Rocky Ridge Trail - Mountain Biking

Made possible by

Photos

About

Summary

Rocky trail through high-altitude forest, that can be combined with other trails for longer rides.

Written by

Jesse Weber

Distance

4.0 miles

Destination Distance From Downtown

3.4 miles

Difficulty

3 of 5 diamonds

The trail isn't steep, but is technical.

Time To Complete

1 hours

About one hour.

Seasonality

All Seasons

Dog Friendly

On Leash Only

Fees Permits

No

Land Website

Rocky Ridge Trail

Review

Intro

Rocky Ridge is the best way to connect to trails on the south side of Elden with Schultz Creek and other biking in the Dry Lake Hills. This moderately technical route is also a great ride on its own. It skirts around the base of the Dry Lake Hills between Elden Lookout Road and Schultz Pass Road. Gently rolling terrain makes it less of a leg screamer than nearby trails that climb the hills, but numerous rocks make it technically demanding. It is easy to access from town, either by parking at one of two trailheads or connecting from other trails.

What Makes It Great

This trail is, as the name lets on, rocky, but there isn’t actually much ridge to the ride because it makes a wide pass across the sunny south slopes of the Dry Lake Hills. The distance is about 2 miles from Oldham Trail to Schultz Creek Trail, which Rocky Ridge runs between. It parallels the path of either Elden Lookout Road or Schultz Pass Road most of the way, so it is relatively close to town.

Despite this proximity, wildlife such as deer, elk, and coyotes roam here and their tracks may be seen in the mud on a wet day. The scenery is ponderosa pine forest with juniper, oak, and a diverse understory of hardy plants that can take hold in this rugged, exposed earth. Look for spiky yucca and cacti that are more typical of desert rather than mountain vegetation.

The rocks create a few steep inclines, steps, berms, and drops that provide good practice before stepping it up to harder trails. Walking the bike around obstacles may be necessary in a few spots where logs are over the trail or the boulders are particularly gnarly.

Who is Going to Love It

Rocky Ridge is most valuable as a link up between trails on opposite sides of the Dry Lake Hills. Bikers who want to cruise Lower Oldham trail on the south side of Elden and also zoom along Schultz Creek within Schultz Pass, but aren’t up for the grueling climb over the hills can bypass them on Rocky Ridge. This connection makes it possible for beginner and intermediate riders to do high-mileage routes that aren’t overly demanding. Experts can add this fun leg to loops among the hills. 

It is also good as a quick 4-mile out and back workout all on its own, and useful for practicing technical rocky terrain.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Parking is available at both ends of the trail, either Elden Lookout Road at the Brookbank/Oldham trailheads or at the parking area for Schultz Creek Trail along Schultz Pass Road. To get here, take Highway 180 N out of town, then turn right on Schultz Pass Road. Take the fork to the left to stay on Schultz Pass and reach the Schultz Creek parking area, or fork right to get on Elden Lookout Road.

You can also ride here from Buffalo Park, off Forest Ave, by taking the Arizona Trail, Oldham Trail, or any combination of side trails that interconnect below Mt. Elden.

Location

Rocky Ridge Trail

AZ,
35.246803, -111.66401

Get Directions