“I mountain bike this jeep trail in the summer from time to time. It makes a tough summer day
bearable and the uphill workout is my favorite cardio.”
– Jason, The Bike Bandit
In Tucson’s Mount Lemmon, there are hidden treasures: Peppersauce Cave and the Peppersauce Canyon biking trail are for sure one of Arizona’s best mountain adventures. Peppersauce Canyon biking trail is a Mount Lemmon control road, and should not be confused with single-track mountain biking. This is jeep road that takes you out to a full-blown cave. Yes, a legit mountain cave you can actually explore! We think that’s very cool, too.
After getting up to Summerhaven, you’ll discover that it is about 15 degrees cooler and the perfect temperature for biking during the hot Arizona summers. You get big, uphill rides and all coasting on the way back. This is kind of fun for groovers – especially those cyclists vacationing in Arizona throughout the summer.
This is an actual cave. Which means that you will crawl in places and get very dirty after your cycling adventure. The entrance is not gated. If you go in far enough there is the “rabbit hole” to contend with. You can find more information on hiking and climbing in this cave on Experience AZ’s website.
You can do this ride almost any time of the year. It will be about 10-15 degrees cooler than Tucson. Take some food, pack a flashlight (one for each person), and ride up to explore the cave. We recommend taking some time to cool off near the cave for a breather and a snack. Then get refreshed on your bike ride (we should say bike coast) back to your car.
Directions: From Ina and Oracle (in Tucson), take Oracle Road toward the town of Oracle. Go through the town to the Mt. Lemmon Control Road, turn and take that road to the Arizona trailhead parking area (about 1 mile after the road changes to dirt). Load up your stuff and ride your bike up the road past Peppersauce Campground, until you reach about 6.25 miles (the total distance from where you parked).
Once you get to this point, you will get to a very sharp left-hand turn. This is where you get off and start looking for the entrance to the cave. There will be a metal sign (not mentioning the cave) on the right side of the road by a wash. You should be heading on foot West (or right from the sign) up the wash for a SHORT distance of not more than 50 yards. On the right-hand side of the wash, about 30 feet up on the side, is a fairly hidden rock outcropping that hides the entrance to the cave. It may take you a little hunting to find the opening.