The Ultimate Guide to Biking in Scottsdale: Trails, Tips, & More
The best of Scottsdale is seen by bike!
Scottsdale is a popular destination for avid cyclists thanks to the scenic trails, beautiful weather, and well-maintained bike lanes you can enjoy around town. The city boasts over 200 miles of bikeways, including leisurely scenic routes and challenging mountain trails, making it a true haven for both casual riders and hardcore cycling enthusiasts.
Whether you prefer to explore the desert landscape or cruise along scenic parks, Scottsdale offers a diverse range of biking experiences that cater to all levels of riders. Ready to get a closer look at our lovely desert town? A day spent biking is an ideal way to find new things to love about Scottsdale.
Here is everything you need to know before starting your adventure biking in Scottsdale!
Why is Biking in Scottsdale Beneficial?
It's a great fall and winter activity
You may need to bundle up and hunker down in other states, but fall and winter are great biking seasons in Scottsdale! Fall, winter and early spring offer mild weather for easy midday cycling excursions.
Vising in the spring and summer? While the hotter seasons may have fewer times in the day for comfortable outside cardio, you can bike in Scottsdale year-round if you're willing to wake up early enough!
You can bike through diverse terrains
When commuting by car, the interesting details of the city can pass you by. Biking offers a unique way to explore, allowing for a closer connection with nature and the local community.
You can search for desert creatures while cycling down the cactus-lined trails, people watch while rolling past the public parks or explore the streets of the city - your route is up to you!
It's reasonably flat (unless you don't want it to be)
No huge steep hills here! If you want to keep your bike commute or cycling adventure easy and flat, many routes will keep you even-keeled.
And if you want to find some dramatic climbs on your bike, you can make that happen on several mountain trails around town.
You are never too far away from a post-cycle break
From shady bike rest areas to cool breweries to cozy coffee shops, there are many options to rest your feet during a day of biking in Scottsdale. Schedule a celebratory snack or drink to make an event out of the activity! Beers feel colder, and appetizers are tastier after a few hours of pedaling!
How to Start Biking in Scottsdale:
- Get your gear. Yes, you may have an old rusty Schwinn behind your garage, but we promise you will have much more fun if you're on some newer wheels. There's a reason you are starting to see e-bikes everywhere! You can cover multiple miles without breaking a sweat, giving you access to more views, activities, and experiences from your saddle.
- Choose your Scottsdale bike path. There are so many types of bike paths to discover in Scottsdale! From dusty desert roads to lush green park paths to technical rock trails, you can find a biking route that meets your needs.
- Follow biking safety guidelines. Even on welcoming and friendly bike paths, following biking etiquette is key to staying safe in the saddle. Before you start pedaling, make sure you understand the rules of the road, trail and path.
Choosing your Biking Gear in Scottsdale
Rent an E-Bike in Scottsdale
Are you still shopping around for your perfect set of wheels? E-bike rentals are a great way to get a feel for a bike before committing to ownership. Rides n Motion rents multiple different models of e-bikes at the McCormick Ranch and DC Ranch locations. On top of trying out the bikes, you can add helpful tools like seat cushions, wireless speakers or a stroller trailer so your little adventurers can come along for the ride.
Purchase an E-Bike in Scottsdale
If renting an e-bike multiple times a year, it may be time to consider an e-bike purchase. Not only is this an investment into your hobbies and free time, but it's also an efficient transportation to get around Scottsdale!
Many people around town use their e-bikes to commute to work, avoid traffic and choose a form of transportation that is good for their bodies and the planet. Our Rides n Motion McCormick Ranch and DC Ranch locations have several models to choose from that offer unique benefits.
More helpful gear
Do you have a great bike at your disposal? Fantastic! But to make the most of biking in Scottsdale, we recommend a few more pieces of gear.
Water bottle holders: it's no secret that Scottsdale can get hot - like cracking an egg on the sidewalk hot. When you're out in the sun during hotter hours of the day, your #1 protection from uncomfortable side effects of heat is being adequately hydrated. Water bottle holders will ensure that you have water easily accessible, even while you're pedaling! Don't have a bike with water bottle holders? We recommend biking with a backpack that has a bladder so you can sip water and cycle at the same time.
Sun protection: Your second most important protection against Scottsdale's heat is proper sun protection. Even if you're planning for an early morning bike, you'd be surprised how quickly that sun can sneak up on you. We recommend you apply a generous amount of sunscreen, wear light layers that cover your skin and dawn a hat under your helmet to block out the sun. Another expert tip is to wear a light gator to protect the sensitive skin on the back of your neck - many people forget this is directly facing the sun as you cycle!
Easily-viewable GPS: If you aren't entirely familiar with your bike route, it's helpful to have your GPS app right where you can see it without taking your eyes off the road. A secure smartphone holder will ensure you can keep tabs on your progress without needing to take your hands off the handlebars. Better convenience, better safety!
Bike lock: Nothing is more frustrating than realizing some lame-o snatched your bike. Whether or not you're planning on stopping during your bike trip, always have a dependable and secure bike lock handy to ensure when you return to your bike, it's still there.
Choosing a Scottsdale Bike Path
The Best Scottsdale Road Biking Routes
Loop 101 - A 50-mile loop that takes you through the city and surrounding areas, offering scenic views of the Sonoran Desert and mountains.
Hayden Wash Loop from Ensenada Del Oro - A 30-mile loop that packs in some beautiful park, lake and city views from a well-paved bike lane.
The Beeline Highway - A scenic and challenging route that takes you from Scottsdale to the Fort McDowell area, passing by Saguaro Lake and Mount McDowell along the way.
These routes offer a variety of challenges and scenic beauty for road cyclists of all skill levels.
The Best Scottsdale Bike Trails
The Scottsdale Greenbelt - this classic Scottsdale bike route takes you through several major parks, golf courses and recreational areas stretching across the city.
Mountain Vista route - This short, 2.3-mile easy biking route was planned by the city to take cyclists to prominent art installations that work with the surrounding mountain views to offer an interactive biking experience. Look through the art installation to find the peak of a nearby mountain!
The Best Scottsdale Mountain Biking
Scottsdale, Arizona is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, abundant sunshine, and outdoor recreational opportunities. Among the many activities available, mountain biking stands out as a favorite for locals and visitors alike. With miles of scenic trails, breathtaking desert landscapes, and a wide variety of terrain to explore, Scottsdale offers some of the best mountain biking in the Southwest. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced rider, there are plenty of options to choose from, including easy, rolling trails to technical singletrack that will challenge even the most skilled mountain biker.
The McDowell Sonoran Preserve
The Mcdowell Sonoran Preserve is a beautiful natural area located in the north of Scottsdale, Arizona. Covering over 30,000 acres, the preserve offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, desert landscapes, and diverse flora and fauna. The preserve is a popular destination for hikers, bikers, and horseback riders, who come to explore its many trails and experience the beauty of the Sonoran Desert.
As the Premier source for electric rideables in Arizona, it's worth noting that while the Sonoran Preserve is a popular destination for bikers, we respect the local community's decision to keep the preserve free of electric rideables, such as eBikes.
We encourage our customers to explore the preserve on traditional analog bikes or by hiking or horseback riding, as this allows them to fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the desert surroundings. We believe that this approach helps to preserve the peaceful and unspoiled environment of the preserve for all to enjoy.
The Granite Mountain Loop - A 45-mile loop through the scenic desert that will take you on a climb up Granite Mountain and offer views of the Valley of the Sun.
The McDowell Mountain Loop - A 30-mile loop through the scenic McDowell Mountain Preserve, offering challenging climbs and sweeping descents.
Safety Guidelines To Follow When Biking in Scottsdale
Follow Heat Safety Best Practices
As mentioned several times, Scottsdale brings the heat. So here are the top ways to avoid heat exhaustion:
- Midday rides can be great in fall, winter and early spring, but try to avoid cardio in the direct sun during the summertime. Be strategic about when you plan to bike in Scottsdale! Early mornings and evenings are the best times during the hot summer months.
- Wear light layers that cover your skin, including a hat under your helmet. Remember to cover the back of your neck!
- Bring more water than you think you need to stay hydrated. The hotter it is, the more water you need to stay healthy.
Understand the Rules of the Road
You may not be in a car, but you still have rules to follow as you take on Scottsdale bike paths, trails and roads.
For roads, always follow the standard biking safety measures like staying in dedicated bike lanes, giving turning signals and stopping at traffic lights and stop signs.
On trails and paths, make sure to follow proper biking etiquette when it comes to sharing the track with hikers, walkers and dogs. A classic phrase: "On your left!"
Use Proper Gear
Past sun coverage and water bottles, there are other essential tools to keep you safe. The most important one, of course, is a helmet! The injuries are not worth leaving that life-saving piece of protection behind.
Once your head is strapped in, other gear is optional but highly encouraged. If you are biking before or after the sun is in the sky, bike lights are a must-have to be seen on the road. Phone holders, speakers and seat cushions can also make your adventure more comfortable, convenient and fun!
When renting bikes with Rides N Motion, you can add helpful biking gear during the checkout process to get all your bike trip needs in one spot.
There's no better time to hop in the saddle and explore our city! Do you have the bike to make the most of our city's favorite recreational areas? Stop by Rides N Motion or visit our website for demos, rentals and sales of the most current e-bikes.