^
Keep New Times Free
4

Arizona's Black Canyon Trail Named Among Best Mountain Bike Trails in U.S.

The Bureau of Land Management has a big job: It has to oversee 245 million acres of public land, track herds of wild horses, deal with forest fires, and patrol the wilderness for smugglers.

Last week, they added another checkbox to their task list: Map the sweetest mountain bike trails in the nation.

Okay, they didn’t say “sweetest,” but “Top 20 Mountain Bike Opportunities” is the Bureau’s way of saying “these are some clutch rides."

The BLM collaborated with the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) to create the map, which BLM director Neil Kornze unveiled at the Outerbike event in Moab, Utah. If you’ve never heard of Outerbike, organizers describe it as “the best bike demo event in the universe.” Here’s what generally happens there:

The new feature is available for all major devices, and it supplements digital maps with detailed descriptions of the trails, including length, fees, elevation gains, and the best months to visit.

“The BLM is proud to manage some of the world’s best mountain bike trails,” Kornze says in a release. “This new, mobile-friendly tool will help the public get a glimpse of these amazing places and plan their rides.”

Not surprisingly, the BLM’s map has a heavy Western bias, listing only one lonely park east of the Mississippi. Oregon alone boasts three of the best mountain biking trails in the nation, and Colorado (go figure) has five.

The map lists only one Arizona location, but luckily that location is Black Canyon Trail, the epic, 80-mile route just an hour north of downtown Phoenix.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

There is no word yet whether the BLM will expand the map. After all, these may be 20 “best” trails, but there are hundreds of “still really awesome” trails that are worth mentioning. (Ahem, South Mountain). There are so many local trails, in fact, that you might just glance the BLM’s map for now and then visit MTBikeAZTrails.comArizona Trail Association, and Mountain Bike AZ.

There are countless other resources for area mountain biking as well, and nothing beats asking at your local bike shop.

As IMBA’s mapping manager Leslie Kehmeier put it: “BLM's willingness to connect with our product and share it with their communities shows the quality of our work and provides a model of what our organizations can accomplish together."

Let’s hope there’s more to come.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.