Downhill-optimized trails – a rollercoaster on a bike – will be a first in AZ
PRESCOTT, Arizona (July 10, 2023) — After years of planning, public comment periods, and collaboration the proposal for the Bean Peaks Gravity Flow Trail System in Prescott, Arizona has received final approval from the U.S. Forest Service. In a press release on June 21st, Sarah Clawson, District Ranger for the Bradshaw-Chino District of the US Forest Service stated, “We’re excited to add this unique experience to our world-class trail system in the greater Prescott area. As is the case for all our trails, this project would not be possible without our partners and the dedicated community of all trail users who continue to help us design, build and maintain them for the benefit of locals and visitors alike.”
The project is a joint initiative of the Prescott National Forest, the Prescott Mountain Bike Alliance (PMBA), the City of Prescott, and the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).
IMBA and PMBA are beyond excited to bring this type of professionally planned and constructed trail to AZ. “The Bean Peaks Gravity Flow Trail System will be the first of its kind in Arizona,” says Ximena Florez, Board President of the Prescott Mountain Biking Alliance. “The trail system will offer a safe and exciting rollercoaster-like experience that can be enjoyed by mountain bikers of many different levels and ages.”
Gravity flow trails are mountain bike-optimized, one-way trails that are machine-built with berms, jumps and other fun trail features. The Bean Peaks Gravity Flow Trail System will provide 17 miles of new mountain bike trails and two new trailheads.
Near the White Spar Campground, Bean Peaks will foster progressive skill development while also providing challenges for expert riders. In addition, the trails will be designed to include adaptive bikes – for instance, recumbent hand-pedaled bikes – making these trails accessible to riders with special needs. The 850 feet of elevation and unique rock formations provide excellent terrain for flow trail development. Just three miles south of downtown Prescott, the Bean Peaks project will bring more trails close to home and will draw riders from across the Southwest.
“IMBA is impressed by the collective momentum that has been achieved to get the Bean Peaks Gravity Flow Trail System dream to this stage,” says David Wiens, Executive Director of IMBA. “From deeply understanding the needs of the community to engaging in impactful partnerships with the Prescott National Forest land managers, PMBA and the City of Prescott have kept mountain biking in the foreground and made it happen. The IMBA Trail Solutions team is excited to begin working on a build that will happen in phases, giving riders a chance to progress from green trails to more advanced downhill as the system is constructed.”
Prescott, Arizona is home to hundreds of miles of trails that connect the city to the surrounding Prescott National Forest. The trails, coupled with an active and engaged community, have helped grow the popularity of mountain biking among riders of all ages in the area.
The proposal for this trail system was the result of an IMBA Trail Accelerator Grant awarded to PMBA and City of Prescott in 2020 to study the feasibility of gravity/flow style trails. Taking inspiration from Corral Trail in Lake Tahoe, another successful partnership between mountain bikers and the U.S. Forest Service, PMBA leveraged advocacy, community, and pure enthusiasm for mountain biking to make this happen.
“The City of Prescott is very excited about the Bean Peaks project! it will be another great attraction in our outdoor recreation portfolio and solidify our place as a great location to get away and play while improving the quality of life for our residents,” added Joe Baynes, Director of Prescott Parks and Recreation.
IMBA Trail Solutions will begin construction during fall of this year. Stay tuned for more information about PMBA-sponsored events that will continue raising money for this exciting project as it moves forward.