Hit the trail (Part 2): Best bets for intermediate mountain biking - East Valley Tribune: Outdoors

Hit the trail (Part 2): Best bets for intermediate mountain biking

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Posted: Monday, February 24, 2014 4:05 am | Updated: 8:06 am, Mon Feb 24, 2014.

East Valley residents have easy access to some of the best mountain bike trails in the state. From beginner rides to technical thrills, there are options for anybody interested in singletrack adventure.

Not sure where to start? Over the next two installments, I’ll share a few ride suggestions by ability level. (Check out Part 1 for beginner trails and some bike shops that can help you out.)

Best intermediate ride: Hawes Trail System

This is the true gem of East Valley mountain biking. Located spitting distance from beautiful Red Mountain, the views are stunning and the riding is world-class. Keep your eyes peeled for abandoned mines and glimpses of Four Peaks.

For access, take Power Road north to the Tonto National Forest boundary. Before the road drops down to the Salt River, look for an undeveloped, dirt parking lot on the west side of the road; the trailhead is across Power Road from the parking area.

Runner-up: K-Trails

At the base of the Superstition Mountains a little-known trail system has popped up. Dubbed the K-Trails, this is a mostly unsigned romp through the desert. If you know your cardinal directions, you can’t get lost — just peddle your way through the maze of trails. This system has a little bit of everything — some climbing, fast flats, man-made obstacles — but the real treasure here is the view. To access it, take U.S. Highway 60 east to Gold Canyon. Turn left (east) on Kings Ranch Road, and follow signs for the Cloudview Trailhead.

Next time, I’ll share my picks for the best advanced-level trails nearby.

• Mesa resident Kristen and her husband have been mountain biking together for the past decade. They recently got a new biking buddy when their 1-year-old son started joining them.

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