Explorer -> 360-Vista Loop

A rugged, technical alternative to the classic Starr Pass.

Mountain Biking Severe

Distance
16 km
Ascent
298 m
Descent
298 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
777 m
High Point
908 m
Gradient
Explorer -> 360-Vista Loop Map

If you've ridden Starr Pass a few times and it's just not enough technical challenge for you, try on the Explorer and 360-View Loop instead! This 10-mile loop connects to Starr Pass, but it traverses much more technical, challenging trails.

Description

The route as mapped begins from the West Irvington Place trailhead and heads out on the Camaro Loop trail, swooping through the Sonoran Desert just on the edge of the city. After ducking under a four-lane highway via a small underpass (aka a drainage ditch), the route cuts through a neighborhood to finally reach Starr Pass.

After reaching the top of the pass, take a left turn onto the Explorer Trail. Here the tech really begins! Explorer provides rugged, challenging singletrack with short, punchy climbs and steep, twisty descents. The rocks that provide the technical challenge are jagged and sharp, with rough protrusions just waiting to shred your sidewalls or pinch flat your tire. Where the trail descends off the backside of a low pass, the sharp rocks then mix with loose, rolling baby heads and shifting sand, providing a harsh, challenging descent that can make it difficult to pick up speed.

After crossing back under the highway, the route climbs back up a small ridge to reach the 360-View trail. As you can imagine, the views from this stretch of singletrack are absolutely stellar, but it provides some delightful chunk as well. The riding continues in the same vein as Explorer, although some of the features are a bit more rideable on this end of the trail system.

None of the miles come easily here, yet the beauty of this mountain range and the ability to pedal for miles and miles around and over these rugged peaks while still seeing the entirety of Tucson spread out below you is a unique and wonderful experience.

Difficulty

Severe

Widely variable, narrow trail tread with steeper grades and unavoidable obstacles of 15in/38cm tall or less. Obstacles may include unavoidable bridges 24in/61cm wide or less, large rocks, gravel, difficult root sections, and more. Ideal for advanced-level 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

  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Singletrack
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area