Cycling Mountains: Directions to Cherry Tank Bike Trail in Tucson, Arizona
If you’re looking for a quick challenge, we have got just the trail for you. Hidden in the Tucson, Arizona mountains is the Cherry Tank bike trail. This trail starts off as single-track, branching off from the Middle Gate trail.
The single-track winds through the foothills of the famous Arizona Catalina Mountains with rocky climbs and steep descents, working its way through the wilderness until it reaches Cherry Tank. After you cross a dry creek the terrain will change slightly. The creek winds along the exposed trail and gives you the perfect arena to road test your biking skills on rocky, narrow, and tree-lined up-and-down paths. Enjoy cycling through this portion of the biking trail while you can because after a mile or so, you will pop back out into the all-too-familiar desert landscape. Let the beautiful views of the Catalinas, the down valleys, and the Oro Valley to the West, greet you and your bike.
Continue on the easier section of single-track to Cherry Tank. From the tank, it is all jeep roads to Charleau Gap Rd. Make sure to follow a GPS trail since there are multiple roads branching off on the way down, and it can get quite confusing for cyclists who aren’t Arizona locals and don’t get additional technological help. Once you bike to Charleau Gap Rd., you have to make a decision: continue climbing the grueling 3+ miles to the Gap, or turn your wheels downhill for a fast jeep road descent.
If you parked at Golder Ranch, cycle through Lago del Oro Parkway headed South to Golder Ranch Rd. Take a left on Golder Ranch Rd. and climb the hill to get back to your car.
Cycling Recommendations: Conquering Tucson’s Cherry Tank on a Bike
We’ll be very frank with you… Don’t bother trying to head North (ascending) unless you have booster packs. There are a lot of very tight pinches that require you to hike a bike and stop any forward momentum. Descending this portion of the trail is the only sane way to go through Cherry Tank, but even then you will be hopping off your bike for the occasional snake or all-pro terrain. It usually takes cyclists about 1.5 hours to bike through the Cherry Tank biking trail from bottom to top.