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“Scenic views, ridgelines, and technical lines in one of the largest urban parks in the nation.
— Hunter R
Starting at the San Juan Lookout the trail starts with a couple miles of easier trail and eventually crosses San Juan Rd.
After crossing San Juan Rd. you'll stay right of the fork as left will take you on the Bajada Trail
. This section of National starts climbing and is full of washed out areas, rocks, and several obstacles on the way up. Once you are out of the canyon the trail steeply follows the ridgeline with a few short downs and then steep ups. You'll pass several abandoned mines along the way (just a few feet off the trail!) and ride along the backside of the mountain for a bit where the trail becomes exposed but is pretty wide and non-technical through the exposure.
The next major intersection will be at Ranger Trail
which will take you back down to the 5 Table TH/Ranger Station. If you continue on National, the next section will take you underneath the TV Antennas and crosses the paved road to the lookouts twice.
National then takes you over Telegraph pass and up to the Buena Vista Lookout. From the Buena Vista lookout to the end of National at the east end, it gets more technical with bigger technical features and rock moves. Some of the areas Downhillers will shuttle up to Buena Vista Lookout and ride this section of National. It is an enjoyable section of trail as long as you know your limits and walk features above your current ability level.
National will end at a Dirt Road
which you can take down to the Pima Canyon/48th St. parking lot.