The perfect beginner mountain bike ride.


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FATMAP difficulty grade



If you’re looking for the perfect trail in Phoenix to introduce someone to the sport of mountain biking, be sure to check out the Corona Loop! This lollipop-style ride begins from a modest trailhead on the south side of South Mountain.

After pedaling up the stem of the lollipop, turn right or left on the Desert Classic trail to begin the loop portion of the hike.

Once on the loop, the scenery truly ratchets up, with gorgeous views of the mountains above and rock formations all around you as you ride.

Portions of the loop even drop into narrow gulleys and washes, providing a change of pace from the wide-open desert as you pedal through a narrow canyon for a few minutes.

The trail tread itself is mostly smooth and non-technical, with a few rocks to ride over or around.

No major technical features pose a challenge, and all of the climbs and descents are short.

In fact, the trail tread is quite wide for most of the ride, even qualifying as doubletrack in places.

What makes this trail most achievable is the utter lack of climbing.

This 3.6-mile route only has 233 feet of climbing, which is about as flat as you’ll find anywhere.

Be sure to keep an eye on the map as you navigate around the Corona Loop itself.

The loop utilizes the Desert Classic Trail, Double Secret Trail, and Secret Trail… and there are quite a few junctions along the way.

If you take a wrong turn, you could quickly end up heading the wrong direction, especially on the lengthy Desert Classic trail.

Thankfully, it’s tough to get truly lost in this area, as you can see the signs of civilization to the southeast of you and the mountains to the northwest. If your newbie friend is feeling ambitious, you can extend this ride in two ways: 1) pedal more loops on the standard Corona Loop before returning on the stem of the lollipop, or 2) add an out-and-back extension either way on the [Desert Classic Trail](