|Name: Casa Grande Mountain Park||Author's Rating:|
|Author: Matt Marine||Avg. User Rating: Not rated yet|
|Type: Bike||Difficulty: (Medium)|
|Time: 2 - 3 hours||Region: Central Arizona|
|Length: 7.0 miles (roundtrip), but you can make it as long or as short as you like||Elevation gain/loss/change: +430 / -430 ft / +0 ft (roundtrip)|
|Type: Out and back||Avg Elevation: 1500 ft|
|Best time to go: fall, spring, winter||Fees: NA|
|Fitness rating: Medium||Educational Merit: Low|
|Danger/fear rating: Low||Scenic Beauty: Low|
|Hours of Operation: NA||Last updated: November, 2010|
|Short Description: A trail system that offers a variety of difficulties.|
|Geocaches:Tons of cool geocaches around. Here's just a few. Dolphin LX; Smokey's Throne; On the Trail|
|References / Contact Information: MTBikeAZ.com; City of Casa Grande|
|Points of interest: All singletrack, varying degrees of difficulty, many different choices of trails.|
|Special Considerations: Extremely hot and dry in summer. Rocky.|
|How to get there: The trailhead (Waypoint 001) is at the end of W. Tate road. From I-10, take exit 198 to Hwy 84 (Jimmie Kerr Boulevard) west for about 2.5 miles, turn left (south) on Pert Rd. Go under I-8 and take the left curve onto Tate road, then right. Park in the large open area. Notice all the old picnic tables? Click here for directions.|
This is a decent trail half way between Phoenix and Tucson. Located at the I-10 and I-8 junction at Casa Grande Mountain Park, this trail skirts the eastern foothills of the Casa Grande Mountain Range. The good news: it’s all single track. The bad news: the scenery isn’t all that great and even though there’s been a ton of good work done on the trail, it’s still a little rocky for my taste.
In 2007, the City of Casa Grande decided that creating biking and hiking trails were critical to the city of Casa Grande. This decision has started the development of over 10 miles of trails in the Casa Grande Mountain Park. This park is 1,025 acres and is described on the Casa Grande Mountain Park Project website as:
... a variety of choices including long or short loop trails, easy to challenging experiences, short and long range views and views of the city and of the desert. The Casa Grande Mountain Park Trail System promises to be a spectacular local and regional attraction for trail enthusiasts, wildlife watchers, and those looking for a natural respite from the City's growing urban environment.
This project was started in April, 2010 and I'm not sure they are there yet, but it has potential. The city supposedly hired trail builder Mark Flint to help design some of the mountain trails. I have only been on the intermediate portion of the trail. There is also an easier section that stays down in the valley floor and a more advanced section if you keep going when I turned around (see PDF from MTBikeAZ).
Since I went on this trail system in 2009, there's been lots of updates. Please see Ridge Trail for more information.
From the parking area, take the singletrack east as it start its slow climb up the northeastern side of the Casa Grande Mountain Range. You will notice a dirt road to your left. I’ve read this can be taken to an optional trail head about 1/3 miles away. Keep going. There are NUMEROUS side trails that intersect the main trail. I believe some of these lead to the beginner’s section while others intersect later on. Take these if you want to explore or make it a longer ride. I kept on the main trail.
At Waypoint 002, go straight through the dirt road. You will intersect many of these. We always went straight across (never traveled along the road), keeping on the singletrack.
Climb up to the saddle (Waypoint 004) at approximately 1.34 miles. You get a nice view from here, then it’s down to the flats. You’ll cross through a couple of rocky washes here (which are some of the more technical parts of the ride).
You’ll intersect another road at Waypoint 005 and a gate in the fence line at Waypoint 006 (2.7 miles into the ride). At Waypoint 007 you’ll ride up a small hill that’s called “Bucket of Skillz” due to the blue bucket at its base. I’m not sure why it’s called this, but it was a fun hill anyway.
After about 3.5 miles of riding (and topping another saddle at Waypoint 008) I was ready to turn around. Based on other maps of the area, the trail beyond is more technical. I decided to ride up the short hill to Waypoint 009. This was a nice spot with beautiful views.
Now it’s time to go back the way you came as I decided to do. Or, if you’re a little more adventurous, choose some of the different trails to ride back on. Anyway you choose to do it, have fun and be safe!
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