Brown Mountain Loop
ElevationAscent: 714' 217 m
Descent: -715' -218 m
High: 3,097' 944 m
Low: 2,652' 808 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 25% (14°)
Current trail conditions
Popular rides nearby
Tucson Mountain Park Loop
10.5 mi 16.8 km • Loop • 506 ft Ascent 154.35 m Ascent
Singletrack Tucson Estates, AZ( 12 )
2.7 mi 4.4 km • Loop • 156 ft Ascent 47.64 m Ascent
Singletrack Flowing Wells, AZ( 7 )
12.1 mi 19.5 km • Loop • 1,523 ft Ascent 464.36 m Ascent
Singletrack Catalina, AZ( 19 )
7.8 mi 12.6 km • Loop • 287 ft Ascent 87.39 m Ascent
Singletrack Green Valley, AZ( 8 )
Golder Ranch Advanced Loop
12.4 mi 20.0 km • Loop • 1,196 ft Ascent 364.4 m Ascent
Singletrack Catalina, AZ( 12 )
18.8 mi 30.2 km • Point to Point • 1,928 ft Ascent 587.8 m Ascent
Singletrack Tanque Verde, AZ( 14 )
Navigate on-trail with our free app
“A short looping tour of Brown Mountain with a technical descent.”— Bob Kelsey
Starting from the trailhead located just north of the Gilbert Ray Campground on McCain Loop (M9 pullout, there is Brown Mountain sign here), Brown Mountain is directly in front of you. Ride north through the mostly gentle terrain to a crossing at a wash. On the north side of the wash, climb a couple rock steps and turn right at the intersection (Cougar Trail sign). Enjoy the ride as the smooth trail gently climbs through the cacti forest around the east side of Brown Mountain. Keep left at approx. 1/2 mile (row of small rocks will direct you). Keep climbing and winding on the easy trail along the east side of the mountain.
Near the north side of the mountain at mile 2.5, take a quick breath, stay left at a trail intersection and start climbing west up the hill. The trail to the right will take you down to the Juan Santa Cruz Picnic Area (an alternate trailhead). As you climb the left trail, look north and you'll see the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum, great place to visit when you are done riding. After a short climb you'll see a couple signs pointing to the picnic area (east) and the campground (south). Turn south and keep climbing, enjoy the western views!
The trail becomes steeper with a few switchbacks and rock obstacles as you climb the ridge. The trail crests the first climb on the east side of the mountain before dropping down into a small saddle. On the south side of the saddle, the climbing begins again to the top of the ridge. This climb is a little longer and has several small rock obstacles, just put your head down and grind it out. Once on top, enjoy a flowing section along the top of Brown Mountain before starting a technical descent down the south side of the mountain.
The first descent consists of multiple sharp steep switchbacks, rock steps, and loose rocks and is a lot of fun! It's all rideable, but intermediate/difficult in spots. The trail bottoms out at a small saddle before gently climbing south along the ridge again. Once on top, the trail descends to the south in a series of flowing switchbacks. The trail is rocky with rock steps in spots of the intermediate variety. The trail straightens and gradually flattens to a faster section before dropping into a short intermediate/difficult section of rock steps. At the bottom of the rocky section you'll arrive at the trail intersection and wash you crossed at the start of the ride. Continue across the wash and ride back to the trailhead.
Biked this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Features, E-Bikes Allowed, History & Background
Local Club: Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists
Land Manager: Pima County - Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation