Apache Wash Loop

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 6.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 1656 - 1785 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 1 hr. 30 mins. (bike)
Trailhead: Apache Wash
Fee: none
Attractions: Fun singletrack




The Apache Wash Loop is located in the northern area of the Sonoran Preserve in Phoenix, Arizona. Beginning at the Apache Wash trailhead the loop starts out by crossing Paradise Wash and traveling alongside of it until it reaches the Carefree Highway. From there the trail loops back toward the trailhead along Apache Wash. At the upper end of Apache Wash the loop intersects with the Sidewinder trail before crossing a ridge and heading back to the trailhead. For the last 0.4 miles the loop shares routes with the Ocotillo trail.


The Apache Wash trailhead is at 1600 E. Sonoran Desert Drive.


Just past the restrooms there is a junction where the Apache Wash, Sidewinder and Ocotillo trails all meet up. The Apache Wash Loop takes off on the first trail on the right and returns via the Ocotillo trail.


The trail is a little gravely as it begins with a few baby heads here and there.


After a tenth of a mile or so the trail crosses Paradise Wash.


Around the half mile point the trail passes the spot where the Badger Brawl trail branches off on the right.


Near the 3/4 mile point is where the Esplanade trail branches off. There are some nice easy loops that can be made by combining the Esplanade, Cliff Walk, Badger Brawl and several connector trails.


After passing the Esplanade junction the Apache Wash Loop turns back toward Paradise Wash and travels along its edge all the way out to near the Carefree Highway where it begins looping back toward the trailhead.


For the return trip the trail travels alongside Apache Wash over a mostly smooth hard packed surface. There are several connectors that cut across the middle of the loop that can be used to either shorten the trail or just provide some different scenery. There is also at least one connector that cuts over to the Sidewinder trail.


Just before reaching the saddle in the ridge between the Apache Vista and Ridgeback Overlook peaks the Apache Wash Loop passes through an intersection with the Sidewinder trail.


After crossing the ridge the Apache Wash Loop meets up with the Ocotillo trail.


The Apache Wash Loop finishes up by sharing routes with the Ocotillo trail for the last half mile or so. There are several spurs along the final stretch that connect with the horse trailer parking area and the regular parking lot. We were riding our mountain bikes when we took the photos for this post but there were a good number of hikers that were also doing all or part of the trail. The trail is very enjoyable whatever your mode of travel is. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is grab your bike or 'Take a hike'.