FATMAP difficulty grade
The [Tortolita Mountains Loop](https://fatmap.com/routeid/2732651/tortolita-mountains-loop) includes almost this entire ride and more in a lengthy big mountain ride through a shockingly remote pop up mountain range.
But if you're looking for a shorter adventure that still maximizes the technical difficulty, try this loop on for size. The Tortolita Mountains are located on the north end of the Tucson Metro Area.
While this ride departs directly from a subdivision and a Ritz Carlton hotel, you'll quickly climb into a wild, undeveloped mountain range, prompting you to quickly forgetting that you're right next to the city. After departing the trailhead, you'll pedal through sandy washes before reaching a mandatory hike-a-bike.
This rocky stair-stepped ascent is pretty damn brutal, but rest assured: it's over rather quickly.
After cresting the initial hike-a-bike climb, you'll be back on the bike pedaling through up-and-down technical singletrack on your way to the far reaches of the loop.
If you're not turning right on Ridgeline for the long loop, turn left instead to drop down and cross the wash. On the other side of the wash, the route ascends a steep, technical climb on its way to the marquee descent down Wild Mustang and Upper Javelina.
Some riders will be able to pedal this climb, while others may resort to hike-a-biking. Based on the steep hike-a-bike that you began the ride with, you might fear that Upper Javelina will be downright unrideable.
But rest assured: while this is no doubt a challenging black diamond descent, Upper Javelina is quite achievable, with well-built corners, fun rock gardens, slabs, and drops.
It's an excellent tech-gnar rip back down to the valley floor. Once at the bottom, turn left to pedal back to the parking lot where you began. This loop gets a fraction of the traffic of other trails in the Tucson area due to the difficulty and remoteness, but the beautiful mountains and rad descents are well worth the effort required!