NIGHT RIDES AT McDowell Mountain Park – Important Info


The summer night rides at McDowell Mountain Regional Park (the Park) have steadily grown with record attendance numbers of 160+ at the first ride this year and 180+ last Saturday.  The record attendance has added a whole new level to the festival atmosphere with experience levels ranging from beginners to the well-seasoned rider.  With the growth and broad range of age and experience levels come a few challenges.  At the conclusion of the first two night rides this year there were several riders that did not sign out upon completing their ride.  Additionally there were one or more vehicles in the lot whose owners could not be located well after 10 pm, which is the advertised time to complete your ride and be off the trails.  This resulted in a search of the trails by park staff and volunteers thinking that someone may be stranded and in need of assistance.

The guidelines listed below will assist the Park in managing the night rides, and allow the summer night rides to continue.

  • Be prepared.  All riders must have a helmet, a lighting system designed for mountain biking and battery power for 3 hours of riding.  Adequate hydration, repair tools, first aid kit and backup lighting is recommended.
  • If you are new to night riding and/or not familiar with the trails, ride with a group and start early.
  • Sign in before heading out on the trail and do not forget to sign out when you return.  The sign in/out sheets are available at 6:30 for riders who might need extra time in order to be back by 10pm. NO RIDERS WILL BE ALLOWED TO START AFTER 8:00 p.m.
  • Be courteous on the trail.  This social/recreational event, not a race!  There is a broad range of skill levels and several families riding with young children.  Set a good example and be an ambassador to the sport of mountain biking.
  • If you need to leave you vehicle in the lot over-night, please notify the Night Ride Coordinator at the sign-in table so we know you returned and are OK.

Seeing a vehicle still in the parking lot usually signals that a rider has not returned and maybe lost, injured or walking a damaged bike back to the trailhead.

We need everyone’s help to keep what we now believe are the largest night rides in the county, state, maybe the world, operating smoothly.  Thanks and keep supporting these community events.

Don’t forget to thank the Park (Rand) for organizing and coordination of the rides and Doug at Fountain Hills Bikes for providing the post ride food, videos and music.