the outlaw trail

trail part 1: MCDOWELL SONORAN DESERT awarderd the Pemberton trail and the competitieve loops in McDowell Mountain Park one of the best rides in Arizona.



A natural wonder, the Sonoran Desert is one of the most diverse environments on earth. Home to a variety of unique and invasive plants, such as the saguaro and organ pipe cacti, its natural, rugged terrain guarantees that a boring is impossible. Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a permanently-protected desert habitat available for non-motorised trail use, featuring approximately 120 miles of hike, bike and horse trails. This epic Quadruple Bypass Route takes you over four moutain passes (Wingate-Bell-Sunset-Wingate) in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, followed by a rolling single-track in between. On the second and third days, we head to McDowell Mountain Regional Park where you’ll experience the award-winning Pemberton trail. There’s plenty more to see on the next day, with a trio of loop trails designed specifically for competitive mountain bike riding.


This tour is fun and swooping with a few short, technical sections – namely rocky ascents with flowing, downhill single tracks. The smooth, crushed granite makes it easy enough for novices, but with enough curving, hard-cranking elevation gains and smooth-gliding for the hardcore enthusiasts. It’s a rollercoaster ride that’s can be challenging in places, but is absolutely thrilling.


The Quadruple Bypass is only 33 miles long, but features over 6000 feet of rocky single-track climbing. If you prefer to begin your ride with something more exploratory, you can opt for the Double Bypass route, a 23-mile ride with an ascent of more than 4000 feet. Days two and three will see an average of 30 miles of cycling per day – sometimes more, with a total ascent of around 1500 feet, but again, flexibilty is an option. The Mountain Regional Park also offers lots of choice with varying degrees of difficulty and the ability to string add-on miles – as does the nearby competitive track.

Are you the next Outlaw?

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