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Pemberton Trail Professional Review and Guide
"This is a most enjoyable, classic singletrack loop across the eastern slope of the McDowell Mountains. It's a fast, nontechnical loop with just enough variety for its length. The ride is best done clockwise, though it's certainly rideable either direction. The trail is well marked. It's about 22 miles east of Scottsdale in McDowell Mountain Regional Park. Tread: Singletrack."
--Bruce Grubbs, Mountain Biking Phoenix (Falcon Guides).
For Hikers - Trail is a good distance hike, minimal elevation change, however good for those wishing to work up to time on the trail, then add elevation. Many bikers on trail, being as it is a multi-use trail. Also heard word of horses on other parts of trails. Keep in mind trail courtiousy and it is a great hike. Park fee is $5 per car. Car Pooling helps. Pass good all day.
John W. Gawley
hike for discovery
leukemia & lymphoma society
The walk through the Scenic trail portion of the Pemberton trail is awesome. While the Rio fire 10 years ago did considerable damage, the desert is coming back. The Scenic Trail should be hiked north and east to get the full view of the Mountains. Along the highest ridge you get a great 360 degree view that includes the McDowell Mtns, Four Peaks, and The Superstition Mtns. TheScenic trail takes about two hours to complete.
I'm pretty much a hack, and found this about perfect for my speed. You're gradually climbing for the first 3/4 of the trip, so you'll work up a little sweat. The whoop dee doos probably don't much challenge a hardcore fat tire biker, but I think are a great challenge for a novice/just beyond novice.
The last five miles are mostly down hill and good fun. Great confidence builder for the Vacation Mountain Biker kinda guy.
Fairly smooth single track ride with a few short climbs in the beginning. The downhill sections are fun but don''t last very long. The McDowell competitive tracks at the entrance to the park are a lot more enjoyable. although a lot shorter ride.
Good place to stretch your legs. First half of ride is a gradual uphill climb, with little to test your technical ability. Second half is back downhill, some whoops, a few doos, but moslty pretty fast and fearless. A great beginner/get-back-into-it kind of ride. Watch for cows at the watering hole. If you have any leftover zip, do one of the loops at the park entrance as well.
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