The Full Lemmon Drop

One of the most epic and brutally-gnarly shuttle runs in the USA!

Mountain Biking Extreme

Distance
48 km
Ascent
1.1 km
Descent
3.1 km
Low Point
849 m
High Point
2.8 km
Gradient
10˚
VIEW ON MAP
The Full Lemmon Drop Map

Description

The Full Lemmon Drop is easily one of the most epic mountain bike shuttle runs in the United States. Starting on top of 9,157-foot Mount Lemmon, this route connects the best trails in the region into a massive 29-mile route from mountain summit to valley floor. Even though this is a "shuttle run," riders will still pedal up 3,700 feet of elevation… but that climbing scores you a solid 10,000 feet of descending, for a whopping 6,300 feet of net elevation loss.

If you're surprised to find a shuttle run of these proportions in Arizona, you're not alone. It's rare to find a shuttle this massive, this epic, even in the burliest of the Rocky Mountains, let alone dropping into the Sonoran Desert just north of the Mexican border. But word is getting out about Mount Lemmon, and companies like Home Grown Mountain Biking Tours are springing up to serve the demand for shuttles and guided riding alike.

So what exactly are the trails on this epic shuttle run like? In two words: "brutally gnarly."

"The word 'gnarly' falls well short of doing justice to La Milagrosa, a rock-strewn, cactus-lined plummet through a potential house of pain," writes mountain bike journalist John Fisch about one of the prime sections of the Full Lemmon Drop. "Some may bemoan a lack of flow, but others prize this trail for its natural, non-manmade features and continual challenge."

And La Milagrosa, while one of the best-known sections, isn't even the most technical. Mountain bike journalist Tory Powers claims on Pinkbike that Incinerator Ridge is "one of the techiest public trails I've ever gotten a chance to ride." And that is saying something! "I'm not exaggerating when I say I couldn't ride some of this with my camera bag on," he continues. "If you want a seriously fun challenge, this trail is a must. 2 miles of mostly descent over about 1200' that's chock full of technical rock gardens, man-made technical switchbacks, natural rock rolls, and fast segments to connect it all."

Take these warnings to heart: this is not a beginner or intermediate mountain bike ride. The Full Lemmon Drop is for advanced and expert mountain bikers only—but once you're competent enough to handle this route, you'll have to plan your pilgrimage to Tucson!

Sources: https://singletracks.com/mtb-trails/five2ride-best-bike-trails-near-tucson-az/ https://www.pinkbike.com/news/destination-showcase-tucson-arizona.html

Difficulty

Extreme

Very steep, difficult, narrow singletrack with widely variable and unpredictable trail conditions. Unavoidable obstacles could be 15in/38cm tall or greater, and unavoidable obstacles with serious consequences are likely to be present. Obstacles could include big rocks, difficult root sections, drops, jumps, sharp switchbacks, and more. Ideal for expert-level riders.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

April, May, June, July, August, September, October

Features

  • Technical
  • Picturesque
  • Shuttle-run
  • Singletrack
  • Drops
  • Roots
  • Rock Rolls
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area