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MMRP Competitive Track - Technical Loop, AZ

Guide 24 Triplogs  0 Topics
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 2.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 1,682 feet
Elevation Gain 150 feet
Accumulated Gain 200 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 0.5 - 1 hour
Dogs not allowed
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
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3  2018-10-12
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2  2018-08-05
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2  2018-07-17
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Page 1,  2,  3
Author mt98dew
author avatar Guides 21
Routes 19
Photos 416
Trips 1,648 map ( 9,689 miles )
Age 51 Male Gender
Location Phoenix,Az
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Preferred   Feb, Jan, Dec, Nov → Any
Sun  6:44am - 5:37pm
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Need for Speed
by mt98dew

Overview
Fountain Hills Technical Loop. This is one of several Maricopa County Parks that have a collection of competitive tracks. (The other two being the White Tanks and the Estrella). In each case, they have four types of courses: beginner, short (or in the case of Fountain Hills Sport loop), technical and a long loop. A noted difference to the Fountain Hills competitive track is that they have named features along the trail. For instance, the Technical Loop has "The Ledge", "T Bone Ridge", "the Chunnel", "Dan's Delight", and "The Bowl". All these trails are designated for "high speeds"...ideally for biking and running. Also, all tracks are designed to be done in one direction. Signs along the trail will help reinforce which direction one should be going.


The parking for the Technical Loop us huge, able to accommodate upward to 100 vehicles. It does have bathrooms and a drinking fountain at the TH.

Hike
The start for the Technical loop occurs on the west end of the lot and is marked by a large brown sign. At the start, the trail almost immediately drops steeply into a wash. One might assume that this is "The Ledge". You'd be wrong. Very shortly after that (about 0.14 miles) the trail has another steep drop. This one is even more precipitous! Luckily, there is a side track that circles around this feature for the more sane.

The trail then does some gradual climbing for a short distance as it reaches T Bone Ridge. The change in elevation is a little more than 150 ft and is the most that you'll experience on this trail. The views are decent, though more limited to the east, due to the surrounding terrain. The trail stays on the ridgeline for a short time before dropping down to the west of the hill. At about 1.11 miles you reach "The Chunnel". This is a giant metal culvert that takes you under the Sport Loop. From here the trail turns south and has a nice little stretch where it remains straight and flat. You are a little higher up than the surrounding terrain so this gives you a chance to take in the nearby surrounding scenery.

At 1.56 miles the trail starts to bend toward the east as it swings around T Bone Ridge. As it does this, the trail will twist and turn as it navigates around and over low lying hills. I can see this being one of the more enjoyable segments for bikers. At 1.99 you reach Dan's Delight. Most signage corresponds to obvious features, not so much with Dan's Delight. I can only presume that Dan was a botanist and appreciated the flora in this unassuming low lying trail section. There is a short climb as the trail leaves Dan's Delight and turns to the north. At this point, there is an option to take a designated side trail to connect to the Long Loop. Shortly after this juncture, one is treated with a view of "The Bowl" and the TH just beyond. The trail drops sharply into this open-ended valley and then does a gradual climb out the other side to arrive at the TH 2.72 miles later.

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2020-04-16 mt98dew
  • overview map competitive tracks hunting zone campgrounds
    area related
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Permit $$
Maricopa Regional Parks - Fees more info


$7 per vehicle,$85 annual or trade your first born for the life pass

$2 walk, bike or horse ride into park


Directions
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Road
Paved - Car Okay

To mtn bike ride
From the north take either the 101 to Shea Blvd OR the 202 to highway 87 (the Beeline) and then turn onto Shea Blvd. Once on Shea Blvd turn north onto N Fountain Hills Blvd. Remain on Fountain Hills Blvd. This will traverse the community and turn into McDowell Mountain Rd which will bring you to McDowell Mountain Regional Park. From the south take Dynamite Rd. East. This will transition into Rio Verde Dr.

Rio Verde Dr. will "T" into Forest Rd. Turn right. This will take you through the Rio Verde community. Three miles later turn right onto McDowell Mountain Rd which will bring you to McDowell Mountain Regional Park. Once in the park (fee entrance), the competitive track TH will be a few hundred yards in, the first turn on the left.
page created by Thoreau on Apr 16 2020 3:34 am
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