As mountain bikers trade their bikes for skis or snowboards this winter, a trip to the southwest desert means you can keep the rubber on the trails all year long. 

The Arizona desert, while it might feel like the surface of the sun most of the year, is a mountain biking paradise come wintertime. 

Lower temperatures and dryer conditions make the trails around Phoenix especially a rider’s dream. With an abundance of trails to choose from, mostly in the beginner to moderate difficulty range, riding here never gets boring. 

Here are 8 of the best mountain bike trails in Arizona based on our experience and rankings by MTB Project, a user-generated web site that lists close to 17,000 trails worldwide. The group also offers a trail app that is indispensable for riders.

Photo credit: MTB Project