21.0 miles
Distance
3,294 ft
Climb
-3,270 ft
Descent
2,429 ft
High Point

This is an expert course requiring high riding ability and high fitness especially because of Alta being in the loop. Hike a bike in sections can even the playing field for those not as skilled in technical sections but you will not be able to ride Alta entirely regardless of skillset. Nevertheless, great adventure route that's on the quieter end of South Mountain, less people to spoil your ride.

Detailed Description
Bursera Alta Kiwanis Loop is a 21 mile moderately popular extreme route located near Phoenix Arizona. This mountain bike only route and has a extreme overall physical rating. This route includes 16 trails. This route climbs 3,294 ft with a max elevation of 2,429 ft then descends -3,270 ft.
Local Trail Association
Local trail association
Gravity Riders Organization of Arizona (www.groaz.org)
Please consider joining or donating to the local riding association to support trail development & maintenance.
donate to earn trail karma!

44 Reviews & Comments

  • + 0
MTBGonzo (Sep 18, 2022 at 8:48)
Trail Kiwanis
Leave this one for the hikers.
[Reply]
  • + 1
A3Rider (Feb 9, 2022 at 10:18)
Great shortcut to National Trail from the south face of SOMO. For me its Hike-a-Bike along the last section if riding up and the beginning if riding down. Tons of hikers all day everyday so you cant open up the speed until after the techy parts.
[Reply]
  • + 0
mountzlu (Feb 6, 2022 at 16:23)
Trail National
Didn’t see a single person beyond the rock shelter above the top of Kiwanis. 360 views. Fast, loose, flow — this section has a lot to offer.
[Reply]
  • + 0
mountzlu (Feb 6, 2022 at 16:23)
Trail National
Didn’t see a single person beyond the rock shelter above the top of Kiwanis. 360 views. Fast, loose, flow — this section has a lot to offer.
[Reply]
  • + 0
mountzlu (Feb 6, 2022 at 16:23)
Trail National
Didn’t see a single person beyond the rock shelter above the top of Kiwanis. 360 views. Fast, loose, flow — this section has a lot to offer.
[Reply]
  • + 0
mountzlu (Feb 6, 2022 at 16:22)
Trail Kiwanis
Used this as a direct up-route to access western end of National. Some fun tech climbing mixed with a lot of bike carrying. Only a mile, so not that bad
[Reply]
  • + 1
Ampfrog (Jan 19, 2022 at 1:35)
Trail Bursera
Rode westbound. Love long steep climbs, this one was fully ridable except for a few rocky sections that caught me off-guard (first time here, probably could clean with a few more attempts/familiarity), amazing scenery along the way. May be a masochistic "warm-up", rode this straight from the parking lot on Chandler, but the ride down makes it worth it. Steep, flowy, probably the least switchbacks I've encountered for descending down an entire mountain. So much fun!
[Reply]
  • + 1
Ampfrog (Jan 19, 2022 at 1:42)
Trail Bursera
One quick note, the west end is a serious climb up to National, looks short on the map, but is steep and sustained with several tech sections, and is not as 'clean' as the more well-used trails in the area.
[Reply]
  • + 1
caleblevoturbeavo (Jan 15, 2022 at 21:04)
Trail Alta
Did an out and back on the east side of Alta up to the Ridgeline. It's a bit of a slog up with those tight switchbacks, but back down it has its own kind of flow. I'll post a video. Not really for the faint of heart with the exposure and tight switchbacks, but no problem if you run trails like Nat'l, Ranger, Bursera, etc.
[Reply]
  • + 1
caleblevoturbeavo (Jan 15, 2022 at 21:04)
Trail Alta
Did an out and back on the east side of Alta up to the Ridgeline. It's a bit of a slog up with those tight switchbacks, but back down it has its own kind of flow. I'll post a video. Not really for the faint of heart with the exposure and tight switchbacks, but no problem if you run trails like Nat'l, Ranger, Bursera, etc.
[Reply]
  • + 0
jaxonr (Dec 21, 2021 at 18:57)
Definitely a lot of hiking up. On the way down pretty much all goes with the right skills. Good amount of chunk- make good line choices.
Tuesday afternoon had good amount of walkers (always nice to see). Always yield to pedestrians!
[Reply]
  • + 0
wunderlost480 (Sep 12, 2021 at 11:37)
Trail Max Delta
Not a bad little connector to loop to/from some west side trails like west nat. and ranger.
[Reply]
  • + 0
Ktobin23 (Jun 3, 2021 at 12:05)
Trail National
This is a very unique section of national. Best ridden east to west. Lots of effort is required to ride this section but the views and isolation make up for that. You are on a ridgeline most of the trail with 360 degree views of Phoenix. The trail has some tricky climbs and fast decents. Also this trail has some exposed parts but nothing too crazy. I really only ride this trail to get to eliminator but it’s is always fun.
[Reply]
  • + 0
Ktobin23 (Jun 3, 2021 at 12:05)
Trail National
This is a very unique section of national. Best ridden east to west. Lots of effort is required to ride this section but the views and isolation make up for that. You are on a ridgeline most of the trail with 360 degree views of Phoenix. The trail has some tricky climbs and fast decents. Also this trail has some exposed parts but nothing too crazy. I really only ride this trail to get to eliminator but it’s is always fun.
[Reply]
  • + 0
Ktobin23 (Jun 3, 2021 at 12:05)
Trail National
This is a very unique section of national. Best ridden east to west. Lots of effort is required to ride this section but the views and isolation make up for that. You are on a ridgeline most of the trail with 360 degree views of Phoenix. The trail has some tricky climbs and fast decents. Also this trail has some exposed parts but nothing too crazy. I really only ride this trail to get to eliminator but it’s is always fun.
[Reply]
  • + 0
Ktobin23 (May 11, 2021 at 12:19)
Hike a bike almost the entire way up. Takes about 15-20 minutes to get to the top. There are some great technical features to ride down that are pretty unique to this trail. However, there’s literally always hikers on this trail. I’ve never once ridden this trail and not seen a hiker. On the way up the hikers are friendly often saying your crazy for going up this trail. On the way down though it’s best you hop off your bike to let hikers pass you. This is the most popular hiking trail for awhatukee residents, so you get a mix of seasoned xc runners, a giant family with little kids or old people that can’t hear bells. Be careful.
[Reply]
  • + 0
alexmt13 (Apr 3, 2021 at 20:52)
Mostly a hike a bike on the way up but it’s worth the effort to get to national and summit road. The features are mostly chunky rocks and erosion control steps. Definitely a few tire traps so let off the breaks and choose your line wisely on the way down.
[Reply]
  • + 1
Eltoca21 (Mar 1, 2021 at 6:15)
Trail Alta
Lot's of hike-a-bike getting up to the top mainly cos it is very steep. Then more intermittent hike-a-bike as you make your way along the "top". When you finally get to the all-out descent you will be met with many brutal tough sharp switchbacks. There is good challenging stuff but beware of the off-camber rock slabs and general jank.
[Reply]
  • + 1
Eltoca21 (Mar 1, 2021 at 6:15)
Trail Alta
Lot's of hike-a-bike getting up to the top mainly cos it is very steep. Then more intermittent hike-a-bike as you make your way along the "top". When you finally get to the all-out descent you will be met with many brutal tough sharp switchbacks. There is good challenging stuff but beware of the off-camber rock slabs and general jank.
[Reply]
  • + 0
heidtr837 (Dec 11, 2020 at 20:58)
Mega fun downhill. It’s a double black and def hard but just a rad DH chunky line. Attempting to ride up seemed awful. We did National up, down telegraph, then back via DC.
[Reply]
  • + 0
Sandmeyerin (Oct 29, 2020 at 17:54)
Trail Las Lomitas
This is a good trail! All of it is very ridable except for maybe 20 meters at the end. Fun washes that are not technical compared to others in SoMo. The other reviews had put me off from riding it for awhile but there must have been trail improvements recently, because it is nice and flowy
[Reply]
  • + 2
erkkilaurila (Oct 19, 2020 at 15:40)
Trail Bajada
I don't understand all the hate for Bajada. I really like Bajada and I think I like it better west to east. There are 2 or 3 short sections that I employ the ol' hike-a-bike but otherwise I enjoy the challenge of finding the flow in the jank. I just rode it again this past weekend and I still enjoyed it.
[Reply]
  • + 1
Steidlm (Oct 2, 2020 at 9:15)
Trail Bajada
I concur with HLEW! This trail is a suckfest. I did it west to east. Maybe it was because it was hot and I crushed an earlier trail, but I was beaten badly by this one! I would not classify it as a blue at all. West to East is not flowy at all, just an uphill battle through many ricky washes. There doesn't seem to be anything in the central part of Sth Mtn Preserve (at least non posted). My guess is that MTBKR1030 went east to west starting where Ranger Trail meets Bajada and then hopped on Mark Davis from the parking lot. I could see that part of the trail being decent. The ride from the west side of the preserve (where Bajada intersects National) to the east where the parking lot on San Juan Rd is your first bail out point is complete garbage!
[Reply]
  • - 1
danhiris (Sep 4, 2020 at 21:05)
this is nonsense for mountain biking. Hike a bike gets you to good places. Downhill is stupid.
[Reply]
  • + 1
danhiris (Sep 4, 2020 at 21:02)
Trail Bursera
Bursera downhill is amazing
[Reply]
  • + 1
Azrockhoppin (Feb 11, 2020 at 8:13)
Trail National
A steep and loose decent with great views. You can really open it up descending to the West because the amount of traffic you will see is very minimum.
[Reply]
  • + 1
Azrockhoppin (Feb 11, 2020 at 8:13)
Trail National
A steep and loose decent with great views. You can really open it up descending to the West because the amount of traffic you will see is very minimum.
[Reply]
  • + 1
Azrockhoppin (Feb 11, 2020 at 8:13)
Trail National
A steep and loose decent with great views. You can really open it up descending to the West because the amount of traffic you will see is very minimum.
[Reply]
  • + 2
erkkilaurila (Jan 24, 2020 at 9:30)
Trail Bursera
Bursera Trail (aka Bee's Knees) when combined with Gila Trail as a loop is a great quick rip with enough climbs to keep you honest about your fitness and some fun descents. My favorite route that incorporates Bursera Trail includes climbing Gila Trail (North of Bursera) to the saddle; hike-a-bike up (south) to Bursera; descend West Bursera to the Wash; climb back up to saddle via Gila Trail; hike-a-bike the same section back to Bursera; finally descend Bursera (Bees of knees) back to the 19th Avenue trailhead.
[Reply]
  • + 1
HLEW (Dec 23, 2019 at 15:07)
Trail Bajada
This trail is very low quality either direction. For the intended rider (blue level), it will likely be overly challenging due to loose rocks and poor traction only to elevate slowly to an absolute suckfest of frustration from walking. For an advanced or skilled rider who can handle themselves, this is a easy and boring route with only a few interesting moves through washouts. The only challenge comes from poor trail conditions and loose rock. Save yourself the time and stick to National or the more popular routes.
[Reply]
  • + 2
Quicksilver33s (Dec 20, 2019 at 20:25)
Trail Alta
This appears to be a great challenging trail with good views, but I rode it from the end of national, and it seems much better if you rode this trail counter-clockwise rather than from the end of National.
[Reply]
  • + 2
Quicksilver33s (Dec 20, 2019 at 20:25)
Trail Alta
This appears to be a great challenging trail with good views, but I rode it from the end of national, and it seems much better if you rode this trail counter-clockwise rather than from the end of National.
[Reply]
  • + 0
sjc88 (May 11, 2019 at 14:24)
Trail Alta
Note to Self - If you get any stupid ideas that involve riding this a 3rd time, try to remember what it was like the first 2.
[Reply]
  • + 0
sjc88 (May 11, 2019 at 14:24)
Trail Alta
Note to Self - If you get any stupid ideas that involve riding this a 3rd time, try to remember what it was like the first 2.
[Reply]
  • + 1
borgshizzle (Apr 19, 2019 at 12:15)
Trail Bursera
Actual quotes from the Borg Shizzle Bursera Trail video, filmed on March 30th, 2019:
"What sorta cockamamie crazy-ass bullsh*t...did I go up THAT trail?!! Un.Fu**ing.Real - here goes..." @ 3:04
"You know the penalty for going too fast on this sh*t - put your leg out..." @ 3:33
...and not an actual Sasquatch, more like a "Hiker-Squatch!" @ 7:13 LOL.
Hey, I had lotsa fun - just watch the video! There's alot of UP on this trail, but the DOWN makes it worthwhile! Great views, too!
[Reply]
  • + 0
Sdberre (Jan 15, 2019 at 11:05)
I was able to pedal about 30% of the trail up. The ride down was a blast with big drops and sketchy obstacles. I probably wouldn’t hike it again but would ride down.
[Reply]
  • + 1
jblessin (Jul 3, 2018 at 0:08)
Trail Bajada
The direction your ride bajada makes a big difference. Westbound it is pretty flowy and fun, eastbound is a tougher go.
[Reply]
  • + 1
Mtbkr1030 (Mar 24, 2018 at 20:50)
Trail Bajada
Are you sure that you were on Bajada? This trail was wasn’t hard at all. . Lots of fun and 95% rideable singletrack.
[Reply]
  • - 1
WJS1962 (Jan 11, 2018 at 13:48)
Trail National
I do not recommend riding up the west end of National trail. I spent approximate 30 minutes cumulative time playing hike-a-bike on its steep, loose rocky path. And the Ranger downhill is less than enjoyable. Stick to National’s east end.
[Reply]
  • - 1
WJS1962 (Jan 11, 2018 at 13:48)
Trail National
I do not recommend riding up the west end of National trail. I spent approximate 30 minutes cumulative time playing hike-a-bike on its steep, loose rocky path. And the Ranger downhill is less than enjoyable. Stick to National’s east end.
[Reply]
  • - 1
WJS1962 (Jan 11, 2018 at 13:48)
Trail National
I do not recommend riding up the west end of National trail. I spent approximate 30 minutes cumulative time playing hike-a-bike on its steep, loose rocky path. And the Ranger downhill is less than enjoyable. Stick to National’s east end.
[Reply]
  • + 0
christheshredder (May 5, 2017 at 9:10)
Sketchy trail but a blast if you have the courage/skill! Also watch out for hikers
[Reply]
  • + 1
SoulCancer (Sep 11, 2016 at 11:58)
Trail Las Lomitas
This is not a fun trail. There are constant washes with very steep declines but with so many lose rocks and sharp turns as you go down, that you have to walk your bike down, and then up the other side. Many times the track will turn into a 3 foot deep 6 inch wide rut where you have to walk your bike around it as the pedals will hit the edges. There is about 100 years towards the end that is straight sand. Very difficult to get into a steady rhythm as the farthest distance before you are forced to walk your bike is at most 75 yards. I really do not like this trail, but it is close so I ride it from time to time.
[Reply]
  • + 1
SoulCancer (Aug 28, 2016 at 21:40)
Trail Las Lomitas
The trail starts about 500 feet West of where this page says it starts. Scroll west and you'll see the trailhead.
[Reply]
Deleted threads/comments are hidden





Trails in Route

Pyramid Access1 mile
Pyramid3,967 ft
Bursera2 miles
Gila Connector4,587 ft
National3,320 ft
Alta66 ft
National3 miles
Alta4 miles
Bajada Acc210 ft
Bajada2,756 ft
Max Delta2,864 ft
Las Lomitas5,118 ft
Kiwanis1 mile
National607 ft
Telegraph Pass3,681 ft
Telegraph Pass2,300 ft

Details

  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Difficulty rating
    Double Black Diamond
  • Route Type
    Loop
  • eBike Allowed
  • Bike type
    DH, AM
  • Physical rating
    Extreme
More Stats for Bursera Alta Kiwanis Loop mountain bike route
  • Altitude min
    1,247 ft
  • Altitude start
    1,333 ft
  • Altitude end
    1,358 ft
  • Grade max
    -57%
  • Grade min
    70.6%
  • Distance climb
    9 miles
  • Distance down
    10 miles
  • Distance flat
    2 miles
Avg: 5 (1 votes)
close
3D
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Snow Cover Inadequate
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail Flow (Ridden Direction)
Trailforks scans users ridelogs to determine the most popular direction each trail is ridden. A good flowing trail network will have most trails flowing in a single direction according to their intension.
The colour categories are based on what percentage of riders are riding a trail in its intended direction.
  • > 96%
  • > 90%
  • > 80%
  • > 70%
  • > 50%
  • < 50%
  • bi-directional trail
  • no data
Trail Last Ridden
Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine the last time a trail was ridden.
  • < 2 days
  • < 1 week
  • < 2 weeks
  • < 1 month
  • < 6 months
  • > 6 months
Trail Ridden Direction
The intended direction a trail should be ridden.
  • Downhill Only
  • Downhill Primary
  • Both Directions
  • Uphill Primary
  • Uphill Only
  • One Direction
Contribute Details
Colors indicate trail is missing specified detail.
  • Description
  • Photos
  • Description & Photos
  • Videos
Trail Popularity ?
Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine which trails are ridden the most in the last 9 months. Trails are compared with nearby trails in the same city region with a possible 25 colour shades. Think of this as a heatmap, more rides = more kinetic energy = warmer colors.
  • most popular
  • popular
  • less popular
  • not popular
ATV/ORV/OHV Filter
Max Vehicle Width
inches

Radar Time
x Activity Recordings
Trailforks users anonymized public ridelogs from the past 6 months.
  • mountain biking recent
  • mountain biking (>6 month)
  • hiking (1 year)
  • moto (1 year)
Activity Recordings
Trailforks users anonymized public skilogs from the past 12 months.
  • Downhill Ski
  • Backcountry Ski
  • Nordic Ski
Jump Magnitude Heatmap
Heatmap of where riders jump on trails. Zoom in to see individual jumps, click circles to view jump details.
Trails Deemphasized
Trails are shown in grey.
disable
Only show trails with NO bikes.
enable

Save the current map location and zoom level as your default home location whenever this page is loaded.

Save
Trail transparency
41
32
196
219
MTB Alta Trail S. Mountain Phoenix
MTB Alta Trail S. Mountain Phoenix
trail: Alta
14:14 | 73 | comments: 0 | favs:
Apr 7, 2022
Mountain biking @ South Mountain Park in AZ //...
Mountain biking @ South Mountain Park in AZ // Kiwanis DH
trail: Kiwanis
10:46 | 203 | comments: 0 | favs:
Feb 23, 2021

Recent Trail Reports Along Route

statustraildateconditiondescription
Telegraph Pass
Sep 24, 2022 @ 6:02am
Sep 24, 2022
Pyramid
Sep 20, 2022 @ 3:45pm
Sep 20, 2022
Telegraph Pass
Jul 4, 2022 @ 5:34am
Jul 4, 2022
Bajada
Apr 16, 2022 @ 12:24pm
Apr 16, 2022
This really isn't Blue. I think because it has sections of Green, and sections of Black, people average out to Blue. But that's really not fair to those planning a route. There is a LOT of hike-a-bike here if you are expecting a nice XC jaunt. North side needs a Desert Classic.
National
Mar 30, 2022 @ 6:33am
Mar 30, 2022
more reports »
  • By StrengthLab & contributors
  • #10631 - 1,522 views
  • flag
  • login to download gpx or kml files.