Epic Road Rides

#RideTucson/Epic Road Rides
Visit Tucson
Written By Visit Tucson

Connecting visitors with their ideal travel experiences in Tucson and Southern Arizona.

Epic Road Rides

Tucson is a road riders dream. These four options comprise some of the best road rides in the area. Tucson has 100s of miles of great riding fit for all different experience and fitness levels, but what we have below should get you started. NOTE: Cycling can be dangerous! Some of the rides listed below are extremely difficult, so make sure you research before you go and watch out for traffic.

1. Catalina Highway/Mt. Lemmon

The crown jewel of Tucson's Santa Catalina Mountains, this road ride is a training ground for professional cyclists. It has been rated as one of the 100 toughest climbs in the world and is on par with some of the most intense climbs seen in European stage races like The Tour de France. This ride is not for the average cyclist, but if your fitness and descending skills are up to snuff then you won't be disappointed by the challenge, or by the view from the top. Difficulty: The ride all the way to the top is extremely difficult, any way you slice it.

2. Kitt Peak

Another climb in the Tucson area that fits the bill of an epic climb is the road to the top of Kitt Peak. This prominent mountain just west of Tucson is home to the Kitt Peak National Observatory, and the climb to the top is truly out of this world. The start of the climb is further out of town than Mt. Lemmon but it is worth the reward. Stop at the top for a quick rest and a look at one of the world's biggest and best astronomical observatories. Difficulty: Depending on whether or not you ride from town this ride can range from difficult to extremely difficult.

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3. Tucson Mountain Park

This is the best place to get a feel for riding in the Sonoran Desert. With miles of rolling asphalt and stunning views all around, this area just outside of the Tucson city limits begs road cyclists to spend all day in the saddle. Ride up and over Gates Pass for a moderate climb/descent and find yourself in a wonderland of desert flora. Make a stop at the west district of Saguaro National Park's Red Hills Visitor Center for a water refill and some more spectacular views. Difficulty: Depending on how long you make your ride and whether or not you include the climb up and over Gates Pass, this ride can range from moderate to difficult.

4. Saguaro National Park (East District) - Cactus Forest Loop

The east district of Saguaro National Park (opposite side of town from the above noted Tucson Mountain Park) boasts one of the most inviting road rides in all of Southern Arizona - The Cactus Forest Loop. This beautiful 8-mile loop provides an unadulterated look at the Sonoran Desert, taking cyclists through a literal forest of giant Saguaro cacti. Smooth pavement and rolling hills make for an fun and easy ride that you won't soon forget. Difficulty: This ride is relatively short with minimal climbing and is fit for pretty much any level of rider.

Find out more at VisitTucson.org/Ride

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