“Easy trail for those that have some endurance.”
— Hillary Mathis on May 28, 2014
“Honeybee Canyon is graced by impeccable desert beauty. There are over 35 miles of very, very well-manicured trails that intertwine with jeep trails. Honeybee Canyon is a great place to hard tail it. Full suspension mountain bikes are not necessary.”
Editor’s Note: Mountain bikers can now access Honey Bee Canyon’s Oro Valley access point at North Quiet Rain Drive. The barbed wire fence that was established by a home owner association has been removed. Local home owners of Honey Bee Canyon Estates were very upset that to have trail access impeded. HOA residents have removed the unlawful fence. It’s worth noting that since the fence went up, more mountain bikers than ever are mountain biking Honey Bee Canyon. We recommend parking at The Views Golf Course, just several blocks away. Please see directions below.
ORO VALLEY, Arizona – Mountain Biking -Honey Bee Canyon is one the most spectacular Tucson area – and for that matter Arizona – mountain bike trails. Honey Bee Canyon offers an epic enduro ride that is fun for riders of all levels. With over 35 miles of fast, flowy trails, Honey Bee Canyon offers perfectly manicured trails that have been well maintained by Arizona Bicycle Association trail stewards who live right next to the trail head.
These volunteers have done a yeoman’s job at smoothing out the washy areas of the course to make them very manageable. Special thanks to Trevor Holewinski, Kirby Rodriguez and the rest of the volunteers who help this trail that is located on state trust land.
We highly recommend this trail to beginners and those just starting out. This is a really popular place for mountain bikers looking for a great enduro ride that requires minimal technical skills or thought. And do not worry about getting lost. The trail is mostly a north south trail. Always be looking for power lines and you will make it back just fine. This is a very popular trail head for night riders.
Honey Bee Canyon: The Crown Jewel of Oro Valley Mountain Biking
There are very rocky areas of note. However, beware of the cactus! Stay on the trail and always be looking 20 yards in advance. Bring a comb with a handle to help remove cactus.
This is another close in, easy ride. It is relatively flat, some jeep trail, dirt road, asphalt, and single track. You will see petroglyphs, cattle, open range, windmills, and part of Rancho Vistoso. But if you want to make this an all-day epic, Honeybee/Rail X is just a small part of the entire Tortolita trail system.
There are two hard to find turns. The first comes on Rain X road where you will turn onto the jeep (single track). It is marked with a white Arizona Trust Lands sign (see map). The second is in a large wash as you head back toward Rancho Vistoso Blvd. I suggest you get off your bike and walk south looking for the exit on your left. You will see a jeep trail or perhaps some other bike trails. Once you get through the second gate you will be back on paved roads in Vistoso and will easily find your way back to the vehicles.
If you wish to see the petroglyphs, it is much easier to get there on foot then it is on bike. From the parking area you will see a well defined trail leading down into Honeybee Canyon. Take it and go north for about 1.5 miles. Very pretty hike and you will find the glyphs on your left (if you look hard enough).
The round trip is 12 miles and the change in elevation is a small 500 ft. or so. To give yourself a little perspective, it is 4.25 miles from the parking area to the intersection of Rail X and the Power line Road.
Directions: Take Oracle Rd. north from Ina about 7 miles to Rancho Vistoso Blvd., go left (west) almost four miles and park somewhere in The Views Golf Club of Oro Valley parking lot. Do not park at the Mountain View Plaza. You will get towed! When you get on your bike go to your right (east) out of the parking lot 1 miles to Quiet Rain Drive. Go through the gate, take a left and go north through three washy areas. Go past the cattle gate 100 yards or so and the trail starts to the right. IF you go to the first telephone pole, you went too far. Riders can choose to enter via the Rail X side, parking near the Methodist Church in Catalina. We do not recommend this. Access to the trail is difficult to find and my people get lost.
Tucson Bike Rentals and Tours delivers and picks up mountain bikes at Rail X and Honeybee Canyon. There is a two rider minimum delivery. Bike for 1 to 5 hours, finish riding and we pick up the bikes! No need to worry about loading mountain bikes in your rental car! Price is generally $100 per bike – depending on location of trailhead. Don’t know where to ride? Tucson Bike Rentals and Tours can tell you the rides that are beginner, intermediate to advanced. We deliver mountain bikes to Tucson, Oro Valley, Green Vallley and the Southern, Arizona area. We rent top of the line full suspension and hard tailed mountain bikes. Click here for details!