White Tanks: Mesquite Canyon -> Goat Canyon Loop

One of the most technical and most remote rides in the Phoenix Metro Area.

Mountain Biking Extreme

Distance
21 km
Ascent
655 m
Descent
656 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
433 m
High Point
979 m
Gradient
10˚
White Tanks: Mesquite Canyon -> Goat Canyon Loop Map

While McDowell and South Mountain reign supreme as the most popular areas to ride a mountain bike near Phoenix, White Tank Mountain Regional Park is actually home to some of the wildest, most remote, and most challenging mountain biking in the region. The route mapped here offers a challenging but achievable loop through the White Tank Mountains.

Description

The climb begins on the Mesquite Canyon Trail with "a series of switchbacks as the trail ascends quickly to a saddle," according to adventure travel writer Brendon Voelker. "Jagged rock and shale define much of this climb," he continues

Once at the top of the climb, here's an overview of the rest of the route in Voelker's words:

"At the intersection with Willow Canyon, the route leads into the Goat Camp Trail - the most scenic portion of the ride. Should you want to bail or shorten the route, head down Willow Canyon Trail back to the Ramada.

"As you continue southbound on Goat Camp, the trail begins to hug the contours of the mountain as it gradually climbs. Along the way, you'll encounter several vistas to the east. At times, you can even see parts of Phoenix in the distance.

"After cresting a final high point, the trail descends into another canyon. This portion of the route can feel extremely secluded, and in the cooler months, you will likely be sharing the solitude with local wildlife that graze nearby."

While beautiful and wild, the descent down Goat Camp Trail is technical and demanding. Some local riders will warn you away from this trail if you have any difficulty riding other double black diamond trails. Since this route is so remote (in Phoenix terms) and so demanding, you must be prepared to ride safely, in control, and accept all consequences of your actions. But for those willing to accept the challenge, this is one of the most rewarding technical loop rides in the Phoenix Metro Area!

Difficulty

Extreme

Very steep, difficult, narrow singletrack with widely variable and unpredictable trail conditions. Unavoidable obstacles could be 15in/38cm tall or greater, and unavoidable obstacles with serious consequences are likely to be present. Obstacles could include big rocks, difficult root sections, drops, jumps, sharp switchbacks, and more. Ideal for expert-level riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • Drops
  • Rock Rolls
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Guidebooks in this area