111 miles
16,134 ft
-16,135 ft
1 miles
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.

Local Trail Association
Please consider joining or donating to the local riding association to support trail development & maintenance.
donate to earn trail karma!


Post a Comment

You must login to Pinkbike.
Don't have an account? Sign up

Join Pinkbike  Login

Trails in Route

Around the Mine2,963 ft
Foothills Trail1 miles
Weaver's Way3,930 ft
El Oso8 miles
FR 4295 miles
AZT: Four Peaks6 miles


  • Difficulty rating
    Black Diamond
  • Route Type
  • Bike type
  • Direction
    One Direction
  • Physical rating
  • Ridelogs
More Stats for Chain of Lakes Loop mountain bike route
  • Altitude min
    1,397 ft
  • Altitude start
    2,076 ft
  • Altitude end
    2,075 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    54 miles
  • Distance down
    52 miles
  • Distance flat
    5 miles
Avg: 5 (1 votes)
Layers winter
Trail Style
  • ?
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail transparency

Recent Trail Reports Along Route

Foothills Trail
Mar 16, 2015 @ 10:08am
Mar 16, 2015
In great shape
Around the Mine
Mar 16, 2015 @ 10:08am
Mar 16, 2015
It's in good condition. A little hard to follow getting near the abandoned building though.
more reports »
  • flag
  • login to download gpx or kml files.