Best Nighttime Mountain Bike Ride Phoenix 2011 - Papago Park
No matter how hot it gets, it doesn't feel like summer when we're riding our mountain bike at night around Papago Park. Within minutes of pumping the pedals over the trails, we're covered in sweat from head to toe. And that means wind-chill. Instead of 111, it feels like a gorgeous 85 or so. Papago's trails are conducive to the effect because of the constant up-and-down, rollercoaster-like single track. One of the great things about summertime night rides at Papago is the ability to make the ride as long or short as you want. The criss-crossing trails, when you connect them, make for miles of different track. But if you've cranked too hard and feel on the verge of heatstroke, you can always shoot out on the long, winding downhill of Galvin Parkway for a blast of evaporative cooling. Although you may never feel like you're in the wilderness in Papago, the dark hills feel secluded at night, even if you can see cars going by on McDowell Road at the park's northern border. Best of all, you're right in the middle of town, making it easy to go out for a well-deserved beer in Phoenix, Scottsdale, or Tempe to wash the grit from your mouth.