Sweetwater Trail System

 38 votes

7.5 Miles 12.1 Kilometers



533' 162 m


-532' -162 m


2,680' 817 m


2,466' 752 m



Avg Grade (2°)


Max Grade (5°)

All Clear

72 days agoUpdate

A beautiful introductory ride through some of the most beautiful singletrack in Tucson.

Evan Olson


The Sweetwater Trail System has many trails and loops that be ridden in different orders and in different directions. This route seems to be the most popular. It is mostly easy terrain with a few intermediate sections throughout to keep things interesting. This is a multi use trail so keep an eye out for hikers and horses.


This route starts out on the Saguaro Vista Trail and continues through to the Sun Circle Loop then to the Black Rock Loop. It then continues up Lost Arrow Trail to Red Canyon Trail, Red Tail Ridge and back to the start on Wildflower Ridge Trail.

Saguaro Vista Trail: Easy singletrack through classic Arizona desert.

Sun Circle Loop: Short and Easy Loop to add some mileage.

Black Rock Loop: Fun loop that has a short intermediate climb and accompanying downhill section.

Lost Arrow Trail: Sustained climb that is somewhat challenging for a beginner.

Homestead Trail: Easy singletrack with a little elevation change.

Red Canyon Trail: Intermediate route that bypasses the majority of the Homestead Trail.

Wildflower Ridge: Fun mostly downhill route back to the trailhead.


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4.3 from 38 votes

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Jul 5, 2017
Jim Vance
May 13, 2017
Stef Peterson
May 11, 2017
Andy Barrick
May 6, 2017
Michael Cutshall
Big fall, too fast on desperado loop. 10mi
Apr 10, 2017
Jose Perez
Mar 25, 2017
Emily Shell
Mar 5, 2017
Laurita Müehle
Feb 27, 2017
Genevieve Rosengren

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Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 38 votes


  4.3 from 38 votes
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in Arizona


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All Clear 72 days ago

Getting forecast...

I think the name of this is misleading - It's called Sweetwater Preserve. There's a Sweetwater trail higher up the road at the El Camino del Cerro trailhead that connects to the King Canyon Trail and Wasson Peak. I noticed SDMB (local MTB org) also is calling this Sweetwater Trail System. Small technicality - but wanted to point out.... Maybe a better name is Sweetwater Preserve Trail System which is what Pima County has named this trail system. Aug 6, 2015

There are sections of this trail that are good for newer MTB'ers - the newer east trails and this loop to the west - head left at the trailhead from the parking lot and stay left at the junction and climb a short acsent then follow the trail around a sharp right curve. For a easy 4.3 mile short loop stay right where the trail forks and again make a short ascent - follow the trail until you get to a sign and take a right on Oxbow trail - this will lead you to Ocatillo Hill trail - go left and then a right on Homestead trail. At the end of Homestead you'll be at a nice view point (rest stop area) where you can either turn around and go back (best for beginner riders) or head down Lost Arrow trail. It's got some tricky rocky areas which you can hike your bike over if needed, but the rest of the trail is a fun downhill ride - it leads you to Saguaro Vista trail where you'll take a right back to the parking lot. If you take another right at the next wash you come along on this trail it takes you to Roller Coaster which is a nice easy trail too. May be a little challenging for a brand new MTB'er. If you stay straight on Saguaro Vista there's a rocky section near the end that is another hike your bike part (for about 50 feet). Have fun! Aug 6, 2015

For beginner or beginner intermediate I would take a left at the trail map kiosk and ride Desperado. Almost no rocks and a roller coaster flow of a ride awaits. If you are not use to riding on scree about 10 inches from a saguaro I would stick to Desperado. Enjoy the cholla and ocotillo cacti. Nov 20, 2016

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