Singletrack for days! Whether you're just starting out or a trail-tested vet, Tucson is ready to shred.
Mountain Bike Mecca
Tucson has been hard at work crafting its own unique cycling culture for decades, and when it comes to mountain biking there's nothing like it. With tons of varying terrain and a ridiculous number of trails suited for all levels, Tucson proudly serves up hundreds of miles of singletrack both in and around the city, providing an endless assortment of challenges. Cruise the lowland desert trails for extended cross-country riding, or head up to the mountains for technical, leg-scorching climbs and some fast, flowy descents. If you're on the hunt for dirt then you've come to the right place.
Video: Get a feel for Tucson's MTB style with a look at one of our most popular local events, the 24 Hours In The Old Pueblo Mountain Bike Race.
Tips for Mountain Biking in Tucson
Some of the things that make Tucson, and the Sonoran Desert in general, such a great place to ride can also be things to watch out for. As with any type of outdoor recreation in the desert, remember that the most important thing that you need to bring is WATER! On most trails out here you will not be able to find it easily (or at all) depending on the season. We know that most people like to keep their gear light and minimal when riding, but always bring a couple water bottles and for longer rides, consider a hydration pack. The drawbacks of a few extra pounds are well worth it to avoid the perils of dehydration.
The plants and animals that are part of the Sonoran Desert's claim to fame can also make for a bad time if you don’t respect them. Keep an eye out for snakes and other animals on the trail and watch for cacti and sharp desert plants as you’re flying down stretches of singletrack. Consider bringing a pair of tweezers or small pliers with you for any possible thorny encounters. Local riders will also tell you that a pick-style comb can be a helpful tool if you have a run-in with the particularly rambunctious cactus known as the “Jumping” Teddybear Cholla. Also be aware that the rugged, rocky trails and unique vegetation that make desert riding so appealing can also easily lead to flats, so if possible, run a set of thick tubeless tires with sealant.
Other than that, all the other universal rules of trail safety apply: Always wear a well-fitted helmet and any other protective gear that you may have in your arsenal. Research the trail you plan to ride ahead of time to ensure you know what you’re up against and any restrictions that may be encountered. Share the trail with other riders, hikers or anyone else who is out there enjoying it with you. And most of all, enjoy the ride!
Video: Tucson Pro-Tips with Todd Wells
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