Gold Ridge Trail #47
This hidden gem was discovered and promoted by early TGR members during our search for the best and longest descents near the valley of the sun. During our hunt for big elevation loss we stumbled upon this back country trail which showed promise of a great gravity ride. This had been overlooked by mountain bikers for a very long time and most likely due to its very close proximity to the Mazatzal Wilderness. But with careful map and resource checks we confirmed it was indeed just outside the boundaries and open to mtb use. Although no info was found outside of some old hiker reviews and an old gps track. Its elevation profile warranted a visit and at least one ride.
What we discovered was yet another awesome Pines to desert descent that drops almost 3000ft. While the trail is mainly downhill when starting at the top it is not all downhill. The trail starts off around 6100ft in the pines and traverses through chaparral as the trail continues downward. Vast views of Sheep Mountain and the rest of the Mazatzal Mountains around every turn. As you descend further the trail mellows its grade and makes a few short climbs as it travels northward before breaking east to expose wonderful views towards rim country.
The lower part of Gold Ridge follows a series of steep fun ridges and short punchy climbs as it makes its way down towards the bottom before rewarding you with a fast flowing trail to end your ride on a high note. Be sure to have a look back to see what all you just came down.
Best ridden fall-spring. Summer can get very hot and the trail provides minimal shade for the majority of the trail.