What The Bike Bandit Says…
“For scenery alone this is a must do ride. Mountain biker traffic is low, but you will see hikers. For those of you who are road cyclists, this area of town is road biking heaven.”
Jason, The Bike Bandit
TUCSON, Arizona – Mountain Biking – Tortolita Preserve is a great trail system near The Ritz Carlton Golf Club. This is a 9.9 mile single track loop of sand, some hardpack, and rocks with a couple of semi-technical sections. Great, fun ride on a singlespeed! The trail meanders through a beautiful ironwood forest that is best appreciated during the May bloom. The trail is marked with metal signs indicating the types of trees and cactus, distance from the trailhead, and elevation. This is the ride for beginner’s mountain bikers. And if you do this trailhead, consider going to Honeybee Canyon which is only 15 minutes away. Again, bring your singlespeed or a hardtail.
Tortolita Preserve: Technically Challenging and Very Scenic!
The trailhead for the ever-growing trail system is by the Ritz Carlton Golf Club, known as the Wild Burro trailhead. Take Dove Mountain Blvd all the way from Tangerine up to the roundabout at the end. Turn right, go thru the security gate and tell them you are using the Wild Burro trailhead. There is ample parking there, with all new facilities. If you do use this parking, the trailhead is back a little by the entrance to the golf club.
This is an advanced technical trail with some steep climbs and challenging sections. Any intermediate level rider with good fitness will be able to ride a lot of this system, but may get frustrated by the amount of short sections of hiking he or she will be forced to do. This is not for the faint of heart, and should not be attempted in the heat of summer without plenty of water. For the more accomplished rider, however, this is a great workout, and the more technical sections will keep you occupied for a long time with their idiosyncrasies. Armor/padding recommended.
These trails open up the South West side of the Tortolitas, and can be ridden as a simple out and back from the Ritz, or can be used to access the Goat Corral connector trail to get to the North side, or as part of a loop into Cochie Canyon (Bushwhack Trail), or to get to Alamo Spring and back down the Wild Burro trail. When the new Ridgeline Trail is completed, this will allow access to the East side of the Tortolitas also.
Directions to Tortolita Preserve to Dove Mountain Bike Trails – Tucson, Arizona
Directions: For the Preserve trailhead, take Tangerine Rd. to Dove Mountain Blvd and turn North. At Moore Road, turn left (west). At the end of the pavement, pass through the gate. The trailhead is approximately 100 yards past gate on the right (Google Map). For the Wild Burro trailhead, instead of turning left at Moore, continue straight for another 1.2 miles or so, and you’ll see the trailhead pullout on your right.