Back for a second season, our eMTB Destination Tour seeks to give viewers insight to some eBike friendly locations that we think should make it on your road trip hit list. Whether you’re looking for the best eMTB trails we can find, a little weekend trip with the family or an epic winter getaway with your crew, we hope these episodes will offer some well-rounded looks at some of the best eMTB trails and the communities around them.

For 2023 we were lucky enough to hook up with some amazing partners to keep the gas tank full, burritos in our bellies and keep the camera guy paid. Without their support, these types of projects wouldn’t be possible, so we’d like to extend a huge thank you to Pivot Cycles, Endura Clothing, ABUS helmets and bike locks and Maxxis Tires.

eBike Destinations Tour: Phoenix, Arizona

With Pivot Cycles being our title sponsor it only made sense for us to pick up our enduro-ready Shuttle LT eBikes in person and hit some of our favorite trails on South Mountain in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe, Arizona. The city of year round sun is home to Pivot Cycles and after a long, cold winter beat down, some fun in the sun was exactly what we needed. With over one million inhabitants it’ll come as no surprise that there’s a lot to do off the bike, but the close proximity of South Mountain and a number of other spots located nearby makes Phoenix, and Tempe more specifically, an excellent destination to ride a mountain or e-mountain bike too. If the riding at South Mountain and other local networks isn’t enough to keep you entertained, nearby Mesa, AZ has a growing network of awesome trails and the world famous trails and views of Sedona are

Phoenix is a fast-growing city of around 1.6 million inhabitants located in the center of Arizona, in the south west of the U.S, forming the primary population of the Valley Of The Sun. This makes it the fifth most populated city in the United States, and it packs a metropolitan area with nearly five million people making it the most populated and widest spread city in Arizona. Surrounding this huge metropolitan sprawl are a series of low mountain ranges in each direction, and within the city boundaries are a number of isolated peaks.

eBike Destinations Tour: Phoenix, Arizona

Up until the 1940’s the primary driver of the economy was agriculture, with the “Five C’s” (Cotton, cattle, citrus, climate, and copper) forming the backbone of the area’s revenue. Since then, Phoenix and the surrounding areas became a hot spot for the tech sector, with multiple company headquarters and major manufacturing plants moving to the area, and the city has had a thriving tourism industry since the 1920’s which now amounts to over 19 million visitors per year.

Located within the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix has a hot desert climate with extremely high temperatures sustained from June through to September, and very mild winters. Rainfall is consistently low, making for dry trail conditions most of the year, so the prime riding season extends from October through to May, with Summer being too hot for most.


As a major city with so many tourists visiting, it’ll come as no surprise that there is no shortage of options for places to stay in Phoenix, with thousands of hotel rooms and Airbnbs to choose from. That said, in this widely spread city you can be left with a significant drive to visit certain locations, so the priorities for your trip should dictate the area in which you stay.

For our stay, we opted to seek out an Airbnb that would be located close to the South Mountain area with its large trail network, so that we had the most direct access to the extensive eMTB trail network. We found a property in an excellent location that fitted our needs perfectly – the Ahwatukee Foothills Escape Property hosted by Vanessa Roark is less than a two minute pedal to two different trailheads in the South Mountain Complex. This comfortable and spacious home provided us with the perfect base to rest and recoup in between our long days riding and filming. For mountain bikers and hikers visiting the area it’s an excellent option to provide quick access to the trails and close enough drive to some restaurants and activites.

eBike Destinations Tour: Phoenix, Arizona


The primary focus for our time in Phoenix was the huge South Mountain trail area, sitting on the south side of the city. With over 100 miles of trail nestled in the 16,000+ acre area, South Mountain is a great location for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking, and most importantly for us, legal and excellent for riding electric mountain bikes.

The riding area on South Mountain tops out at roughly 2,500ft, with around 1,400ft of vertical descent available down to the flats below. Spanning most of the length of the riding area is the National Trail, a 13-mile long two-way trail with a wide variety of terrain from green graded flowy singletrack to some very gnarly rock gardens and exposed sections. To ride this out-and-back would involve 26 miles covered with 3,300ft of elevation change and some very challenging sections along the way. The National Trail can also be used to link up most of the other trails on South Mountain, which vary all the way from green and blue graded trails for all abilities up to some seriously technical and challenging double black diamond trails for advanced level riders.

eBike Destinations Tour: Phoenix, Arizona

Pivot Cycles played a major part in opening up the area to eMTBs. Every mountain bike that Pivot Cycles has developed has seen test miles at South Mountain, and that includes their Shuttle eMTB line. It was critically important that when discussions began around eMTB access at South Mountain, the governing bodies understood the full spectrum of what that meant. “We had a vested interest in making sure it happened,” said Ben Webster, Pivot’s Production Line Manage. From supplying intel, opinions and funding as well as lots of man-hours to do trail maintenance, South Mountain, and especially the National Trail’s great condition are largely due to Pivot’s influence.

For riders who also bring a non-eBike with them, there are some amazing locations that are also worth a visit nearby. In neighboring Mesa, Arizona the Hawes Trail offers some amazing speed, flow and fun. Of course no trip to the Southwest would be complete without a stop in the stunning red rocks of Sedona, which is a couple of hours to the north. South Mountain can of course be ridden on an acoustic bike too, though we’d highly recommend an eMTB to take the edge off some of the more challenging sections of climb and maximize enjoyment of more descents, especially in the warmer months.


The big city of Phoenix has lots of options to entertain visitors off the bike. Golf is a major attraction in the area, with over 200 golf courses to choose from and frequent competitions in the area. Family-friendly activity highlights include the impressive Desert Botanical Gardens and the Phoenix Zoo, which are conveniently located in close proximity to one another for a fun two-activity trip.

Dining options are seemingly endless, and there’s an energetic nightlife with many bars and clubs to choose from. During our stay we hunted out what TV hosts had labeled as the “Best pizza in the world”, sampling the award winning Pizza Bianca and Chris Cocalis’s choice of the Chicago-style pies at Lou Malnati’s. We’re not convinced that either topped the excellent A Dopo from our Knoxville, TN stop of our 2022 eMTB Destinations tour, but they were both enjoyed regardless to refuel after our long days in the saddle.

Outside of Phoenix itself are a long list of attractions nearby, from national monuments and castles through to National Forests. Phoenix is a great base location from which to visit the Grand Canyon, Lake Havasu and the Petrified Forest amongst many others, which are all around three hours away.

It’s safe to say that Phoenix is an excellent destination to visit whether you ride eMTBs or not, and the excellent eBike-friendly trail network on South Mountain makes it even sweeter.

We’d like to thank Pivot Cycles, Endura, ABUS and Maxxis Tires for making our 2023 eMTB Destination Tour series possible and allowing us to help share eBike friendly locations to our readers. After having traveled long distances only to arrive and find out that eBikes are not welcome, we wanted to do what we could to prevent others from similar frustrations. Hope to catch you on the highways or the trails.

If you’d like to see us visit and share more places, please leave a comment or suggestion so we can keep this series going.

eBike Destinations Tour: Phoenix, Arizona


eBike Destinations Tour: Phoenix, Arizona


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