An epic backcountry shuttle dropping from the top of Mount Lemmon into Golder Ranch.


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FATMAP difficulty grade



While the [Full Lemmon Drop]( is the mac daddy of shuttle runs in Tucson, the CDO Shuttle—anchored by la Canada Del Oro trail—is a close second.

"If you like backcountry riding that's more of an adventure than a ride, this is the ultimate one to check out," [writes]( mountain bike journalist Tory Powers.

The entire route measures almost 22 miles long.

While it does climb 1,500 vertical feet, you'll lose 7,400 vert over the course of the entire ride, for a net loss of 5,900 feet! The descent follows classic backcountry singletrack trails through alpine forests, and eventually drops all the way into the Sonoran Desert.

While some sections of trail are loamy and flowy, "gnar" is the name of the game on the CDO.

Chunky rock gardens, abrupt corners, ledge drops, and even more chunk demand that riders stay alert at all times due to ever-changing trail conditions.

The lower section of the route drops into [Golder Ranch](,-110.7325005,20456.2476479,-39.0837847,0,1818.4938148,normal), the most popular mountain bike trail system in Tucson for technical riding.

While it may feel like the tail end of the overall route, this zone is a true gem with delightful slickrock riding and entertaining tech lines.

If you're too tired to enjoy it at the tail end of the CDO Shuttle, dedicating an entire day to exploring Golder Ranch would be a great idea. While the map here on FATMAP should help you navigate the shuttle, this route can be difficult to navigate due to poor trail signage.

"I highly recommend a guide for this ride due to the difficulty of reading/finding the trail," [says]( Youtuber James Stoup.

Whether you're looking for a shuttle or a fully-guided experience, [Home Grown Mountain Biking Tours]( is the go-to company in the region. Sources: