I took our motorhome and headed to northeast Scottsdale to the McDowell Mountain Regional Park. It was only 90 minutes away from our house, but it was wonderful to enjoy the campground and ride my mountain bike on trails all around the area.
My first day I rode through the campground, went to the visitor center, and then rode one of the easier loops as suggested by the visitor center. The next day, I rode 15.3 mile Pemberton loop trail. This started with a long uphill route and then a mostly downhill rocky path back down to the visitor center.
I met several people on the trails. Mountain biking couples quite a bit older than myself, a photographer hiking that found deer on the trail and a couple of groups of ladies riding horses. I have learned to be extra cautious around horses on the trail. Mountain bikes can scare them and riders do not want you too close coming up behind the horses. Caution is especially warranted on narrow trails. So, I hung back on the trail to allow the horses time to find a place to get off the trail and allow me to pass.
The weather was in the 70s, so everyone was smiling and enjoying being outside on a sunny winter day in the desert.
This is my second trip in the motorhome to mountain bike in a new location. I have really enjoyed this trip and need to plan another new location soon.
It is fun to visit the desert and discover new mountain bike trails. I looked on the Internet to find some options that were not too difficult. I started on one ride recommended on a mountain biking website, but could not figure out a place to park as there were no parking signs in the pullout areas. I ended up parking next to the road and started up a powerline trail. A ways down the path, I saw a single track trail go to the left, so I took it. It was a nice trail, but quite rugged. Going down one gulley I ended up going over my handlebars, but landed on my feet. I enjoyed the trail, but I would not have considered it a beginner trail, so I questioned the website summary.
The trail was rough and not for beginners, but I still had quite a bit of fun riding on the trail!
After riding for almost an hour I came to a fork in the road with another trail. Looking back where I had just come from was a sign stating that it was not a maintained trail. No wonder it was so difficult!
I met a couple going on a hike and they directed me to some other trails. These trails were fantastic and definitely beginner oriented trails. As I rode on these new trails, I discovered there was an entire parking lot with more than 100 cars of mountain bikers and hikers. I am so glad I discovered these other trail options. They are not too difficult and wind all through the desert. I loved these trails and will definitely be back!