May 4, 2018

Buckeye: Dog Bone Trails

I had heard about trails over in Buckeye a few years ago, but it's a long way from home for what appeared to be a handful of miles. I had some time on Friday after only needing to work a few hours in the morning and it wasn't forecast to be 'too hot'. Driving over from work cut the time almost in half as well.

I had seen a few ride routes from friends who live nearby, had a printout of an old area map that was hand drawn & photocopied - old school style. I printed out a heatmap to see a more accurate routing and a few satellite imagery maps. I was interested to see what I'd find out there. Was it any good? I have a larger route planned for cool weather that would use some of these trails so it was a bit of a scouting ride to boot.
It was fun to ride new trails using a pirate's map.
I found the parking area easily and saw three other cars with bike racks there. As I prepared to head out, the three riders were wrapping up their ride. I asked the first lady if she rode out there regularly and how easy the trails were to find/follow. She said she rode there often and asked if I had a map. I showed her my navigation tools and she quickly offered her, more recent, hand drawn map to me. Perfect. I thanked her and made my way to the trails.
Fresh pirate map to follow.

The pink tree marks the entrance.

Signage looked spiffy.

Hidden Hot Springs out here??

Oh, those kind of 'Hot Springs'. Haha. Yes, Tin Can Alley was littered with rusted out cans.

Caleb's Cruise had some potential b-line fun.
I was beginning to get a feel for the scale of the map. Most of the loops/trails were very short and I began to consider riding everything I could find out there. Well, as long as my Achilles cooperated. So far, so good.

There were more hills and rock features in the landscape than I would have guessed.

Looking north towards the White Tank Mtns.

Fun lava rock loop.

Bikes = fun / smiles.

To Infinity & Beyond!

Can't say I've ever seen a Saguaro bent like this.

Painted Tree loop was on a trail that left the main system heading east.

The 'not-so' hidden Bat cave.

Found this really nice metal sign kind of out there.

Then noticed a ghost bike perched up on the rocks. I don't know the backstory, but it appears a local girl passed away far too early.

I'm guessing she enjoyed the area. It was a nice tribute. RIP.
It was beginning to get warm, mid-90's, and I needed to head back. Only a few more trails remained until I had completed the map area. I could see how this area would be tied into the F.I.N.S. trails a bit to the east. I now have a better idea of a larger loop ride I have planned for the area when things cool down.

Don't know who the inspiration was, but the trail was fun!!

Hmmm, last hurrah before the car?? Not really, just some rocky sections.
I missed a few turns during the ride and had to backtrack or make additional loops to complete everything. In the end the ride was about 23 miles on mostly beginner to intermediate singletrack. I'd say all the trails are singlespeed friendly. Most of the rocks are embedded, not much, if any, rubble. No sustained climbs, just fun desert singletrack through hilly terrain. Would I go back? Sure. Would I drive over an hour just to ride here? Probably not. But a bigger ride in the area would definitely be on the list.

I learned after the ride that these trails, Dog Bone trails, were built by one guy. Nice work!!

If you're in the area, check 'em out. South of I-10 about 6 miles on SR85. Cross the Gila River and about a 1/2 mile later at the signed turnout turn left, east, on Narramore Rd. Follow the pavement, make a sharp left, then immediate right onto dirt. It's well graded. Look for the pink tree on your right. Turn on the dirt road just before crossing a large wash, park there.


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