You just bought a new mountain bike, and you’re pumped to try it out on some trails. But where should you go? The options can seem a little overwhelming if you’re new to the mountain biking sport, especially in Sedona. This is a beautiful region in Arizona with many parks, trails, and outdoor activities for visitors.
One popular activity in Sedona that is perfect for all skill levels is mountain biking – and in particular, there are a few trails that are perfect for beginners. This article covers some of the beginner-friendly mountain bike trails in Sedona that’ll get your heart racing without leaving you feeling frustrated.
Best Beginner Mountain Biking Trails in Sedona Arizona
Sedona is a perfect destination for mountain bikers with steep ridges, grippy red dirt, and all-around stunning views. The area has a higher elevation gain, situated at 4,350ft, which is quite high if you’re from a lower elevation. Here are the best trails for beginners, whether you’re a novice mountain biker or trying to improve your skills.
1. Sedona Mountain Bike Park
If you’re looking for a challenge, Sedona Mountain Bike Park is the place for you. With over 21 miles of trails, there’s something here for everyone. The park is divided into two sections: the Northern Loop and the Southern Loop. The Northern Loop is perfect for beginners, with wide, gradual trails that are easy to navigate. The Southern Loop is more challenging, with narrow, rocky trails that will test your skills.
A few features are quite unique to the park, including the Sedona bike skills area. Here, all riders get a feel for the local dirt, hone their skills, and hang out with other bike-riding enthusiasts. In addition, you’ll find a pump track, jump run, a pair of flow trails, a dual slalom track, and even a loop for kids. It’s open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and free to all riders.
2. Long Canyon Trail
The Long Canyon trail is great for beginners due to its relatively short distance (2.9 miles) and less challenging terrain. While there are some mild climbs and descents, there’s nothing too extreme for a beginner with limited mountain biking skills.
It’s a relatively short cruise with flowy turns in upper Dry Creek. You can also link the Long Canyon trail with Deadmans Pass, a relatively flat ride with a few short, rocky climbs. The Deadman’s pass trail covers a lot of packed sand and connects to Cockscomb, which skirts partially around Doe Mountain.
Linking the two trails will give beginner mountain bikers a taste of narrower singletrack and relatively approachable obstacles. Riding here is a great way to move from novice to advanced beginner. One thing to note is that the Long Canyon trail can be a bit sandy in places, so it’s important to watch your footing. Besides that, it’s a great introduction to mountain biking in Sedona.
3. Chuckwagon Trail
Chuckwagon is a great place to start if you’re looking for a beginner-friendly mountain biking trail in Sedona. It’s a 1.8 miles long trail, making it perfect for those unwilling to commit to a longer ride. Despite the short distance, you can be sure the Chuckwagon Trail will offer beautiful scenery and amazing views of the valley floor.
The trail is mostly flat, with only a few gentle hills, so it’s perfect if you’re starting mountain biking. And since it’s not too challenging, you can take your time and enjoy a decent riding experience. The trail also suits intermediate riders with relatively advanced mountain biking skills.
If you’re ready to tackle a longer trail, there are plenty of options in Sedona, Arizona. But if you’re just getting started, Chuckwagon is the best place to begin and hone your mountain biking skills.
4. Slim Shady Trail
Want to get your adrenaline high without committing to a long, strenuous ride? Well, Slim Shady is the perfect trail for you. This 2.4-mile out-and-back trail is located in the Dry Creek area and is mostly single-track with a few double-track sections.
Slim Shady is a great trail for beginner mountain bikers because it’s less technical and relatively short. It has perfect ascending and descending biking tracks, offering a pleasant riding experience for mountain bikers with low to intermediate skills. The trail is a two-way route, meaning you can start either way.
You also enjoy a spectacular backdrop of Sedona’s red rocks throughout your bike riding experience on the Slim Shady trail. However, one thing to remember is that this trail is popular with hikers, so be sure to yield to them when you’re on track.
5. Courthouse Butte Loop Trail
Courthouse Butte Loop is a great option if you’re a beginner mountain biker looking for an easy trail. The trail is only 4.7 miles long, and it’s rated as easy by most mountain biking standards.
The best part about Courthouse Butte Loop is that it’s located in the heart of Sedona, so you don’t have to drive too far to get to it. And once you’re on the trail, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the red rocks that Sedona is so famous for.
Courthouse Butte Loop is mostly flat, with only a few mild inclines. It’s also perfect if you want to commit to a less challenging terrain while enjoying the beautiful Sedona scenery.
6. Bell Rock Trail
Bell Rock trail is a 1.3 km out-and-back trail near Sedona known for its smooth surfaces and wide paths. This Bell Rock Area trail is appropriate for first-timers, allowing you incredible views of Sedona’s most iconic formations, Bell Rock and Courthouse Butte.
It’s a moderate trail and suitable for all ages and ability levels. You can choose an easy ride between Courthouse Butte and Little Horse Trail or enjoy an adventurous ascent to the top of Bell Rock.
However, watch out for other mountain bikers using the Bell Rock pathway as a connector between Oak Creek and Sedona. Besides that, the Bell Rock trail offers an awesome ride for first-time riders and those looking to gain confidence in their skills before taking on challenging trails in Sedona.
7. Mescal Trail
Mescal biking trail is an intermediate and rated blue square trail in Sedona. It’s a 2-mile trail featuring breathtaking views from Courthouse Butte and some exceptional Slickrock on nearby Mescal Mountain.
The southeast end of the Mescal trail is accessible by using the Long Canyon trailhead. You’ll be riding uphill right away, which is a short but rocky climb. When you reach the top, it will quickly transition to rolling terrain.
The trail ends and heads towards Mescal Mountain, which is a giant red sandstone butte. The middle part of the trail is a traverse on the southern side. Along this long, continuous ledge, there are many Slickrock features to walk across.
8. Morgan Horse Ranch
If you’re looking for a trail that’s a little more challenging, Morgan Horse Ranch is a great option. It’s about 4 miles long and has an elevation gain of about 500 feet. The trail starts easily enough, but there are a few more advanced sections. There are some rocky sections and steep inclines, but nothing too extreme.
Remember that this trail is located in the Ponderosa pine forest. So, it can be a little dusty and inconvenient for first-timers. But overall, it’s a great trail for those looking to step up their mountain biking game.
9. Posse Grounds Park
Posse Grounds Park, which has about 7 miles of trails, is located right in the heart of Sedona. For first-time visitors, you don’t have to drive too far to get there. The park is known for its plentiful recreational and relaxation opportunities for everyone, regardless of age.
Posse Grounds Park has a dedicated place for hiking and biking trails. The trails are well-marked and well-maintained, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost, and there’s a good mix of rocky and smooth sections to keep things interesting.
The bike park area is also impressive with features such as a pump park, flow trail, bump-jump trail and dual slalom track. And because the park is so popular, someone is always around if you need help or want some company on the trail.
10. Aerie to Cockscomb Trail
This loop of the Aerie and Cockscomb trails lets you enjoy easy-to-ride terrain while appreciating some of the best views. It measures 6.1 miles long and offers fun riding throughout the entire trail. The good news is there are multiple start locations on the road.
The Cockscomb Trail is a short but strenuous hike that can be completed in a one-day round trip. This route includes excellent descents, rolling hills and some of the best photo opportunities. It’s a perfect trail for beginner to intermediate-level mountain bikers.
So, there you have it, the best beginner mountain biking trails in Sedona! If you’re looking for an adventure, Sedona is the place to be. You’ll never get bored with so many beautiful trails to choose from. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore! Take your time, ride within your abilities, and have fun.