Greater Prescott Trails Plan: Bean Peaks Mountain Bike Trails Approved 

Release Date: Jun 21, 2023

Contact(s): Debbie Maneely: 928-777-2212


PRESCOTT, AZ June 21, 2023 On Wednesday, June 21, 2023, Sarah Clawson, District Ranger for the Bradshaw and Chino Valley Ranger Districts signed the decision authorizing the Bean Peaks Mountain Bike Trails Project, the latest project to come from the Greater Prescott Trails Planning effort.  This authorization gives approval for construction of 17 miles of new trail, two new trailheads, and restoration of 12 miles of unauthorized routes. The project location is adjacent to the White Spar Campground in the Bean Peaks area, three miles south of downtown Prescott, on the east side of State Route 89.   

“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”, said Sarah Clawson, Bradshaw-Chino District Ranger.  

The Greater Prescott Trails Planning (GPTP) has been an ongoing, multi-year collaborative effort, which has informed the Bradshaw Ranger District’s trail system planning since 2013. In general, the effort identified that multi-use trails are preferred. For the first several years, GPTP trail planning projects were more global in nature, designed to increase sustainable system trail miles to benefit the highest quantity and diversity of users, while also addressing the increased demand for non-motorized and motorized trail miles in general. After making decisions on projects designed to meet those highest priorities, GPTP efforts have shifted to consider projects with smaller scope and scale.  

Demand for a “gravity/flow” experience was expressed through GPTP meetings with the public, and the current trail system does not offer such an experience. While some trails offer a similar experience, the current system is not designed to optimize it; neither is it designed to mitigate user conflicts from downhill gravity/flow travel by ensuring the safety of all users.  Gravity/flow trails provide one-way, bike optimized trails with tabletops, rollers, berms, and technical rock features that provide the user with a flow experience that can be easy and fun without leaving the ground or users can increase speeds and challenge themselves by jumping the same features that can be rolled over. Gravity/flow trails are designed to be fun and flowing and allow the user to easily go faster or slower depending on their desires with options available for people of all ages and abilities.   

This project was designed to serve the needs of the mountain bike community while not displacing other trail users, which was not an easy task with all the existing trails in the Prescott Basin.  A conceptional plan was completed in 2020 by the International Mountain Biking Association through a grant supported by the Prescott Mountain Bike Alliance and the City of Prescott.  This plan was submitted to the Forest Service and served as the starting point for design of this project.  The authorized plan provides a new trailhead for the trail system, 10.5 miles of mountain bike optimized downhill trails, 4.4 miles of trails designed for uphill mountain bike travel and bi-directional travel by hikers as well as an additional 1.9 miles of bi-directional travel for hikers and mountain bikers.  The motorized trails will also be realigned to reduce impact on the watershed and provide additional opportunities through construction of a new multiuse motorized trailhead on Forest Road 64 adjacent to Ponderosa Park Rd. 

Construction of this new trail system will be completed through a partnership with the City of Prescott and Prescott Mountain Bike Alliance to hire professional trail contractors to complete this type of advanced trail construction.  The trails will still be constructed using all native materials (dirt and rock), no wooden structures or other constructed features will be necessary.  Signs and user education materials will be a major component to ensure the safety of all users. 

For more information or to view the decision memo visit: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/prescott/?project=61751 ; or contact Jason Williams at Jason.a.williams@usda.gov or the Bradshaw & Chino Valley Ranger Districts at 928-443-8000.