WELCOME! If you arrived at this page directly, you may want to read the introductory page: Roger's Favorite Singletrack Mountain Bike Rides
Please realize that I am an older, strong, intermediate mountain biker with a passion for singletracks and am suggesting these trails to others such as myself. Please do not rely totally on my descriptions -- get maps and trail guides locally.
Suggestions for minimizing trail damage:
-do not let your tires slide when climbing, descending, or turning.
-ride over water bars, not around them.
-avoid riding on wet trails.
-carry your bike over or around deep mud.
-ride under control so that you do not run off the edge of the trail.
Two books are necessary for any visit to Arizona:
Fat Tire Tales And Trails by Cosmic Ray
Prescott is located at the boundary between a Ponderosa Pine forest and the high desert.
The trailhead is about one mile past the "community" of Groom Creek on "Senator Hiway". It is very well signed with a bathroom at the trailhead. Water is available at the horse camp across the road. I took the trail in a clockwise direction and recommend that you do so as well. The climb is 3+ miles up a wide, sometimes steep, mostly rocky, often eroded trail to the top of the ridge through a forest of Ponderosa Pines, Junipers, and Spruce. The trail down is 5+ miles of remarkable single-track, mostly narrow, sometimes smooth and fast, sometimes rocky and technical, LOTS of fun! This is the sort of trail that "makes" you ride well!! WARNING: Many people ride horses on this trail and many groups from the various nearby camps hike this trail. I was lucky to find no one on it...but I also rode VERY cautiously!
If you want to spend some more time playing on singletrack without driving anywhere, head across the road to the horse camp, find site 26, and head off into a maze of singletracks and dirt roads extending for miles!
I do not recommend riding the Yankee Doodle Trail unless you enjoy riding through loose, sharp, abundant, rocks on a highly eroded trail. (I don't) It also requires that one ride up 1000 feet on a dirt road to get to the trailhead and riding up 2000 feet on a dirt road to get from the trailtail to the car...
A new campground and several miles of new singletracks have been built. I started exploring at the campground and rode on the hard packed granite sand trails for a couple of hours. They are sort of wide and not the least bit technical, but they swoop and roll gracefully through the Juniper/Pinion Forest. I also ran across an older trail -- Trail #40 -- and wandered up it for a couple of miles. It was wide and well used at first, but became progressively narrower and more technical. I finally turned around when it was getting too steep and technical for me (and when I was running out of light!). The ride down was heaven! Way too short and very sweet!!
The next day I explored the Willow Trail (#347). I started at the trail from the campground, but if you are driving up, it would be best to start at the Cayuse equestrian trailhead. Just ride up the wide, rocky, sandy swath to the top of the ridge. The sign will point to the trail both to the right and to the left. Take the left. But wait, there is no trail to the left! Look for the gate in the fence. The trail starts on the other side of the gate... Look for a small path lined with volcanic rocks leading through Yucca and Cactus. PERFECT! This trail had EVERYTHING -- narrow sections, volcanic rock, granitic rock, packed sand, loose sand, technical maneuvers, fast sections, giant water bar/speed bumps -- and it just kept going and dropping and going and dropping until it reached a housing area on the outskirts of Prescott. (It looked like many more horses than bikes use this trail.) On the way down, the sandy nature of the trail was not a handicap, but I didn't look forward to riding the 4 miles and 1,500 feet (just guessing) back up through that sand. So I bailed out onto "Love Lane" and "Stage Road" to try to take the paved roads back up to Granite Basin. At one point I asked a local working in his yard if this road led back to Granite Basin. He yelled back "WHAT?". I then yelled the question back to him, and he yelled back 'YES". I am still not sure if he heard me or not... After a new more miles I saw a sign for "Prescott City Limit" and realized that this road was going to bring me further DOWN into town -- something that I did not want it to do. FORTUNATELY a man was walking along he road and told me to go back 1/4 mile to Burnt Road, then take the first right and the second left and to go straight onto a dirt road when the paved road curved right. AND THERE IT WAS! Trail #347, Willow Trail. For the most part, it was a narrow, rocky, and ridable trail. One part near the top got too steep and rocky for me, but I was back at the junction near the gate not far from where I had started. What a nice loop! And no one on it. In fact, I have only seen one group of two people on the trails the whole time that I have been in Prescott (3 days). They were local mountain bikers.
if you do a ride and enjoy it, please let the land manager know that you did enjoy it and that the existence of singletrack trails is important to you! A small donation for trail maintenance and development might also be helpful! I will slowly add email and snail mail addresses and phone numbers of land managers of the trails that I have described so that you may more easily contact them.
Prescott National Forest
344 South Cortez Street
Prescott, Arizona 86303
Minimizing Trail Conflicts On Singletrack Trails
Minimizing Trail Impact On Singletrack Trails
Hints For Beginning Singletrackers
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