Since we know not every rider enjoys the same terrain, we’ve picked three different rides to test your tires in and around the Mesa area.
Mountain Bike Ride
Ride Details: Hawes Loop twists like
a diamondback ready to strike, with climbs and drops that keep even the most technically savvy riders on their toes. Hawes and its associated trails take riders up to mine shafts and through washes and cactus, leading to some of the best views in the east valley. The most rideable loop is a combination of Hawes, Saddle, Saguaro and Ridge trails in a counterclockwise direction, for a journey of about seven miles. The trails are signed with wood-carved placards sitting on posts whenever tracks intersect. Hawes Loop Trail system offers a little bit of everything for all ability levels.
Access: Park at the Walgreen’s at Power and Thomas roads (about two miles south), and ride along Power Road to the trail- head. Please do not park at the makeshift lot (just west of the trail entrance). This is a Bureau of Reclamation service gate; parking here is discouraged by the bureau and may result in access restrictions.
Ride Details: For all you roadies out there, everyone knows that the best place to get your hill climbing in the southeast valley is out in northeast Mesa. The King Kong or “Kong” as locals call it, via Usery Pass, is a great way to mix a 27-mile, 1,550- vertical-foot climb. This ride features beautiful landscapes and breathtaking views through the Tonto National Forest, Salt River Valley and the Las Sendas community.
Access: If you are driving to access the loop, it is best to park at Red Mountain Park, located at Brown and Sun Valley roads.
An Urban Delight
Ride Details: Looking for the best intermediate biking trails around Mesa? Check out the Consolidated Canal Shared Use Path (CCSUP). Currently, Mesa’s CCSUP begins at Hohokam Stadium (the spring training home of the Oakland A’s), and utilizes the north bank of the Salt River Project (SRP) consolidated canal system to traverse across Mesa and eventually connect to the neigh- boring town of Gilbert’s shared-use path. Mesa’s portion of the CCSUP provides 8.5 miles of scenic, relaxing and low-stress riding. On this ride, there are no cars to compete with or streets to dart across. All busy crossings that intersect the path are controlled by pedestrian-actuated signalized crossings (translation: push-botton crossings). This is a great ride for everyone, at any ability level, with parks and rest areas provided along the way. Enjoy!