Guidebook

Tucson's 4 Favorite Road Biking Routes

From a paved ascent up Tucson's tallest peak to mellow greenway rides around the city, you'll find it all in this road cycling guidebook!

Description

Lying in a low valley at 2,400 feet above sea level and just 60 miles north of the Mexican border, Tucson boasts some of the most beautiful mid-winter weather in the continental United States. But unlike some other snowbird cities, Tucson boasts a dramatic amount of elevation change to challenge road cyclists. This combination of temperate weather and incredible topography has made Tucson a perennial mid-winter training destination for professional and amateur road cyclists alike.

The biggest climb in the area is found on Mount Lemmon, with as much as 8,900 feet of climbing available in one burly out-and-back route. On the western side of town, the lower Gates Pass through the Tucson Mountains provides a more approachable level of climbing for riders who don't quite feel ready for a full ascent of Lemmon. The Tucson Mountains also aren't nearly as tall as the Catalinas, which means the road conditions are much more reliable mid-winter.

Not feeling like climbing? Tucson is home to a world-class network of paved, protected bike paths known collectively as "The Loop." While you can theoretically complete an entire century on The Loop, it’s displayed in this guidebook as two separate ride options.

Whether you’re looking for a mellow pedal through the Sonoran Desert or one of the most challenging road bike climbs in the country, you can find a route to satisfy you here in Tucson!

Mount Lemmon
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Mount Lemmon

104.8 km
2,709 m
2,708 m
One of the best road rides in Arizona!
Severe
Private
Gates Pass -> McCain Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Gates Pass -> McCain Loop

48.3 km
680 m
680 m
A moderate climb with stupendous views.
Moderate
Private
The Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

The Loop

86.8 km
358 m
358 m
A 54-mile loop through Tucson's superb network of urban bike paths.
Easy
Private
Canada Del Oro River Park -> Santa Cruz River Park Loop
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Canada Del Oro River Park -> Santa Cruz River Park Loop

47.3 km
277 m
278 m
A delightful loop on protected bike paths through Tucson's northern suburbs.
Easy
Private