The Sonoran Desert surrounding Scottsdale is a sandbox full of undulating terrain, decomposed granite, and saguaro cactus under a 70-degree winter sun. In other words, it’s the perfect place to go mountain biking. Sign on with Arizona Outback Adventures for a three-day survey of the 50-plus miles of singletrack in McDowell Mountain Regional Park. The outfitter has your gear needs covered (Trek Super-fly full-suspension 29er, helmet, gloves, and camping gear), provides a short shuttle ride to showers, and cooks up veggies, chicken, beef, and quinoa for a hearty campsite dinner ($600). Your first day calls for a 15-mile twisting ride, so you can acclimate to loose sand beneath your wheels. Follow it up with a day of laps on the park’s trio of racing trails—one-way tracks with big downhills and hard corners where riders reach top speeds of 30 miles per hour.
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