8 Best Stand-Alone Bike Trails in Arizona

Bikepacking stopped on Black Canyon Trail in Arizona surrounded by tall Saguaro cacti

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Whether you’re a mountain biker, road cyclist, a bikepacking enthusiast, or simply a recreational rider, Arizona is full of scenic and fun bike trails for every outdoor lover.

The desert landscapes, endless sunshine, and mountainous terrain make it a world-class destination. But which Arizona bike trails are the best?

In this post, I’ve rounded up the best biking opportunities throughout the Grand Canyon State from road cycling routes to multi-day bikepacking adventures. Start planning your Arizona getaway now!

1. The Black Canyon Trail

  • Location: Between Prescott and Phoenix
  • Bike type: Mountain biking & bikepacking
  • Length: 76 miles

The Black Canyon Trail is a 76-mile IMBA Epic singletrack route that runs from just outside Prescott, Arizona down to Phoenix. Some (crazy) mountain bikers do this in a day, but it’s more often completed as a 2-3 day bikepacking route.

I rode the Black Canyon Trail as a two-night bikepacking trip with a friend and absolutely loved it.

The trail traverses through some amazing desert landscapes filled with saguaro forests, rugged canyons, open plains, and more.

There are also shorter sections of the Black Canyon Trail that make for a great out-and-back mountain bike ride.

Female mountain biker on singletrack trail with tall saguaro cactus blocking sun in front

2. The AZT (Arizona Trail)

  • Location: The full length of Arizona
  • Bike type: Mountain biking & bikepacking
  • Length: 800+ miles

The AZT – or the Arizona Trail – is perhaps the most epic of Arizona bike trails. Stretching from the Utah border north of Flagstaff all the way down to the Mexico border south of Tucson, the AZT covers over 800 miles of singletrack and doubletrack trails.

Along the way, riders traverse through a huge variety of terrain from mountain passes to desert landscapes and even a 24-mile hike across the Grand Canyon (bikes must be dissembled and carried!).

Learn more: Bikepacking the AZT

Red dirt singletrack trail in desert landscape of Arizona with cacti and low vegetation

3. El Camino del Diablo

  • Location: Sonoran desert
  • Bike type: Fat biking & bikepacking
  • Length: 130 miles

The Camino del Diablo (i.e. the Devil’s Highway) is an ancient route through remote areas of the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona on the Mexico border. The route is quite unrelenting with deep sand (3-4 inch fat tires are a must!), little shade, and rugged, desolate terrain.

But despite its harshness, the route is stunningly beautiful and filled with wildlife and desert vegetation.

This route isn’t for everyone – you must be prepared with all the water and food you will need and be very comfortable in remote desert landscapes.

Learn more: El Camino del Diablo bikepacking route

Loaded bikepacking bike laying down in middle of sandy stretch of road in desert landscape of Arizona on the Camino del Diablo bikepacking route
Photo credit: Bikepacking.com
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For more Arizona bike trails, I highly recommend the book Epic Bike Rides of the Americas

4. The Sky Islands Odyssey

  • Location: Patagonia, Arizona
  • Bike type: Fat biking & bikepacking
  • Length: 230 miles

The Sky Islands Odyssey starts in the small southern Arizona town of Patagonia about an hours drive south of Tucson. The Sky Islands are named for a series of forested mountain ranges surrounded by lowland desert and grassland.

The Odyssey circumnavigates one of these Sky Islands – the Santa Rita Mountains.

Riders can choose to do the entire 230-mile loop or one of the two smaller East or West loops.

Whichever route you choose, you’re sure to enjoy stunning and ever-changing scenery, wildlife sightings (including jaguars!), Native American culture, and so much more.

Learn more: Sky Islands Odyessy (West Loop) and Sky Islands Odyessy (East Loop)

Bikepackers riding bikes down dirt road in desert landscape of southern Arizona with rocky mountains in distance
Photo credit: Bikepacking.com

5. The Loop

  • Location: Tucson, Arizona
  • Bike type: Road biking
  • Distance: 53+ miles

“The Loop” is a 53+ mile paved cycling route in Tucson, Arizona that is completely car-free. It’s actually part of a larger 131-mile paved route system that threads its way through the city and connects parks, restaurants, art installations, shopping areas, and more.

The trail system also extends north into the beautiful Oro Valley and the Catalina Mountains, making Tucson one of the best road cycling cities in the southwest.

Map of The Loop road cycling route in Tucson, Arizona

6. Grand Canyon Greenway

  • Location: Grand Canyon National Park (south rim)
  • Bike type: Road biking
  • Distance: 13+ miles

The Grand Canyon Greenway is a great way to beat the crowds and experience the beauty and grandeur of the Grand Canyon. Totaling 13 miles of paved bike path, the Greenway accesses numerous viewpoints and attractions.

Start by pedaling the 4.4-mile stretch between Grand Canyon Village and Yaki Point Road to the start of South Kaibab Trail (bring a bike lock if you want to hike down to Ooh-Aah Point!).

The paved trail continues south from the main visitors center for an additional 6.6 miles (one-way) to the park’s gateway community of Tusayan.

If you’re an avid cyclist, you can also connect the Grand Canyon Greenway to Hermit Road and pedal out to 2 additional miles of paved greenway between Monument Creek Vista and Hermits Rest.

Learn more: The Grand Canyon Greenway

Woman standing on narrow rock ledge overlook with stunning Grand Canyon views

7. Mt. Lemmon Highway

  • Location: Tucson, Arizona
  • Bike type: Road biking
  • Distance: +/- 59 miles

One of the most famous Arizona road cycling routes is the Mt. Lemmon Highway in Tucson. This beast of a ride starts at around 2,557 feet at the base of Mt. Lemmon and steadily climbs up, and up, and up for over 22 miles on a wide shoulder to the small community of Summerhaven at the top.

Or, if you’re feeling extra motivated, you can continue on to the towers at the Mt. Lemmon Ski area.

With over 6,000 ft of elevation gain, this is a big, yet very rewarding, ride!

Birds eye view down onto portion of the Mt. Lemmon Highway outside of Tucson, Arizona winding its way through mountainous landscape

8. The Full Lemmon Drop

  • Location: Tucson, Arizona
  • Bike type: Mountain biking
  • Distance: +/- 31 miles

The Full Lemmon Drop in Tucson, Arizona is a 31-mile rough and rugged mountain bike route down the rocky slopes of Mt. Lemmon.

This ride is a full-day epic affair and should only be attempted by experienced mountain bikers. You can read my full write-up of the full Lemmon Drop here.

More Arizona biking resources:

What are your favorite Arizona bike trails? Have you ridden any of the ones listed above? Let us know in the comments!

Discover the best Arizona bike trails for all outdoor enthusiasts including mountain bikers, bikepackers, road cyclists, and more.
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