Trail Boss: Heinous Rocks and Hospital Visits

Lenosky does battle with boulders and spiky flora on his toughest challenge yet.

La Milagrosa on Mount Lemmon in Tucson, Arizona, was by far the most challenging episode of Trail Boss to film to date. I felt like everything was out to get me on this trail; the terrain was gnarly, the climate hot and dry, and the approach to the trailhead brutal (the Molino Basin segment of the Arizona Trail is extremely tough!).

MTB Project user Ryan Courreges calls out that the ride to La Milagrosa starts with “a miserable hike-a-bike up about 500 vertical feet over a little less than a mile.” I took this description as a challenge and decided to see if it was possible! This climb really was insanely difficult but a long, rugged decent rewarded my efforts. By the time I reached the start of La Milagrosa, I was DEFINITELY warmed up!

The trail itself was chock-full of all the challenges I love: extended ledgy climbs over tacky granite, steep and technical roll-overs, and flat-out descending. Be warned, though, the local plants (I’m looking at you, cacti) are aggressive and they’ll make you pay for cutting corners a little too tight. I found out the hard way, punching one as I leaned the bike over, and ended up taking a quick trip to the hospital to have its barbed spines removed from my knuckles.

Confronting the culprit who sent me to the hospital | Photo courtesy of Jeff Lenosky

Follow trials riding champion Jeff Lenosky on his quest to clean the country's toughest trails. Trail Boss S2:E3

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