Analysing terrain data
The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
This diverse and exciting three-day adventure features 60 miles of flowing singletrack through oak and juniper forests, across golden grasslands and finishing among stands of giant saguaro cacti.
While technical challenges will be encountered each day, the majority of the route is ideal for beginner and intermediate riders who want to experience the Arizona Trail near Tucson. The Santa Rita Mountains are incredibly biodiverse, and are one of the only places in America where you might share the trail with a jaguar or ocelot (both have been documented here in recent years).
This is the only trip where you can spend time underground, and a walk through Colossal Cave will reveal the incredible world that exists underground.
Ending in Saguaro National Park (one of only two National Parks in the country that allow mountain bikes on trails), this three-day itinerary is about as much fun as you can have on your mountain bike. Day 3 The day begins with a rocky, gentle climb north out of Colossal Cave Mountain Park.
Limestone dominates the landscape, which makes for challenging riding, but soon disappears as you descend into lower elevations.
The trail seems to get easier with each passing mile, rolling downhill toward Rincon Creek.
Sometimes flowing like a creek and other times just a trickle, it’s a pleasant change from the prickly pear and ocotillo forests nearby.
Climbing out of Rincon Creek the Arizona Trail enters Saguaro National Park, first on singletrack then on an old doubletrack road that allows you to soak up the inspiring views of the massive Rincon Mountains.
Healthy forests of saguaros surround you and Gila monsters and rattlesnakes are commonly seen here.
Where the Arizona Trail enters the Saguaro Wilderness area, you follow the Hope Camp Trail toward the Camino Loma Alta Trailhead.
If you want more miles, pedal the paved loop through Saguaro National Park – one of the most scenic routes anywhere in Arizona.
Along the way you’ll encounter the Cactus Forest Loop, a short segment of trail that is open to bicycles.
It’s a great way to experience the biodiversity of the Park.
Ride length is 12 miles. For more information and to book a tour, visit: http://aztexpeditions.com/Arizona-Trail-5