Self-Guided Brown’s Ranch Mountain Biking

Mountain Bike Brown’s Ranch in Scottsdale:

Over 100 Miles of Fun Desert Trails

TripAdvisor Certificate of ExcellenceAre you the independent kind of traveler? If your trip planning style is something like “1) plane ticket, 2) hotel, 3) find the trails,” we know that it’s important to get your ride time in, and we want to make it easy. AOA’s 1/2 day self-guided mountain bike tours at Brown’s Ranch allow you to explore with ease through an awesome well-signed network of  flowing desert singletrack. You make your reservation and meet us at the trailhead, we will have your bikes, helmets, water, snacks, spare tubes ready. One of AOA’s guide staff will be at the trailhead to give you a brief orientation about the area and help adjust your saddle height or pedals as needed. The Brown’s Ranch trailhead is found in the northern section of Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Gather your friends, choose your bike, and get ready for some world-class mountain biking!

Self-guided mountain biking tours are available for all skill levels from beginner to expert, but we highly recommend guided tours for beginner riders as self-guided tours will not include any instruction.


1 person: $49 pp
4 person minimum required for this service.

Price does not include a mountain bike rental.

Tour Details

  • Activity duration: 4 hours
  • Total duration: about 4 hours
  • Self-guided tour available on Wednesday and Saturday.
  • Bikes and orientation guide will arrive at 9am.

book now!

Advance reservations are required.

We Provide

  • Professional safety-certified mountain biking guide for your orientation
  • Bottled water & snacks
  • Mountain bike, helmet and gloves delivery to and from Brown’s Ranch Trailhead
  • Bike and trail overview

What 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.

Miscellaneous – Sunglasses, sunscreen, camera, lip balm, medications, hat, etc.

Price does not include a mountain bike rental. Please see the”Bike Rental Options” tab below for more information.

What to Expect

Once You’ve Booked a Tour…

You will receive a booking confirmation email with details on the time and date of your tour, where to meet, the cancellation policy, a receipt of your tour purchase, and requests from us if we need additional information.

On the Day of Your Tour…

Meet at at Brown’s Ranch Trailhead in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve at 9am on the day of your tour. One of our guides will meet you there to deliver your mountain bike (if you rented), helmet, gloves, bottled water and give a brief orientation on the trails at Brown’s Ranch. Following orientation, your guides will give you suggestions for trails carefully chosen to suit your skill level and ability.


Your mountain biking trip…

AOA had been offering bike rentals and tours in Arizona for over 20 years. We have a fleet of over 300 performance-oriented bikes for rent, all meticulously maintained by our team of mechanics. 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 self-guided tour includes helmets, gloves, bottled water, snacks, and an experienced professional mountain biking guide to deliver an orientation. Following brief safety instructions, your guides will direct you toward trails carefully chosen to suit your skill level and availability. Throughout the course of your self-guided bike tour, you can enjoy the beauty of the desert on whichever path you choose.

Our self-guided mountain bike tours take place at Brown’s Ranch Trailhead in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. This spectacular landscape has 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.

© The Nature Conservancy

© The Nature Conservancy

Temperature and Climate:

Average Temperatures for Scottsdale, Arizona

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.

Bike Rental Options

Bike Rental Options

This tour does not include a rental bike. AOA offers rental mountain bikes in various performance levels.

Reservation Policies

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.

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.


Photos of Mountain Biking in Brown’s Ranch


Planning for your Trip

What To Carry On Your Mountain Bike Ride

Explore Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve

To Clip or not to Clip

Go Guided Instead: Half-day Guided Mountain Biking Tour


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