Guided Mountain Bike Tours of the McDowell Mountains and Sonoran Desert
Do you love to feel the warm desert air whipping past you while cruising over dirt trails? If so, AOA’s half-day guided mountain bike tours are the thing for you. The Sonoran Desert surrounding the Phoenix/Scottsdale metro area is a beautiful and rugged landscape with some of the best mountain biking trails in the Southwest.
Our mountain biking trips can accommodate all skill levels from beginner to expert. Pedal perfect gravel paths and singletrack with sweeping views of the surrounding desert, your expert mountain biking guides will help to make your tour an outstanding experience.
Advance reservations are required.
- 1 person: $280 per person
- 2-3 people: $140 per person
- 4 or more: $112 per person
If we are able to add a single guest to an existing group, the tour charge for 1 guest will be reduced by 50%.
Exclusive to your group. No other parties may add to your tour.
– $95 per group – inquire over the phone
– Upgrade to Performance Full Suspension – $30/bike + tax*
– Upgrade to High Performance FS – $40/bike + tax*
*upgrades are subject to 7.95% sales tax.
All tours require advance reservation.
- Meet at AOA
- Activity duration: 2 hours
- Total duration: about 4 hours
- We can schedule tours any day of the week.
- Tours typically depart at 8am and 1pm.*
*Advance reservations are required.
Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced options available.
- Professional safety-certified mountain biking guide
- Bottled water & snacks
- Mountain bike, helmet, gloves
- Roundtrip Transportation
- 1:6 guide to guest ratio
- Park entry fees
Combine with any other half day tour for a full day of adventure, lunch included! See our full-day tours page.
What do you need to bring?
Clothing – Comfortable, weather appropriate athletic clothing – shorts and a t-shirt, long sleeves are recommended on cooler mornings. Guests who have biking specific shorts or jerseys are encouraged to wear them.
Shoes – Close-toed athletic shoes (sneakers). If you have riding specific shoes that require specific bike pedals, please let us know in advance. We do not rent cycling shoes.Guests are welcome to bring their own pedals if they wish.
Sunglasses, sunscreen, camera, lip balm, medications, hat, etc.
Reservation, Payments, and Cancellation
Advance reservations are required and can only be confirmed with receipt of guest contact information and a valid credit card. Final payment is due in advance of the tour. Guide gratuities are optional, but are appreciated.
There is no charge for cancellations made more than 48 hours before departure time. Cancellations made less than 48 hours from departure time will be charged in full.
Your mountain biking trip…
Over 2000 mountain bikers each year choose our all-inclusive guided mountain bike tours! We provide riders of all levels an invigorating trail riding experience. Enjoy sweeping 70-mile views of the Sonoran Desert as you wind throughout the trails in the McDowell Mountains on one of AOA’s high-performance mountain bikes. In addition to sharpening your mountain biking skills, this adventure allows you to learn about the fascinating flora, fauna, geology, and history of the richly diverse Sonoran Desert.
Each tour includes bikes and gear, bottled water, snacks, and experienced professional mountain biking guides. Following brief safety instructions, your guides will lead you onto trails carefully chosen to suit your skill level and ability. Throughout the course of your guided bike tour your knowledgeable guides will offer helpful biking tips and interesting desert facts.
Most of our regularly scheduled mountain bike tours take place at McDowell Mountain Regional Park or at Brown’s Ranch Trailhead in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Both claim some of the Valley of the Sun’s best mountain biking trails and views. Whether you’re looking for easy trail riding or expert technical singletrack, our guides know the trails for you.
Reservations are required. Guest contact information and a valid credit card are required to hold a reservation.
The Sonoran Desert
When southern and central Arizona was first visited by explorers from Spain and Mexico, its lack of dense forests or ocean access prevented expansive development. What these settlers didn’t realize was that the natural beauty and distinctive scenery of Arizona was valuable in itself. As the rest of the country was settled and developed, the oversight of the original explorers left Arizona with vast expanses of wide open spaces. Today these oases of solitude are treasured as priceless by those who appreciate the idea of blank spots on their maps.
The Sonoran Desert covers the lower half of Arizona, the extreme southeastern portion of California, and parts of the Baja Peninsula and Mexico. It’s a 55-million-acre world of rugged mountain ranges, ancient lava flows, rivers, underground springs, sprawling sand dunes and yes, cities. The Sonoran is the hottest desert in the United States (although not in the world) and is the most tropical. On a worldwide scale, we are the most temperate desert on the globe generally remaining between 32 and 118 degrees Fahrenheit, making this a great area for many plants and animals.
Adding to our attractiveness for plants and animals, we usually get between 7 and 12 inches of rain per year. This rain is provided through a bi-seasonal system. From December to March frontal storms from North Pacific Ocean occasionally bring widespread, gentle rain to the northwestern areas. From July to mid-September, the summer monsoon brings surges of wet tropical air and frequent but localized violent thunderstorms.
These rainy seasons and our temperate climate added to the extreme elevation changes ranging across the state make Arizona and the Sonoran Desert a very diverse area with hundreds of plant and animal species. The Sonoran Desert alone has over 500 edible plants out of its nearly 3500 plant species. Arizona harbors greater plant and animal species diversity than any other non-coastal state in the country – third only to California and Texas and has the eighth highest number of endemic (unique to the area) species, with 135 species found no where else in the world.
Can’t decide between hiking and mountain biking?
Do both on one of our full-day guided tours!