One of the flowiest trails on South Mountain still packs a technical punch.


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Javelina Canyon is a classic mountain bike descent in the popular South Mountain trail system.

While it is renowned as one of the flowiest descents on South Mountain, none of the trails in this network could be considered a "flow trail" or even "easy." South Mountain's characteristic rocks and gnar still show up on Javelina, creating a chunky high speed romp that brings local riders back again and again. The ride begins with a mellow climb on a doubletrack trail before taking a right-hand turn up a steep grunt to the first saddle.

From here, the eponymous Javelina Canyon descent begins, filled with beautiful swooping sections of benchcut singletrack, chunky rock gardens, and a few cascading ledge-filled drops. But this ride is far from over! Next up is a series of short, steep climbs followed by even steeper descents, with the technicality ratcheting incrementally upward on the ledge-filled downhills. As you negotiate this section of the ride, you'll be confronted by a continuous cascade of non-obvious turns and trail junctions.

Be sure to download this route to help you navigate the turns.

However, if in doubt, look for whatever appears to be the easiest, least-steep way up the hills.

While the most obvious line is always a steep, eroded, fall-line trail running straight up the mountain, more mountain bike-friendly benchcut singletrack reroutes have been added in many places to provide a more pedalable ascent. The final downhill back to the trailhead is short, but it might be one of the sweetest sections of trail on this entire ride! Moderately-sized ledge drops with wide-open sightlines invite you to absolutely send it, with a few features offering intriguing gap options. The ride is over all too soon! But if this 5-mile loop isn't enough for you, there are plenty more trails to explore on South Mountain.