111.1 miles
13,425 ft
-13,429 ft
1 mile
High Point

Although most of this route is well traveled, be prepared for backcountry conditions.

This loop is best ridden in a CW direction. Start/Finish is a small parking pullout on First Water rd just north of the Lost Dutchman State Park.

This ride can be done as a really long one day adventure or an overnight bikepack, camping at Middle Water spring (one mile down the north side of Four Peaks on El Oso rd)

There's only about 10 miles of singletrack on this route, 65 miles on dirt road & 35 on pavement. This ride is also best done on a weekday to avoid tourist traffic and dust on the dirt roads.

This ride starts in the beautiful Goldfield Mtns on primitive singletrack and jeep roads. Pavement takes you over to Saguaro Lake at Butcher Jones recreation area. A series of sandy, but rideable OHV roads link up to Four Peaks rd. This is a well traveled and somewhat maintained dirt road with some steep bits. El Oso rd is a graded dirt road that will drop down into the Tonto Basin. Seven miles of fast pavement bring you to FR429 where the climbing resumes up to Mills Ridge and the Arizona Trail. Singletrack returns for 5 miles on great ridgeline riding followed by some hike-a-bike. The payoff is panoramic views of Apache Lake, then Roosevelt Lake & Dam. The trail descends steeply to AZ188 where it crosses the Roosevelt Bridge. From here it's all AZ88, Apache Trail, back to your vehicle. The first 20 miles or so are on undulating dirt roads, then pavement leading into Tortilla Flat and finally Canyon Lake.

Bring lights, front & rear. Bring a water filter. If you're lucky enough to pass by the Roosevelt Lake Marina & Tortilla Flat during business hours food can be purchased. Otherwise carry enough to get you through.

Detailed Description
Chain of Lakes Loop is a 111 mile popular expert route located near Apache Junction Arizona. This mountain bike only route can be used one direction and has a hard overall physical rating. This route includes 6 trails. This route climbs 13,425 ft with a max elevation of 5,773 ft then descends -13,429 ft.
Local Trail Association
Local trail association
Superstition Area Land Trust (www.azsalt.org)
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7 Reviews & Comments

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  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Difficulty rating
    Black Diamond
  • Route Type
  • Bike type
  • Direction
    One Direction
  • Physical rating
  • Ridelogs
More Stats for Chain of Lakes Loop mountain bike route
  • Avg time
    19 hr 30 min
  • Altitude min
    1,382 ft
  • Altitude start
    2,062 ft
  • Altitude end
    2,057 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    51 miles
  • Distance down
    51 miles
  • Distance flat
    8 miles
Avg: 4.65 (3 votes)
Trail Conditions
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  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
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  • Ideal
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Recent Trail Reports Along Route

AZT/BP - Foothills Trail
Sep 18, 2023 @ 7:31am
Sep 18, 2023
AZT/BP - Weaver's Way
Apr 26, 2023 @ 12:50am
Apr 26, 2023
AZT/BP - Around the Mine
Feb 18, 2023 @ 10:57pm
Feb 18, 2023
AZT - Vineyard Mountain
Jan 18, 2022 @ 6:47pm
Jan 18, 2022
Grass is leaning into the trail making for an interesting ride. As the previous person said, "only while going fast." If you're enjoying the scenery its fine. Oh wait, if you go slow, you still need to look at the trail for the most part and not the scenery. Nevermind. See review.
FR 429
Mar 27, 2021 @ 7:36am
Mar 27, 2021
Dirt road in fairly good condition and with some awesome views
more reports »
  • By schillingsworth TRAILFORKS & contributors
  • #1263 - 1,958 views