March 2, 2013

Casa Grande Mtn.

I threw out a few suggestions for rides to do over the upcoming weekend and Phil was interested in checking out the trails down at Casa Grande Mtn with me. I've been wanting to get down there for 2 years now, but never found the time. New reports have been trickling in about trail building and expanding the network.

We left my place and made it to the trailhead in 45 minutes, hmmm that didn't seem as far as I thought it would be. The desert has a thin veil of green growing on it as spring is beginning to peak. Our plan for the day was to hit as many of the trails as we could to get a nice feel for the place. We ran into a local at the trailhead and he suggested we start of with the Ridge Trail. It's the highest trail in the system, has fantastic views and traverses practically the entire length of the park at just under 5 miles.
One of the trailheads.
San Tan Mtns.
Phil climbing the contoured grade of the Ridge Trail.
This trail is a work of art.
Lava rock section.
We crested many ridgelines like this and were ecstatic when we saw the trail continue to work it's way high on the mountainside.
Agricultural patchwork to the south.
We dropped down off of Ridge Trail into a spaghetti bowl of trails at the southern end, most trails down there were not marked, but it's pretty tough to get lost out there. Keep the big mountain on one side, the freeway on the other & cruise around in between. We were using a Global Bikes map and another local told us that was at least 2 years old. It did help though, but tons of trails are not on the map. Thanks to the local rider for pointing us in a good direction, as there were a handful of trails just over a saddle that we couldn't see. It was a really nice connector back to the other main trail in the park, Spine Trail. All in all we had a blast down there, fun flowy trails with a little tech here and there. Some nice climbs on good grades with views worth getting to. I know both Phil and I will be back for sure. It's not as far away as you may think. It took me the same amount of time to get to the McDowell's from my house!! Thanks to the local riders in CG for putting together another fun place to ride, all your hard work doesn't go unnoticed.
Lunch break.
Typical trail.
A hidden gem, we came down the far left, took took the middle option.
Picacho Peak in the distance.
Flowers starting to pop!
Cholla forest!!
Small smattering of color.
Great views on this super clear day.
Back near the trailhead, I-8 truckers 10-4.
Ridge Trail.

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