“Tucson's Upper Loop with the Around The Mountain extension.
— Bryan Schlegel
This loop has B and C line features, rock rolls, and slick rock climbs and descents. Expect some of the best free riding features in Tucson linked with fantastic singletrack. This route is best ridden in late fall to early spring.
Need to Know
Pads and a full-face helmet are recommended if you're looking to get in some of the B & C lines and jumps, but aren't required.
Leave the Golder Ranch trailhead parking area and flow through some fast singletrack on your way to The Chutes
entrance, with some fun 1-4' rock jumps and hucks along the 50 Year Trail Segment
Enter The Chutes
and stay right for a fun, techy climb on the 50 Year Trail Segment
toward the upper loop, continuing onto Upper Cherry Tank
. Stay right at the split near the top of the climb and keep an eye out for a faint trail on your left. If you reach the barbed wire fence you've gone too far.
From here, continue onto more steep, technical climbing and flowy singletrack that takes you north and east on Cherry Tank
around the mountain to Cowboy Slickrock
has some fun, Moab-style steep climbs and descents and mild rock rolls. If you don't know this section, plan to spend some time route finding for the trail exits off the slickrock sections (the MTB Project mobile app
helps!). This trail will eventually T into the very top of the Upper Loop slick rock of the 50 Year Trail Segment
. Now the fun descending begins!
The Upper Loop descent contains lots of B & C line options for rock rolls, jumps, and hucks. A trail or all-mountain bike is recommended for these features, but you can certainly have fun picking your way down on a hardtail, too.
Stay left at the Middlegate split onto the Middlegate Trail
for some more mellow, mixed climbing and descending flow sections. Keep an eye out for a handful of small rock jumps along the trail edge on your way back down to rejoining the 50 Year Trail Segment
you took on the way out.
The locals like to play "no brakes" for the last, fast section of singletrack down to the road. Give it a try if you're up to the challenge. After the fast finish, take the short road climb back up the parking area.