Gooseneck Trail – Brown’s Ranch to Tom’s Thumb

It is very exciting to announce the new McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Gooseneck Trail that connects, via single track, the northern 15,000 acre Brown’s Ranch, the southern 15,000 acre McDowell Mountains and the 21,000 acre McDowell Mountain Regional Park.


The new trail starts at the Fraesfield Trailhead in the southeast corner of Brown’s Ranch (Dynamite and 136th). For 3/4 of a mile the trail runs west paralleling Dynamite and then crosses Dynamite at the 128th St. intersection.

The Gooseneck is an S shaped piece of land that runs north and south along the west side of 128th for the first two miles and then crosses over to the east side of 128th and runs along the McDowell Mountain Regional Park. Connector trails to the County Park and the Pemberton Trail are coming soon.

In the south end, the trail currently stops 100′ short of the Rock Knob trail and provides access to the Tom’s Thumb trailhead and the Pemberton Trail via Rock Knob.

Riding North to South

Below is a Garmin map of the trail from North to South. A few things to note:

  • Trail signs south of Dynamite are not installed yet. It is a good idea use GPS navigation or be prepared for some exploration. GPX files are linked below.
  • The trail cut in the northern section is getting overgrown with grass and wildflowers. The trail can be hard to see.
  • The center section of this route is still on old single track and old Jeep roads.
  • There are some sharp edged wash crossings with deep sand – be cautious.
  • The southern most 100′ of this trail is not complete. In other words – the connection to Rock Knob trail doesn’t exist yet, please walk your bike through the desert to get to Rock Knob.

Click here to download the GPX file from Fraesfield to Tom’s Thumb

South to North

The bullet points above still apply.

If you are planning to ride the trail from the Tom’s Thumb Trailhead parking lot, this is how you find the trail. Reset your odometer to 0.0 where the pavement meets the dirt at the beginning of the Marcus Landslide trail. Follow Marcus Landslide and turn left on Rock Knob trail. When your odometer hits .69 miles, look to your left at you can see the new trail cut in a hillside about 100 yards away. You will be on a downhill grade, just before a sharp right turn, it is easy to miss. Please walk your bike through the desert to the trail. If you reach the county park boundary you’ve gone too far.

Click here to download the GPX file from Tom’s Thumb to Fraesfield. Note this is a slightly different route than the southbound route.