Colossal Cave Loop

A rambling XC loop that can be extended with portions of the AZT.

Mountain Biking Moderate

Distance
25 km
Ascent
299 m
Descent
299 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
984 m
High Point
1.1 km
Gradient
Colossal Cave Loop Map

The Colossal Cave Loop begins next to a subdivision on the far outskirts of eastern Tucson. The loop rambles through flowy cross country trails in the desert to reach Colossal Cave Park, from whence it receives its name.

Description

The trail network that this ride begins and ends in is largely unmarked but is still well-traveled by the locals. Be sure to download this map for online navigation to prevent getting lost. All of the trails in this tract of State Trust Land are flowy and non-technical, helping create a delightful, rambling cross country loop.

As you swing around the side of Pistol Hill, the trail begins rolling up and down slightly larger hills, and soon you'll drop into Colossal Cave Park.

Colossal Cave is the focal point of the ride, with beautiful mountain views, towering Saguaro cacti, and more technical sections of riding along the Arizona Trail. However, note that Colossal Cave is home to a horse stable, and the trails here are exceedingly popular with equestrian users. Be sure to ride heads-up and always yield the trail to equestrians.

In Colossal Cave park, you'll gain most of the elevation on this loop, climbing up to a low pass in the mountain range to the north on somewhat rocky trails. While the climb is somewhat rocky, the descent off the top of the pass is much less so. You'll slowly swoop down flowy singletrack through the desert, taking a left off of the AZT to return to the State Trust Land. The loop wraps up on the same flowy, non-technical trails to return you to the trailhead.

Note that if you want to extend this route into a much longer endurance ride, you can head either north or south on the Arizona Trail from the far reaches of this loop.

Difficulty

Moderate

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability, with unavoidable obstacles 8in/20cm tall or less. Other obstacles such as rock gullies and steep sections may exist. Ideal for lower 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
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack

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