Southern Arizona & Tucson Cycling Tour
Includes all lodging, all breakfasts and dinners, van support, park entrance fees, leaders, tour maps & narratives.
Timberline van shuttle is included from and to Tucson Airport.
Not included: Airline service to Tucson International Airport, Guide Gratuity.
Airport 3 pm, Hotel 3:30 pm
The Tucson area and southwest Arizona is frequently exalted as a cycling mecca by organizations from Forbes, Outside and the Travel Channel. We first learned to love the area from our Chiricahua hiking adventures, but our cycling tours have shown us what a beautiful area it is for early season cycling Come join us to see for yourself.
The city is ringed by 4 mountain ranges, so our itinerary includes exploring some summits and canyons as well as some of the flatter deser areas. That means there will be memorable views and wide expanses. During the week we will ride in the Santa Catalina and Rincon Mountains, explore Saguaro National Park – make sure you get a picture by one of these giant cacti- and visit quaint and quirky, communities. Our first day of riding will get us warmed up as enjoy a gentle climb up to the small town of Arivaca. Day 2 starts with a flat ride as we work out way north towards Tucson. It includes a loop in the Colossal Cave area that has hosted a local road race for years.
Our warm up days have ended as we tackle an ascent on Day 4. We take the Catalina Highway up Mt Lemmon to Summerhaven. During our ride we travel through seven life zones in the Coronado National Forest. Saguaro Cacti give way to hoodoos and balanced rocks during the day. Anyone looking for “bragging rights”, the Sky Island route is the longest climb in the state, by the end of the day we will have earned over 6000 ft of elevation. As a reward for the climb, we will be spending the last two nights in the luxurious Western La Paloma Resort and Spa.
The Old Spanish Trail is a historical trade route, which connected the northern New Mexico settlements with that of southern California. However our ride on Day 5 is connected only in name with the historic trial. The ride is striking as we travel the foothills of the Rincon Mountains and into the desert “boonies”. Rollers and three moderate hills await us.
Our last day might have the greatest concentration of cacti scenery of the week. We will travel to Saguaro National Park and ride the Gates Pass loop. It doesn’t take long to get into a forest of Saguaros along this spectacular stretch of the Sonoran Desert. Alas, the week has come to an end, and our tour of Southern Arizona has concluded.
|Day 1||Arrive, bike fitting, Orientation Dinner|
|Day 3||Green Valley to Colossal Cave||45|
|Day 4||Sky Island Scenic Byway (6203'), Catalina to Mt. Lemmon||50|
|Day 5||Rincon Mountains – Old Spanish trail (1451')||45|
|Day 6||Saguaro NP (1772')||40|
Total Distance: 220 miles
- Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa