FATMAP difficulty grade
The Painted Hills is a small trail system in the foothills of the Tucson Mountains, right on the outskirts of the city.
While these trails might be most popular with hikers and runners, these short but technical trails provide the perfect after-work singletrack hit for those in a hurry. To make the most of the trail system, either begin from the main trailhead as noted or pedal from home and ride up and into the trail system via one of the connector trails to the north.
The loop as mapped completes an exterior circuit of the small trail system, hitting almost all of the trails in a clean, entertaining loop.
If you so choose, you can climb to the tops of a couple of the small mountains, but none of the "summit" trails are ideal for climbing on a bicycle. Shortly after departing the trailhead, this route takes a right onto the Slingshot Trail, which makes up a large part of the loop.
Slingshot is a technical black diamond cross country trail filled with sharp rocks and ledges that require tech skills both up and downhill.
This is classic Tucson Mountain tech, so if you've ridden other technical trails nearby, you probably know what to expect. After joining the Monsoon Loop, the trail technicality begins to mellow out, dropping to an upper-intermediate difficulty.
Monsoon has one short, steep climb, but it's over quick. The ride wraps up on the Mosaic trail.
The easiest trail in the trail system, this is a fun, flowy finish to wrap up the ride.
You're most likely to encounter other trail users on Mosaic, so be sure to ride heads-up.