April 15, 2018

Brown's Ranch: Phase 3

The desert air is beginning it's steady rise and with it the trail building season here is winding down. Brown's Ranch has been getting miles upon miles of new trail the past few seasons. This winter was no different. The master plan calls for trail construction in phases, now in phase 3. Each phase has smaller corridors mapped out, see image below. The new trails I've been sampling have been really fun to ride as they are using a bit more of the natural topography.
Phase 3 plan with lettered corridors.
I'm still nursing a sore Achilles, but needed some trail time. Seron was free for a few hours and hadn't been on any of the new stuff. I concocted a route of sorts to hit all the new terrain plus a few bonus miles on the trails inside the state trust land parcel.

We staged at the main trailhead, but there is a new, temporary, trailhead at Pima & Dynamite Rds. for access to the SW corner of the system. Gates there are locked shut at 5pm until the the permanent trailhead is finished. A good rule of thumb if parking there is: the trails leading away from the parking lot trend uphill, so it'll make for a fun finish to rides staged from there.

We hopped on Hackamore trail and barely 5 minutes into our ride found the fresh dirt of corridor A. Had to put tires on that. It was a mostly downward trending trail that rode quickly linking into the rockpile that is sure to have a few play areas on it.

We skirted around the rockpile to one of the new corridor B trails. This one climbed gently, but wound it's way through a few large boulders.
Cool topography in this area.

The builders did a nice job of routing here.
We took one of the old moto trails back down and made our way over to Axle Grease trail. There may or may not have been a little bit of bushwhacking to get over there!!
Axle Grease has really gotten burned in. It's a rather fast track now.

We were on the uphill-ish direction. I have yet to ride this trail in the opposite direction.
We were doing good on time, so I found an entry into the state trust land area. There are tons of trails here, maybe 40 miles worth?? They are mostly older trails, but hand built. True singletrack. Fairly easy to follow once on them. It reminds me of the ride scene two decades ago. The parcel land is slated for development. How soon is anyone's guess, so head out there before the trails are gone.

We linked back into the system trails via Malpais trail. There was another new corridor B trail I wanted to ride. It's a variation of the old Dare-a-Sarah trail.
Seron exiting Malpais trail.

No longer Team Voodoo, but this will do.

More bouldery goodness.

We reached our junction back down near the rockpile. Naked signposts were scattered about the fresh dirt intersections.
We began to make our way back to the parking lot via the MTV trail. I came over a small rise in the trail and to my surprise, there was a Gila Monster slowly crossing the trail!! I locked up my brakes to avoid riding over him while he hissed his displeasure at having to hurry across the trail.
By far, the coolest creature in the desert.

I've lost track of how many I've now seen over the years, 15? 20? All since 2013.

He had enough of our picture taking and crawled into his den.
By now my heel and Seron's knees were about done with pedaling. A couple more miles and we put a wrap on it. It was a perfect morning to be out on the trails. Brown's Ranch keeps getting better. While it's not for everyone, I enjoy the relatively easy spinning miles. The new trails should be appearing on official maps shortly.
That's all folks!!

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