Good variety; fun singletrack, short steep climbs, short intense downhills. Lots of loose rocks
The best place to begin this ride is the trailhead at the south side of the rodeo arena parking lot. Head down the Rock Knob Buggy Trail, a very smooth dirt road that soon bisects the nearby mountains. After the first two miles, the trail becomes technical and rocky for a short 1/3 of a mile climb. This section is entirely rideable, but don't be ashamed if you get off and walk for a section or two. Once at the top of the hill, you'll be rewarded with panoramic views across the desert toward Gila Bend. From here, it is a nice downhill to the intersection with the Pack Saddle Historical Trail.
Bear left at this poorly-marked junction and follow the Pack Saddle Trail through smooth, rolling desert. Continue east for about a mile into a sandy wash bottom. When you climb out of the wash you'll be heading back toward the north and following single track again. This section of the trail goes up and down for a while and culminates with a short steep climb.
Once at the top, there is a nice downhill run for about a half mile as the trail continues north. Soon you'll come to the intersection of the Rainbow Valley and Gadsen trails (as well as several other confusing trail intersections).
To complete the loop turn right. You'll drop into a short, steep ravine and then wind around the hills on your left. If you decide to go straight and cut the trip short by a mile, you'll find a great single track. Either way you choose to finish, you'll end up back at the rodeo parking lot. If you want to lengthen your ride and enjoyment of Estrella, use the trail map to create a longer loop (in this confusing terrain, it's a good idea to pick up a map at the park entrance anyway).
How to get there:
Take I-10 West to the Estrella exit. Turn left (or south) about 5 miles. Take a left at the golf course heading to the Estrella Regional State Park. Enter on right. Go through guards booth ($2) and head towards rodeo arena. Apx. 25 miles from downtown Phoenix.
Race course for MBAA, fast course, $2.00 trail fee