50-Year Trail

Ride one of Tucson's most renowned stretches of singletrack.

Mountain Biking Difficult

Distance
31 km
Ascent
471 m
Descent
471 m
Low Point
822 m
High Point
1.1 km
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
50-Year Trail Map

Description

The 50-Year Trail is a classic Tucson singletrack route that’s long been popular with mountain bikers, hikers, and equestrians. While shorter loop options are available by starting at Golder Ranch, if you want to experience the entire 50-Year Trail, you’ll have to start further south at Catalina State Park.

The route as mapped forms a 19.5-mile out-and-back with a short loop at the end. It’s possible to lengthen this ride even further by climbing higher up the Around the Mountain trail and then dropping back down on either the Rattlesnake Trail or Cowboy Slickrock, as mapped in the “Best of Golder Ranch” route.

However you choose to slice and dice the route, you’re in for a true gem of Tucson singletrack! The ride begins with a long stretch of mellow, relatively non-technical singletrack in the state park. After a short climb, you’ll gain a low ridge and traverse the ridge for several miles, before reaching Golder Ranch itself. As a friendly reminder, know that "this area IS multi-use and gets a lot of equestrian traffic." SDMB.org advises that mountain bikers "be conscious of your riding and yield… STOP and let the equestrian riders go by. They’re all nice folks and we’re all out to enjoy these fantastic trails together."

After riding through flowy, swoopy singletrack for a few miles, the trail character changes abruptly. When you reach the loop portion of the route, the trail transforms into a steep, rocky singletrack that climbs into the hills above Golder Ranch. This is also where you have the option to extend your ride, if you desire.

After completing a loop of your desired length in Golder Ranch, turn around and return to Catalina State Park the way you came. Sources: https://www.sdmb.org/trails/golder-ranch/ https://www.mountainbikebill.com/AZ07Tucson50YR.htm

Difficulty

Difficult

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • Rock Rolls
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area