FATMAP difficulty grade
Southwest Ridge rises directly above the southwest suburbs of the Las Vegas metro area.
From the top of the ridge, you can see the entire metropolis spread out below you, and distinctly pick out specific casinos from the skyline of the Strip.
But in addition to the impressive views of Las Vegas, Southwest Ridge offers some rad technical trail running! Menny Thanks is the primary tech loop that anchors the southern end of this trail system.
It climbs steeply to gain the ridge and then spends several miles traversing along the rim.
You'll have to keep your eyes on the trail, though, because the singletrack negotiates a constant series of sharp rock ledges, both up and down, as you undulate along the bench. (Note: it's tough to spot the turn off of the dirt road onto the Menny Thanks singletrack the first time you ride this route if you aren't running with a local.
Keep your eyes peeled, and be sure to download this route for offline navigation so you don't get lost.) After swinging around the top of the ridge on Menny Thanks, you can tack on some delightful bonus miles on the Legalize It trail, Legalize It combines flowy turns with techy rock ledges as it traverses the opposite rim of the ridge. If you haven't had enough, after Legalize It, you can take the Connect the Dots trail over a narrow neck of the ridge to access the greater bulk of singletrack in the northern end of this network.
There, you can concoct another delightful loop on top of a northern section of the ridge (one of the many options is shown here), then return via Connect the Dots for your final descent. The route shown here descends the Bipolar trail.
Bipolar is a riotous descent back down the mountain via a combination of flowy singletrack, chundery rock gardens, and a series of ledges.
"Ledges" is definitely the name of the game here, and you'll have to take care to negotiate them, as some sections of this trail are very exposed!