Honey Bee Canyon’s mountain biking trails are Tucson-area classics that offer beginners a chance to hone their skills while still holding up an endurance challenge for advanced riders.
Expect about 15 miles of flat areas with a mix of singletracks (80–90 percent), Jeep trails, dirt roads, and asphalt. Look for petroglyphs, windmills, cattle gates, and a lot of open range along this small part of the entire Tortolita Preserve Loop system. Honey Bee Canyon does offer a separate trail for hikers only, so be sure you’re on the right one before you get too far!
“Probably the most amazing trail in Arizona,” says Nancy Lewis. “Hollywood has used this trail as a back drop in western films. There are over 35 miles of mountain biking options here. This is a really, fast, fun, up and down ride with a little more than 700 feet of elevation gain over 16 miles. I got referred by the local bike shop of a rental outfit that delivered to the trail. So convenient! If you are a more advanced rider, Upper 50 Year trail is next door.”
One of the most popular sights along this trail is the petroglyphs, which is actually much easier to get to on foot than on a bike, but if you take the route slow and with some care, you’ll find a well-defined hiking trail that heads northward that’ll lead you to the glyphs (they’ll be on your left).
Take a quick tour of some of the sights you’ll see at Honey Bee Canyon!
Directions: Getting to the trail can be a bit tricky. Use GPS, Google Maps, or your favorite mountain bike trail app (we recommend All Trail, or MTB Project). The correct turns can be hard-to-spot. There is a small dirt lot just to the northwest of the Oracle Road and Miravista Lane intersection. Take Oracle Road north from Ina Road about 7 miles to Rancho Vistoso Blvd. and then go left (westward) for approx. 3 miles. This will take you to a nice parking area. Grab your bike and ride to the right (eastward) to get out of the parking lot. Cycle about 0.6 miles to Quiet Rain Drive and head north for about a tenth of a mile to reach a short, paved, uphill section to the “Powerline Road,” which is a fire road connecting Rancho Vistoso Blvd to Honeybee Canyon. You are now on the trail!
Bike sales and rentals: Read our recap of Oro Valley and Tucson bike rentals here. For Honey Bee Canyon, there are convenient options to rent a bike right at the venerable trailhead. Local rental services like Oro Valley Bike Rentals and Tucson Bike Rentals will deliver and pickup Specialized and Trek
Food and drink: Grandma Tony’s serves some of the best pizza in the state and is only half a mile away from the trailhead. Another great pizza spot is Rosati’s Pizza Sports Pub. The Views Golf Club offers amazing views of the Santa Catalina Mountains and the biggest tap beer and wine selection in Oro Valley!