UPDATED MAR 17, 2020
Whether you’re looking for a paved path on the way to happy hour or a heart-pumping, lung-burning trail ride, Phoenix has everything a cyclist could ask for. Speed past cacti, climb a mountain for an epic sunrise, or cruise through the city with this guide to the best rides in town.
Avoid the traffic lanes and take a leisurely 11-mile roll through Scottsdale on the paved Greenbelt. And as you pass through the golf course and several parks, you’ll see why they call it the GREENbelt! But ride with caution after a storm – heavy rains can lead to tons of debris and washed out areas.
Escape the sun on Murphy’s Bridle Path in central Phoenix. This short, easy 1.5-mile path is covered with trees and is one of the shadiest spots in the city. Be warned, though, we’re not the only ones who know this. Fitt Tip: Spoke and Wheel is a bike-friendly restaurant where the Bridle Path ends and connects to the canal system. And with happy hour all day, grab some friends for a bike-and-brunch!
Whether you want a challenge, a good training spot, or a long ride with amazing views, South Mountain Park has it all. Take Summit Road from the Main Entrance (Central Ave.) for a challenging 2000 ft. climb to Dobbins Tower. This 11-mile out-and-back route has a dangerously steep climb and descent, but the views are worth the sweat! For less of a lung-buster, take San Juan Road for a 12 mile out-and-back ride with rolling hills. Bonus: Every fourth Sunday is “Silent Sunday”– no cars allowed–so you can ride stress-free.
Once you’ve mastered the trails, hit Trail 100 for 10 miles of moderate-to-technical mountain biking and climbs. It is, however, easy to take a wrong turn on this trail (trust us), so pay attention to maps and signage…unless you’re looking to turn that outdoor adventure into an exploration!
How about a trail for the mountain biking newbie? Papago Park in Tempe offers a variety of trails to get your feet wet (or your mountain bike wheels dirty). When you’re ready to upgrade to some technical trails, obstacles, and maybe a few hidden jumps, Papago Park is the perfect training spot! It features great views of rock formations for that scenic Southwest montage.
Looking for a casual cruise? Take your ride out on the Phoenix Canals to explore the city! The canals are flat and easy for any ability. Plus, many bike-friendly bars and restaurants are accessible from the canals – bike and bar crawl, anyone?
Need thrills? Then go to McDowell Mountain Regional Park. Steep climbs, dangerous turns, and scary descents – these routes aren’t for beginner riders! There are three trails for you to choose from depending on your ability, totaling about 15 miles of competitive bike track.
Get ready for a ride with Instagram-worthy scenery at the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. There's tons of desert wildlife (lizards, birds, snakes!), cacti, and hundreds of miles of multi-use trails to choose from. Hit these trails early in the morning to avoid all the foot-traffic — and for the amazing sunrise views!
The five-mile paved loop around Tempe Town is perfect for a casual family biking outing or a unique date! Plus, you can train for your next triathlon at the home base of elite events like Ironman Arizona, Half-Ironman Arizona, and many more.
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