Loop Trail
Mountainbiking_ Boulders Loop Trail

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Boulders Loop Trail

The Boulders Loop Trailhead is located 3.8 miles down Granite Dells Road, which initially is paved and then becomes USFS road # 435. The Trailhead begins at the end of the road. The road has been closed due to erosion. You may park off the road and walk approximately 1/4 miles to the trailhead. An existing USFS Trailhead sign provides general trail information. A future PATS Trailhead sign will also give trail‐users more specific information about the trail and its connections.  

 

This is a PATS/USFS trail that currently is not designated a motorized route (USFS road), although occasional motorized tracks may be seen. The Boulders is extremely popular with mountain bikers due to challenging hills, rocks and washes and gets its name because of the spectacular boulders that are scattered around the hills.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Mountain Biking The Drew Trail
Mountain Biking The Drew Trail

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Mountain Biking The Drew Trail
Mountain Biking The Drew Trail

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Drew Trail

Drew Trail #291 is a 1.01 mile out and back with 41 feet accumulated elevation gain. Located 67 miles south-southwest of Winslow Arizona. May and September are the best months to enjoy this hike.

This is an old pioneer trail built by the Drew family. The Drews homesteaded around Sharp Creek and constructed this trail to Winslow prior to 1909. This trail weaves its way through Ponderosa pine.

On the Sitgreaves National Forest, find the trailhead on the south side of FR 9350. The trail descends very rapidly and is rocky and narrow in many locations.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Mountain Biking Fern Gully
Mountain Biking Fern Gully

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Mountain Biking Fern Gully
Mountain Biking Fern Gully

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Fern Gully

Fern Gully is a 1 mile out and back with 26 feet accumulated elevation gain. Located 65 miles south-southwest of Winslow Arizona. September and May are the best months to enjoy this trail.

Difficulty Level: Easy 

Mountain Biking Fred Haught Trail
Mountain Biking Fred Haught Trail

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Mountain Biking Fred Haught Trail
Mountain Biking Fred Haught Trail

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Fred Haught

This historic trail is part of the Cabin Loop Trail System. It was named after a rancher who once used it to move cattle and supplies from ridge to ridge and valley to valley in the roadless wilderness above the Mogollon Rim. Today it provides mountain bikers, hikers and horse packers access to this scenic area of shallow canyons and forested ridges.

The Fred Haught trail was almost lost to neglect after a system of ridge top roads replaced it as the main route for commerce and travel in the 1950's. However, a renewed interest in the area by recreationists and history buffs inspired its recent reopening.

You'll find this trail leisurely and scenic, with a good chance to see wildlife and ample opportunity to imagine what it must have been like when horses and trails were the only way of traversing this picturesque countryside.

The monument of the Battle of Big Dry Washshown here is just off of FR 300 at the beginning of the Fred Haught Trail.

Arizona Trail Passage 28 (Blue Ridge) uses the first three miles of Fred Haught Trail, from General Springs Cabin to just before the confluence of General Springs and Fred Haught Canyons, where the AZT-28 splits off to the west to head up to C.C. Cragin Reservoir

Difficulty Level: More Difficult