Best of Arizona – Pima & Dynamite Trail Network

gila monster, wandering justin, arizona
A gila monster!

I almost don’t notice it. But the slow, wiggling movement catches my eye. A splotch of black and orange among shades of brown.

Yes! It’s a gila monster!

Thirty years of living in Arizona, and this is only the second one I’ve seen in the wild.

This is exactly what makes the trail network near Pima and Dynamite in Scottsdale one of the city’s best outdoor activities. You can rip through more than 50 miles of great trails. You can enjoy stark-but-beautiful high-desert scenery.

And you can come face-to-face with wildlife. Here at Pima & Dynamite, I’ve seen more than just this gila monster. Add to the list rattlesnakes, juvenile bald eagles, chuckwallas, jackrabbits and coyotes.

pima and dynamite, mountain biking, wandering justin, arizona
The entire area is riddle with trails.

About my pebbly, leathery gila monster friend: He moves slowly, but quickly enough to get away. I get a bit of video on my Fuji XP-10 (a nice complement to my handlebar-mounted Helmet Hero) before he scurries under a bush. He is venomous, but too shy and slow to be of much danger. The encounter puts a grin on my face for the rest of the day.

Ripping through a tight corners. Short bursts of power to muscle my way up climbs. Flying up and down rolling sections of trail — these are all great. But a glimpse of nature puts an extra shine on the day.

santa cruza superlight, pima & dynamite, mountain biking, arizona, adventure bicycle company, wandering justin
Fully loaded for a day at Pima & Dynamite.

Speed, excitement and fitness are great reasons to ride. But so is seeing the bigger world around you. There are few better places to bring it all together.

About Pima & Dynamite

  • Most of the trails are on Arizona State Trust Land. You need a permit to legally use the area. Check the State Land Department website for more information.
  • A map helps. And Dale Wiggins is a map master. Check out his offering for Pima & Dynamite.
  • Park at the intersection of Pima Road and Dynamite Boulevard. I usually park on Dynamite just off the westbound lane.
Another example of the crazy wildlife you'll find at Pima & Dynamite.

This post just might contain affiliate links. Fear not, they’re non-spammy and benign. Hey, I have to keep this thing running somehow!

By Wandering Justin

Writer. Traveler. Gastronomic daredevil. Fitness fan. Homebrewer. Metal dude \m/. Cat and dog lover.


  1. Great video.
    Heading out from the UK this weekend for the 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest near Gallup NM. Coming back to PHX so will look out for this trail system, it looks fun.
    I have to say in our previous trips for biking & hiking we’ve been so lucky with wildlife, 3 Gila Monsters, 5 Rattlesnakes, a Bobcat, Skunks,& numerous Coyotes etc. You’re lucky to live in such a great State.

  2. Thanks, Roy. That race in Gallup will be awesome. Are you riding solo? Unfortunately, the Phoenix area will be hotter than 10 feet up a dragon’s butt. You HAVE had some wildlife luck!

    Enjoy yourself – let me know if you have any questions about other good stuff in Arizona. Especially breweries … it’s a specialty of mine!

  3. Justin,
    Running as a Mixed (Co-ed) pair with the wife @beer_babe on twitter, which is great cos we love the same things.
    We too love our beer and plan to hit Four Peaks, as usual for us saturday when we arrive. I see you recommend a couple, Sleepy Dog & Sun Up (went there some years ago when it was Sonora), anything else worth a visit.
    Also heading up to Flag, but have tried most except Lumberyard & Sedona so Oak Creek is on the list.
    You certainly have done some travelling, lucky you. Try Italy, we dscovered it 2 years ago as we raced down in Rome! We have driven down the last 2 years 2500 mile round trip but what FUN.
    Speak soon & thanks for your help.

  4. Awesome category … I’d love to do that one with my wife. But she broke her arm mountain biking and became a triathlon pervert.

    Sun Up is still my favorite because they have the best cask ales I’ve ever found. Papago Brewing is also great, and has an extensive guest brew list. Up in Flagstaff … Flagstaff Brewing Company is by far my favorite. Great stout, and I love the Sitka Spruce Ale when they have it. If you like coffee, too, check out Late for the Train.

    The more travel, the better! The place I want to visit most in Italy is Stromboli.

    Enjoy yourselves!

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