2020 Prickly Pedal Mountain Bike Race and MTB Tour - Cancelled

The 2020 Prickly Pedal Mountain Bike Race on the Maricopa Trail is cancelled. Details for the January 2021 Prickly Pedal race are to be announced.

Located in the heart of the Sonoran Desert, the Prickly Pedal Mountain Bike Race and MTB Tour winds through the northern section of the Maricopa Trail, the Valley’s emerald ring—a seamless connection of beautiful desert and challenging terrain with scenic views and near-perfect riding conditions. Keep an eye out for registration details and more exciting events.

All proceeds from the Prickly Pedal Mountain Bike Race and MTB Tour go to support the Maricopa Trail and Park Foundation.

Prickly Pedal Race Video

View the 2019 Race Video

Prickly Pedal Image Gallery

View the 2018 Race Images

The Race

January 2024 – The Prickly Pedal Returns

Stay tuned for details and registration opening January 2023
Featuring a 36 mile point to point course, the Prickly Pedal starts in Cave Creek and rides up through town to Spur Cross where you’ll join the Maricopa Trail all the way over to the finish line at Lake Pleasant Regional Park. The event showcases the Maricopa Trail diversity and supports the Maricopa Trail and Park Foundation. Aggressive ascents and descents, grinding it out on the flats, rocks, water, sand, mud, and roller coaster runs are all part of the fun of this challenging course.

Close to 350 racers in 2019 came from around the Valley, Arizona and across the country to share in the experience of racing and supporting the trails. You see, the Prickly Pedal isn’t just a great race, it’s an opportunity to support the development of a world-class 300-mile trail that rings Maricopa County and links many of its regional parks. Proceeds from the Prickly Pedal support the Maricopa Trail and Park Foundation (MT+PF), a nonprofit organization which strives to provide sustainable financial support to the newly constructed Maricopa Regional Trail System.

Besides being a challenging, exciting, fun race, why does the Prickly Pedal exist? To pour every dollar of race revenue into efforts that will add more pristine miles of Maricopa Trail for riders to enjoy. MT+PF envisions this event evolving into a world class, multi-day, endurance stage mountain bike race, drawing thousands of fans to the desert southwest.

The ride features numerous short, steep, rocky climbs and descents…some of which will require you to dismount and hike. This is not a race for the inexperienced – finish times for most racers are estimated at 3-4 hours. Be prepared for a long day in the saddle. This is a mountain bike race. Racers who have not passed the Stage 2 start cut off point by 12:00 pm will be asked to leave the course and return to the finish line.

There will be two aid stations along the long course stocked with water, sports drinks, fruits and HAMMER Nutrition Products.

Racers and volunteers will enjoy free entry into the After-Party and Award Ceremonies event from 11:00 pm – 3:00 pm. The After-Party will include snacks and refreshments, a beer garden, and a free kids race.

All racers, their fans, friends and family are encouraged to join us at Lake Pleasant Regional Park for the After Party and Awards Presentation.

There will be a shuttle from the After Party back to Cave Creek for racers. Racers will check their bikes into a secure bike corral at the After Party while the shuttle takes them to retrieve their vehicles in Cave Creek.

Course Map

Click the Image to View a Larger Map in a New Tab.

Maricopa Trail

The Maricopa Trail is a one-of-a-kind trail that connects Maricopa County’s 10 regional parks by forming an emerald ring around the Phoenix valley. Today the trail is more than 275 miles long, and when complete it will be 315 miles long.

To see a map of the Maricopa Trail go to https://www.maricopacountyparks.net/things-to-do/activity/maps/ .

Maricopa Trail and Park Foundation

MT+PF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting, promoting, developing, and maintaining one of the nation’s largest county park systems. MT+PF strives to provide sustainable financial support to the newly constructed Maricopa Regional Trail System which connects all of the Maricopa County parks.

Click here to make a tax deductible donation to the Maricopa Trail and Park Foundation.


Places to Stay


Visit the Town of Cave Creek’s lodging page

Comfort Suites Peoria Sports Complex

Camping in Cave Creek

Cave Creek Regional Park is located about 10 miles from the long and short course finish line. Camping areas inside the park include:

  • Family Campground – There are 38 individual campsites in the family campground equipped with parking for 45′ RVs, water and electrical hook-ups, grills and more. Restrooms with hot water showers are also available.
  • Group Campground – This campground is great for large groups and requires a reservation. It features a restroom with hot showers, ramadas with picnic tables, a fire ring and activity area.

Check out the camping fees or reserve your spot.

Camping at Lake Pleasant

Long course participants may choose to camp at Lake Pleasant Regional Park, which offers 3 separate campgrounds near the long course starting line:

  • Roadrunner Campground – Located closest to the long course starting line, this campground and picnic area has 72 developed (i.e. electricity and water-equipped) campsites.
  • Desert Tortoise Campground – This campground has a total of 76 campsites: 25 developed, 41 semi-developed and 10 for tents.
  • Group Campground – Large groups can make a reservation for the group campground, which includes picnic tables, ramadas and an RV parking area.

Check out the camping fees or reserve your spot.



With an average 300 days of sunshine a year, Cave Creek and the greater Phoenix area offer near-perfect weather that will make your ride exhilarating. Average daily highs in January reach the high 60s, and nightly lows are in the high 40s. Since it is a desert climate, humidity and average rainfall are very low and it is recommended you drink extra amounts of water to stay hydrated. See current weather in Cave Creek.