The more you bike, the more you crave trails that will challenge you and your newly developed skills.

Riding beginner trails is fun, but moving up another level can open up a world of possibilities and different routes to ride. Arizona is full of various levels of terrain ranging from total beginner to professional grade routes. As you improve and put a lot of new experience under your belt, intermediate mountain bike trails will start to call your name. 

Mountain biking Phoenix allows you to try out some of the best riding in the state. If you’re looking to improve mountain biking endurance, here are the top three intermediate mountain bike trails in Phoenix, AZ, to get out on.

Just remember, this is only a taste of what the area has to offer. 

Photo by James Day on Unsplash

San Tan Mountain Regional Park

The trailhead of this underrated mountain biking park is just south of Queen Creek in the southeast of Phoenix. Starting on Goldmine Trail, you can cruise through over eleven miles of joyous cruising in a beautiful area just outside of Phoenix. With just over 1000 feet of climbing, you won’t be pushed past your limit but can still find a challenge in the park.

The trails are all rideable in a single day, making it a great destination to get out to for a whole Saturday or Sunday. 

A lot of this area is hard-packed dirt and singletrack, but it’s essential to know that there is also a lot of sand. These areas are easily avoided if you stay away from the wash bottoms.

There are loads of different intermediate trails in the area. You have many routes to choose from that will take you around the park to breathtaking views of the Sonoran Desert. It’s a great choice to go out and view the massive amount of flora that the desert has to offer. 

Fantasy Island North Singletrack Loop

Here’s a short ride that brings a bunch of short burst climbs and fun sandy washes to ride. Just southeast of Phoenix, the trailhead sets you up for a perfect entrance into Estrella Mountain Ranch. This route takes you on a loop of all the trails inside the park, with no access fee and plenty of great riding. There are challenging climbs and fun downhills that will test you as an intermediate rider. 

Whether you’re mountain biking Phoenix on a road trip or you live right down the road, proper trail etiquette needs to be considered. Don’t forget that both hikers and their dogs alike will use this area. When riding, be aware that traffic can flow in both directions, and you may be climbing someone else’s downhill route.

There are also loads of sharp rocks and cacti in this area that can leave you with a flat. You can always walk out, but it’s no longer much of a fun ride when you’re hiking back to the trailhead. Bring spares and repairs!

Phoenix area fat tire mountain bike tours

Sonoran Desert Loop

The Sonoran Desert Loop is like the intermediate sampler platter that gives you a bit of everything you could want on a ride. The trail isn’t hugely technical, but it still challenges you with some steep climbs and tight turns, but then rewards you with beautiful mountain views and long, flowing downhills. Out of all the intermediate mountain bike trails in Phoenix, AZ, this one has something for everyone. 

You can start this loop from two different trailheads, one to the east of the park and one on the north end. No matter where you start from, heading clockwise is advised. It gives you the best reward for some hard work on challenging climbs. The climbs will push you, but the Sonoran Preserve is some of Phoenix’s most beautiful and newest protected land. It’s completely worth checking out to ride or even hike. 

Still not sure where to ride? Book a biking tour!